The environment, Christianity, and the Roman Empire: an ecological interpretation
Christianity emerged from the desert periphery of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire’s growth necessitated centuries of imperial conquests, stratification, and extensive resource extraction. The result was widespread state oppression, social injustice, and environmental instability. Christianity responded to the Roman Empire’s oppression and domination through political mobilization, social transformation, and ecological restoration. A knowledge that taught ecocentrism, communalism, and material simplicity is revealed in the oral and written tradition of first-century Christianity. To practice Christianity in accordance with the teaching of Jesus was to be inherently opposed to conquest and expansion. In resistance to the anthropocentric and consumerist lifestyle of the Roman Empire, the early Christian community sought to integrate balance into the interaction between the human and the other non-human forms of life.
Master’s Thesis, Humboldt State University, 2007