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Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature [Hardcover]

by Bron Raymond Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)


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Book Description

May 31, 2005 1843711389 978-1843711384 1
<p><em>The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature</em>, originally published in 2005, is a landmark work in the burgeoning field of religion and nature. It covers a vast and interdisciplinary range of material, from thinkers to religious traditions and beyond, with clarity and style. Widely praised by reviewers and the recipient of two reference work awards since its publication (see <a href="http://www.religionandnature.com/ern">www.religionandnature.com/ern</a>), this new, more affordable version is a must-have book for anyone interested in the manifold and fascinating links between religion and nature, in all their many senses.</p>>


Editorial Reviews

Review

"This massive undertaking documents the impressive groundswell of connection between environmentalism and religion, and lays clear the future possibilities. As one scientist after another has made clear, a habitable planet depends on this collaboration bearing fruit — so bravo for this essential document!" - Bill McKibben Visiting Scholar in Environmental Studies Middlebury College, and Author of The End of Nature


"Breath-takingly valuable, truly multicultural reference work, indispensable for libraries, religious institutions, and environmental organizations" - Roger S. Gottlieb, A Closer Look, 2004 (Organ Australia)

"This is a remarkable encyclopedia that explores our spiritual connections to nature in countless ways, and describes our ever more urgent efforts to create a more compassionate and environmentally sustainable world. It tackles the tough questions: will the emergent "greening" of religion, and our efforts to leave ever lighter ecological footprints in our daily lives, spread rapidly enough around the globe to halt our heedless destruction of nature and heal some of the scars we have inflicted, before it is too late? Many of the contributions reflect my conviction that there is, indeed, reason for hope. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is a scholarly and critical resource for anyone who cares about the future of planet Earth, and wonders how we might more effectively work together to save our beautiful world for future generations." - Jane Goodall Ph.D., DBE Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace www.janegoodall.org


"The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature covers the entire field with, well, encyclopedic scope. Comprising two very large volumes, 1.5 million words...it is a breathtakingly valuable, truly multicultural reference work, indispensable for libraries, religious institutions, and environmental organizations. In it you will find nearly one thousand detailed, scholarly, and surprisingly well written essays on everything from 'Abbey, Edward' (one of America's premier fiction and nonfiction radical environment writers) to 'Zulu Culture.' The ERN's editors have cast a very wide net, interpreting 'nature' to include all aspects of contemporary environmentalism and ecology and 'religion' to encompass a wide variety of moral, political, social, aesthetic, and traditional perspectives." - Tikkun, September / October 2004


"This encyclopedia will become the essential reference in the critical important dialogue between religious faiths and environmental concern. Quite impressive in scope—1,000 entries by over 500 authorities, both scholars and activists—it is especially commendable for bridging religious conviction to environmental ethics, science, and policy, across local, regional, and global levels." - Holmes Rolston, III, University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University, USA


"The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is a significant contribution to a new field of study in religion and ecology. The impressive range of articles clearly reminds us of the importance of collaborative scholarship. We are indebted to Taylor and Kaplan for their remarkable achievement in overseeing this work." - Mary Evelyn Tucker, Department of Religion, Bucknell University
(Mary Evelyn Tucker)

"The ambition, scope, and caliber of this set establish it immediately as a crucial resource for study in the field...it is certain to draw new readers in through its sheer usability and richness of content. Furthermore, its thoughtful design accommodates scholars with either a cursory interest in a particular subject or a more expansive one. In these and other ways, this work offers considerably more than meets the eye. Summing up: Highly recommended." — CHOICE, November 2005 (CHOICE)

"On the study of ecotheology, other existing encyclopedias of religion or ecology cannot substitute for this excellent title, the first of its kind. It will no doubt remain an essential reference source on the subject for many years to come. Highly recommended for public, academic, and special libraries." -Library Journal (starred review) (Library Journal)

"To say that this is an indispensible reference work is an understatement... Superbly edited and carefully crafted, the ERN is essential." -American Reference Books Annual (American Reference Books Annual)

Mention —Book News, November 2008

"This is the first Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. Its publication, therefore, is in itself a truly significant event. While there have always been those )Philosophers, religionists and others) who have explored the relationship of religion and nature, Bron Taylor, consulting editor Jeffrey Kaplan, and executive editors Laura Hobgood-Oster, Adrian Ivakhiv and Michael York, as well as the many associate and assistant editors, have created an historic complilation of a field. It is historic because it documents a new field of study; this is an exploration of religion and nature but in the light of the ecological crisis as it came more vividly into human consciousness in the mid-twentieth century... The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is an excellent contribution to the field of religion nature. It covers the quirky and the serious, presents movements, ideas, scholars and activities from virtually every continent and many culture, and, in many cases, brings history forward to meet the ecological crisis... The Encyclopedia is an extremely helpful took for beginners as it is quite accessible to undergraduates and the generally educated. With its specialized topics, broad scope, bibliographies on many topics, and special features it is useful for more advanced scholars as well."- Anne Marie Dalton and Nancie Erhard, Ecotheology 11.2 (2006)



"This work definitely invites browsing." -International Review of Biblical Studies, 2007 (International Review Of Biblical Studies)

-Mention. Theology Digest/ Vol.52 No. 3/ Fall 2005 (Theology Digest)

Winner of The RUSA Best Reference Source.

Choice Outstanding Academic Title.


"If ever there was a reference work that belongs in the personal libraries of scholars of religion, this one is it...given the extraordinary richness of its diverse and often unanticipated entries, and the urgency of the ecological issues that many of them address, this collection of well-written and often engrossing essays should be kept readily at hand for frequent and sustained browsing. Taylor has established a website in conjunction with this project, www.religionandnature.com, which is intended to provide information about various events and organizations — including the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, which was founded in September, 2006 — and to promote teaching and research in the area of religion and nature...We may hope that these resources will draw more social scientists into the field of religion and nature. Short of that, the encyclopaedia could by itself do much to extend their understanding of what religion and spirituality may be thought to be — yet another reason to keep these remarkable volumes close at hand."
David Wulff, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion


"...The ERN is intended to assess, analyse, characterise, and promote the major debates, events, figures, groups, theories, and traditions, concerned with religion and nature, enlightening the wider (academic) public to them, fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and promoting further research...In this it succeeds. It is an intensive academic work, diverse and deep. Yet it is also eminently readable and very enlightening. Each article may stand on its own as a valuable essay, but taken together, the articles provide a comprehensive examination and introduction to the themes that will stand for years to come...the ERN is an outstanding piece of work, very ambitious, meticulously researched, hugely detailed, very comprehensive, and highly informative and important. It will make an outstanding and valuable tool for anyone interested or working in anthropology, philosophy or sociology of religion, religious or environmental studies. I thoroughly recommend it." - Tony Watling, Journal of Contemporary Religion
(Leiden University, the Netherlands)

"Every reader has his or her own interests and will find something of great value here. Student essays ought to be greatly improved not only by the wealth of data provided, but also by the different examples set in "how to write academically". More advanced scholarship will find not only a ready reference on myriad topics but also provocation of new thoughts, arguments and research. Great foundations are laid here for all kinds of scholarship. Religiously and environmentally motivated people will also find inspiration here for further thought and engagement." - Graham Harvey in Worldviews 11


"This is, by any scholarly standards, a ground-breaking and awe-inspiring piece of work — a ecological summa theologica for our times..." - Alastair McIntosh, Ecos: Journal of the British Association of Nature Conservationists


"a breathtakingly valuable, truly multicultural reference work, indispensable for libraries, religious institutions, and environmental organizations."
Roger Gottileb, Tikkuun


"The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is a significant contribution to a new field of study in religion and ecology. The impressive range of articles clearly reminds us of the importance of collaborative scholarship" - Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University


"The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is a major collection of the spiritual wisdom that has contributed to the study of the environment." - The Muslim World Book Review


"This massive undertaking documents the impressive groundswell of connection between environmentalism and religion, and lays clear the future possibilities. As one scientist after another has made clear, a habitable planet depends on this collaboration bearing fruit – so bravo for this essential document!" - Bill McKibben Visiting Scholar in Environmental Studies Middlebury College, and Author of The End of Nature


