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“Environmental Stewardship: Reconsidering the Creation Narratives in the 21st Century.”

October 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Melissa J. Harris, Master of Sacred Theology candidate, second year
United Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg and Philadelphia, Pa.
Melissa is a rare-book librarian for a special collection of books specializing in materials relating to
horticulture, botany, natural history and voyages of exploration. She has made Cicero’s quote “If you have
a garden and a library, you have everything you need” her manifesto. Her studies at ULS center on
reconsidering the impact of environmental stewardship on racial inequality.

Environmental Stewardship: Reconsidering the Creation Narratives in the 21st Century
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Haymarket, Va. (project site)
Have humans always treated each other and the planet merely as raw materials for monetization? The
motivation for this project began with feeling helpless about the rapid deforestation of the Amazon; the
repeated forced migrations due to environmental catastrophes, greed, and violence; and the transactional
relationship both governments and multinational corporations seem to have with everything and
everyone. Is this what God meant by having “dominion”? Is humanity to rule by fiat, even though our
God does not? This project set out to reread, and reimagine, the two creation narratives in Genesis 1:1–
3:24 and reconsider the implications and directives of the texts on environmental stewardship and racial
equality for Christians in the 21st century.


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