How do religion and the natural world interact with one another? Grounding Religion introduces students to the growing field of religion and ecology, exploring a series of questions about how the religious world influences and is influenced by ecological systems. Grounding Religion examines the central concepts of ‘religion’ and ‘ecology’ using analysis, dialogical exchanges by established scholars in the field, and case studies. The first textbook to encourage critical thinking about the relationships between the environment and religious beliefs and practices, it also provides an expansive overview of the academic field of religion and ecology as it has emerged in the past forty years. The contributors introduce students to new ways of thinking about environmental degradation and the responses of religious people. Each chapter brings a new perspective on key concepts such as sustainability, animals, gender, economics, environmental justice, globalization and place. Discussion questions and contemporary case studies focusing on topics such as Muslim farmers in the US and Appalachian environmental struggles help students apply the perspective to current events, other media, and their own interests.
Religion is relevant to all of us, whether we are believers or not. This book concerns two interrelated topics. First, how probable is God's existence? Should we not conclude that all divinities are human inventions? Second, what are the mental and social functions of endorsing religious beliefs? The answers to these questions are interdependent. If a religious belief were true, the fact that humans hold it might be explained by describing how its truth was discovered. If all religious beliefs are false, a different explanation is required. In this provocative book Herman Philipse combines philosophical investigations concerning the truth of religious convictions with empirical research on the origins and functions of religious beliefs. Numerous topics are discussed, such as the historical genesis of monotheisms out of polytheisms, how to explain Saul's conversion to Jesus, and whether any apologetic strategy of Christian philosophers is convincing. Universal atheism is the final conclusion.
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion contains newly commissioned chapters by 21 prominent experts who cover the field in a comprehensive but accessible manner. Each chapter is expository, critical, and representative of a distinctive viewpoint.
Some of philosophy’s biggest questions, both historically and today, are in-virtue-of questions: In virtue of what is an action right or wrong? In virtue of what am I the same person my mother bore? In virtue of what is an artwork beautiful? Philosophers attempt to answer many of these types of in-virtue-of questions, but philosophers are also increasingly focusing on what an in-virtue-of question is in the first place. Many assume, at least as a working hypothesis, that in-virtue-of questions involve a distinctively metaphysical kind of determinative explanation called “ground.” This Handbook surveys the state of the art on ground as well as its connections and applications to other topics. The central issues of ground are discussed in 37 chapters, all written exclusively for this volume by a wide range of leading experts. The chapters are organized into the following sections: I. History II. Explanation and Determination III. Logic and Structure IV. Connections V. Applications Introductions at the start of each section provide an overview of the section’s contents, and a list of Related Topics at the end of each chapter points readers to other germane areas throughout the volume. The resulting volume is accessible enough for advanced students and informative enough for researchers. It is essential reading for anyone hoping to get clearer on what the biggest questions of philosophy are really asking.
Current processes of globalization are challenging Human Rights and the attempts to institutionalize them in many ways. The question of the connection between religion and human rights is a crucial point here. The genealogy of the Human Rights is still a point of controversies in the academic discussion. Nevertheless, there is consensus that the Christian tradition – especially the doctrine that each human being is an image of God – played an important role within the emergence of the codification of the Human Rights in the period of enlightenment. It is also obvious that the struggle against the politics of apartheid in South Africa was strongly supported by initiatives of churchy and other religious groups referring to the Human Rights. Christian churches and other religious groups do still play an important role in the post-apartheid South Africa. They have a public voice concerning all the challenges with which the multiethnic and economically still deeply divided South African society is faced with. The reflections on these questions in the collected lectures and essays of this volume derive from an academic discourse between German and South African scholars that took place within the German-South African Year of Science 2012/13.
The moral values and interpretive systems of religions are crucially involved in how people imagine the challenges of sustainability and how societies mobilize to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being. The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology provides the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field. It encourages both appreciative and critical angles regarding religious traditions, communities, attitude, and practices. It presents contrasting ways of thinking about "religion" and about "ecology" and about ways of connecting the two terms. Written by a team of leading international experts, the Handbook discusses dynamics of change within religious traditions as well as their roles in responding to global challenges such as climate change, water, conservation, food and population. It explores the interpretations of indigenous traditions regarding modern environmental problems drawing on such concepts as lifeway and indigenous knowledge. This volume uniquely intersects the field of religion and ecology with new directions within the humanities and the sciences. This interdisciplinary volume is an essential reference for scholars and students across the social sciences and humanities and for all those looking to understand the significance of religion in environmental studies and policy.
Intended for students as well as scholars of religion and violence, Belief and Bloodshed: Religion and Violence across Time and Tradition discusses how the relationship between religion and violence is not unique to a post-9/11 world_it has existed throughout all of recorded history and culture.
In 1967, Lynn White, Jr.’s seminal article The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis was published, essentially establishing the academic study of religion and nature. White argues that religions—particularly Western Christianity—are a major cause of worldwide ecological crises. He then asserts that if we are to halt, let alone revert, anthropogenic damages to the environment, we need to radically transform religious cosmologies. White’s hugely influential thesis has been cited thousands of times in a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to religious studies, environmental ethics, history, ecological science, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology. In practical terms, the ecological crisis to which White was responding has only worsened in the decades since the article was published. This collection of original essays by leading scholars in a variety of interdisciplinary settings, including religion and nature, environmental ethics, animal studies, ecofeminism, restoration ecology, and ecotheology, considers the impact of White’s arguments, offering constructive criticism as well as reflections on the ongoing, ever-changing scholarly debate about the way religion and culture contribute to both environmental crises and to their possible solutions. Religion and Ecological Crisis addresses a wide range of topics related to White’s thesis, including its significance for environmental ethics and philosophy, the response from conservative Christians and evangelicals, its importance for Asian religious traditions, ecofeminist interpretations of the article, and which perspectives might have, ultimately, been left out of his analysis. This book is a timely reflection on the legacy and continuing challenge of White’s influential article.
For over twenty years, Beverley Clack and Brian R. Clack's distinctive and thought-provoking introduction to the philosophy of religion has been of enormous value to students and scholars, providing an approach to the subject that is bold and refreshingly alternative. This revised and updated edition retains the accessibility which makes the book popular, while furthering its distinctive argument regarding the human dimension of religion. The central emphasis of the philosophy of religion – the concept of God, and the arguments for and against God's existence – is reflected in thorough analyses, while alternative approaches to traditional philosophical theism are explored. The treatments of both the miraculous and immortality have been revised and expanded, and the concluding chapter updates the investigation of how philosophy of religion might be conducted in an age defined by religious terrorism. Clear, systematic and highly critical, the third edition of The Philosophy of Religion will continue to be essential reading for students and scholars of this fascinating and important subject.
In the last fifty years, the Appalachian Mountains have suffered permanent and profound change due to the expansion of surface coal mining. The irrevocable devastation caused by this practice has forced local citizens to redefine their identities, their connections to global economic forces, their pasts, and their futures. Religion is a key factor in the fierce debate over mountaintop removal; some argue that it violates a divine mandate to protect the earth, while others contend that coal mining is a God-given gift to ensure human prosperity and comfort. In Religion and Resistance in Appalachia: Faith and the Fight against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, Joseph D. Witt examines how religious and environmental ethics foster resistance to mountaintop removal coal mining. Drawing on extensive interviews with activists, teachers, preachers, and community leaders, Witt's research offers a fresh analysis of an important and dynamic topic. His study reflects a diversity of denominational perspectives, exploring Catholic and mainline Protestant views of social and environmental justice, evangelical Christian readings of biblical ethics, and Native and nontraditional spiritual traditions. By placing Appalachian resistance to mountaintop removal in a comparative international context, Witt's work also provides new outlooks on the future of the region and its inhabitants. His timely study enhances, challenges, and advances conversations not only about the region, but also about the relationship between religion and environmental activism.
Religion, Theory, Critique is an essential tool for learning about theory and method in the study of religion. Leading experts engage with contemporary and classical theories as well as non-Western cultural contexts. Unlike other collections, this anthology emphasizes the dynamic relationship between "religion" as an object of study and different methodological approaches and openly addresses the question of the manifold ways in which "religion," "secular," and "culture" are imagined within different disciplinary horizons. This volume is the first textbook which seeks to engage discussion of classical approaches with contemporary cultural and critical theories. Contributors write on the influence of the natural sciences in the study of religion; the role of European Christianity in modeling theories of religion; religious experience and the interface with cognitive science; the structure and function of religious language; the social-scientific study of religion; ritual in religion; the phenomenology of religion; critical theory and religion; embodiment and religion; the impact of colonialism and modernity; theorizing religion in terms of race and ethnicity; links among religion, nationalism, and globalization; the interplay of gender, sex, and religion; and religion and the environment. Each chapter introduces the topic, identifies key theorists and issues, and respects the pluralistic nature of the scholarship in the field. Altogether, this collection scrutinizes the explicit and implicit assumptions theorists make about religion as an object of analysis.