Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future / Edition 1

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“A love of green may be a human universal. Deepening the palette of green scholarship, Bron Taylor proves remarkably to be both an encyclopedist and a visionary.”—Jonathan Benthall, author of Returning to Religion: Why a Secular Age is Haunted by Faith

"This important book provides insight into how a profound sense of relation to nature offers many in the modern world a vehicle for attaining a spiritual wholeness akin to what has been historically associated with established religion. In this sense, Dark Green Religion offers both understanding and hope for a world struggling for meaning and purpose beyond the isolation of the material here and now."—Stephen Kellert, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

"In this thought-provoking volume, Bron Taylor explores the seemingly boundless efforts by human beings to understand the nature of life and our place in the universe. Examining in depth the ways in which influential philosophers and naturalists have viewed this relationship, Taylor contributes to the further development of thought in this critically important area, where our depth of understanding will play a critical role in our survival."—Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden

"Carefully researched, strongly argued, originally conceived, and very well executed, this book is a vital contribution on a subject of immense religious, political, and environmental importance. It's also a great read."—Roger S. Gottlieb, author of A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and our Planet's Future

"A fascinating analysis of our emotional and spiritual relationship to nature. Whether you call it dark green religion or something else, Bron Taylor takes us through our spiritual relationship with our planet, its ecosystems and evolution, in an enlightened and completely undogmatic manner."—Dr. Claude Martin, Former Director General, World Wildlife Fund

"An excellent collection of guideposts for perplexed students and scholars about the relationships of nature religions, spirituality, animism, pantheism, deep ecology, Gaia, and land ethics—and for the environmentalist seeking to make the world a better place through green religion as a social force."—Fikret Berkes, author of Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management

"Dark Green Religion shows conclusively how nature has inspired a growing religious movement on the planet, contesting the long reign of many older faiths. Taylor expertly guides us through an astonishing array of thinkers, past and present, who have embraced, in part or whole, the new religion. I was thoroughly convinced that this movement has indeed become a major force on Earth, with great potential consequences for our environmental ethics."—Donald Worster, University of Kansas

"In this exceptionally interesting and informative book, Bron Taylor has harvested the fruits of years of pioneering research in what amounts to a new field in religious studies: the study of how religious/spiritual themes show up in the work of people concerned about nature in many diverse ways. Taylor persuasively argues that appreciation of nature's sacred or spiritual dimension both informs and motivates the work of individuals ranging from radical environmentalists and surfers, to eco-tourism leaders and museum curators. I highly recommend this book for everyone interested learning more about the surprising extent to which religious/spiritual influences many of those who work to protect, to exhibit, or to represent the natural world."—Michael E. Zimmerman, Director, Center for Humanities and the Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder

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Editorial Reviews

Nova Religio: The Journal Of Alternative & Emergent Religions

“This ambitious work seeks to set forth a new religious tradition characterized by its central concern for the fate of the planet.”

“Dark Green Religion is intelligent, well-written, and very much worth reading.”
Environment & History - Emma Tomalin

“Taylor aims to illustrate the existence of an ideological current in contemporary North American society that has nature as its focus, and to argue that this is socially and politically significant.”
Isle: Interdis Stds In Lit & Environ

“Names levels of spirituality that are often unacknowledged, unattended to, or rejected, and demonstrates how a new global spirituality (DGR) is becoming a force for positive change on our planet.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520261006
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 502,379
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bron Taylor is Professor of Religion and Nature at the University of Florida. He is Editor-in-Chief of the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature and the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, and Editor of Ecological Resistance Movements: The Global Emergence of Radical and Popular Environmentalism.
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Table of Contents

Readers' Guide

1. Introducing Religion and Dark Green Religion
2. Dark Green Religion
3. Dark Green Religion in North America
4. Radical Environmentalism
5. Surfing Spirituality
6. Globalization with Predators and Moving Pictures
7. Globalization in Arts, Sciences, and Letters
8. Terrapolitan Earth Religion
9 .Conclusion: Dark Green Religion and the Planetary Future

Afterword on Terminology
Appendix: Excerpts with Commentary on the Writings of Henry David Thoreau

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    Taylor has created a new and necessary language

    This is truly a remarkable work that has connected many isolated dots that have long belonged together. At first glance, Edmund Burke, radical "eco-terrorists," the Little Mermaid, surfers, Alice Walker, Spinoza and Al Gore might seem to have little in common, but Taylor brings these and many other influential persons, places and things together into a loose but convicted community of phenomena that all share a common belief: the notion that nature has intrinsic value and is worthy of reverent care. "Dark green religion" may be a new phrase, but Taylor shows that it is an ancient force that has been rumbling in the depths of human consciousness for centuries. Now, in 2010, in the context of our growing incredulity regarding revealed religions and our increasing anxieties over the ecological crisis that confronts us, the elements that comprise dark green religion just might be poised to make their way to the forefront.

    In his work, Taylor serves as an erudite and impassioned tour guide of the "deep roots and modern expressions" of this hitherto unnamed religion, providing, along with his powerful yet undogmatic analysis, an instructive compendium of ideas and actions that cogently legitimize dark green religion as a concept with significant explanatory power. Through this book we hear of 18th-century philosophers expressing sensations of oceanic unity, modern-day mainstream scientists reflecting upon the "being-ness" of trees, surfers earnestly scrambling to find words to explain the satori that occurs inside the tube of a wave, and Disney's Pocahontas imploring Western colonialists to stop and "ask the grinning bobcat why he grins." It is precisely this diversity of thinkers coupled with the synchronicity of their thoughts that makes Taylor's thesis so compelling. While some may feel that the Earth is sentient and/or animals have souls, and others might take a more naturalistic approach, most all of the "practitioners" of dark green religion share a sense of felt kinship with nonhuman life and a sense of wonder at the structure and flow of the interconnected Earth and cosmos. This religious, or "para-religious," cosmological outlook occasions an ecological conscience that sensitizes humans to the condition of the planet with a depth of feeling that secular, humanistic concerns of sustainability might have a hard time matching. Many of the excerpted passages from Taylor's book are not only extremely convincing, but also extremely moving. If you are at all receptive to these sorts of sentiments, you might find Dark Green Religion to be a source not only of information, but also inspiration.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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