Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Ecologies and cosmologies

The enrollment in "Religion & Ecology has stabilized - we're back to twelve - so it was a chance to get to know each other better. The assigned reading was from John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker's Ecology and Religion, two of whose main terms of art are "religious ecologies" and "religious cosmologies." After discussing what they were, and why
Tucker and Grim assert they "can be distinguished but not separated," I asked students to introduce themselves with an eye to religious ecologies and cosmologies. It was a fascinating and revealing exercise. We learned of the natural landscapes in which students, or in some cases their parents, had grown up. We learned of religious and not so religious upbringings (six of us in a row were "raised Catholic"!), drifting away and into other spiritual traditions, experience with farming and forests, small towns, suburbs and the diversity of the city.

I introduced myself as from a coastal desert, greened by water from a distant river which, elsewhere, nurtured fertile agricultural land; the cycles of plants in season and farming are wondrous and strange to me - my experience of nature is ocean and sandstone. Is that religious ecology or cosmology?
Ecology and Religion, 3rd ed. (Island Press, 2014), 35

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