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Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground (Suny Series, Radical Social & Political Theory)

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ISBN-13: 978-0791448847
ISBN-10: 0791448843
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Deep ecology, a valuation of the ecosystem or the whole system of life that does not necessarily involve a god, serves as the focal point of the 13 religious essays featured in this collection. As the editors point out, deep ecology suggests a moral, political, and spiritual stance that challenges religions to respond, out of their specific traditions, to the complex phenomenon of environmental philosophy, religious cosmology, and public policy. Barnhill (intercultural and religious studies, Guilford Coll.) and Gottlieb (philosophy, Worcester Polytechnic Inst.) excel at assembling disparate voices from a variety of world traditions, from Hinduism and Confucianism to Christian ecofeminism and New Age spirituality, and they present their concerns in a straightforward manner. Some contributors struggle openly with deep ecology's issues, some find harmony, and others embrace ecocentrism over religion, hoping to locate a sense of the divine in the process. Overall, this is a satisfying discussion that showcases the complexities of thoughtful human engagement with our natural environment. Sandra Collins, Duquesne Univ. Lib., PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Barnhill and Gottlieb excel at assembling disparate voices from a variety of world traditions, from Hinduism and Confucianism to Christian ecofeminism and New Age spirituality, and they present their concerns in a straightforward manner a satisfying discussion that showcases the complexities of thoughtful human engagement with our natural environment. Library Journal
One of the most exciting new developments in the general field of environmental studies is a dialogue between religion and ecology. It also promises to be one of the most efficacious, because practically the only thing that can effectively resist the juggernaut of amoral consumerism is an environmental ethic grounded in religious belief. This volume contributes to the effort to develop an environmental consciousness and conscience from the conceptual resources of several world religions and indigenous traditions of thought. The editors have here assembled some of the most celebrated and authoritative voices in this timely new domain of discourse. J. Baird Callicott, author of Beyond the Land Ethic: More Essays in Environmental Philosophy
Using the lens of deep ecology, the authors discuss values and practices of religious traditions that engage deep ecology principles, providing both critique and reflection that sharpen the conversation. These writers affirm that how we treat nature is a moral question, calling for committed engagement from a thoughtful and heartfelt place. Inspired by the increasing spiritual and ethical sensibilities awakened by the eco-crisis, this book extends the call to act openly, honestly, critically, contritely, intelligently, and joyously in exploring religious response to the fundamental ethics of deep ecology. Stephanie Kaza, coeditor of Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism"
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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series, Radical Social & Political Theory
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (February 22, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791448843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791448847
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roger S. Gottlieb is professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is the author or editor of seventeen books and more than 150 articles on environmentalism, religious life, contmporary spirituality, political philosophy, ethics, the Holocaust, feminism, and disability. He is internationally known for his work as a leading analyst and ex-ponent of religious environmentalism, for his passionate and moving account of spiri-tuality in an age of environmental crisis, and for his innovative and humane description of the role of religion in a democratic society. He is editor of six academic book series, on the editorial boards of several journals, contributing editor to Tikkun Magazine and a frequent internet presence on Huffington, Patheos, Tikkun Daily and other sites.

His two most recent books are both recipients of Nautilus Book Awards: for fiction, __Engaging Voices__ and for spirituality, __Spirituality: What it Is and Why it Matters__, which was also listed as one of Spirituality and Practice websites 'Best Books of the Year.'

Gottlieb's writings have appeared in top academic journals such as the Journal of Philosophy, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Conservation Biology, and Ethics; in popular publications such as E Magazine online, The Boston Globe, and Orion Afield; and in anthologies celebrating the best of Jewish writing, environmental ethics, religious life, spirituality, the Holocaust, and disability. Widely respected for his unique range of interests, combination of personal and political passion, clarity of writing, and originality, he is probably the only American intellectual to be reviewed or interviewed in publications as disparate as San Francisco Chronicle, Environmental Ethics, the Boston Globe, Christianity Today, Philosophical Review, Journal of Harvard Divinity School, New Age Journal, Socialism and Democracy, Discover, Chronicle of Higher Education, Sierra Club Magazine, Shambhala Sun, and The American Prospect.

For the last fifteen years Gottlieb has concentrated on the religious, spiritual, and eth-ical dimensions of the environmental crisis and on the place of religion in a democratic society. His anthology This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment is known inter-nationally as the first comprehensive collection on the topic. His 1999 book, A Spirituali-ty of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth was called by Prot-estant theologian John Cobb "a true spiritual guide for our day," and excerpted in Tikkun and Orion Afield. His 2002 book Joining Hands: Politics and Religion Together for Social Change received advance praise from Harvey Cox and Bill McKibben.

Gottlieb's recent work on religious environmentalism, A Greener Faith: Religious En-vironmentalism and our Planet's Future and The Oxford Handbook on Religion and Ecology establishes him as the leading commentator and exponent of this unprece-dented political, environmental, and religious movement. Bob Edgar, head of the Na-tional Council of Churches, said A Greener Faith provided "a bright picture of the faith community's capacity for caring for God's creation" and that following Gottlieb's lead would help us "go a long way toward being more effective stewards of our fragile pla-net." Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, called it a "seminal book examin-ing the emerging debate on environmental ethics among the world's great faith tradi-tions." Thomas Berry, one of the world's leading ecotheologians said it offers "superb insight and is a "most needed guide."

Gottlieb recent work includes __Engaging Voices: Tales of Morality and Meaning in an Age of Global Warming__, a collection of related but distinct short stories which explore the moral, political, emotional, and spiritual dilemmas provoked by the environmen-tal crisis; and asks how, in the face of powerful emotions and deeply contested views, we can live and talk to each other.

In January 2013 Oxford University Press published __Spirituality: What it Is and Why it Matters__. This book is a unique account of spirituality from traditional religion to the present that reveals the common thread that joins Mahayana Buddhism and Hasidic Judaism, the Sufi Rumi and the Catholic St. Thomas a Kempis, people of all faiths and those who are "spiritual but not religious." Roger S. Gottlieb argues that spirituality is the simple but extraordinarily difficult attempt to face life's rigors and disappointments by becoming more mindful, accepting, grateful, compassionate, and lovingly connected to others. These virtues oppose both the social ego's attachment and arrogance, and any habitual, unreflective religiosity; and the path towards them can be shared equally by people inspired by belief in one God or many, the divinity of nature or the sacredness of life.

As a speaker Gottlieb combines intense analytic intelligence, a personal and humorously engaging style, and an inspiring message of personal responsibility, social change, and spiritual vision. Audiences from universities, churches, synagogues, and community and environmental organizations have found him a riveting presenter whose message resonates long after his formal presentation is done and can lead people to act as well as think and feel.

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Top Customer Reviews

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Wow! I have learned so much this year about the environmental issues and the call to religions to get involved. I never in my life imagined how far religions had gotten from the environment. Before reading this book of essays, I would have argued that religions are the closest to any such environmental issue on earth than anybody. I would have been wrong. These essays take apart every single religion and show proof of what they preach and where the congregations concerns have been led to. What I didn't realize is that religions teach "self salvation." When you analyze this, you will see, as I did, just how far we have fallen from respect of God's creation. Excellent book, especially Chapters 7-10!
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