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Religion and the New Ecology

Religion and the New Ecology

Environmental Responsibility in a World in Flux

Edited by David M. Lodge and Christopher Hamlin
Foreword by Peter H. Raven

“Ecology has experienced a major paradigm shift over the last half of the twentieth century. This shift requires major rethinking of the relation of religion and environmental ethics to ecology because our scientific understanding of the nature side of that relationship has changed. This book is the first, to my knowledge, that is meeting this challenge head on, and it is doing so in an exemplary way.” —J. Baird Callicott, University of North Texas

“Everything on Earth is becoming unbalanced—escalating populations and consumption, global warming, extinction, troubling ecosystems that by nature are fluxing, evolving, often disturbed, even chaotic. What can and ought we conserve, preserve, sustain on this planet in jeopardy? Here science and religion join in urgent dialogue, a seminal search for answers as we face an open future, with promise and peril.” —Holmes Rolston, III, Colorado State University

For many years, ecologists and the environmentalists who looked to ecology for authority depicted a dichotomy between a pristine, stable nature and disruptive human activity. Most contemporary ecologists, however, conceive of nature as undergoing continual change and find that “flux of nature” is a more accurate and fruitful metaphor than “balance of nature.”

The contributors to this volume address how this new paradigm fits into the broader history of ecological science and the cultural history of the West and, in particular, how environmental ethics and ecotheology should respond to it. Their discussions ask us to reconsider the intellectual foundations on which theories of human responsibility to nature are built. The provisional answer that develops throughout the book is to reintegrate scientific understanding of nature and human values, two realms of thought severed by intellectual and cultural forces during the last two centuries.

Contributors: David M. Lodge, Christopher Hamlin, Elspeth Whitney, Mark Stoll, Eugene Cittadino, Kyle S. Van Houtan, Stuart L. Pimm, Gary E. Belovsky, Peter S. White, Patricia A. Fleming, John F. Haught, and Larry Rasmussen.

ISBN: 978-0-268-03404-7
344 pages
Publication Year: 2006

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David M. Lodge is the Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame.

Christopher Hamlin is professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.

“The book reflects the conviction that we must establish significant coherence between our historical, scientific, and religious understandings of nature if we are to effectively address current and emerging environmental problems . . . The editors effectively frame the overarching problems and the essays are serious, although still accessible to readers from various backgrounds.” — The Quarterly Review of Biology

“Christians in environmental studies can use this book as an additional source of opinions on moral and ethical questions.” — Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

“. . . [T]he authors firmly believe that religion has much to offer to modern environmentalism. They pragmatically argue that we need to engage with American Christians specifically, simply because of their prominence. More important, the authors genuinely believe that Christianity has the potential to contribute to a renewed environmental ethic; they unanimously dismiss Lynn White’s infamous thesis that Chirstianity is essentially the cause of ecological degredation.” — BioScience

“Contributors to this volume address the question of how the new paradigm of continual change in ecology (‘flux in nature’) fits into the broader history of ecological science and the cultural history of the West, and, in particular, how environmental ethics and eco-theology should respond.” — Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

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P01538

Time in Eternity

Pannenberg, Physics, and Eschatology in Creative Mutual Interaction

Robert John Russell

P01097

Behind the Scenes at Galileo's Trial

Including the First English Translation of Melchior Inchofer's Tractatus syllepticus

Richard J. Blackwell

P01228

Two Books

Historical Notes on Some Interactions Between Natural Science and Theology

Olaf Pedersen

Religion and the New Ecology

Environmental Responsibility in a World in Flux


Edited by David M. Lodge and Christopher Hamlin
Foreword by Peter H. Raven

 Religion and the New Ecology: Environmental Responsibility in a World in Flux
Paper Edition

“Ecology has experienced a major paradigm shift over the last half of the twentieth century. This shift requires major rethinking of the relation of religion and environmental ethics to ecology because our scientific understanding of the nature side of that relationship has changed. This book is the first, to my knowledge, that is meeting this challenge head on, and it is doing so in an exemplary way.” —J. Baird Callicott, University of North Texas

“Everything on Earth is becoming unbalanced—escalating populations and consumption, global warming, extinction, troubling ecosystems that by nature are fluxing, evolving, often disturbed, even chaotic. What can and ought we conserve, preserve, sustain on this planet in jeopardy? Here science and religion join in urgent dialogue, a seminal search for answers as we face an open future, with promise and peril.” —Holmes Rolston, III, Colorado State University

For many years, ecologists and the environmentalists who looked to ecology for authority depicted a dichotomy between a pristine, stable nature and disruptive human activity. Most contemporary ecologists, however, conceive of nature as undergoing continual change and find that “flux of nature” is a more accurate and fruitful metaphor than “balance of nature.”

The contributors to this volume address how this new paradigm fits into the broader history of ecological science and the cultural history of the West and, in particular, how environmental ethics and ecotheology should respond to it. Their discussions ask us to reconsider the intellectual foundations on which theories of human responsibility to nature are built. The provisional answer that develops throughout the book is to reintegrate scientific understanding of nature and human values, two realms of thought severed by intellectual and cultural forces during the last two centuries.

Contributors: David M. Lodge, Christopher Hamlin, Elspeth Whitney, Mark Stoll, Eugene Cittadino, Kyle S. Van Houtan, Stuart L. Pimm, Gary E. Belovsky, Peter S. White, Patricia A. Fleming, John F. Haught, and Larry Rasmussen.

ISBN: 978-0-268-03404-7

344 pages

“The book reflects the conviction that we must establish significant coherence between our historical, scientific, and religious understandings of nature if we are to effectively address current and emerging environmental problems . . . The editors effectively frame the overarching problems and the essays are serious, although still accessible to readers from various backgrounds.” — The Quarterly Review of Biology

“Christians in environmental studies can use this book as an additional source of opinions on moral and ethical questions.” — Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

“. . . [T]he authors firmly believe that religion has much to offer to modern environmentalism. They pragmatically argue that we need to engage with American Christians specifically, simply because of their prominence. More important, the authors genuinely believe that Christianity has the potential to contribute to a renewed environmental ethic; they unanimously dismiss Lynn White’s infamous thesis that Chirstianity is essentially the cause of ecological degredation.” — BioScience

“Contributors to this volume address the question of how the new paradigm of continual change in ecology (‘flux in nature’) fits into the broader history of ecological science and the cultural history of the West, and, in particular, how environmental ethics and eco-theology should respond.” — Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment