The Religious Dimensions of Sustainability

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The Religious Dimensions of Sustainability
Johnston, Lucas
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Religious Studies
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Taylor, Bron
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Peterson, Anna L.
Wright, Robin Michel
Burkhardt, Robert J.
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Cultural sustainability ( jstor )
Discourse communities ( jstor )
Ecology ( jstor )
Environmental conservation ( jstor )
Environmentalism ( jstor )
Morality ( jstor )
Narratives ( jstor )
Nature ( jstor )
Religion ( jstor )
Social movements ( jstor )
Religion -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
environmental, nature, politics, religion, sustainability
City of Gainesville ( local )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Religious Studies thesis, Ph.D.


THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY This project investigates the human dimensions of sustainability specifically analyzing whether, and how, religious and spiritual discourse informs the cultivation and maintenance of inclusive, adaptive, and sustainable political processes. The question animating this research was: How prevalent is the religious dimension of sustainability, and what are the differences between the ways in which religious groups and secular groups understand sustainability? My conclusions are that historically, this religious dimension has been an important ingredient in several understandings of sustainability. Pragmatically, the inclusion of religious values in conservation and development efforts facilitates sustainable relationships between people with different value structures, and increases chances of long-term success. Most informants resonated with the idea that they possessed a profoundly affective affinity for biological, ecological or cosmological interdependence. In these cases, the moral sensibilities of these sustainability leaders were informed by this emotively-charged affinity. Another central idea commonly expressed by sustainability advocates was the importance of translating sustainability-oriented narratives between differing constituencies. The first common theme is conceptual, the second strategic or practical. The language, metaphor and imagery utilized to transmit these common themes in the public sphere generally derived from one of three sources: existing religious groups and their cultural production, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. These religious and spiritual themes, practices and metaphors function as cognitive tools in sustainability discourse. The leaders that are the focus of this study encode the central themes of sustainability into spiritualized narratives which act as cognitive tools aimed at stimulating the transition toward sustainability. In the end, what seems most crucial for working toward sustainability is not agreement on spiritual or religious commitments, but a commitment to making an accurate articulation of those spiritual or religious commitments to individuals and communities who do not resonate with the same values. ( en )
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Adviser: Taylor, Bron.
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by Lucas Johnston.

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2 2009 Lucas F. Johnston


3 To my grandparents


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First, thanks m ust go to my pa rents who encouraged me to finish this degree despite some significant doubts. Second, I acknowledge the great debt that any thoughts recorded here owe to many earnest, beer-facilitated conve rsations with my colleagues Gavin, Sam, Joe and Bernie, as well as the instruction of my professors at the University of Florida. In particular, I owe much to Bron, who spent considerable time refining my writing and highlighting areas that needed improvement. Anna pushed me to make the projec t a manageable size, and Robin and Jeff spent considerable time reading it and ma de invaluable suggestions for its improvement. I also offer the usual caveat that whatever s hortcomings remain are my own. I also owe a great debt to my wife Dedee, who married me as I began this project and did not divorce me during its courseno small miracle considering she makes her living implementing sustainability in higher educati on. She models every day the behaviors and approaches I describe as successful, but sometimes finds them difficult to swallow when dressed up in academic language.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........9 LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................10 ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................11 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................13 The Stakes of Sustainability................................................................................................... 13 What is Usually Missing from the Discourse: the Religious Dim ensi on of Sustainability.... 16 Background and Methods.......................................................................................................17 Background......................................................................................................................17 Methods...........................................................................................................................22 Common Themes.................................................................................................................. ..22 Sources of Language for Deploying These Themes in the Public Sphere...................... 23 Transmission of Sustainability Narratives....................................................................... 24 2 DEFININING THE TERMS: R ELIGION AND SUSTAINABILITY .................................. 27 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........27 Using Religion as a Multi-Faceted, Therapeutic Tool............................................................ 27 Religion as a Non-essentialist, Multi-factorial Category ................................................ 28 Religion as a Therapeutic Concept.................................................................................. 34 Sustainability in Three Dimensions........................................................................................ 38 Sustainability in Four Dimensions..........................................................................................39 3 A THEORETICAL EXCURSUS: CLARIFYING METHODOLOGY................................. 51 Oppositional Milieus, Religion, and Cultural Transmission.................................................. 51 Cultural Transmission in Viral Form...................................................................................... 54 4 THE GENESIS AND GLOBALIZATION OF SUSTAINABILITY.................................... 60 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........60 Early Uses of Cognates for Sustainability.............................................................................. 60 Ecological Limits and th e Ethics of Scarcity .................................................................. 62 The Gospel of Conservation: The Idea of Sustainable Resource Use Over Tim e.......... 66 Some Early Foci of Global Sustainab ility and its Religious Dim ensions.............................. 69 Globalizing the Sustainability and D evelopment Discourse.................................................. 70 Conclusions: From Religious Resistance to Global Faith...................................................... 75


6 5 THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF SUSTAI NABILITY AT THE NE XUS OF CIVIL SOCIETY AND INTERNATINOAL POLITICS.................................................................. 80 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........80 Global Attentiveness to Limits, the Stockholm Conference, and Other Indicators of Possible Doom.................................................................................................................. ..81 Glimmers of Hope from the South: Th e Barbados Declarations and the NIEO ....................86 The Brandt Commission......................................................................................................... 88 Security and Sustainability.....................................................................................................90 The World Commission on Environm ent and De velopment (WCED)..................................91 Beyond Brundtland: The Road to Rio....................................................................................95 Contemporary Contributions to the Religious Dim ension of Sustainability from Institutionalized Religions, Political Ins titutions, and Subcultures of Resistance............ 101 Institutional Religions an d International Politics ..........................................................102 Oppositional Subcultures and Sustainability................................................................. 106 Discussion and Evaluation....................................................................................................110 6 THE CONTRIBUTION OF NATURAL SCIE NCES AND S OCIAL SCIENCES TO THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF SUSTAINABILITY................................................. 115 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........115 The Search for a Bridging Science.................................................................................... 118 From Biodiversity to Biophilia...................................................................................... 122 The idea of biodiversity.......................................................................................... 122 The love of diversity.............................................................................................. 124 From Biophilia to Cosmophilia..................................................................................... 128 Awe, reverence and the path to destruction........................................................... 128 A web of hidden connections.................................................................................130 Science and the Myth of Sustainability................................................................................ 134 Social Sciences and Sustainability........................................................................................ 138 Other Peoples Science and Sustainability.................................................................... 138 Exchange Relations and the Meta narrative of Sustainability ........................................ 142 Toward a Constructive Social Scientific Research Program .........................................146 Concluding Remarks on Religions, Natural Sc iences, Social S ciences and Cultural Transmission in Sustainability.......................................................................................... 150 7 WALKING TOGETHER SEPARATELY: EVANGE LICAL CREATION CARE........... 152 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........152 The Genesis of Evangelical Environmentalis m : From Environmental Stewardship to Creation Care....................................................................................................................156 Lynn White and the Greening of Evangelicalism......................................................... 156 The Further Development of Bib lical Foundations for Evangelical Environm entalism...................................................................................................... 159 The Evangelical Environmental Network..................................................................... 161 Northland Church, Longwood, Florida......................................................................... 163


7 God Doesnt Speak with Forked Tongue: Evangelical Leaders and Scientific Knowledge ........................................................................................................................165 Right Relationship: Huma n Partnering from a Cosmocentric Perspective.......................... 170 Patron Saints of Ecology: Mode ling Being (a Better) Hum an............................................. 174 Northland Church and a Message Distributed...................................................................... 179 Discussion and Evaluation....................................................................................................181 Further Reflections on Cultural Tran sm ission of a Religious Virus................................. 187 8 STORIES OF PARTNERSHIP: INTERFAITH EFFORTS TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY .............................................................................................................191 Allowing a Thousand Flowers to Bloom.............................................................................. 191 IPL, ARC, and Interfaith Appro aches to Building Sustainability ........................................ 192 Let There Be Light!: the Emergen ce of Interfaith Power and Light ............................. 192 The Glue that Mends the Plate: the Creation of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation.............................................................................................................. 196 The Ethics of Risky Partnerships : A Marriage of Inconvenience ........................................199 Engaging Neighbors......................................................................................................201 Walking Between Two Worlds: World Mode l Interpretation a nd Sustainability ......... 203 The Pitfalls of Partnership.................................................................................................... 204 From Partnership to Stories: the Importanc e of Narra tive for Sust ainable Collaboration... 208 Storytellers All............................................................................................................... 208 Stories That Dont Inspire: Environmental Apocalypticism and Negative Affect........ 209 How to Party, or, Learning How to Dance in the Earthquake: the Power of Positive Narratives ...................................................................................................................210 You protect what you love..................................................................................211 Islam in action in Zanzibar..................................................................................... 214 Tending the garden in a tough neighbor hood: cultivating love in place ................ 215 Ethics at What Scale?...........................................................................................................217 Discussion and Evaluation....................................................................................................220 Tracing the Lines of Force.................................................................................................... 225 9 THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSIONS OF SECULAR SUSTAINABILITY............................ 229 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........229 Conservation International, Natural Capitali sm Solutions, and Northwest Earth Institute.. 229 Conservation International............................................................................................229 Natural Capitalism Solutions......................................................................................... 231 Northwest Earth Institute...............................................................................................233 The Ecology of a Social Movement.................................................................................. 234 Stories of Value....................................................................................................................240 Clashing Values: Talking Through and Across Value Structures........................................ 244 Sustainability for a Global Community................................................................................ 248 Marketing the Myth of Sustainability: Prosperity, Security and Meaning........................... 252


