The Qur’ān as a Source for Contemporary Islamic Environmental Ethics
Since the surge of interest in environmental problems in the 1960s the world has seen a growing concern for such issues which – from its outset – has been voiced by, among others, religious actors. This paper analyses a selection of contemporary texts on the environment and the current ecological crisis which originated in the Islamic cultural milieu, and addresses the specific problem of their relation to the ethical view of nature in the Qurʼān. To that end, the first section of the study attempts to investigate the ethical view of nature within the Qurʼanic revelation, drawing on the outline of the Qurʼanic ethical world view as well as the methodology for the study of the ethico-religious concepts in the Qurʼān devised by Toshihiko Izutsu. The second part of the study compares this view with the actual interpretation of the Qurʼanic text in contemporary ethical deliberations. The study thereby attempts to show both the differences between the ethical view of nature in the Qurʼān and its contemporary perceptions articulated by the Islamic environmental ethical discourse and the common links which enable Muslim authors to seek answers to the questions of the day in the sacred scripture of Islām.
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