Sunday, 03 March 2024 21:49

Is the Human Vicegerency Bad Theology in the Anthropocene?

This is a keynote address I delivered virtually at a conference on Faith and the Environment sponsored by the Oxford Centre for Muslim and Christian Studies, March 1, 2024. My title is "Is the Human Vicegerency Bad Theology in the Anthropocene?" The term "vicegerency" is a bit archaic, but it is the word used most often in Muslim academic circles for the "human caliphate" mentioned in several places in the Qur'an, referring to God's creating humankind as deputies or trustees over his creation. The Genesis 1 creation account has God deputizing humanity in this way as well: filling the earth and ruling over it (v. 28). This was a central theme of my 2010 book, Earth, Empire and Sacred Text: Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation.