You think it's hot here? : the theological influences on evangelical leadership concerning the politics of climate change.




Goodyear, Jack T.

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This dissertation examines the theological influences on evangelical leadership in America concerning the politics of climate change. In the United States, the controversy surrounding climate change elicits strong debate and disagreement on both sides of the issue concerning not only the validity of the science, but also potential solutions to the problem. In recent years, evangelicals have contributed to the rhetoric and action concerning climate change through organizations and individual statements. Although far from a united bloc on the issue of climate change, evangelicals populate a significant amount of the U. S. electorate, potentially impacting the future direction of climate change policies. While grasping influences on evangelicals in the United States is a complicated task, focusing on key groups and individual leaders allows for a more viable examination of evangelical opinions and future directions concerning the topic. In this study, special attention is given to major evangelical groups and their involvement in the climate change debate. Additionally, the discourses of four evangelical leaders, representing various facets of evangelical life, are analyzed to better understand the influences on the directions taken by evangelicals in leadership and potentially their followers. In analyzing theological influences on the politics of climate change in this study, evangelicals are divided into two main groups: Progressive Evangelicals and Conservative Evangelicals. Additionally, eschatology, evangelism, care for the vulnerable, and interaction with science become the major focal areas in studying evangelical thought.