Creation as a Cosmic Temple: Reading Genesis 1:1–2:4a in Light of Willie van Heerden’s Ecological Insights
Festschrift for Willie van Heerden
Keywords:creation, cosmic temple, imago Dei, human dominion, Sabbath, ecological hermeneutics, Willie van Heerden
This article is based on Willie van Heerden’s insight into the ecological retrieval of the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:26–27. According to Van Heerden, human dominion has a meaning only when it is read in relationship with the crisis context of the text and particularly the symmetrical structure of Genesis 1:1–2:4a as a whole. In this sense, one discovers that creation does not culminate with human supremacy or dominion, but with celebration (Sabbath). Creation is a kind of sanctuary, a cosmic temple in which every block counts. The created order is sacred and thus all members of creation are associated with God. Hence, whatever human dominion might mean, it has to treat creation with respect as a sacred arena.
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