Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing
Edited by Sam Mickey, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim
Open Book Publishers, 2020
Read this free online open source book here.
Watch interviews with the editors and contributors and learn more here.
Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing is a celebration of the diversity of ways in which humans can relate to the world around them, and an invitation to its readers to partake in planetary coexistence. Innovative, informative, and highly accessible, this interdisciplinary anthology of essays brings together scholars, writers and educators across the sciences and humanities, in a collaborative effort to illuminate the different ways of being in the world and the different kinds of knowledge they entail – from the ecological knowledge of Indigenous communities, to the scientific knowledge of a biologist and the embodied knowledge communicated through storytelling.
This anthology examines the interplay between Nature and Culture in the setting of our current age of ecological crisis, stressing the importance of addressing these ecological crises occurring around the planet through multiple perspectives. These perspectives are exemplified through diverse case studies – from the political and ethical implications of thinking with forests, to the capacity of storytelling to motivate action, to the worldview of the Indigenous Okanagan community in British Columbia.
Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing synthesizes insights from across a range of academic fields, and highlights the potential for synergy between disciplinary approaches and inquiries. This anthology is essential reading not only for researchers and students, but for anyone interested in the ways in which humans interact with the community of life on Earth, especially during this current period of environmental emergency.
Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Edited by Willis Jenkins, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim
Routledge Books, 2017
Read the Introduction by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
The moral values and interpretive systems of religions are crucially involved in how people imagine the challenges of sustainability and how societies mobilize to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being. This volume not only provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the field of religion and ecology by leading scholars, it also relates this field for the first time to the growing area of environmental humanities. It encourages both appreciative and critical angles regarding religious traditions, communities, attitude, and practices. It presents contrasting ways of thinking about “religion” and about “ecology” and about ways of connecting the two terms. Written by a team of leading international experts, the Handbook discusses dynamics of change within religious traditions as well as their roles in responding to global challenges such as climate change, water, conservation, food and population. It explores the interpretations of indigenous traditions regarding modern environmental problems drawing on such concepts as lifeway and indigenous knowledge. This volume uniquely intersects the field of religion and ecology with new directions within the humanities and the sciences.
Edited by Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O’Brien
London and New York: Routledge, 2017
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.
Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe
Edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Foreword by Brian Thomas Swimme
Ecology & Justice Orbis Series
Orbis Books, 2016
Journey of the Universe is a book, a film, and a conversation series by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Thomas Swimme that offers a rich unfolding of “the universe story”—a moving narrative of cosmic evolution from the origins of the cosmos to the present. This volume explores the Christian responses to Journey of the Universe and its implications for the contemporary environmental crisis. Beginning with recent statements by Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the book draws on the contributions of leading theologians, ethicists, scientists, and activists, including John Haught, Ilia Delio, Catherine Keller, Larry Rasmussen, and more than twenty-five others.
Living Cosmology received the First Place Award in the Faith and Science category from the 2017 Catholic Press Association Awards.
Ecology and Religion
By John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker
Island Press, 2014
Review by Elizabeth Allison in Society & Natural Resources 29, Issue 6, (2016): 755-757.
Review by Daniel R. Deen in The Quarterly Review of Biology 89, no. 4 (December 2014): 385.
Review by Rick Clugston in Kosmos: Journal for Global Transformation (Spring/Summer 2014).
Excerpt of Ecology and Religion published as Agape Community blog (January 25, 2015).
From the Psalms in the Bible to the sacred rivers in Hinduism, the natural world has been integral to the world’s religions. John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker contend that today’s growing environmental challenges make the relationship ever more vital. This book explores the history of religious traditions and the environment, illustrating how religious teachings and practices both promoted and at times subverted sustainability. Subsequent chapters examine the emergence of religious ecology, as views of nature changed in religious traditions and the ecological sciences. Yet the authors argue that religion and ecology are not the province of institutions or disciplines alone. They describe four fundamental aspects of religious life: orienting, grounding, nurturing, and transforming. Readers then see how these phenomena are experienced in a Native American religion, Orthodox Christianity, Confucianism, and Hinduism. Ultimately, Grim and Tucker argue that the engagement of religious communities is necessary if humanity is to sustain itself and the planet. Students of environmental ethics, theology and ecology, world religions, and environmental studies will receive a solid grounding in the burgeoning field of religious ecology.
The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology (Wallace Stegner Lecture)
By Mary Evelyn Tucker
University of Utah Press, 2014
The environmental crisis is most frequently viewed through the lens of science, policy, law, and economics. In recent years the moral and spiritual dimensions of this crisis are becoming more visible. Indeed, the world religions are bringing their texts and traditions, along with their ethics and practices, into dialogue with environmental problems. In a lecture delivered at the University of Utah, Tucker explores this growing movement and highlights why it holds great promise for long term changes for the flourishing of the Earth community.
Mary Evelyn Tucker delivered this lecture on April 11, 2013, at the 18th annual symposium sponsored by the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the S. J. Quinney College of Law, The University of Utah.
The Intellectual Journey of Thomas Berry: Imagining the Earth Community
Edited by Heather Eaton
Lexington Press, 2014
Thomas Berry had a gentle yet mesmerizing and luminescent presence that was evident to anyone who spent time with him. His intellectual scope and erudite manner were compelling, and the breadth, depth, clarity, and elegance of his vision was breathtaking. Berry was an intellectual giant and cultural visionary of extraordinary stature.
Thomas Berry’s vast knowledge of history, religions, and cultural histories is a unique blend revealing a genuine, original thinker. The ecological crisis, in all its manifestations, came to dominate Berry’s concerns. He perceived that the greatest need was to offer the possibility of a viable future for an Earth community. Many know of his proposal for a functional cosmology, the need for a new story, and a vital Earth sensitive spirituality. Few know of his rich and varied intellectual journey.
The Intellectual Journey of Thomas Berry: Imagining the Earth Community is about the roots and insights hidden within his ecological, spiritual proposal. These essays, written by experts on Thomas Berry’s work, probe into, and reveal distinct themes that permeate his work, in gratitude for his contribution to the Earth.
Journey of the Universe
By Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker
Yale University Press, 2011
Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. And yet … we thirst for answers to questions that have haunted humanity from the very beginning. What is our place in the 14-billion-year history of the universe? What roles do we play in Earth’s history? How do we connect with the intricate web of life on Earth? In Journey of the Universe Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, and indigenous peoples. The authors explore cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and interdependence, and they envision an unprecedented opportunity for the world’s people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times. Journey of the Universe transforms how we understand our origins and envision our future. Though a little book, it tells a big story—one that inspires hope for a way in which Earth and its human civilizations could flourish together. This book is part of a larger project that includes a documentary film, a series of conversations (available as podcasts or videos), online classes, and a website. For more information, see www.journeyoftheuniverse.org.
Ecotheology and the Practice of Hope
By Anne Marie Dalton and Henry C. Simmons
SUNY Press, 2011
Is there any hope for a more sustainable world? Can we reimagine a way of living in which the nonhuman world matters? Anne Marie Dalton and Henry C. Simmons claim that the ecotheology that arose during the mid-twentieth century gives us reason for hope. While ecotheologians acknowledge that Christianity played a significant role in creating societies in which the nonhuman world counted for very little, these thinkers have refocused religion to include the natural world. To borrow philosopher Charles Taylor’s concept, they have created a new “social imaginary,” reimagining a better world and a different sense of what is and what should be. A new mindset is emerging, inspired by ecotheological texts and evident in the many diverse movements and activities that operate as if the hope imparted by ecotheology has already been realized. While making this powerful argument, Dalton and Simmons also provide an essential overview of key ecotheological thinkers and texts.
Religion and Ecology in the Public Sphere
Edited by Celia Deane-Drummond and Heinrich Bedford-Strohm
T&T Clark International, 2011
A collection of essays from top scholars in the field of Religion and Ecology that stimulates the debate about the religious contribution to ecological debate.
The Coming Transformation: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities
Edited by Stephen R. Kellert and James Gustave Speth
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 2009
This book emerged from a conference sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies with the ambitious title, “Toward a New Consciousness: Creating a Society in Harmony with Nature” (held in Aspen, late 2007). The event convened an extraordinary group of some 100 leaders in science, business, policy, the arts, philosophy, religion, and other walks of life to explore the necessity of a fundamental transformation in human values toward the natural world as a necessary and neglected component of arresting the linked environmental and social crises of our time. Based on Gus Speth’s more than thirty years of policy work and Steve Kellert’s equivalent period of scholarly and conservation activity, we had concluded that no degree of legal or regulatory requirement, technological advance, scientific insight, or shift in economic thinking could by itself achieve the needed remedial response to our environmental and social challenge. What was needed as well was a basic alteration in the perception of our place in the natural world.
