From Publishers Weekly
Inspired by a 2000 conference at Yale University, this eco-spirituality reader explores the idea that "the root causes of modern society's environmental and spiritual crises cannot be understood nor effectively resolved until the split between religion and science, or, more generally, between faith and reason, has been effectively reconciled." Part One, "Scientific and Spiritual Perspectives of Nature and Humanity," comprises half the book and is loaded with academic voices that become slowly and steadily more lively. The book's substantive core, "Linking Spiritual and Scientific Perspectives with an Environmental Ethic," marries ideals to real-life situations via the voices of environmental and resource managers, plus the venerable Wendell Berry. Most of these practitioners have fashioned their own faiths by literally tramping in the woods, and their resulting down-to-earth revelations will reward readers. The final part, "From the Perspective of the Storyteller," is a disjointed but beautiful tail section with offerings by Terry Tempest Williams and Barry Lopez. The ghost of the "land ethicist" Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac), who graduated from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, rightly haunts most of this volume. Reading the book from beginning to end is like watching a noble and important bird of many colors escape from a cage to find soaring flight and final release on a mythical plane. The bird becomes different things to different people, but all can understand its vital message as one of hope.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Stephen R. Kellert is the Tweedy Ordway Professor of Social Ecology at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, author of Kinship to Mastery (Island Press, 1997) and The Value of Life (Island Press, 1996), and coeditor, with Edward O. Wilson, of The Biophilia Hypothesis (Island Press, 1993).
Timothy J. Farnham is a doctoral candidate at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.