Grounding Religion : A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology book cover
2nd Edition

Grounding Religion
A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology

ISBN 9781138194014
Published April 7, 2017 by Routledge
294 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Now in its second edition, Grounding Religion explores relationships between the environment and religious beliefs and practices. Established scholars introduce students to the ways in which religion shapes human–earth relations, surveying a series of questions about how the religious world influences and is influenced by ecological systems.

Case studies, discussion questions, and further reading enrich students’ experience. This second edition features updated content, including revisions of every chapter and new material on natural disasters, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, climate change, food, technology, and hope and despair. An excellent text for undergraduates and graduates alike, it offers an expansive overview of the academic field of religion and ecology as it has emerged in the past fifty years.

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors

Introduction to the second edition




Whitney A. Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien

1  Religion: what is it, who gets to decide, and why does it matter?

Whitney A. Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien

2  Case Study: religion and the twenty-first century North American anti-extraction movement

Joseph Witt

3  Ecology: what is it, who gets to decide, and why does it matter?

Whitney A. Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien

4  Case Study: religion and disaster: the Merapi volcano eruption

Najiyah Martiam

5  Gender and queers studies

Whitney A. Bauman and Heather Eaton

6  Race and ethnicity

Carol Wayne White

7  The power of place

Brian G. Campbell

8  Globalization

Lois Ann Lorentzen

9  Climate change

Laurel Kearns

10  Food

Whitney Sanford

11  Animals

Dave Aftandilian

12  Technology

Noreen Herzfeld

13  Justice

Richard Bohannon and Kevin J. O’Brien

14  Sustainability

Willis Jenkins

15  Economics

Laura M. Hartman

16  Conclusion: despair, hope, and action

Whitney A. Bauman and Kevin J. O’Brien


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Whitney A. Bauman is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University, Florida, USA.

Richard Bohannon is a cartographer and teaches in the Geography Department at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, USA.

Kevin J. O’Brien is Associate Professor of Religion and Dean of Humanities at Pacific Lutheran University, Washington, USA.


"Grounding Religion is an accessible and engaging introduction to religion and ecology for the undergraduate classroom. Changes made for the second edition - especially the new chapters addressing race and ethnicity, climate change, and hope and despair are particularly timely." - Nancy Menning, Ithaca College, USA.

"In recent years, the literature exploring the intersections between religion and nature has grown exponentially. Grounding Religion is both an original contribution to the field and also a smart, wide-ranging introduction to it. It provides good overviews of important topics such as place, food, and climate change without merely repeating familiar discussions. Even better, it addresses crucial issues that are rarely included in discussions of religion and ecology, such as economics and technology. It will be an essential resource for scholars and an outstanding teaching tool." - Anna Peterson, University of Florida, USA.

"This handbook provides an excellent introduction to key issues of environmental concern viewed through the prism of a modern-day, secularist view of religion-writ-large. (...) This book will prove useful in the undergraduate classroom. (...) Each chapter effectively defines its arguments and terms. Several concrete examples are given that will encourage student conversations, especially on the extractive process of mountaintop removal, the alteration of food through industrialized agriculture, and the multiple challenges posed by climate change. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter enhance its effectiveness as a teaching tool." - Christopher Chapple, Loyola Marymount University, USA