An Orthodox View of the Ecological Crisis
4.2 The Divine Mandate about Human Action in the Environment.
This mandate is clearly expressed in the passage: "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it», Gen 2, 15). It is very clear that «to dress» means every kind of cultivation, i.e. exploitation of the earth for human aims. But, «to keep» puts a limit οn the exploitation, and means of acting for the preservation and maintenance of the earth. This divine mandate is both a mandate for management of the natural resources οn earth and a placing upοn him of full responsibility for them. Mankind is practically proclaimed an «oikonomos» (manager, steward, administrator, governor), but not a Lord or Despot of his environment. That is a very clear distinction made by the Bible. Under this distiction we have to understand the divine blessing of man: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upοn the earth" (Gen. 1,28).