8 Economic Arguments for Sustainability....................................................................... 252 Environmental Justice and Sustainability...................................................................... 253 Sustainability as a Sacred Duty.....................................................................................255 Traditional Ecological Know ledge and Sustainability .................................................. 259 Is the Secular Sustainability Movem ent Really Religious?.................................................. 263 Connecting the Dots between Experts in the Network: Mappi ng the Ecological System ...............................................................................................................................267 10 MANUFACTURING OR CULTIV ATING COMMON GROUND? ................................. 270 Theorizing the Religious Dimension of Sustainability.........................................................271 Collective Action Frames and Manufacturing Meaning............................................... 272 The Sustainability Virus: Me ntal R epresentations Matter......................................... 276 Finding Religion in Social Movements................................................................................ 280 General Summary of Results......................................................................................... 281 Discussion of Results.................................................................................................... 283 Getting out..........................................................................................................283 Digging deeper into the usefulness of sustainability.......................................... 285 Hypotheses for Future Research and the Growing Im portance of Sustainability......... 288 Sustainability Scenarios and the Global Resurgence of Religion ........................................289 Two Possible Sustainability Scenarios.......................................................................... 290 Manufacturing sustainability..................................................................................290 Cultivating sustainability........................................................................................ 291 Conclusions and a Look toward the Future................................................................... 293 APPENDIX A LIST OF QUESTIONS.........................................................................................................297 B LIST OF INTERVIEWS......................................................................................................299 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................300 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................320


9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 Categories of NGOs examined in this research................................................................. 26


10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 This is one representation of th e three pillars of sustainability. ........................................ 49 2-2 The shaded area represents the presence of the religious dim ension across the other dimensions.........................................................................................................................50 3-1 An illustration of the c onstitu encies that make up th e sustainability milieu..................... 59 4-1 Conserve Material.......................................................................................................... ....77 4-2 Sacrifice for Freedom........................................................................................................78 4-3 Car-Sharing................................................................................................................ ........79 6-1 The Horseshoe Configuration of Perspectiv es from Killingsworth and Palmer 1992: 14......................................................................................................................................151


11 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY By Lucas Fiegener Johnston August 2009 Chair: Bron Taylor Major: Religious Studies This project investigates the human dimensi ons of sustainability specifically analyzing whether, and how, religious and spiritual discour se informs the cultivation and maintenance of inclusive, adaptive, and sustainable political pr ocesses. The question animating this research was: How prevalent is the religious dimension of sustainability and what are the differences between the ways in which religious groups and secular groups understand sustainability? My conclusions are that historicall y, this religious dimension has b een an important ingredient in several understandings of sustainability. Pragma tically, the inclusion of religious values in conservation and development efforts facilitates sustainable relationships between people with different value structures, and increas es chances of long-term success. Most informants resonated with the idea that they possessed a profoundly affective affinity for biological, ecological or cosmological interdependence. In these cases, the moral sensibilities of these sustainabi lity leaders were informed by th is emotively-charged affinity. Another central idea commonly e xpressed by sustainability advo cates was the importance of translating sustainability-oriente d narratives between differing cons tituencies. The first common theme is conceptual, the second strategic or practical. The language, metaphor and imagery utilized to transmit these common themes in th e public sphere generally derived from one of


12 three sources: existing religious groups and their cultural pro duction, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. These religious and spiritua l themes, practices and metaphor s function as cognitive tools in sustainability discourse. The leaders that are the focus of this study encode the central themes of sustainability into spiritualized narratives wh ich act as cognitive tools aimed at stimulating the transition toward sustainabilit y. In the end, what seems most crucial for working toward sustainability is not agreement on spiritual or religious comm itments, but a commitment to making an accurate articulation of those spiritual or religious commitments to individuals and communities who do not resonate with the same values.


13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Stakes of Sustainability Public intellectual Stephen Prothero argue d that religion is now emerging alongside race, gender, and ethnicity as one of the key iden tity markers of the twentieth century (2007: 7). The concept of sustainability is also emerging as a popular term that in some cases acts as an identity marker, often used as a shorthand refe rence to a complex set of socio-politico-economic problems and possible solutions. As sustainability expert and educator Anders Edwards put it, sustainability is linguistic shorthand linking the central issues confr onting our civilization (2005: 133). My research lies at the intersectio n of these two conteste d twenty-first century identity markers: religion and sustainability. As resources grow scarcer, and populati ons and consumption of those resources continues to increase, a rise is expected in inter-group conflict (Kla re 2001). This project investigates the human dimensions of sustainabi lity specifically analyzing whether, and how, religious and spiritual discourse informs the culti vation and maintenance of inclusive, adaptive, and sustainable political processes. Simply put, the primary question animating my research was: How prevalent is the religious dimension of sustainability and what are the differences between the ways in which religious groups and secula r groups understand sustainability? Related subquestions included: Are there any values that obtain across religi ous and secular sustainabilityoriented constituencies? Can understanding the relig ious dimensions of sustainability aid in reducing human suffering and inter-group conflict? What are the most commonly cited values, or reasons expressed for why movement leaders be came engaged in sustainability advocacy? Finally, how are these values expressed to others in the public sphere?


14 While uses of the term sustainability abound in popul ar culture, business, higher education, government and development and conser vation programs, there has been a dearth of attention to what I call the religi ous dimension of sustainability. In short my conclusions are that historically, this religious dime nsion has been an important ingredient in several understandings of sustainability. Pragmatically, in many cases, th e inclusion of religious values in conservation and development efforts facilitates sustainable relationships between people with different value structures, and increases chances of long-term success. It is the dizzying variety of different understandings of su stainability that prompted philosopher Bryan Norton to propose a new construc tive social science re search program, one engaged in developing a new kind of integrative social science (2005: 291). Norton recognizes that pluralism inevitably leads to a range of values from consumptive to transformative to spiritual (2005: 373). Language related to some values, such as religious values, however, is relevant only within particular communities of accountability and not applicable to public policy debates.1 Most of the people I intervie wed engage in deliberation or partnerships with others precisely because of their religious beliefs and values, not in spite of them. This goes against the grain of Nortons clai m that such commitments to risky partnerships (commitments to negotiate with others outside ones familiar communities) are independent of the particular beliefs and values of the participants (2005: 285, italics his). In fact, in many 1 I use the phrase communities of accountability throughout to refer to the various nested, hierarchically arranged communities to which individuals hold themselves accountable to differing degr ees. Individuals are accountable to their own visions of self in the world (personal values), to their families, various local groups (churches, book clubs, dining groups, etc.), to na tion-states, organizations (i.e. Greenpeace, Un icef, Conservation Inte rnational, etc.) and loosely affiliated identity groups (rock climbers, surfers, peace activists, engi neers, doctors, etc.) that transcend national and international boundaries. Each of these has re ligious dimensions, provided religion is defined broadly enough (a task I turn to in chapter two). I picked up the phrase communities of accountability from its use by theologians who draw on narrative understandings of ethics (see for example Gula 1989). Communities of accountability are the gr oups whose stories provide the framing and mo tivation to help individuals meaningfully navigate the worlds they find themselves thrown into (to use Orsis phraseology [1997: 8]). Individuals perceive differential accountability to these differ ent communities, and make ethical judgme nts in part by making inferences about the norms associated with these communities.


