Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Jewish Tradition and the Environment

  • Kalman J. Kaplan
  • Paul Cantz
  • Matthew B. Schwartz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_9231

The essence of the Biblical/Jewish psychological approach to the environment becomes clearest when compared to the psychological view of the environment emerging from ancient Greek religion/mythology. The Greek mythological view portrays Gaia as “mother earth” and vacillates between worshiping the environment and ravaging it. Like woman, the earth is either to be idealized or raped. This entry will demonstrate this vacillation in the ancient records regarding Greek and Roman treatment of the environment.

The Biblical world does not see the earth in this psychological manner. God has created the world, both the heavens and the earth. The earth is not seen as a mother, and it is to be treated respectfully, not worshiped or raped. Athens and Jerusalem thus represent two contrasting psychologies regarding the earth and life upon it which are of vast importance to modern attitudes toward the environment. Let us compare these two different psychologies in more detail.

Greek and Biblical...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kalman J. Kaplan
    • 1
  • Paul Cantz
    • 2
  • Matthew B. Schwartz
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and Medical EducationUniversity of Illinois in ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and Adler School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of HistoryWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA