Engaging Voices: Tales of Morality and Meaning in an Age of Global Warming available in Paperback
Our ecological dilemmas provoke powerful emotions and deeply contested views. How should we think about them? And how can we live together, or even talk together, when we cannot listen to people who think differently?
In a lively and at times very funny book, Roger S. Gottlieb ( A Greener Faith, This Sacred Earth, A Spirituality of Resistance) explores these questions in a collection of distinct but related philosophical short stories. Fictional characters with personalities, individual histories, and strong opinions wrestle with the meaning of life, the value of nature, animal rights, the roles of science and religion in environmentalism, and political choices facing environmental activistsas well as their own anger, fear, despair, and close-mindedness. Encountering forcefully articulated positions and engaging characters, readers will be moved to reconsider their own beliefsand to examine personal barriers to truly listening to those "on the other side."
|Publisher:||Baylor University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Roger S. Gottlieb is Professor of Philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. A contributing editor to Tikkun and a prolific author, his most recent books include A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet's Future, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology, and A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth. He lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Read an Excerpt
"And here Wendy was quite clear: if the cleanup helps the animals, fine. But we don’t do it for the animals; we only do it for the people. Only people count. Is that the way we all feel?"
Richard could hear the impatience in Erica’s voice. "This ain’t your seminar, Doc, so don’t start with questions for everybody else. What do you think?"
"Me? Oh, I don’t know," he sighed, as if he couldn’t carry a heavy weight any further. "I try to love the oak trees and my neighbor both. In a way, the oak tree is my neighbor as much as old Mr. Taubman who lives next door or that gorgeous widow Sarah Griffith who lives across the street. I don’t see why we can’t all get along.
"Mostly I hate the waste, the stupidity. Why do we have to choose between cleaning up the ghetto and saving the polar bears? Who says that’s the choice? Who? Maybe we could do both and skip the new bombers or the new makeup or a whole season of American Idol." He opened his eyes wide in mock horror.
adapted from an excerpt from Chapter Two
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Stories of Samuel Prana 1
1 Why Am I Alive? 13
2 Choose 41
3 What Is to Be Done? 63
4 Pass the Turkey 91
5 Whose Woods Are These? 111
6 Need to Know 137
7 Face Off 163
8 Despair: In Four Acts 175
9 Feeling Left Out? 211
The End? 221
What People are Saying About This
In a deeply polarized political climate, Gottlieb’s book offers fresh insights of how we can save the planet and live together into the future with our moral and political differences. Timely and urgently needed, this compelling book challenges us to rethink political activism, spirituality, and community in new ways. I highly recommend it.
In this heart-opening and beautifully-written book, Roger Gottlieb shares moving stories of profound difference that reflect the urgent challenge of creating a moral community. Engaging Voices invites us to experience how opening ourselves to what others have to sayespecially those we fundamentally disagree withtests our moral courage in ways that accelerate inner growth, and provide pathways for improving our collective lives.
A highly imaginative, if also down to earth, appeal for better listening to each other, hopeful, fearful, ambivalent in the midst of our differences, and how such listening can bring us to better caring for our common Earth.
In these captivating stories Roger Gottlieb shows that fiction can still be a powerful way to engage with our most complex and pressing dilemmas. You will learn more philosophy by reading this one enjoyable and illuminating journey through contemporary morality, politics, and spirituality than you would by taking any ten philosophy courses at most universities. This book is certain to both move and provoke you–challenging old ways of thinking and preparing us all for the challenges of the coming decades of the 21st century.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Really funny, with very interesting characters going through all the things people face in terms of the environmental crisis. And also the characters are constantly facing the question of how to communicate with people who have really different ideas. Because it's happening to characters and not just as ideas, it all seems more real. I've ever read anything quite like it. It's got some philosophy in it, some spirituality, some politics. Read the first five pages and you'll be hooked.