15 cases they are directly relate d, and hiding this from public eyes may hamper the process of public debate. When oil companies, international po litical bodies, the Sierra Club, radical environmentalist and indigenous organizations (and everything in between) can all use sustainability (or some variation of it) to describe their agendas and goals, it is vitally important that there be more focused investigation into pa rticular deployments of the term and the values these uses imply. The importance of exposing th e values at play in various definitions of sustainability becomes especially clear in a plur alistic global context, where those who provide the funding and institutional s upport for sustainable development programs have in mind a concept of sustainability that is not only fo reign, but often unwelcome to those who are the targets of such development. For example, some conservation and development agencies assume that raising standards of living in a sustainable manner require s engagement with the global market. In contrast, the idea of sustai nability may be deployed by indigenous or other marginalized groups as a strategic term designed to resist incorporation in to the global market and its attendant values (Wright 2009; Trusty 2009). The current moral austerity of environment-related policy making cannot be overcome without making these values foundations explicit (Gilroy and Bo wersox 2002). If sustainability itself is to be a long-term cultural project, these values require more attentiveness, and different communities of accountability require more practice at translating them into the public sphere.2 2 Indeed, anthropologist Robin Wright has noted that in many cases, religiosity may either facilitate or hamper the success of sustainable development project s, depending on the resonance of such religiosity with the values of the granting or funding bodies (2009). In these cases, religio n is certainly an important factor in sustainability.


16 What is Usually Missing from the Discours e: the Relig ious Dimension of Sustainability Most treatments of sustainability begin by de fining what the term means. Some of these definitions of sustainability describe partic ular approaches to development (WCED 1987), represent alternatives to existing developmen t practices and socio-political arrangements (Sumner 2005; Hawken 2007), or suggest that sust ainability is best measured in terms of empirical data such as biodiversity (Lovej oy 2002; Patten 2000). Development-related definitions, however, too often pay inadequate at tention to the perpetuation of existing global power imbalances. Counter-hegemonic definitio ns can make the mistake of dismissing or downplaying the power of the nation-state to prom ote social change, a conclusion that Michael Kenny and James Meadowcroft call rather short-sighted political ly, and suspect intellectually (Kenny and Meadowcroft 1999: 2). Finally, scientific definitions, which often offer preservation of biodiversity or other scientific measuremen ts as central to achieving sustainability, may simply shift the locus of power from nation-states and corporate elites to the scientific experts who can design and implement policy in a values vacuum. Such definitions are relatively ineffective when they are used as lenses to assess sustainable living arrangements that depend on locally adapte d (and historically situated) knowledges, or to account for non-economic variab les. Incorporating alternative sources of knowledge and locally adaptive social norms w ithin the Western policy-making purview is increasingly the focus of scholar ly investigation, and may prove to be a crucial input to the formulation of sustainable policy outcomes As anthropologist Scott Atran put it, Environmental management increasingly involves diverse groups with distinctive views of nature. Understanding ways in which local cu ltural boundaries are permeable to the diffusion of relevant knowledge may offer clues to success wi th more global, multicultural commons (2002:


17 422). Sustainability is a positive term forged to broker relationships between these cultural boundaries and their accompanying views and use of nature. Thus, energies expended defining sustaina bility (WCED 1987; Ba ker 2006), discerning its central principles (Dresner 2005), or elucidating its foundational ethical tenets should instead be directed at understanding the central value structures of those who use the term, and the reasons for which it is deployed. These underl ying values, many of which contribute to the religious dimension of sustainability, are impor tant to producing successful policy outcomes. Moreover, though it has received li ttle attention, I will demonstrate that this religious dimension has long been a pervasive feature of sustainability discourse. Background and Methods Background My aim was to see what outcomes resulted fr om turning the Religion and Nature lens on an environmentally-inspired set of social movements.3 Religion and Nature is a field that utilizes methods drawn from the social scie nces as well as the humanities to illuminate relationships between the religi ous rituals and beliefs of huma ns and their habitats. These theories and methods have been turned on ho mesteading as spiritual practice (Gould 2005), environmentally friendly Catholic nuns (Tay lor 2007), river restor ation (Haberman 2007), 3 That is not to say that environmentalism was the only influence on sustainability-oriented social movements, but it was one of the most obvious and significant. I do not here define what I mean by social movement. Some would define a social movement as a group that shares a common set of values and acts in a coordinated fashion toward a particular set (or sets) of goals (i.e., Gerlach 2002). Others would likely argue that the very idea of a social movement presumes an epiphenomenal entity that has its own social and political inertia, and that such social groups are best envisioned not as sets of shared values but rather as distributions of mental representations (and I would add practicessee for example Sperber 1985, 1994). Atran et al put it this way: there is no systemically bounded or integrated culture as such. There is nothing at all grammatical or generatively rule bound about the relations that connect, for instance, language, religion, the nation state, and science.There are only family resemblances to what is commonsensically referred to as culture (or religion or science), but no overarching or integrated structure (2005: 749). My own understanding is closer to Sperbers and Atrans than to Gerlachs, but I do believe that the idea of a social group or movement can act as a valuable heuristic device for understanding dynamics at broader levels, whether or not one endorses th e accuracy of referring to a distributed set of mental representations and practices as repr esentative of particular groups.


18 community agricultural pr actices (Peterson 2008), dark gree n religious production (Taylor 2009), wolf reintroduction (VanHorn 2008), and fly fishing and streamside restoration (Snyder 2008), to name a few.4 While there has been some convergence in the attributes of the religious discourse among spatially and politically sepa rated groups (i.e., Pete rson 2008; Taylor 2009), this project focuses on a specific network of act ors who occupy high level positions in various sustainability movements, and compares the us e of religious discourse among religious and secular groups. Thus, this study provides an additional layer of reflection on how the religion and nature lens sheds light on religious social phenomena. In his analysis of dark gr een religion Bron Taylor provided many examples from what he referred to as the environmentalist milieu tracing the influence of dark green themes through both subcultures of resistance and internati onal political venues. My focus here, the sustainability milieu which is characterized by a huma n-centered ethos, a recognition of biological, ecological or cosmological interdependence, and an ethics of interpersonal empathy. This milieu was certainly influenced by environmentalism, including the kinds Taylor identified as dark green. My research, then, provides analysis of a sub-population that is in some ways broader and more inclusive than the environm entalist milieu. The methodology employed in this study, however, which involves engagement with a pa rticular expert network and analysis of the manner in which they transmit the central themes related to the religious dimensions of sustainability, is narrower than Taylors. Wh ile Taylors analysis highlighted the global emergence of dark green religious themes which have contributed to international depictions of 4 For a history of the development of the related fields of Religion and Ecology and Religion and Nature see Taylor 2005c


19 sustainability, this analysis focuses on partic ular groups, and specifically on high level actors within those groups.5 Beyond the significant influence of the a bove scholars and methods, there are three contemporary theoretical contributions that furthe r explain how I have framed my project. The first is Scott Thomass The Global Resurgence of Religion (2005), which argue d that religious beliefs and practices have long been important to international relations, though they have rarely been scrutinized by scholars. The worldwide resurgence of religion is, according to Thomas, one of the megatrends of the twenty-first centur y (which parallels Protheros idea [p. 1] that religion is one of the key identity markers of the twenty-first cen tury) (Thomas 2005: 29).6 Although Thomass work is not exp licitly related to sust ainability, his applic ation of Alasdair MacIntyres narrative theory of ethi cs to international relations th eory is useful for understanding how some of the stories that my informants us ed as cognitive tools for promoting sustainability are spread at the international level. In a ddition, Thomass narrative approach highlights the importance of including religious beliefs and practices as an endogenous piece of the policy formulation process both locally and internationally. Thomass contention that the global resurgence of religion is a part of cultural reactions to modernis m suggests interesting parallels with sustainability, which is in many ways also a reaction to certain cons equences of modernism (including unsustainable consumption, populatio n trends, development efforts, and socio5 See chapter three, pp. 50-52 for more details, and Taylor 2009: 183-198 for what makes religious production dark green. 6 Thomas defined the global resurgence of religion as the growing saliency and persuasiveness of religion, i.e. the increasing importance of religious beliefs, practices, and discourses in personal and public life and the growing role of religious or religiously-related individuals, non-state groups, political parties, and communities, and organizations in domestic politics, and this is occurring in ways that have significant implications for international politics (Thomas 2005: 26).


20 political arrangements) (Thomas 2005: 44).7 This global resurgence of re ligion lies at the root of sustainability, and other empirical evidence of the persistence and spread of the religious dimension of sustainability grows from this so -called mega-trend. For example, much of the empirical evidence cited in this study as evidence of the religious dimension of sustainability includes: 1) the endorsement of environmenta list aims by some organized religions, and the parallel activities or behaviors in which sustainability advocates and religious adherent engage (i.e., feeding the poor, protecting endangered ecosys tems, social justice, etc.); 2) political leaders use of religious language in discussing the environment (i.e., the idea that nature is somehow sacred); 3) scientists use of language or metaphors relate d to the sacred to describe their own work or findings; 4) the opposition by religious adherents and su stainability advocates to capitalism and modernism; 5) secular conservation groups outreach to religious organizations; 6) the popularizati on of spiritualized sustainability-related narratives; and 7) the perceptible shift, at least among North Ameri can and Western European societies, toward lifestyles and practices that are more sustainable (for example the LOHAS segment of the population, a now widely recognized and powerful consumer group. Second, Jonathan Benthalls Returning to Religion (2008) examined religious and parareligious phenomena as existin g along a weak to strong religious field Benthall argued that many NGOs, social movements, and academic disciplines operate on certain presuppositions that they take on faith, and that most of them exhibit at least medium religious field characteristics. I take sustaina bility to be one of these religio n-resembling social movements. Finally, environmental philosopher Aaran Ga res work was helpful to understanding sustainability. Although his primary area of spec ialization is environmental ethics, Gars 7 Thomas argued that the global resurgence of religion can be understood as a parallel development in the developed world and in developing countries that is part of a wider, already existing, critique of global modernity, authenticity, and development (2005: 44). Such development practices are now framed as sustainable development


21 analysis suggested that diverse oppositional thinkersthose who challenge in a profound manner accepted scientific, social scientific or philosophical conventionscould (and in his view, should) be integrated in a coherent philosophy to demonstrat e the continuity between them (Gar 1998; 1995). In a theoretic al treatment reminiscent of Campbells concepts about the cultic milieu, Gar suggested that diverse oppos itional subcultures have essentially advocated one of two alternatives to the modern model of human/na ture interactions: the cultural model which assumes that significant shifts in cultural values and priorities are necessary in order to combat the environmental crisis (Gar cited th inkers such as Giambattista Vico, Johann von Herder, Georg W.F. Hegel, and Karl Marx here), and the naturalistic metaphysics model (influenced, Gar said, by thinkers from John Duns Scotus to Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibnizand I might add Alfred Whitehead, Davi d Bohm, David Ray Griffin and Fritjof Capra) (Gar 1998: 16-18). Gar argued that once integrat ed into a coherent metanarrative, this largescale story should be systemati cally grafted onto existing mechanistic cosmologies, economics, psychology, biology and physics to promote positive change. My project analyzes the emerging metanarrative Gar predicted, suggesting that it has manifested in a loosely related set of social phenomena I refer to as sustainability movements. However, added to these alternative sociocultural models are important contributions fr om mainstream corpor ations and government sectors, who do not represent alternatives to the prevaili ng socio-political a rrangements, and who also utilize the discourse of su stainability to describe their own socio-political agendas. To further focus the study I specifically inve stigated one particular network of experts spanning religious, interfaith a nd secular NGOs located within the United States and Western Europe (though in some cases thei r work is global in scope), no ting the religious dimensions of their activism and seeking to unde rstand the sources of religious themes in sustainability


22 discourse and how they are used by different groups. In Chapter 10 I provide an analysis of how different theories of individual action in relation to environmental degrada tion can be integrated into a useful methodological tool for investigating social movement s with religious dimensions. Methods To investigate how ideas and prac tice s related to sustainability were tied to religious belief and practice I began by conducting broad literature reviews cove ring sustainable development and contentions about the term, the role of non-governmental organizations in conservation and development, environmental ethics, grassroots sustainability movements, and religious environmentalism. I also cultivated relations hips with people involve d with sustainability advocacy, attending events and talking informally to people involved in various professions or fields related to sustainability. I began conduc ting semi-structured interv iews with leaders in some of these movements in December of 2007, and through outreach and in some cases a snowball technique, over the course of the next year conducted interv iews and engaged in participant observation of several sustainability related conferences a nd events. My primary informants were twenty elite actors from re ligious, interfaith, and secular non-governmental organizations. Interviews were also conducted w ith academic analysts of sustainability, as well as with diverse participants at su stainability-related events in bot h formal and informal settings. In a pilot study in the spring of 2005, thirteen structured surveys coupl ed with six open-ended interviews were conducted with participants in one of the non-governmental organizations analyzed here (the Northwest Earth Institute, s ee Chapter 7). Though they helped to inform the methods used for this project, these pa rticipants will remain anonymous. Common Themes Although nearly all of my respondents em phasized that the values necessary for achieving a sustainable society were locally-dependent, there were some general commonalities among the


23 themes that ran through the report s of sustainability advocates. First, most resonated with the idea that they possessed a profoundl y affective affinity for biologi cal, ecological or cosmological interdependence. In these cases, the moral sens ibilities of these sustainability leaders were informed by this emotively-charged affinity.8 Another central idea commonly expressed by sustainability advocates was the importance of tr anslating sustainability-oriented narratives between differing constituencies. In other words, many of these sustainability leaders emphasized the need to approach political, social, or cultural others from a standpoint of weakness or humility, vulnerable (or at least willing to empathetically consider) others worldviews, values, and behaviors, what I refer to as an ethics of interpersonal empathy. 9 The first common theme is conceptual, the second strategic or practical. Sources of Language for Deploying Th ese Themes in the Public Sphere The language, m etaphor and imagery utilized when these common themes were deployed in the public sphere generally derived from one of three sources: existing religious groups and their cultural production (Chapter 3), the natural sciences, and the social sciences (Chapter 4). The messages derived from these sources are vetted and translated within various sustainabilityrelated social movements. When deployed in the public sphere they are embedded in spiritualized narratives. 8 The promotion of amorphous ideas of interconnectedness have been criticized by some scholars who suggest that they are either overly romantic, inapplicable to whole populations or sets of religious believers, or obfuscate human exploitation of ecosystem services (see Kalland 2005: 1368-1369). Nonetheless, they are frequently to describe sustainability in the public sphere and should therefore be scrutinized. 9 An ethics of interpersonal empathy is typically focuse d on engagement between individuals and constituencies on central values, motivations, and perceived future goals with the understanding that both sides undertake some sort of risk, whether the risk refers to challenging personal or communal worldviews, production and consumption habits, or social arrangements. I envision this ethic as similar in certain ways to what Sharon Welch refers to as a feminist ethic of risk (Welch 1990), for such engagements are often risky. The ethics of interpersonal empathy shares with Welchs vision the notion that engagement with o thers requires relinquishing power over them to some extent, that an ethics of risk is grounded in community, and that the risks taken are strategic (for Welchs definition see p. 20). However, Welch sees such engagement as ultimately grounded in an ethic of resistance. In the cases examined here such an ethic may be undertaken by those in power in an effort to cede power to others in a spirit of cooperation, or may be used to solidify existing power arrangements.


24 Interestingly, there was some consensus among my respondents regarding the manner in which such religious narratives were expressed. First, the values associated with sustainability and coded into narratives are us ed strategically to intentionall y modify behavior, perception and policy. Second, nearly all of my respondents be lieved that core valu es were of utmost importance to good policy-making (challenging the post-metaphysical social scientific methodology suggested by Norton, above). Third, st orytelling seemed to be an important and prevalent (at least among the small network of actors analyzed here) component in the transmission of the values related to sustaina bility, and in the long-te rm viability of on-theground projects. These value-laden stories cont ribute to the cultivat ion of a religious metanarrative of sustainability, of ten grounded in an optimistic, empa thetic anthropocentrism. In effect, these stories act as discursive devices, or cognitive tools for the spread of normative sustainability-related ideas. Transmission of Sustainability Narratives Reviewing the transm ission of these narrativel y-grounded cognitive tools, it is clear that they are passed from individual to individual, and that leaders in various sustainability movements (the targets of my fi eldwork) are some of the primary evangelists who spread the sustainability metanarrative. Th ese stories are exchanged between subcultures of resistance and mainstream culture, between grassroots level groups and international organizations, and between religious and secular gr oups (these themes are more fully developed in Chapters 3, 4 and 8). I trace some of the pathways for the tr ansmission of these values-laden stories. Religion scholar David Chidester argued that something is doing religious work when it is engaged in negotiating what it means to be human (2005: 18), and shaping the public sphere by forming community, focusing desire, and fac ilitating exchange (5). The concept of sustainability is certainly enga ged in generating community, supervising exchange relations, and


25 providing goals toward which particular comm unities aim. Even when the language of sustainability advocacy is not explicitly religious, in many cases it reflects core values and deep beliefs of particular individuals, communities or groups, and when deployed in the public sphere, it is performing religious work. To unpack the religious dimension of sustaina bility, I first have to wrestle with the key terms, religion and sustainability (Chapters 1 and 2), and then trace the sources of language used to characterize sustainability in the public sphere (Chapters 3 and 4). I also focus on interviews with elite actors in the non-governmental organizations listed in Table 1-1. Each of these organizations and the individuals who lead them utilizes religious narratives in the public sphere in order to further their understanding of sustainability. Anna Peterson has suggested that what distinguishes religious narratives is that th ey incorporate in some way the sacred: forces, ideas, and events with meaning, location, or valu eor all threebeyond (but not necessarily opposed to) the human (2001: 19). Despite the differences in perceived applicability of the term, such religious values and narratives seem to be present and in many cases important across these various sustainabi lity-oriented constituencies.


26 Table 1-1. Categories of NGOs examined in this research Religious Interfaith Secular National/International Evangelical Environmental Network Alliance of Religions and Conservation Conservation International; Natural Capitalism Solutions Grassroots/Local Northland Church (Longwood, FL); Interfaith Power and Light Northwest Earth Institute


27 CHAPTER 2 DEFININING THE TERMS: RELI GION AND S USTAINABILITY Introduction Does the term religion lose some of its usefulness if its bounda ries are conceived as broad, permeable, and imprecise? I believe that religion can retain its analytic utility if defined broadly provided such definitional extension sheds light on why a particular set of beliefs, values or behaviors matter to pa rticular persons. I am specifically interested here in how religion functions in the context of sustainability. Sustainability is a strategy of cultural adaptation to the dynami c interplay between ecological and social systems that is often tether ed to religious narratives that elucidate how to make such survival strategies meaningful. Thus, the deployment of sustainability can be a sociopolitical identity marker since it refers to what it is those who use the term believe is required to live meaningfully over the long-term. Religion ha s been a crucial ingredient in the feedback loop between cultures and their environments historically, and there is some evidence (though debatable) that its inclusion in ecosystem management planni ng is important for long-term success. To understand whether or not religion is a help or hindr ance in planning for sustainable subsistence, it is necessary to clarif y what is meant by the term religion. Using Religion as a Multi-Faceted, Therapeutic Tool10 Religion plays a dual role in the sustainability movement: a) it takes the shape of formal, institutionalized religious st ructures and their members who advocate (and implement) 10 I use this term below in discussing what philosoph er Ludwig Wittgenstein imagined the primary goal of philosophy to be, namely alleviating confusion about langua ge, a sort of linguistic therapy. Nancey Murphy (2000) used Wittgensteins concept of a therapeutic philosophy to hash out the differences between the proper domains of science and religion. I suggest that philosophical analysis of how religion functions within a sub-set of a particular population (such as sustainability movements) may be helpful because religion is a term that is often used as popular shorthand for referring to a widely variable set of core values and deep beliefs. It is possible that clarifying which of these values is at stake in particular debates may help to generate more sustainable cultures, making analyses of the deployment of the term religion a sort of social therapy.


28 sustainable practices, and b) it is implicated in varied and loosely related systems of values that coalesce around a new ethic, concept of the pla ce of humans in the natural world, or sort of society. Each of these is considered new to the ex tent that it provides an al ternative to traditional development-oriented definitions of sustainabi lity (which are often imagined to promote increasing inequity and ecological degradation) or to the prevailing (and typically loosely defined) paradigm of modernity (which construc ts binary oppositions, mechanistic portraits of nature and human nature, and speak s of reality in terms of univers als) (for examples of this critique of modernity see Merchant 1980; Capra 1982; Berry 1988; Gar 1998, all of which influenced various participants in sustainability movements). To the extent that these cultural sustainability narratives draw on the language of core values and deep beliefs and trigger emotive responses in people they are doing religious and political work. Using the analytical term religious to describe an often overlooked dimensi on of sustainability helps to provide a richer assessment of some facets of sustainability movements. Religion as a Non-essentialist, Multi-factorial Category Religion, at least within sustai nability m ovements, functions (as does sustainability) as a multi-faceted tool. The way religion is understood and used by particular people in particular places to describe their actions and motivations reveals something about what they hold sacred.11 When religious metaphor and languag e are utilized in the public sp here, they function to chip out sharper portraits of individual and community identity. All invocations of religion, as religion scholar Russell McCutcheon argued, erect or perpetuate oppositions (i.e., profane/sacred, irreligion/religion, insider/ outsider). He noted that such con ceptual binaries are useful, but can 11 As Wittgenstein put it, How does an ostensive definition [of religion, in this case] work? Is it put to work again every time the word is used, or is it like a vaccination which changes us once and for all? A definition as a part of the calculus cannot act at a distance. It acts only by being applied (1974: 39). Likewise, a definition of sustainability takes its meaning in large part from the specific circumstances in which it is deployed.


29 cause trouble if understood as nor mative, self-evident, and natura lly privileged rather than as strategically, intellectua lly, and socially useful (1997: 66). Anthropologist Benson Saler made the similar point that religion is instrumental in generating and sustaining community, but in so doing it simultaneously places some outside of th at community, however conceived (Saler 1999: 74). Jonathan Benthall concurred when he argued that the definiti on of religion is political. It is a legitimating claim, a discursive strategy (2008 : 8). Religion, in other words, has no essential element that marks it off as morally significant and sp iritually relevant. It is a tactical term used to describe deeply seated values and beliefs and mark them off fr om others values, but is also used to refer to the study of these so cio-political dynamics in the Academy. For example, Jonathan Z. Smith investigated the history of the term in academic usage, influentially arguing religion is not a native term; it is a term created by scholars for their intellectual purposes and ther efore it is theirs to define. It is a second-order, generic concept (Smith 1998: 281; see also Smith 1988: 233). Smith meant that rather than being a term selfapplied by all communities to describe their ritu als, beliefs and practices, religion should be viewed as an analytical term whose meaning depends on the person (or community) using it, and on the questions they use the term to illuminate.12 As McCutcheon understands Smiths meaning, religion is part of the data to be explained because as th ey are commonly defined religious discourses remove something (a claim, an institution, a practice) from history, thereby privileging it over all other historically embedded claims and knowledges (2001: 136). According to Smith and McCutcheon religion is not a native term because its use isolates and authenticates certain practices or features of culture as religiou s, without due recognition that 12 Note that Im not suggesting that the term is illuminatedthat the meaning of religion is discernedbut that the use of religious language, metaphor, or perspectives in relation to social problems indicates which problems are deep enough to warran t the use of religious language. Smith notes that typically, the person or group applying the labels of religion or religious are outside the communities described in this manner (1988).


30 what counts in this category depends upon a particular understanding of the prototypical features of religion These prototypical features, whic h cast boundaries around what counts as religious have derived from particularly Wester n ideas which are not always applicable to the spiritual lives of cultural others. In some other respects then, religion is a native termit is native to Western culture. The term is also used widely now by those outside Western culture, in many cases by people and groups who have adopted it to refer to certain cu ltural phenomena for the purpose of engaging in cross-cultural dialogue. So while the term is not native to most indigenous peoples, for example, they have adapted it to reflect their own core values and deep beliefs for their own ends. Religion is neither a self-evident set of phenomena, nor a thing that is essentially this or that and yet it is a term that carries tremendous polit ical import, particularly among those for whom it is not a native term. Anthropolog ist Daniel Dubuisson argued, Religion was intimately linked to the principal ev ents and to the major orientations of our intellectual history (when it was not literally identified with them),because it has contributed for centuries to the discipline of our bodies and our minds, because it has lhe design and patterning of our ci ties, because it has cultivated our manner of looking at the worldand because it has been put at the heart of the principal deba tes and controversies affecting the definition of humanity as well as the destiny of the world. So religion, as outlined above, must be considered the locus in which the identity or figure of the West has in principle been constituted and defined (36-37, italics mine). Tomoku Masuzawas The Invention of the Worlds Religions (2005) advanced a related argument that the emergence of the comparativ e religion research program (made famous by Mircea Eliade, but whose origin lies with the fathers of the social sciences13) grew from the cultivation of Western power in the colonial and post-colonial eras. Masuzawa noted that for 13 The gendered noun is intended. I refer to the likes of Max Muller (2002 [1890]), Karl Marx (1978 [1845]), E.B. Tylor (1883), James Frazer (1959 [1890 ]), Emile Durkheim (1972; 1995), Si gmund Freud (1918), and Carl Jung (1968). Clifford Geertz cr edited the fathers of the study of religion (Freud, Durkheim, and B. Malinowski) with creating a repetitive field of study that, drawing on Janowitz, he called an exercise of the dead hand of competence (1973: 88).


31 hundreds of years the planets population was im agined as consisting of only Christians, Jews, Mohammadens, and the rest. The appearance of th e worlds religions, while seemingly a solid step toward pluralism neither displaced nor disabled the logic of European hegemonyformerly couched in th e language of the universality of Christianitybut, in a way, gave it a new lease (Masuzawa 20 05: xiv). Masuzawa argued that the spread of the term to other cultures perpetuated the colo nial project by forcing a term with a Western intellectual heritage on others. Some scholars may underestimate the agency of those who have intentionally and strategically adopted, adapted, and re-deployed the term re ligion for their own ends. Nonetheless, the points discussed here are impor tant ones: religious discourse builds boundaries, facilitates formation of community, and even wh en utilized by those who are not dependent on the Wests intellectual heritage, reflects values and beliefs that are tied in significant ways to cultural mores and behaviors. Thus, religion is strategicall y, intellectually, and socially usef ul in several contexts, both for Westerners and non-Westerners who have adapted the term as a means of explaining their lifeways to others. Some religi ous studies scholars have adop ted a methodology less indebted to exploring what people believe than to noting what people do with their religious categories. Russell McCutcheons response to an audience ques tion at a conference is illustrative: following his presentation he was asked whet her he meant that religion was also social, biological, political, economic, and so on, or whether [McCutcheon] was saying that religion was only social, biological, political, economic, and so on. McCutcheons answer: Only. Next question? (2001: x). McCutcheon may have been unduly provocative in his response, but his point is significant: that for sc holars of religion (not caretakers of the term) analysis should focus


32 not on supposed internal subjective states and beliefs, but on the eff ects that these beliefs, values and practices have (through their be lievers) in the real world. A ccording to this understanding of the field, scholars of religion s hould attend to subjective states to the extent that they are affirmed by persons or communities, rather than searching for an essentially religious facet of experience or thought abst racted from people in particular places. McCutcheons response and research agenda can be related to a group of scholars who argue that the study of religion should be con ceived as a materialist phenomenology of religion (Orsi 1997: 8). Religion scholars David Hall, Robert Orsi and others have advanced a methodology that allows for the investigation of affective states through empathetic observation or participation, but contextu alizes these observations by at tending to socio-political circumstances. In other words, the study of religion should not focus on what people believe (subjective states envisioned as somehow sepa rated from action), or how supposed worldviews shape behaviors. Rather, the focus should be on their behaviors, and their self-reported (either in print, or on person) values rather than on evaluating a pr iori metaphysical assumptions.14 According to the above scholars, building a bounded definition of religion is less important than learning what it means for partic ular people. Ludwig Wittgenstein, for one, has questioned whether providing a solid definition of any term is necessary for understanding: We are able to use the word plant in a way that gives rise to no misunderstanding, yet countless borderline cases can be constructe d in which no one has yet decided whether something still falls under the concept plant. Does this mean that the meaning of the 14 Cases where a priori metaphysical assumptions guide research might incl ude earlier scholars such as Rudolph Otto, who suggested that religious experience was grounded in a mysterium tremendum or Eliade, who argued that religion was a cultural phenomenon that reflected encounters with somethi ng objectively real in nature called the sacred More recent examples might include scholars who claim that followers of this or that religion (say, Islam) would naturally behave in a particular fashion if they were authentic believers (say, authentic Muslims). McCutcheon (2005) has provided an extended critique of overbroad and essentialist understandings of Islam following the attacks on the New York City World Trade Centers on 11 September 2001. Claims of this sort may tell more about those who imagine and endorse them than they do about those who are studied by looking through such lenses.


33 word plant in all other cases is infected by unc ertainty, so that it might be said we use the word without understanding it? Would a definition which bounded this concept on several sides make the meaning of th e word clearer to us in all sentences? (1974: 73). Many have used the term religion to refer to institutional manifestations of religion (those confined by buildings and traditions), as well as more commonplace and everyday experiences of affectively-grounded communion with others (eve n, as religion scholar David Chidester has [2005], referring to baseball or live music performance). In my understanding of religion, all of these uses of the term religion count. As Sale r put it, if we deem ad mission to a group (as comprehended by the category religion) to be a matter of more or less rather than a matter of yes or no, then an argument can be made for admitting secular religions and quasi-religions as peripheral members (Saler 2004: 230).15 Many different communities to which individuals are accountable have religion-re sembling features, though none of th ese particular features is alone necessary to trigger the use of the term religion.16 Drawing on Ludwig Wittgenstein, it is possibl e to envision the term religion as referring to a host of often overlapping and cross-fertilizing families of religious practice, experience, and function. Saler and Benthall also both utilized Wittgensteins family resemblances model to analyze religion, with Saler suggesting that the term religion is an instance of what Wittgenstein called a concept-word (Saler 1999 : 197; Benthall 2008: 46-80; see also Vasquez 15 Using the same theories that Saler utilized more than a decade earlier, Benthall argued that Linguists have developed the idea of prototype semantics, whereby the applicability of a word to a thing is not a matter of yes or no, but rather of more or less. Further, he said that these criteria may be graded (Benthall 2008: 21). If some aspects of human lives contain more religion-resembling features than others, we may find that some religions, in a manner of speaking, are more religious than others (Sal er 1999: xiv), though this more does not refer to a greater authenticity, but rather a closer resemblance to one or more prototypes of that category. 16 Anthropologist Jeremy Benthall (2006; 2008) and religion scholar Bron Taylor (2009) use the term parareligious to describe these religion-resembling features. Taylor has indicated that he believes the term parareligious avoids some of the potentially pejorative connotations associated with the term quasi-religious. He believes that the prefix quasi implies that it is somehow in authentic, or not really religious. These distinctions are unimportant to any case I wish to make here, so the term s quasi-religious, para-religious and religion-resembling are used interchangeably.


34 2008).17 Envisioning religion as a concept-word mean s that it can act as an analytical tool, referring to pools of elements that tend to cluste r together in different ways, and which typically are also strongly related to other things that are not religious (Saler 1993: 213). Conceptualizing religion in this way facilitates going beyond reli gion [as synonymous with institutional practice and creed] and attending to the religious dimension of much of human life (214).18 Religion is intimately intertwined with many facets of human lives that ar e not themselves essentially or explicitly religious, including sustainability a dvocacy and conservation behaviors, both of which figure prominently in my research. Religion as a Therapeutic Concept Bron Taylor adopted Salers ad aptation of Wittgenstein by using a family resemblance approach to defining religion in contemporary re ligion and nature discou rse, proposing sixteen families of religious characteristics (Taylor 2007: 15-17; 2009: 4-5).19 The characteristics listed contain recognizable elements from many of the classic definitions of religion, including those formulated by Friedrich Schlei ermacher (1996 [1799]), Max Muller (1870), E. B. Tylor (1883), 17 As Wittgenstein put it, This argument [about what it means to understand a concept-word] is based on the notion that what is needed to justify characterizing a number of processes or objects by a general concept-word is something common to them all. This notion is, in a way, t oo primitive. What a concept-word indicates is certainly a kinship between objects, but this kinship need not be the sharing of a common property or a constituent. It may connect the objects like the links of a chai n, so that one is linked to another by intermediary links....Indeed even if a feature is common to all members of the family it need not be that feature that defines the concept. The relationship between the members of a concept may be set up by the sh aring of features which show up in the family of the concept, crossing and overlapping in very complicated ways (Wittgenstein 1974: 35; see also Saler 1993: 197). 18 In a later work Saler elaborated, stating that A scholarl y model of religion, as I conceive it, should consist of a pool of elements that scholars associate with religions. Not all will be found in all religions. Some will be more typical of what we mean by religion than others, both in terms of distributions and weightings. And many will be found outside of the purview of what scholars conventionally designate as religions (2004: 230). 19 Taylor uses such a definition to suggest that scholars should attend to as many of these families as possible in their work. In Conceptualizing Religion Saler compares the virtues and pitfalls of both family resemblances (derived from linguistic philosophy), and polythetic classification (derived from biology), arguing that both tools would likely have what he calls a prac tical convergence, producing similar resu lts when applied to a term such as religion (1999: 170). In the end, however, the family rese mblance model, coupled with prototype theory is Salers preference. For criticisms of the family resemblance approach, see Perspectives on Method and Theory in the Study of Religion: Adjunct Proceedings of the XVIIth Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions (Geertz and McCutcheon 2000, es pecially the review symposium on Salers book, pp. 287-337).


