1st Edition

Fittingness and Environmental Ethics Philosophical, Theological and Applied Perspectives

    234 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume focuses on ‘fittingness’ as an ethical-aesthetical idea, and in particular examines how the concept is beneficial for environmental ethics. It brings together an innovative set of contributions to argue that fittingness is a significant but under-investigated facet of human ethical deliberation with both ethical and aesthetic dimensions. In widely diverse matters – from architecture to table manners – individuals and communities make decisions based on ‘fittingness’, also expressed in related terms, such as appropriateness, prudence, temperance, and mutuality. In the realm of environmental ethics, fittingness denotes a relation between conscious embodied persons and their habitats and is of relevance to judgements about how humans shape, and take up with, the non-human environment, and hence to ethical decisions about the development and use of the environment and non-human creatures. As such, fittingness can be of great benefit in reframing human relationships to the non-human, stimulating a way of living in the world that is fitting to the preservation of its fruitfulness, goodness, beauty, and truth.

    List of Figures

    List of Contribuotrs




    Michael S. Northcott and Steven C. van den Heuvel

    Part I Metaphysics and Aesthetics

    1 Fittingness and Other-Regarding Attitudes in Environmental Aesthetics

    Emily Brady

    2 Commonage Consciousness and Fitting in with the Earth: John Moriarty and Deep Ecology

    Nora Ward

    3 On the Ethics and Metaphysics of Fittingness, Affordances and Providence

    Michael Bauwens

    4 Fittingness and Environmental Ethics: Perspectives from Chinese Religion and Philosophy

    JunSoo Park

    Part II Theological Perspectives on Fittingness

    5 The Ontological Turn, Religious Tradition, and Human Cosmological Fittingness

    Michael S. Northcott

    6 Fittingness and the Spiritual-Religious Nature of Environmentalism

    Johan de Tavernier

    7 Fittingness as Attunement? Being Ecological with Timothy Morton and Hans Urs von Balthasar

    Yves de Maeseneer

    8 Anselm on Fittingness: Various Concepts of Fittingness in the Cur Deus homo

    Rostislav Tkachenko

    Part III Practical Applications

    9 Fittingness as a Dynamic of Social Interaction: Implications for Embedding Ecological Concerns in Community Life and Practice

    Jack Barentsen

    10 When ‘Fitting in’ means to ‘Care’: Proposing a Form-of-Life for Environmental Care

    Emilio di Somma

    11 Representation as Isolation: The Unfittingness of Waste

    Gregory Jensen

    12 The Challenge and Promise of Queer Ecology for Understanding ‘Fittingness’: A Theological Engagement

    Steven C. van den Heuvel




    Michael S. Northcott is Professor Emeritus of Ethics at the University of Edinburgh and Guest Professor at the Indonesian Consortium of Religious Studies at Universitas Gadjah Mada Graduate School in Yogyakarta (Indonesia). He is also Guest Professor of Systematic Theology at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven (Belgium).

    Steven C. van den Heuvel is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven (Belgium).