Religion and the New Ecology

Religion and the New Ecology

  • Environmental Responsibility in a World in Flux

  • by David M. Lodge

  • 340 pages, 6.00 x 9.00

  • Paperback | 9780268034047 | September 2006


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. Religious reflection and practice point the way toward a new humility in making the tough decisions and trade-offs that will always characterize environmental management.

Timely and challenging, the essays suggest avenues toward a new framework for interdisciplinary conversation among theologians, philosophers, historians, and environmental ethicists.

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.