This essay presents a theological reading of the Noah narrative to argue that humanity’s restful existence depends on their relation to the natural world. It first appropriates the theological and philosophical concept of place to show that restful existence depends on being placed in a fitting relation to the natural world. Second, in reading the story of Noah, it argues that being placed depends on God’s work of placing humans in proper relation to the natural world—as epitomized in the event of the ark. Third, analyzing the story of Noah in the light of classical theological categories of God’s providence, it argues that God’s continuing providential activity today should shape human place-building for restful living.
rest, place, environment, theological interpretation, Noah, Genesis 1–11, creation, providence, new heaven and earth
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