35 James Frazer (1959), Emile Durkheim (1965), Max Weber (2005 [1930]), William James (2002 [1902]), Rudolph Otto (1958), Mirc ea Eliade (1959), Clifford Geer tz (1973), Stewart Guthrie (1993), Talal Asad (1993), and also some newe r ones (Saler 1999; Benthall 2006, 2008). If all of these varied sets of charac teristics count, from substantiv e definitions to functional ones, from subjectively-derived definitions to those th at suggest religion is a product of society, it allows analysis of a wider range of social phenomena with a religious stud ies lens than would otherwise be the case. It is possible, for example, to attend to the religious dimension of social movements while withholding judgment about wh ere they fall on the more to less religious continuum. Envisioning religion as a pool of loosely related elements allows analysis of how the religious dimensions of social movements help to forge community, facilitate exchange, and focus desire (Chidester 2005). Such flexible categories make language-games with certain concept-words possible. 20 For Wittgenstein, concept-words were not impor tant simply because of their flexibility, but because this flexibility allowed for their therapeutic deployment in language games. Wittgenstein envisioney freezing language by f acilitating new relationships between conceptwords.21 Wittgenstein put it nicely when he said that Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language (2001: 109).22 Philosophy and language-games are tools for adapting perceptio ns and behaviors to the worlds humans find themselves thrown into, a task with which reli gion is also concerned (O rsi 1997: 8). It is 20 For concept-words see note16, p. 33. 21 Wittgenstein states that the task of philosophy is not to create a new, ideal language, but to clarify the use of our language, the existing language. Its aim is to remove pa rticular misunderstandings; no t produce a real understanding for the first time (Wittgenstein 1974: 72). 22 Language-games, as Wittgenstein conceived them, Sale r phrased it, are exercise s through which we can rid ourselves of the mental mist which tends to enshroud our ordinary uses of language (1999: 236).


36 important that scholars expand the definition of religion to include many families of religionresembling activity, but it is perhaps more important that they recognize which ones are being deployed by which groups for what ends. Language-games resist freezing boundaries on words or concepts, and it is in and around the worded nodes of language-games that language becomes part of an activity, or of a life-form (Wittgenstein 2001: 23).23 It is in these creative zones that old understandings of words and language are cha llenged and new ones forged precisely because of the elasticity of meaning in such language. Parallel to the discussion of how to approach sustainability below, treating the term religion as an element in a language-game can turn critical attention on the ways in which the deployment of such terms (religi on and sustainability) create and sustain (or challenge and erode) socio-political relations. In cases where the religious dimension of sustainability is involved, language-games can really be said to grow into what anthropologist Scott Atran and his collaborators refered to as spiritual games, where cultural mores are played with and massaged into new meanings for partic ular communities of accountability.24 In the cases examined by Atran et al., players in spirit ual games include the non-economic values of ecological services, social relations and non-human subjectivities, all of which provide valuable inputs into individual and colle ctive decision-making (2002; see also Benthall 2008: 50-51).25 The employment of the affective power of religion-rese mbling cultural features in the name of sustainability may be a therapeutic tool for negotiating identity, community, and belonging in 23 In Philosophical Grammar Wittgenstein adds Is meaning then really on ly the use of a word? Isnt it the way this use meshes with our life? But isnt its use a part of our life? (1974: 29). 24 Anthropologist Scott Atran refers to the spiritual games that communities play whereby non-economic values of ecological services, social relations, and non-human subjectivities are important ingredients for individual agency, calling into question traditional forms of decision theory and game theory (2002). 25 The authors argue that their findings challenge traditional understandings of decision theory and game theory.


37 democratic societies. It is from deployments in particular circumstances that any term takes its meaning, and in turn adds levels of meaning to its future uses.26 Fundamentally, religion, like sustainability, is about dealing wi th cultural, ethnic, and ethical others in effective ways.27 Typically, it is by risking someth ing of themselves (not necessari ly personally, but on the level of community norms and values) th at people are able to achieve success in sustainability through partnership. For analytical purposes here, religion will serve dual roles as it does in folk understandings of the term.28 On the one hand, it will be used to refer to institutional religions, their authoritative hierarchies, traditions, practices and places. The so-called world religions have undoubtedly played a major role in sustainability discourse, and their combined membership attests to the social and financial pressures they have brough t to bear on promoting sustainable practices. On the other hand, the term religion will also descri be some of the selfreported motivations of sustainabi lity advocates, the growth of re ligiously-tinged sustainabilityoriented material culture, the circulation of both individual experien ces and group narrative within communities, and the communication of th ese communities of acc ountability with other outside groups. Through the inte rplay of these two dimensions, a third sort of religious production emerges, couched in the metanarrativ e of sustainability. Simply defined, a metanarrative is a story that justif ies another story. The story of sustainability (c onceived of in 26 Wittgenstein suggests that concepts, propositions, and wo rds are all part of the calculus of language, and wonders what it means to make them sensical, how do we do it ?We can indeed turn it [the concept of religion, for example] into quite different things; an empirical propos ition, a proposition of arithmeti c, an unproved theorem of mathematics, an exclamation, and other things. So Ive a free choice: how is it bounded? Thats hard to sayby various types of utility, and by the expressions formal similarity to certain primitive forms of proposition; and all these boundaries are blurred. Likewise our words are defined primarily by our free use of them, whether we are using them as scholars, or in other capacities. 27 By ethical others I mean those who adhere to diffe rent value sets and sources of moral authority. 28 For treatments of religion as a folk category and part of a folk psychology see Johnson (1993) and Benthall (2008: 7-9).


38 various ways by different constituencies) acts as a benchmark agains t which other cultural stories can be weighed, for it is within the sustainability story that thes e cultural stories are set in the context of the ecological matrix upon which they depend. Analysis of the transfer of religious messages through and across various constituencies, from subcultures of resistance to international political and economic regimes, uncovers something interesting about the sustainability movement: it cultivat es as an integral part of it s sustenance affective and often religious language and metaphor If, as I argue here, re ligious language, metaphor, and motivations serve as the medium through which these different constituencies continually generate and sustain the metanarra tive of sustainability, analysis of the religious dimension of sustainability may also reveal something interesting about the people who participate in sustainability initiatives. Sustainability in Three Dimensions There are th ree common elements that most ex isting definitions of su stainability typically include: the ecological/environmen tal dimension, the social equity/justice dimension, and the economic/capital dimension. By way of example, note Robert Costanza and Carl Folkes broad goals for sustainably managing ecosystems: 1. ensuring that the scale of human act ivities within the biosphere is ecologically sustainable 2. distributing resources and property rights fairly both within the current generation and for future generations, and between this generation and other species. 3. efficiently allocating resources as co nstrained and defined by nu mbers 1 and 2 above (1997: 49-50). Folke and Costanzas concise statement of goals provides one example of how the three dimensions of sustainability are typically deployed together. Educator Andres Edwards likewise reviews the Three Es of Sust ainability: 1) ecology/environmen t; 2) equity/equality; and 3)


39 economy/employment (2005: 21-22).29 He adds an extra E for education, but he also acknowledges the centrality of th ese three pillars of sustaina bility, as they are commonly portrayed today ( see fig 2 ). Separating the idea of sustainability into thr ee dimensions is somewhat artificial (and is often exposed as such when applied to specific real world situations).30 But the dimensions can act as valuable heuristic devices for discerning th e various streams of sust ainability advocacy at work today on the global citizenry, national and international politic al structures, and the values that underlie them. Rather than imagining these as discreet, or separate compartments for sustainability, perhaps it is more helpful to say that when all three dimensions (regardless of whether they are prioritized or range in degree of importance) are present in a social movement, a community vision, a mission statement, a gove rnment policy, a building policy, a business plan, an educational curriculum or standard (o r what-have-you), this is evidence of something related to the quest for sustainability. Sustainability in Four Dimensions The working definition used for this project, which guided my inquiries into, and analysis of sustainability is this: Sustainability is a strategy of cultural adaptation to the limitations imposed by the dynamic interplay of ecological a nd social systems, couched in large-scale stories that illustrate how to persist within habi tats in a manner that provides genuine affective fulfillment now, and for the foreseeable future. It is not merely subsisting within ecological limits. Sustainability cannot, and should not be described as a conc rete goal to be achieved. 29 Even at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference in November 2008 I heard several references to the three Es, though mention was also often followed by another, newer way of referring to these three dimensions, such as the triple bottom line, or the integrated bottom line. But the idea of these three pillars is clearly still significant in many circles. 30 Indeed, most professional sustainability practitioners now typically refer to these three dimensions collectively as the integrated bottom line.