“This is a remarkable encyclopedia that explores our spiritual connections to nature in countless ways, and describes our ever more urgent efforts to create a more compassionate and environmentally sustainable world. It tackles the tough questions: will the emergent “greening” of religion, and our efforts to leave ever lighter ecological footprints in our daily lives, spread rapidly enough around the globe to halt our heedless destruction of nature and heal some of the scars we have inflicted, before it is too late? Many of the contributions reflect my conviction that there is, indeed, reason for hope. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is a scholarly and critical resource for anyone who cares about the future of planet Earth, and wonders how we might more effectively work together to save our beautiful world for future generations.” - Jane Goodall Ph.D., DBE Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace www.janegoodall.org


The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature covers the entire field with, well, encyclopedic scope. Comprising two very large volumes, 1.5 million words...it is a breathtakingly valuable, truly multicultural reference work, indispensable for libraries, religious institutions, and environmental organizations. In it you will find nearly one thousand detailed, scholarly, and surprisingly well written essays on everything from 'Abbey, Edward’ (one of America’s premier fiction and nonfiction radical environment writers) to 'Zulu Culture.’ The ERN’s editors have cast a very wide net, interpreting 'nature’ to include all aspects of contemporary environmentalism and ecology and 'religion’ to encompass a wide variety of moral, political, social, aesthetic, and traditional perspectives.” - Tikkun, September / October 2004


"This encyclopedia will become the essential reference in the critical important dialogue between religious faiths and environmental concern. Quite impressive in scope–1,000 entries by over 500 authorities, both scholars and activists–it is especially commendable for bridging religious conviction to environmental ethics, science, and policy, across local, regional, and global levels." - Holmes Rolston, III, University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University, USA


"The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is a significant contribution to a new field of study in religion and ecology. The impressive range of articles clearly reminds us of the importance of collaborative scholarship. We are indebted to Taylor and Kaplan for their remarkable achievement in overseeing this work." - Mary Evelyn Tucker, Department of Religion, Bucknell University
(Sanford Lakoff)

“The ambition, scope, and caliber of this set establish it immediately as a crucial resource for study in the field…it is certain to draw new readers in through its sheer usability and richness of content. Furthermore, its thoughtful design accommodates scholars with either a cursory interest in a particular subject or a more expansive one. In these and other ways, this work offers considerably more than meets the eye. Summing up: Highly recommended.” – CHOICE, November 2005 (CHOICE)

Mention –Book News, November 2008

"This is the first Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature. Its publication, therefore, is in itself a truly significant event. While there have always been those )Philosophers, religionists and others) who have explored the relationship of religion and nature, Bron Taylor, consulting editor Jeffrey Kaplan, and executive editors Laura Hobgood-Oster, Adrian Ivakhiv and Michael York, as well as the many associate and assistant editors, have created an historic complilation of a field. It is historic because it documents a new field of study; this is an exploration of religion and nature but in the light of the ecological crisis as it came more vividly into human consciousness in the mid-twentieth century… The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is an excellent contribution to the field of religion nature. It covers the quirky and the serious, presents movements, ideas, scholars and activities from virtually every continent and many culture, and, in many cases, brings history forward to meet the ecological crisis… The Encyclopedia is an extremely helpful took for beginners as it is quite accessible to undergraduates and the generally educated. With its specialized topics, broad scope, bibliographies on many topics, and special features it is useful for more advanced scholars as well."- Anne Marie Dalton and Nancie Erhard, Ecotheology 11.2 (2006)



-Mention. Theology Digest/ Vol.52 No. 3/ Fall 2005 (Sanford Lakoff)

"If ever there was a reference work that belongs in the personal libraries of scholars of religion, this one is it…given the extraordinary richness of its diverse and often unanticipated entries, and the urgency of the ecological issues that many of them address, this collection of well-written and often engrossing essays should be kept readily at hand for frequent and sustained browsing. Taylor has established a website in conjunction with this project, www.religionandnature.com, which is intended to provide information about various events and organizations — including the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, which was founded in September, 2006 — and to promote teaching and research in the area of religion and nature…We may hope that these resources will draw more social scientists into the field of religion and nature. Short of that, the encyclopaedia could by itself do much to extend their understanding of what religion and spirituality may be thought to be — yet another reason to keep these remarkable volumes close at hand."
David Wulff, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion


"…The ERN is intended to assess, analyse, characterise, and promote the major debates, events, figures, groups, theories, and traditions, concerned with religion and nature, enlightening the wider (academic) public to them, fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and promoting further research...In this it succeeds. It is an intensive academic work, diverse and deep. Yet it is also eminently readable and very enlightening. Each article may stand on its own as a valuable essay, but taken together, the articles provide a comprehensive examination and introduction to the themes that will stand for years to come...the ERN is an outstanding piece of work, very ambitious, meticulously researched, hugely detailed, very comprehensive, and highly informative and important. It will make an outstanding and valuable tool for anyone interested or working in anthropology, philosophy or sociology of religion, religious or environmental studies. I thoroughly recommend it." - Tony Watling, Journal of Contemporary Religion
(Sanford Lakoff)

"Every reader has his or her own interests and will find something of great value here. Student essays ought to be greatly improved not only by the wealth of data provided, but also by the different examples set in "how to write academically". More advanced scholarship will find not only a ready reference on myriad topics but also provocation of new thoughts, arguments and research. Great foundations are laid here for all kinds of scholarship. Religiously and environmentally motivated people will also find inspiration here for further thought and engagement.” - Graham Harvey in Worldviews 11


"This is, by any scholarly standards, a ground-breaking and awe-inspiring piece of work – a ecological summa theologica for our times…" - Alastair McIntosh, Ecos: Journal of the British Association of Nature Conservationists

About the Author

Bron Taylor is President of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, and editor of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. Since his appointment as the Samuel S. Hill Ethics Professor at the University of Florida in 2002, he has helped develop the world's first graduate program focusing on Religion and Nature. His projects and research are featured at www.religionandnature.com and www.brontaylor.com.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; 1 edition (May 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843711389
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843711384
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.5 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,240,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Overview

Trained in ethics, religious studies, and social scientific approaches to understanding human culture, Bron Taylor's scholarly work engages the quest for environmentally sustainable societies. Appearing in articles, books, and a multi-volume encyclopedia, he examines a wide range of phenomena, especially grassroots environmental movements and organizations, and international institutions, with special attention to their moral and religious dimensions. An academic entrepreneur and program builder, he led the initiative to create an academic major in the Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, later initiated and was elected the first president of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, while also founding its affiliated journal. Recruited to fill the Samuel S. Hill Ethics Chair at the University of Florida and appointed in 2002, he played a leading role in constructing the world's first Ph.D. program with an emphasis in Religion and Nature. Most recently, he has been involved in an international think tank exploring ways to more effectively promote an environmentally sustainable future, and has published articles on surfing (oceanic not websites) as "aquatic nature religion." His most recent book is mysteriously titled Dark Green Religion: Nature Religion and the Planetary Future.

Personal Biographical Statement

Because our values are embedded in our own stories and these in turn grow from the broader narratives of our cultures, here is a brief personal biography, offered in the hopes that it will help those reading my published work to better understand and evaluate it.

Born and raised in Southern California, my earliest memories include being unable to bicycle home from a swimming pool because of air pollution-induced "lung burn," and the outrage I felt at the bulldozing for new homes of my childhood woodland playground near Los Angeles. Moving to the coast on my 13th birthday, I found cleaner air and discovered a love for the ocean. I studied at Ventura High School and Community College, and finished an undergraduate education at California State University, Chico, earning degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology.

My enduring interest in radical religions, as well as in environmental ethics, politics, and related policy issues (such as those related to biological and cultural diversity) was spawned during an undergraduate course on Latin American Liberation Theology. This course examined the religious ideas, social analyses, and political impacts of such movements. Through this course I began to understand the many connections between the violation of human rights and environmental degradation.

To pursue these issues I entered Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, focusing my studies on Liberation Theology and religious ethics, while serving as the Chair of its student-led Human Concerns Committee. Fueled by youthful idealism we campaigned for social justice, promoted divestment in South Africa, fought U.S. military involvement in Latin America, and sought to eradicate nuclear weapons. A prominent Rector and Rabbi, consequently, asked me to serve as the initial director of the Interfaith Center to Reverse the Arms Race. I agreed, and afterward, enrolled at the University of Southern California, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics.

