Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community

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Overview

A new perspective on religions and the environment emerges from this collection. The authors, a diverse group of indigenous and non-native scholars and environmental activists, address compelling and urgent questions facing indigenous communities as they struggle with threats to their own sovereignty, increased market and media globalization, and the conservation of endangered bioregions. Drawing attention to the pressures threatening indigenous peoples and ways of life, this volume describes modes of resistance and regeneration by which communities maintain a spiritual balance with larger cosmological forces while creatively accommodating current environmental, social, economic, and political changes.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Contributors to the present volume offer myriad examples that demonstrate ways in which the ancient cosmologies of indigenous traditions are understood as a totality of belief, imagination, and sustainable practices describing a community's relationship to the land. There are in indigenous lifeways no sheltered and isolating constructs that separate religion from nature. Some essays explore the implications of this intimate knowing of one's place for policy makers and activists of the world. Several writers pose "liberative" ecological strategies grounded in indigenous epistemologies. Recommended.
— L. De Danaan

Choice - L. De Danaan
Contributors to the present volume offer myriad examples that demonstrate ways in which the ancient cosmologies of indigenous traditions are understood as a totality of belief, imagination, and sustainable practices describing a community's relationship to the land. There are in indigenous lifeways no sheltered and isolating constructs that separate religion from nature. Some essays explore the implications of this intimate knowing of one's place for policy makers and activists of the world. Several writers pose "liberative" ecological strategies grounded in indigenous epistemologies. Recommended.
Joel Martin
Confronting readers with the awful human and ecological costs borne by indigenous peoples in an age of globalization, this book also celebrates ecological ethnicities and their creative forms of resistance. If you live on this planet, you need to read this book. If you love this planet, you will want to.
David Kinsley
The pressures on indigenous lands and traditions and the commodification of indigenous lands by corporate and government powers are important issues addressed in this volume. The book contains excellent discussions of the continuing exploitation of indigenous peoples in terms of environmental racism as exemplified by the proposed disposal of nuclear wastes on indigenous reservations. It covers ecological, religious, and political issues in a striking way. Brilliant and exemplary!
Lee Irwin
The articles found in this volume are articulate in laying out the underlying contestations that are threatening the very existence of indigenous people the world over. They reveal how deep and difficult the struggle for a sustainable way of life is among indigenous peoples of the world. The exploitation of resources, the denial of the legitimacy of indigenous religious worldviews, political marginalization, and the struggle of indigenous peoples to find their voice and cooperative empowerment are all themes central to this volume.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945454274
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Series: Religions of the World and Ecology Series , #6
  • Pages: 824
  • Sales rank: 1,016,612
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John A. Grim is Senior Lecturer, Yale Divinity School.

Mary N. MacDonald is Professor of History of Religions, Le Moyne College.

Pramod Parajuli teaches anthropology, ecology, and social movements at Syracuse University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Series Foreword
Introduction
Prologue
Maps of Indigenous Peoples
Intellectual Property Rights and the Sacred Balance: Some Spiritual Consequences from the Commercialization of Traditional Resources 3
Contextualizing the Environmental Struggle 25
In the Eye of the Storm: Tribal Peoples of India 47
Shoot the Horse to Get the Rider: Religion and Forest Politics in Bentian Borneo 71
Nature and Culture: Problematic Concepts for Native Americans 103
Local Knowledge, Global Claims: On the Significance of Indigenous Ecologies in Sarawak, East Malaysia 125
Is Indigenous Spiritual Ecology Just a New Fad? Reflections on the Historical and Spiritual Ecology of Hawai'i 159
The Road to Heaven: Jakaltek Maya Beliefs, Religion, and the Ecology 175
Tapu, Mana, Mauri, Hau, Wairua: A Maori Philosophy of Vitalism and Cosmos 197
The Sacred Egg: Worldview, Ecology, and Development in West Africa 225
Melanesian Religion, Ecology, and Modernization in Papua new Guinea 249
Interface between Traditional Religion and Ecology among the Igorots 281
Religion, Ritual, and Agriculture among the Present-Day Nahua of Mesoamerica 303
The Life and Bounty of the Mesoamerican Sacred Mountain 325
Calabash Trees and Cacti in the Indigenous Ritual Selection of Environments for Settlement in Colonial Mesoamerica 351
Warao Spiritual Ecology 377
Hunting, Nature, and Metaphor: Political and Discursive Strategies in James Bay Cree Resistance and Autonomy 411
Sovereignty and Swaraj: Adivasi Encounters with Modernity and majority 453
Respecting the Land: Religion, Reconciliation, and Romance - An Australian Story 465
Kumarangk: The Survival of a Battered People 485
Contemporary Native American Responses to Environmental Threats in Indian Country 495
A Guest on the Table: Ecology from the Yup'ik Eskimo Point of View 541
Learning from Ecological Ethnicities: Toward a Plural Political Ecology of Knowledge 559
Changing Habits, Changing Habitats: Melanesian Environmental Knowledge 591
Indigenous Education and Ecology: Perspectives of an American Indian Educator 619
Andean Cosmovision and the Nurturing of Biodiversity 639
Select Bibliography 671
Notes on Contributors 713
Index 721
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