Noah’s Ark as Conservation? An Ecological Reading of Genesis 6–9
Festschrift for Willie van Heerden
Keywords:Genesis 6–9, Noah, flood, ecological hermeneutics, conservation, biodiversity, SDGs
In a world where loss of biodiversity is a major challenge, this article explores a dialogue between modern conservation theory and an ancient biblical text. Through the construction of an ecological hermeneutics based on conservation biology and conservation anthropology, and with references to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the article analyses the story of Noah’s ark in Genesis 6–9 as a conservation project. Two questions are in focus. First, how does a conservation perspective contribute to the reading of the biblical text? Second, is the biblical story of Noah’s ark a good paradigm for conservation efforts today? The answer to the first question highlights aspects of the text that often do not receive sufficient attention. The second answer shows some of the complexities of applying this biblical story as an inspiration for modern conservation projects.
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