Throughout my undergraduate and graduate years, I served as an Ocean Lifeguard (and eventually also as a Peace Officer), with the California State Department of Parks and Recreation. Working summers and most weekends along the Southern California Coast throughout the year, I learned a lot about about urban violence, human stupidity and courage, as well as public lands resource conflicts. I saw the California Brown Pelican disappear from the coast due to DDT poisoning, but then return a number of years later, when their numbers boomeranged after the pesticide was banned. All these experiences intensified my desire to bring ethical reflection down from the ivory tower into the morally muddy landscape of everyday life.

About the time I was finishing my dissertation exploring empirically the impacts of affirmative action policies on ordinary people, and using my own empirical data as grist for ethical reflection on these policies, I noticed that environmentalists had begun to deploy sabotage in their efforts to arrest environmental decline. I soon surmised that, like the liberation movements I had studied, the emerging, 'radical environmental' groups were animated by religious perceptions and ideals. Intrigued, I left for the woods to learn more. This turned into a long-term research trajectory exploring the many dimensions of and forms of contemporary grassroots environmentalism, especially the most radical ones.

This research drew me increasingly to the environmental sciences, in part as a means to evaluate the often apocalyptic environmental claims the activists I had encountered were making. I became increasingly convinced about the importance of a truly interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, if Homo sapiens were to grapple toward environmentally sustainable lifeways. Consequently, I led a faculty initiative to create such a program at the University of Wisconsin, where I took a teaching position in 1989.

In the last several years my research into the religious dimensions of contemporary environmentalism broadened yet again into an interest in the role of religion in all nature-human relationships. Thus, it drew me to the emerging field known as Religion and Ecology and to my editorship of the (now award winning) Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature,(2005) which has helped provide me with the background needed to develop a graduate program to explore these themes.

I am now editing the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture and was the founding President of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, both of which endeavor to explore the religion/nature/culture nexus, and which can be found at www.religionandnature.com. See www.brontaylor.com for further information pertinent to my research, teaching, and activist interests.

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Exploration May 19, 2005
Format:Hardcover
If you've ever wondered whether religion promotes or hinders environmental concern and action, or whether environments shape religion, or why in recent decades there has been such a fuss about such questions, you'll have difficulty putting down this remarkable encyclopedia. This work is global in scope, both geographically and chronologically, with 1000 entries, covering nearly every imaginable subject. It is a must-have resource for all College and University Libraries, and many environmental studies programs, and departments and scholars that attend to religion, culture, and the environment will want to have a copy of their own. But it written accessibly and would be a valuable resource for community and high school libraries, churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions, as well. But don't take my word for it. The introduction, sample entries, and entry and contributor lists, are provided at [...] will make it easy to judge for yourself the value of this monumental work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reading March 10, 2008
By jd103
Format:Hardcover
This is not your standard "what does religion X think about the natural world and humans" kind of book. After the Introduction, the Reader's Guide suggests reading these five entries first: Environmental Ethics, Religious Studies and Environmental Concern, Ecology and Religion, Ecological Anthropology, and Social Science on Religion and Nature. I think that gives a good idea of the focus of the work. Individual entries run from Edward Abbey to Zulu War Rituals, with most including cross-references and additional reading lists.

Despite some reservations, I absolutely delight in reading these volumes and look forward to years of enjoyment from them and from other works they lead me to. I write this despite being an atheist, but one who believes that if anything could right our relationship with the world we live it, it would be a change in attitude not science or new technology.

My biggest problem is the physical size and weight of the two volumes. They'd be great on a library's reference shelf, but they're tough on the forearms in a chair or the chest when reading in bed, and aren't something you'd want to cart around to read on your commute. Every entry I've tried so far has been very readable, some even literary and poetic. As an individual, I wish this came in a more usable set of more volumes with fewer pages.

There are some topics which would seem very appropriate entry subjects which aren't covered such as biotechnology, cloning, and energy issues especially nuclear power. Perhaps they're mentioned in broader topics but they don't have their own entries.

The entries I've read on individuals are written by supporters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely. May 15, 2013
By Kelley
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone with a slight interest in Anthropology of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Philosophy of Religion or just religion will find these two volumes worth every single penny.
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