Church, Cosmovision and the Environment: Religion and Social Conflict in Contemporary Latin America, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Church, Cosmovision and the Environment

Religion and Social Conflict in Contemporary Latin America, 1st Edition

Edited by Evan Berry, Robert Albro


254 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-06-29
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Though currently only partially understood, evolving interactions among Latin American communities of faith, governments, and civil societies are a key feature of the popular mobilizations and policy debates about environmental issues in the region. This edited collection describes and analyses multiple types of religious engagement with environmental concerns and conflicts seen in modern Latin American democracies.

This volume contributes to scholarship on the intersections of religion with environmental conflict in a number of ways. Firstly, it provides comparative analysis of the manner in which diverse religious actors are currently participating in transnational, national, and local advocacy in places such as, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico. It also considers the diversity of an often plural religious engagement with advocacy, including Catholic, Evangelical and Pentecostal perspectives alongside the effects of indigenous cosmological ideas. Finally, this book explores the specific religious sources of seemingly unlikely new alliances and novel articulations of rights, social justice, and ethics for the environmental concerns of Latin America.

The relationship between religion and environmental issues is an increasingly important topic in the conversations around ecology and climate change. This book is, therefore, a pertinent and topical work for any academic working in Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, and Latin American Studies.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Religion and Environmental Conflict in Latin America

Robert Albro and Evan Berry

Part 1: Ecclesial Articulations of Environmental Rights and Justice

2 Church Advocacy in Latin America: Integrating Environment in the Struggle for Justice and Human Rights

Guillermo Kerber

3 Transnational Religious Advocacy Networks in Latin America and Beyond

Evan Berry

4 The Lausanne Movement, Holistic Mission and the Introduction of Creation Care in Latin America and Argentina

Hans Geir Aasmundsen

5 Marina Silva: A Brazilian Case Study in Religion, Politics and Human Rights

Paul Freston

Part 2: Cosmovision and Indigenous Expressions of Environmental Rights and Justice

6 Bolivia’s Indigenous Foreign Policy: Buen Vivir and Global Climate Change


Robert Albro

7 Relatives of the Living Forest: The Social Relation to Nature Underlying Ecological Action in Amazonian Kichwa Communities

Tod D. Swanson

8 Trickster Ecology: Climate Change and Conservation Pluralism in Guatemala’s Maya Lowlands

Liza Grandia

9 The Winds of Oaxaca: Renewable Energy, Climate Change Mitigation, and the Ethics of Transition

Cymene Howe

10 Articulating Indigenous Ecologies: The Indigenous Pastoral in the Huasteca, Mexico

Kristina Tiedje

11 Religion and Cosmovisions within Environmental Conflicts and the Challenge of Ontological Openings

Eduardo Gudynas

About the Editors

Evan Berry is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University. He received his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His book, Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism (2015), explores the religious underpinnings of the American environmental movement.

Robert Albro is Research Associate Professor at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. He received his PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago, and has conducted ethnographic research and published widely on popular and indigenous politics along Bolivia’s urban periphery. Much of this work is summarized in his book, Roosters at Midnight: Indigenous Signs and Stigma in Local Bolivian Politics (2010).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion and Environment

The Routledge Studies in Religion and Environment book series explores religious encounters with environmental challenges and strives to capture the ecological dimensions of religious life with empirical and theoretical sophistication. Resisting the urge to concentrate exclusively on religious traditions, this series conceives the term "religion" broadly, seeking to include not only religious actors, institutions and theological traditions, but also lived spiritualities, indigenous cosmovisions, para-religious organizations, and socially enacted notions of the sacred. Environmental challenges are manifest in every part of the world, but the bearing of religious actors, ideas, and institutions on these challenges is variable. Accordingly, this series is ambivalent about whether and how religion matters with respect to environmental issues. We welcome scholarly contributions that chart the dynamic relationships between systems of human meaning-making and environmental processes at all scales, from the planetary to the parochial.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Advocacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Caribbean & Latin American
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Comparative Religion
RELIGION / Christian Theology / Liberation
RELIGION / Christianity / General
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State