Worship and Wilderness: Culture, Religion, and Law in Public Lands Management / Edition 1

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Questions about land use, conservation, and preservation—already so perplexing and contentious—take on a new complexity and greater urgency when the land in question is understood as sacred. This is a view increasingly held, as adherents of mainstream religions come to recognize what indigenous peoples knew centuries ago—that the sacred inheres in nature itself. What such a trend means and how it involves the forces of culture, religion, and constitutional law (especially First Amendment clauses concerning the free exercise of religion) are considered with a remarkable breadth and depth of understanding in this important new work.
    Drawing on case studies of national parks and monuments, national forests, and other public lands and resources, Lloyd Burton gives a clear and comprehensive account of how the intertwining influences of culture, religion, and law have affected the management of public lands and resources in the recent past and how they may do so in the future. In a unique and unprecedented way, his book weaves together teachings on nature and the sacred among indigenous and immigrant culture groups in the United States; the relevant constitutional history of religion and government action; and analysis of contemporary conflicts over culture, religion, and public lands management. As such, Worship and Wilderness is essential reading not only for public land managers and environmental policy makers but also for anyone interested in the growing significance of religious interests in the use of resources that constitute our national commons and our common natural heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Very original. Burton has brought together many diverse sources in primarily law and religion to present an analysis of the current state of human rights and the political problems of the environment. Nothing is as comprehensive as this book in weaving the two strands together."—Vine Deloria Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299180843
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lloyd Burton is associate professor of law and public policy and director of the Program in Environmental Policy, Management, and Law in the Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado at Denver. He is cofounder of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Culture and Spirituality
1 Full Circle: Return to the Source 3
2 Contemplation and Connection: Indigenous Spirituality and the Environment 28
3 Nature as Haven, Nature as Hades: The Role of Wilderness in Immigrant Religions 47
Pt. 2 Law
4 Culture and Justice: Nature and the Rule of Law in the "New World" 71
5 Of Walls and Windows: Church-State Separation and Religious Accommodation 97
Pt. 3 Management of Public Lands and Resources
6 Rising to Heaven or Risen from Hell? Culture, Conflict, and Consensus at Devils Tower National Monument 123
7 Other Spaces, Other Cases: Worship and Multiple-Use Management of Public Lands 145
8 Birthing the Woolly Cow: The Contested Legal Reconstruction of the American Bison 170
9 Conservation and Cultural Renewal: Hunting, Gathering, and Cleansing the Waters 194
10 Pacific Rim Variations: Between East and West 218
Pt. 4 Charting a Common Course
11 Coming Home: Euro-Americans and Contemplative Rediscovery of the "New World" 251
12 The National Commons as Sacred Space: Making Peace in the Field and Defending It in Court 285
Notes 303
Index 333
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