Author: George C. Nche

Abstract

Following Lynn White’s thesis of 1967 which indicted some Christian values for the current ecological crisis, many studies have been conducted on the connection between religion and environment/ecological crisis. These studies have sought to know whether religious beliefs and values influence environmental/climate change perceptions of people. However, while these studies have been geographically biased, their results have remained inconclusive. This study therefore examined this age-long debate with evidence from Nigeria. The study involved 30 church leaders drawn from Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal churches in five geographical zones in Nigeria. The data was analyzed using descriptive analytical method. Findings show that religious values/schemas in forms of Eschatological/End-Time beliefs, Dominion beliefs, Theological fatalism, Pessimism etc. influenced climate change perceptions among the church leaders. The study also found that religious affiliation and theology mattered with respect to the influence of some religious beliefs. The implications of findings for the research on religion-environmental/climate change connection are discussed.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology