In the last two decades a new form of religiously motivated social action and a virtually new field of academic study—each based in recognition of the connections between religion and humanity’s treatment of the environment—have developed. Interactions between religion and environmental concern have been manifest in the explosive growth of ecotheological writings, institutional commitment by organized religions, and environmental activism explicitly oriented to religious ideals. Clergy throughout the world in virtually every denomination have received word from leaders of their religion that the environment—no less than sexuality, poverty, or war and peace—is now a basic and compelling religious matter.
Out of this confrontation have been born vital new theologies based in the recovery of marginalized elements of tradition, profound criticisms of the past, and ecologically oriented visions of God, the Sacred, the Earth, and human beings. Theologians from every religious tradition—along with dozens of non-denominational spiritual writers—have confronted world religions’ past attitudes towards nature. In the realm of institutional commitment, public statements and actions by organized religions have grown dramatically. In the context of political action, throughout the U.S. and the world religiously oriented groups take part in environmentally oriented political action: from lobbying and consciousness raising to activist demonstrations and civil disobedience.
This collection serves as a comprehensive introduction, overview, and in-depth account of these exciting new developments. The four volumes cover virtually every aspect of the field—from theological change and institutional commitment to innovation in liturgy, from new ecumenical connections among different religions and between religion, science and environmental movements, from religious participation in environmental politics to an account of the global social and political contexts in which religious environmentalism has unfolded.
1. Roger S. Gottlieb, ‘Religion and the Environment’, in John Hinnells (ed.), Routledge Companion to Religion, 2nd edn. (Routledge, 2009), pp. 492–508.
2. John B. Cobb, Jr., ‘Beyond Anthropocentrism’, Sustainability: Economics, Ecology, and Justice (Orbis Books, 1992), pp. 82–99.
3. Jay McDaniel, ‘Ecotheology and World Religions’, in Laurel Kearns and Catherine Keller (eds.), Ecospirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth (Fordham University Press, 2007), pp. 27–44, 546–7.
4. Larry Rasmussen, ‘Drilling in the Cathedral’, Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 2003, 42, 3, 202–25.
5. Shalom Rosenberg, ‘Concepts of Torah and Nature in Jewish Thought’, in Hava Tirosh-Samuelson (ed.), Judaism and Ecology: Created World and Revealed World (Harvard University Press, 2002), pp. 189–226.
6. Lawrence Troster ‘Created in the Image of God: Humanity and Divinity in an Age of Environmentalism’, Conservative Judaism, Fall 1991, 14–24.
7. Ronald Simkins, ‘The End of Nature: Humans and the Natural World in the History of Creation’, Journal of Religion and Society (www.moses.creighton.edu).
8. Nalini Tarakeshwat et al., ‘The Sanctification of Nature and Theological Conservatism: A Study of Opposing Religious Correlates of Environmentalism’, Review of Religious Research, 2001, 42, 4, 387–404.
9. David Toolan, ‘The Voice of the Hurricane: Cosmology and a Catholic Theology of Nature’, in Drew Christiansen and Walter Grazer (eds.), ‘And God Saw That It Was Good’: Catholic Theology and the Environment (United States Catholic Conference, 1996), pp. 65–104.
10. Elizabeth A. Johnson, ‘Losing and Finding Creation in the Christian Tradition’, in Dieter T. Hessel and Rosemary Radford Ruether (eds.), Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans (Harvard University Press, 2000), pp. 3–22.
11. Calvin B. DeWitt, ‘Behemoth and Batrachians in the Eye of God: Responsibility to Other Kinds in Biblical Perspective’, in Dieter T. Hessel and Rosemary Radford Ruether (eds.), Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans (Harvard University Press, 2000), pp. 291–316.
12. John Chryssavgis, ‘The Earth as Sacrament: Insights from Orthodox Christian Theology and Spirituality’, in Roger S. Gottlieb (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 92–114.
13. Steven Bouma-Prediger, ‘Is Christianity to Blame?’, For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care (Baker Academic, 2001), pp. 67–86, 195–8.
14. Ilio Delio, Keith Warner, and Pamela Wood, ‘Is Creation the House of God?’, Care For Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth (St Anthony Messenger Press, 2008), pp. 36–54.
15. Mark Wallace, ‘The Wounded Spirit as the Basis for Hope in an Age of Radical Ecology’, in Dieter T. Hessel and Rosemary Radford Ruether (eds.), Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans (Harvard University Press, 2000), pp. 51–2.
16. John Paterson, ‘Conceptualizing Stewardship in Agriculture within the Christian Tradition’, Environmental Ethics, 2003, 25, 1, 43–58.
17. Pope John Paul II, ‘The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility’, in Drew Christiansen and Walter Grazer (eds.), ‘And God Saw That It Was Good’: Catholic Theology and the Environment (United States Catholic Conference, 1996), pp. 215–22.
18. The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, ‘What is Happening to our Beautiful Land?’, ‘And God Saw That It Was Good’: Catholic Theology and the Environment (United States Catholic Conference, 1996), pp. 215–22.
19. S. Nomanul Haq, ‘Islam and Ecology: Toward Retrieval and Reconstruction’, in Richard C. Foltz, Frederic M. Denny, and Azizan Baharuddin (eds.), Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust (Harvard University Press, 2003), pp. 121–54.
20. Willis Jenkins, ‘Islamic Law and Environmental Ethics: How Jurisprudence (usul al-faqh) Mobilizes Practical Reform’, Worldviews, 2005, 9, 3, 338–64.
21. Nawal Ammar, ‘Islam and Deep Ecology’, in David Barnhill and Roger S. Gottlieb (eds.), Deep Ecology and World Religions (SUNY Press, 1999), pp. 193–212.
22. Marjorie Hope and James Young, ‘Islam and Ecology’, Cross Currents, 1994, 44, 2, 180–94.
23. Gavin Van Horn, ‘Hindu Traditions and Nature: Survey Article’, Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion, 2006, 10, 1, 5–39.
24. Christopher Chapple, ‘Hinduism and Deep Ecology’, in David Barnhill and Roger S. Gottlieb (eds.), Deep Ecology and World Religions (SUNY Press, 1999), pp. 59–76.
25. Emma Tomalin, ‘Bio-divinity and Biodiversity: Perspectives on Religion and Environmental Conservation in India’, Numen, 2004, 51, 3, 265–95.
26. John Berthrong, ‘Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision’, in Roger S. Gottlieb (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 236–58.
27. James Miller, ‘Envisioning the Daoist Body in the Economy of Cosmic Power’, Daedalus, 2001, 265–82.
28. Ruiping Fan, ‘A Reconstructionist Confucian Account of Environmentalism: Toward a Human Sagely Dominion Over Nature’, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 2005, 32, 1, 105–22.
29. Ian Harris, ‘Buddhism and Ecology’, in Damien Keown (ed.), Contemporary Buddhist Ethics (Curzon, 2002), pp. 113–36.
30. William LaFleur, ‘Satva: Enlightenment for Plants and Trees’, in Allan Hunt Badiner (ed.), Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology (Parallax Press, 1990), pp. 136–44.
31. Graham Harvey, ‘Sacred Places in the Construction of Indigenous Environmentalism’, Ecotheology, 200, 7, 1, 60–73.
32. Jack D. Forbes, ‘Indigenous Americans: Spirituality and Ecos’, Daedalus, 2001, 283–300.
33. Paul Nadasdy, ‘Transcending the Debate over the Ecologically Noble Indian: Indigenous Peoples and Environmentalism’, Ethnohistory, 2005, 52, 291–331.
34. Dennis Wall and Virgil Masayesva, ‘People of the Corn: Teachings in Hopi Traditional Agriculture, Spirituality, and Sustainability’, American Indian Quarterly, 2004, 28, 3/4, 435–53.
35. Stephen J. Duffin, ‘The Environmental Views of John Locke and the Maori People of New Zealand’, Environmental Ethics, 2004, 26, 4, 381–401.
36. Dieter T. Hessel, ‘The Church’s Eco-Justice Journey’, in William E. Gibson (ed.), Eco-Justice: The Unfinished Journey (SUNY Press, 2004), pp. 261–73.
37. Lois Ann Lorentzen and Salvador Leavitt-Alcantara, ‘Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America’, in Roger S. Gottlieb (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 510–34.
38. B. Sinha et al., ‘The Concept of the Sacred Linked to Biological Resource Management in the Himalayan Culture’, in E. Ehlers and C. F. Gethman (eds.), Environment Across Cultures (Springer, 2003), pp. 197–204.
39. Sulak Sivaraksa, ‘Development as if People Mattered’, Seeds of Peace: A Buddhist Vision for Renewing Society (Parallax Press, 1992), pp. 44–54.
40. Leslie E. Sponsel, Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel, ‘A Theoretical Analysis of the Potential Contribution of the Monastic Community in Promoting a Green Society in Thailand’, in Mary Evelyn Tucker and Duncan Ryuken Williams (eds.), Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds (Harvard University Press, 1997), pp. 45–68.
41. Susan M. Darlington ‘The Ordination of a Tree: The Buddhist Ecology Movement in Thailand’, Ethnology, 1998, 37, 1, 1–15.
42. Christopher Hakkenberg, ‘Biodiversity and Sacred Sites: Vernacular Conservation Practices in Northwest Yunnan, China’, Worldviews, 2008, 12, III, 74–90.
43. William T. Hipwell, ‘Taiwan Aboriginal Ecotourism: Tanayiku Natural Ecology Park’, Annals of Tourism Research, 2007, 34, 4, 876–97.
44. Marthinus L. Daneel, ‘African Initiated Churches as Vehicles of Earth: Care in Africa’, in Roger S. Gottlieb (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 535–67.
45. Alfonso Peter Castro and Adelle Tibbetts, ‘Sacred Landscapes of Kirinyaga: Indigenous and Early Islamic and Christian Influences’, in Philip P. Arnold and Ann Grodzins (eds.), Gold, Sacred Landscapes and Cultural Politics: Planting a Tree (Ashgate, 2001), pp. 55–81.
46. Barbara Pusch, ‘The Greening of Islamic Politics: A Godsend for the Environment?’, in Fikret Adaman and Murat Arsel (eds.), Environmentalism in Turkey: Between Democracy and Development (Ashgate, 2005), pp. 131–45.
47. Abu Bakar Abdul Majeed, ‘Islam in Malaysia’s Planning and Development Doctrine’, in Richard C. Foltz, Frederic M. Denny, and Azizan Baharuddin (eds.), Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust (Harvard University Press, 2003), pp. 463–76.
48. Ali Ahmad, ‘Islamic Water Law as an Antidote for Maintaining Water Quality’, University of Denver Water Law Review, 1999, 2, 2, 170–88.
49. David Wellman, ‘The Future of Sustainable Diplomacy’, Sustainable Diplomacy: Ecology, Religion and Ethics in Muslim-Christian Relations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 165–86.
50. Martin Ball, ‘Sacred Mountains, Religious Paradigms, and Identity among the Mescalero Apache’, Worldviews: Environment, Religion, Culture, 2000, 4, III, 264–82.
51. Sarah McFarland Taylor, ‘Reinhabiting Religion: Green Sisters, Ecological Renewal, and the Biogeography of Religious Landscape’, Worldviews, 2008, 6, III, 227–52.
52. Anthony Pinn, ‘Of God, Money, and Earth: The Black Church on Economics and Environmental Racism’, Journal of Religious Thought, 2000–1, 56–7, 1/2, 43–61.
53. Kenneth Kraft, ‘Nuclear Ecology and Engaged Buddhism’, in Mary Evelyn Tucker and Duncan Ryuken Williams (eds.), Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds (Harvard University Press, 1997), pp. 269–90.
54. Ze’ev Levy, ‘Ethical Issues of Animal Welfare in Jewish Thought’, in Martin Jaffe (ed.), Judaism and Environmental Ethics: A Reader (Lexington Books, 2001), pp. 297–308.
55. Stephanie Kaza, ‘Western Buddhist Motivations for Vegetarianism’, Worldviews, 2005, 9, 3, 385–411.
56. Kevin J. Obrien ‘Thinking Globally and Thinking Locally: Ecology, Subsidiarity, and a Multiscalar Environmentalism’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, & Culture, 2008, II, 2, 1–15.
57. Steven Kellert , ‘Connecting With Creation: The Convergence of Nature, Religion, Science, and Culture’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, 2007, 1, 1, 25–7.
58. W. David Hall, ‘Does Creation Equal Nature? Confronting the Christian Confusion about Ecology and Cosmology’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2005, 73, 781–812.
59. Lisa Sideris, ‘Evolving Environmentalism: The Role of Ecotheology in Creation/Evolution Controversies’, Worldviews: Environment, Religion, Culture, 2007, 11, 1, 58–82.
60. Sallie McFague , ‘The Ecological Model and Christian Spirituality’, Super, Natural Christians (Augsburg Fortress, 2000), pp. 164–75.
61. James B. Martin-Schramm and Robert L. Stivers, ‘Christian Resources and the Ethics of Ecological Justice’, Christian Environmental Ethics: A Case Method Approach (Orbis Books, 2003), pp. 33–46.
62. Ivone Gebara, ‘Ecofeminism: An Ethics of Life’, in Heather Eaton and Lois Ann Lorentzen (eds.), Ecofeminism and Globalization: Exploring Culture, Context, and Religion (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 163–76.
63. Rosemary Radford Reuther, ‘Ecofeminist Thea/ologies and Ethics’, Integrating Ecofeminism, Globalization and World Religions (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), pp. 91–130.
64. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, ‘Religion, Ecology, and Gender: A Jewish Perspective’, Feminist Theology, 2005, 13, 3, 373–97.
65. John Hart, ‘Spirit, Commons, and Community’, Sacramental Commons: Christian Ecological Ethics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), pp. 223–33.
66. Normand M. Laurendeau , ‘Controlling Consumption: A Role for Christianity?’, Worldviews, 2003, 7, 196–217.
67. Vincent Miller, ‘Countering the Commodification of Religion’, Consuming Religions: Christian Faith and Culture in a Consumer Culture (Continuum, 2004), pp. 194–223, 248–50.
68. Rita M. Gross, ‘Buddhist Resources for Issues of Population, Consumption and the Environment’, in Mary Evelyn Tucker and Duncan Ryuken Williams (eds.), Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds (Harvard University Press, 1997), pp. 291–312.
69. Roger S. Gottlieb, ‘You Gonna Be Here Long? Religion and Sustainability’, Worldviews, 2008, 12, 163–78.
70. Thomas R. Dunlap, ‘Journey into Sacred Space’, Faith in Nature: Environmentalism as Religious Quest (University of Washington Press, 2004), pp. 68–94.
71. Jon P. Bloch, ‘Alternative Spirituality and Environmentalism’, Review of Religious Research, 1998, 40, 1, 55–73.
72. John P. Bartkowski and W. Scott Swearingen, ‘God Meets Gaia in Austin, Texas: A Case Study of Environmentalism as Implicit Religion’, Review of Religious Research, 1997, 38, 4, 308–24.
73. Robin Wallace, ‘For the Beauty of the Earth: Intersections of Worship and Ecology’, Journal of Theology, 2005, 109, 73–84.
74. Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown, ‘To Choose Life’, Coming Back to Life: Practices to Connect Our Lives, Our World (New Society Publishers, 1998), pp. 15–24.
75. Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown, ‘The Greatest Danger: Apatheia, The Deadening of Mind and Heart’, Coming Back to Life: Practices to Connect Our Lives, Our World (New Society Publishers, 1998), pp. 25–38.
The Critical Concepts in Religious Studies series has continued to publish titles on the key subject area. Titles span across the religions and consider some of the most engaging areas of interest, including fundamentalism and ethics.
New in the series, Comparative Religious Ethics is a first of its kind collection. An area where a mass of scholars have now emerged, comparative ethics is an appealing field of study throughout religious studies departments.