Deep Ecology and World Religions

New Essays on Sacred Ground

Edited by David Landis Barnhill & Roger S. Gottlieb

Subjects: Environmental Sociology
Series: SUNY series in Radical Social and Political Theory
Paperback : 9780791448847, 305 pages, February 2001
Hardcover : 9780791448830, 305 pages, February 2001

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Table of contents


David Landis Barnhill and Roger S. Gottlieb

1 Spiritual Deep Ecology and World Religions: A Shared Fate, a Shared Task
Roger S. Gottlieb

2 Indigenous Traditions and Deep Ecology
John A. Grim

3 Hinduism and Deep Ecology
Christopher Key Chapple

4 Relational Holism: Huayan Buddhism and Deep Ecology
David Landis Barnhill

5 Chinese Religion, “Daoism,” and Deep Ecology
Jordan Paper

6 Confucianism and Deep Ecology
Mary Evelyn Tucker

7 Faith, God, and Nature: Judaism and Deep Ecology
Eric Katz

8 Catholicism and Deep Ecology
John E. Carroll

9 Islam and Deep Ecology
Nawal Ammar

10 Protestant Theology and Deep Ecology
John B. Cobb Jr.

11 Deep Ecology, Ecofeminism, and the Bible
Rosemary Radford Ruether

12 Ken Wilber's Critique of Ecological Spirituality
Michael E. Zimmerman


List of Contributors


Parallels and contrasts values from world religions and those proposed by the environmental perspective of deep ecology.


Bringing together thirteen new essays on the important relationship between traditional world spirituality and the contemporary environmental perspective of deep ecology, this landmark book explores parallels and contrasts between religious values and those proposed by deep ecology. In examining how deep ecologists and the various religious traditions can both learn from and critique one another, the following traditions are considered: indigenous cultures, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism, Christian ecofeminism, and New Age spirituality.

David Landis Barnhill is Director of Interdisciplinary Studies and Associate Professor of Intercultural and Religious Studies at Guilford College. He is the author of At Home on the Earth: Becoming Native to Our Place: A Multicultural Anthology. Roger S. Gottlieb is Professor of Philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His most recent book is A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth.


"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