Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Phil Condon

Commitee Members

Dan Spencer, Nancy Cook


University of Montana


This collection of essays explores a journey of faith that takes place in a number of different landscapes, from a small Midwestern community to Cairo, Egypt, to the Peruvian Andes.

This memoir is a response to those Christians who seem to care little about environmental issues, living sustainably, or caring for creation, those Christians who believe that only the spiritual realm matters. I argue that this dichotomy between the physical and spiritual is unbiblical, and that there is strong evidence in the biblical story that human beings are meant to care for all of creation—not only fellow human beings, but animals, plants, soil, air, and water. Treading lightly and living sustainably are part of the Christian calling to bring justice and peace to the world.

I am also speaking to those environmentalists who too quickly dismiss all Christians as narrow-minded people who care little for the earth. Not all Christians are unsympathetic to environmental causes; indeed, there is enormous space for dialogue and understanding. This body of work provides some biblical basis for creation care for those unfamiliar with Christianity.

In these essays, I look at fundamental Christian practices—e.g., baptism, communion, the celebration of the church year—and explore how these physical manifestations of spiritual ideals have helped to strengthen my faith and taught me to live responsibly in the world. This work is not meant to be preachy or dogmatic; rather, it is meant to illumine the space where physical and spiritual, Christian and environmentalist, overlap, space where there can be conversation and, insha’allah, cooperation.

So, for all those interested in religion, Christianity, sustainability, creation care, environmentalism, faith, and working for peace and justice, enjoy. This is for you.

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© Copyright 2008 Allison Danae De Jong