In his review of the 1932 English translation of Max Weber's famous study, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, United Church of Canada theologian John Line observed that Protestants in particular should pay close attention to Weber's findings. 'For they make it clear that Protestantism had a leading part in determining our present economic structure, a fact which puts in our hands a liability now that the faults of that structure have become apparent.' A few decades later Christians awakened to a similar sense of responsibility for environmental problems. One of the catalysts for this awakening was a frequently quoted article in which philosopher of science Lynn White pointed to the connection between the teachings of Jewish and Christian scriptures and the idea that humans were entitled not simply to use, or to have dominion over, but to dominate and exploit the rest of nature.

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