The Good in Nature and Humanity

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-01-01
  • Publisher: Island Pr
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Scientists, theologians, and the spiritually inclined, as well as all those concerned with humanity's increasingly widespread environmental impact, are beginning to recognize that our ongoing abuse of the earth diminishes our moral as well as our material condition. Many people are coming to believe that strengthening the bonds among spirituality, science, and the natural world offers an important key to addressing the pervasive environmental problems we face.The Good in Nature and Humanitybrings together 20 leading thinkers and writers -- including Ursula Goodenough, Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan, Carl Safina, David Petersen, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barry Lopez -- to examine the divide between faith and reason, and to seek a means for developing an environmental ethic that will help us confront two of our most imperiling crises: global environmental destruction and an impoverished spirituality. The book explores the ways in which science, spirit, and religion can guide the experience and understanding of our ongoing relationship with the natural world and examines how the integration of science and spirituality can equip us to make wiser choices in using and managing the natural environment. The book also provides compelling stories that offer a narrative understanding of the relations among science, spirit, and nature.Grounded in the premise that neither science nor religion can by itself resolve the prevailing malaise of environmental and moral decline, contributors seek viable approaches to averting environmental catastrophe and, more positively, to achieving a more harmonious relationship with the natural world. By bridging the gap between the rational and the religious through the concern of each for understanding the human relation to creation, The Good in Nature and Humanityoffers an important means for pursuing the quest for a more secure and meaningful world.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Building the Bridge: Connecting Science, Religion, and Spirituality with the Natural World
Timothy J. Farnham
Stephen R. Kellert
Part I. Scientific and Spiritual Perspectives of Nature and Humanity 9(128)
Introduction to Part I: Ethics and the Good in Nature and Humanity
Richard J. Wood
The Contribution of Scientific Understandings of Nature to Moral, Spiritual, and Religious Wholeness and Well-Being
Ursula Goodenough
Spiritual and Religious Perspectives of Creation and Scientific Understanding of Nature
Calvin B. Dewitt
Values, Ethics, and Spiritual and Scientific Relations to Nature
Stephen R. Kellert
Religion and Ecology: The Interaction of Cosmology and Cultivation
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Gaia and the Ethical Abyss: A Natural Ethic Is a G[o]od Thing
Dorion Sagan
Lynn Margulis
Religious Meanings for Nature and Humanity
Margaret A. Farley
A Livable Future: Linking Geology and Theology
George W. Fisher
Alma De'atei, ``The World That Is Coming'': Reflections on Power, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Progress
Jeremy Benstein
Part II. Linking Spiritual and Scientific Perspectives with an Environmental Ethic 137(76)
Introduction to Part II: The Search for Harmony
William H. Meadows
Work, Worship, and the Natural World: A Challenge for the Land Use Professions
Robert Perschel
Leopold's Darwin: Climbing Mountains, Developing Land
Strachan Donnelley
A Rising Tide for Ethics
Dave Preble
Carl Safina
Hunting for Spirituality: An Oxymoron?
David Petersen
The Idea of a Local Economy
Wendell Berry
Part III. From the Perspective of the Storyteller 213(30)
The Garden of Delights: A Reading from Leap
Terry Tempest Williams
The Mappist
Barry Lopez
Notes 243(18)
About the Contributors 261(6)
Index 267

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