Toward a New Consciousness: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities
A Synthesis of Insights and Recommendations from the 2007 Yale F&ES Conference
By Anthony A. Leiserowitz and Lisa O. Fernandez
With a Foreword by James Gustave Speth
and an Afterword by Stephen R. Kellert
Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies, 2008
Our world, our only habitat, is a biotic system under such stress it threatens to fail in fundamental and irreversible ways. Major change is required to stabilize and restore its functional integrity. This topic has been extensively elaborated by the scientific community and debated by many in policy and government. This issue has not yet emerged, however, as a high priority among the public or altered prevailing values, attitudes, or behavior toward nature. It is now critical that we understand these failures and determine how we can help catalyze a transformation of our values and behaviors toward the natural world.
Examine any of the great environmental challenges confronting us – climate change, biotic impoverishment, pollution, resource depletion – and a similar pattern emerges. A modest number of people know a great deal about these afflictions and unfolding tragedies – the nature of the threat, what is driving it, what can be done to change course before the impacts become irreversible – but their messages have difficulty overcoming public apathy, political denial, or entrenched opposition. Most of all, they rarely spur responsive public action, basic shifts in values and attitudes, or the behavioral change needed at the scale or within the time frame required. The result is what is commonly referred to as a “failure of political will,” but this phrase fails to capture the depth of the cultural void or social malfunction involved.
At its deepest level, if we are to address the linked environmental, social, and even spiritual crises, we must address the wellsprings of human caring, motivation, and social identity. To understand these issues, we must seek the help of fields not regularly associated with environmental issues. We have many sophisticated scientific and policy analyses of climate change, species loss, and other environmental issues, but our situation also requires the knowledge and wisdom of psychologists and philosophers, poets and preachers, historians and humanists to help us see and communicate hard truths and inspire individual and social change.
Eco-Spirit: Religions and Philosophies For the Earth
Edited by Laurel Kearns and Catherine Keller
Fordham University Press, 2007.
We hope–even as we doubt–that the environmental crisis can be controlled. Public awareness of our species’ self-destructiveness as material beings in a material world is growing, but so is the destructiveness. The practical interventions needed for saving and restoring the earth will require a collective shift of such magnitude as to take on a spiritual and religious intensity. This transformation has in part already begun. Traditions of ecological theology and ecologically aware religious practice have been preparing the way for decades. Yet these traditions still remain marginal to society, academy, and church. With a fresh, transdisciplinary approach, Eco-spirit probes the possibility of a green shift radical enough to permeate the ancient roots of our sensibility and the social sources of our practice. From new language for imagining the earth as a living ground to current constructions of nature in theology, science, and philosophy; from environmentalism’s questioning of postmodern thought to a garden of green doctrines, rituals, and liturgies for contemporary religion, these original essays explore and expand our sense of how to proceed in the face of an ecological crisis that demands new thinking and acting. In the midst of planetary crisis, they activate imagination, humor, ritual, and hope.
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology
Edited by Roger S. Gottlieb
Oxford University Press, 2006
Recent decades have seen the emergence of a new field of academic study that examines the interaction between religion and ecology. Theologians from every religious tradition have confronted world religions past attitudes towards nature and acknowledged their own faiths complicity in the environmental crisis. 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. The proposed handbook will serve as the definitive overview of these exciting new developments. Divided into three main sections, the books essays will reflect the three dominant dimensions of the field. Part one will explore traditional religious concepts of and attitudes towards nature and how these have been changed by the environmental crisis. Part II looks at larger conceptual issues that transcend individual traditions. Part III will examine religious participation in environmental politics.
From the book cover: The aim of this volume is not to repeat what has already been discussed elsewhere. Instead, the aim is to provide resources and a sense of direction for postgraduate research in the field of Christianity and ecological theology. Three such resources are offered here, namely 1) A “guide for further research”, 2) A bibliography with more than 5000 entries of texts with an explicitly focus on Christianity and ecological theology which have been published in Afrikaans, Dutch, English and German, and 3) An index to the entries in the bibliography which provides an overview of the wide range of topics that have been discussed in the literature thus far. The aim of the guide for further research is to offer a brief orientation and a critical review of the literature, to provide a “map” to organize various aspects of the debates, to reflect on the relevance of these debates in the South African context, and more, specifically, to stimulate, facilitate and direct further research in the field of Christianity and ecological theology.
Ernst M. Conradie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion and Theology at the University of the Western Cape where he teaches Systematic Theology and Ethics. He is the author of the following recent monographs in the field of ecological theology: Hope for the Earth: Vistas on a new Century (UWC, 2000 / Wipf & Stock 2005), An Ecological Christian Anthropology: At Home on Earth? (Ashgate, 2005), and Waar op dees aarde vind mens God? Op soek na’n aardse spiritualiteit (Lux Verbi.BM, 2006).
