How do religion and the natural world interact with one another? Grounding Religion introduces students to the growing field of religion and ecology, exploring a series of questions about how the religious world influences and is influenced by ecological systems.
Grounding Religion examines the central concepts of ‘religion’ and ‘ecology’ using analysis, dialogical exchanges by established scholars in the field, and case studies. The first textbook to encourage critical thinking about the relationships between the environment and religious beliefs and practices, it also provides an expansive overview of the academic field of religion and ecology as it has emerged in the past forty years.
The contributors introduce students to new ways of thinking about environmental degradation and the responses of religious people. Each chapter brings a new perspective on key concepts such as sustainability, animals, gender, economics, environmental justice, globalization and place. Discussion questions and contemporary case studies focusing on topics such as Muslim farmers in the US and Appalachian environmental struggles help students apply the perspective to current events, other media, and their own interests.
'Grounding Religion is a tightly constructed examination of how religion and ecology are interconnected and the key issues that emerge from their relationship. This volume is very well done and should become foundational for any study of the religion-ecology matrix.' – Rosemary Radford Ruether, Claremont Graduate University and Claremont School of Theology, USA
1. Introduction: A typology of religion and ecology Part 1: What is Religion? 2. What is religion, who gets to decide, and why does it matter? 3. What counts as religious amongst religion and ecology scholars 3. Dialogue: two perspectives on defining ‘religion’ 4. Case Study: religions and environments in Appalachia Part 2: What is Ecology? 5. What is ecology, who gets to decide, and why does it matter? 6. Dialogue: two perspectives on studying ecology, nature, and the environment 7. Case Study: Images of ‘land’ among Islamic farmers in the U.S. 8. Sustainability 9. Animals 10. Gender 11. Economics 12. Environmental justice and eco-justice 13. Globalization 14. Place 15. Scholarship and activism Glossary of key terms in religion and ecology