A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics
Edited by Paul Waldau and Kimberley Patton
Columbia University Press, 2006
The first comparative and interdisciplinary study of humans’ conceptualization of animals in world religions.
Cultural historian Thomas Berry eloquently insists that “the world is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.” Using the implications of this statement as a starting point, the contributors to this collection treat animals as subjects and consider how major religious traditions have incorporated them into their belief systems, myths, and rituals. Their findings offer profound insight into humans’ relationships with animals and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live.
Leading scholars from a wide range of disciplines and religious traditions, including Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), Jane Goodall (biology), and Thomas Berry (theology), have supplied original material for this volume. They address issues such as sacrifice, animal consciousness, suffering, and stewardship in innovative methodological ways. By grappling with the nature and ideological features of these religious views, the contributors cast religious teachings and practices in a new light. They also reveal how we either intentionally or inadvertently marginalize “others,” whether they are human or otherwise, and the ways in which we construct value.
Though it is an ancient concern, the topic of “religion and animals” has yet to be systematically worked out by modern scholars. This groundbreaking collection takes the first steps toward a meaningful analysis.
Paul Waldau is the director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Boston. He is also cochair of the Animals and Religion Consultation at the American Academy of Religion and president of the Religion and Animals Institute. Kimberley Patton is professor in the comparative and historical study of religion at Harvard Divinity School. She is the author of many books, including the forthcoming The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils: Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean (Columbia).
Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase
By Mary Evelyn Tucker
Master Hsüan Hua Memorial Lecture
Open Court, 2003
History illustrates the power of religion to bring about change. Mary Evelyn Tucker describes how world religions have begun to move from a focus on God-human and human-human relations to encompass human-earth relations. She argues that, in light of the environmental crisis, religion should move from isolated orthodoxy to interrelated dialogue and use its authority for liberation rather than oppression.
“Invoking the Spirit: Religion and Spirituality in the Quest for A Sustainable World”
Worldwatch Paper 164
The Worldwatch Institute has published a paper, written by Gary Gardner entitled, “Invoking the Spirit: Religion and Spirituality in the Quest for a Sustainable World.”
Gardner argues that a powerful pro-environmental coalition may be emerging worldwide as religious people and institutions begin to partner with advocates of sustainable development. The past decade saw a small but growing number of meetings, advocacy initiatives, educational programs, and lobbying efforts by the two communities, who long had kept each other at arm’s length.
In Worldwatch Paper 164: “Invoking the Spirit,” Worldwatch Research Director, Gary Gardner, argues that in learning to work together, the two groups must overcome mutual misperceptions and divergent worldviews that have historically kept them apart. He writes that secular environmentalists worry about the checkered history of religious involvement in societal affairs. Religious institutions, on the other hand, may have perspectives on the role of women, the nature of truth, and the moral place of human beings in the natural order that sometimes diverge from those of environmentalists.
Though misperceptions and misunderstandings between the two communities persist, engagement is growing. To further collaboration, religious people and institutions would do well to leverage their influence in favor of sustainability, and environmentalists would gain by appealing to the public at an emotional/ spiritual level. With these steps, a new ethics encompassing humans, the divine, and nature can help usher in a just and sustainable civilization.
To purchase a hardcopy or dowload a free pdf file, visit the WorldWatch website:
Worldviews and Ecology: Religion, Philosophy, and the Environment
Edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Orbis Books, 1994
Amidst the many voices clamoring to interpret the environmental crisis, some of the most important are the voices of religious traditions. Long before modernity’s industrialism began the rape of Earth, premodern religious and philosophical traditions mediated to untold generations the wisdom of living as a part of nature. These traditions can illuminate and empower wiser ways of postmodern living. The original writings of Worldviews and Ecology creatively present and interpret worldviews of major religious and philosophical traditions on how humans can live more sustainably on a fragile planet. Contributors include Charlene Spretnak, Larry Rasmussen, Noel Brown, Jay McDaniel, Tu Wei-Ming, Thomas Berry, David Ray Griffin, J. Baird Callicott, Eric Katz, Roger E. Timm, Robert A. White, Christopher Key Chapple, Brian Swimme, Brian Brown, Michael Tobias, Ralph Metzner, George Sessions, and Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. Insights from traditions as diverse as Jain, Jewish, ecofeminist, deep ecology, Christian, Hindu, Bahai, and Whiteheadian will interest all who seek an honest analysis of what religious and philosophical traditions have to say to a modernity whose consciousness and conscience seems tragically narrow, the source of attitudes that imperil the biosphere.
Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action
A new booklet entitled, Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action, has been co-published by the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It is a book for non-academic religious professionals or lay people interested in an interfaith perspective on religion and ecology.