40 Rather, it is a conceptual device for connecting core (and often religious ) values to community narratives, positing an ideal state toward which political processes, ex change activities, and social formation move. This definition conn ects the dots between the aforementioned three dimensions of sustainability, but also foregrounds the importance of a fourth dimension: the religious dimension. As sustainability practitione r Anders Edwards put it, sustai nability discou rse helped to unify, at both popular and offici al levels, four concerns: 1) an awareness of the profound spiritual lin ks between human beings and the natural world; 2) a deep understanding of the biological interconnect ion of all parts of nature, including human beings; 3) an abiding concern with the poten tial damage of human impact on the environment; and 4) a strongly held commitment to make ethics an integral part of all environmental activism (2005: 14-15). Edwards was suggesting that these four conc erns underlie, and manifest positively in the dimensions he lists as the Es of sustainability. More importantly for my purposes here, in a mainstream sustainability text whose intended audience included business people and educators the author attached spiritual values to a deep interconnection with nature, environmental activism, and ethics, and suggested that these sp iritual values are funda mental to the idea of sustainability. In fleshing out her definition of sustainability, Jennifer Sumner invoked the notion of interconnectedness and empathetic forms of knowing, saying that achieving sustainability is ultimately dependent upon collectively understanding what the Buddha said in his first sermon: Everything depends for its origination on everything else at once and in unison (102). Paul Hawken also suggested that the movement is drawn forward by the spiritual deeds which inform and improve the moral imagination (2007: 188), in the end arguing that what will guide us is a living intellig ence that creates miracles every second (190). These brief examples begin to illustrate the importance of more ca refully identifying and characterizing the discursive and physical sites where religion is tied to sustainability. Let me


41 now unpack the claim that this fourth dimension is crucial to understanding sustainability by detailing how some others have defined sustainability. The most well-known definitions of sustainability describe particular approaches to development (WCED 1987) or represent alterna tives to existing development practices and socio-political arrangements (Sumner 2005; Hawk en 2007). Others have developed definitions that are either self-consciously adaptive, or that describe flex ible sets of sustainability principles that can guide the search for sustainability over time (i.e. Norton 2003, 2005; Edwards 2005). These latter definitions, in my judg ment, have two advantages. First, they are historically conscious, acknowledging the storied nature of all knowle dge (that is, they prioritize political processes, recognizing that the context and content of political deliberation may change over time). Second, such models acknowledge that any normative discernment derives from participation in particular communities of accountability, from the familial to the global.31 These nested communities, to the extent that they o ffer up values for assessment and revision in the public sphere, contribute to the shape of the metanarrative of sustainability. Philosopher Bryan Norton, for example, ar gued that [sustaina bilitys] meaningis intimately tied to the values of the community th at uses the term. This view is contrary of course, to that of economists and others w ho seek a purely desc riptive concept of sustainability (2005: 386).32 Norton offers what he calls a schematic definition of 31 The idea that any rational moral discourse derives from within particular reasoning communities can be traced, at least within contemporary philosophy, to Al isdair MacIntyre, whose influential books After Virtue (1984 ) and Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (1989) argued that modern moral philosophy had lost its sense of telos, or purpose, which can only be provided by a particularistic form of reasoning imparted by participation in a community. This narrative approach, in which a common story is en dorsed by a community as endowed with ethical import, was also popularized in moral theology by scholars such as Stanley Ha uerwas (1981), William Spohn (2000), and many others. 32 By purely descriptive, Norton means a concept of sustainability that uses a universal formula to achieve sustainability in particular situations, byto use one example from ecological economicsassigning contingent values to ecological entities, and summing the costs an d benefits of preserving or exploiting them. Purely descriptive definitions of sustainability may be helpful in some cases, but for Norton, they are inadequate in the long


42 sustainability, which includes as foci four categor ies of sustainability values: 1) communityprocedural values, 2) weak sustainability (ec onomic) values, 3) risk-avoidance values, and 4) community identity values (365-371). The fi rst is concerned primarily with the political processes that allow appropriate values to be vetted for commun ity analysis and revision. The second attends to economic assessments of values, acknowledging their importance for both human well-being and political traction. The thir d refers to creating oppo rtunities to increase social resilience when faced with both external and internal disruptions. Finally, community identity values are those embr aced by particular communities of accountability and which they find to be central to what it means to belong to that particular comm unity. Such a schematic definition characterizes and relates the key components of a definition [of sustainability] while leaving specification of the substance to those components open. Speaking schematically, we can say that sustainability is a relationship between generati ons such that the earlier generations fulfill their indivi dual wants and needs so as not to destroy, or close off, important and valued options for future generations (363, italics in original). The plurality of values that might be in cluded in the categorie s above, Norton argued, include consumptive values, tran sformative and spiritual values33 and everything in between, and allows for their variation over space and time (373). Thus, fil ling in the content of these categories with specific (and locally dependent) valu es is an exercise in solidifying the identity of a particular community and supervising their exch ange relations.34 In short, Norton views sustainability as an active, pragmatic, and co mprehensive (politico-socio-economic) philosophy run since they do not attend to the other important types of values that he believes are essential for sustainability (2005: 379-399). 33 Norton does not define these types of values. 34 Given the definition of religion I offered, Nortons notion of sustainability is doing religious work to the extent that it is forging community, shaping exchange and focusing desire. It is important to note that I am not claiming, as Kevin Elliot has done (2007) that Nortons definition is in part metaphysical. Norton (2007) I think has adequately answered Smiths charge. Religion, as I define it here, need not imply the addition of a metaphysical layer of reality.


43 of adaptive management.35 A schematic definition depends on vague categories of values that by themselves neither exhaust the values i nvoked in sustainability advocacy, nor stand as the central values needed to achieve sustainability. They can instead be considered as nodes in a complex web of sustainability values, called on by different people for deployment in particular situations and times. The provisional definition of sustainability I offered above resonates most with this adaptive, process-oriented definition with one important exception. For Norton, religious or spiritual values are included in his fourth category of community identity values. Yet Nortons claim that language related to some community identity values should be confined within communities (and not vetted in the public sphere ) is insufficient to account for the deeply affective and politically charged use of religio us values in the public sphere. Thus, I am suggesting a fourth dimension be added to the tr aditional conception of the three dimensions of sustainability to acknowledge that at the very leas t religion is an important ingredient in defining and implementing sustainability. This religious dimension of sustainabi lity reaches across the other three usually cited dimensions of sust ainability, indicating its presence and prevalence across sustainability di scourse (see Figure 2-2). Depending on who deploys the term, sustainability may involve: caring for the poor, social advocacy, or civil disobedi ence; generation of local economies, the creation of intentional communities, local purchasing and slow food mo vements, or back to the land movements; revising methods of economic exchange, micro-lending, or economic restructuring for lower 35 Nortons grasp of the relevant literature across a range of disciplines is noteworthy and he has a gift for building productive bridges between them. For example, he makes use of the philosophy of adaptive management, pioneered by C.S. Holling and H.T. Odum at the University of Florida, with special attention to the role of hierarchy theory (derived from general systems theory) as understood by Ho lling. Adaptive management allows for the evolution of models over time, and the inclusion of hierarchy theory provides some sensitivity to spatial scales. They are joined with a pragmatic philosophical approach that focuses on democratic processes.


44 throughputs; protecting indigenous ri ghts, preserving languages, and cultural diversity; restoring denuded ecosystems, rescuing plant and animal regi mes, and creating wildlife corridors; sharing technology and cleaner production techniques, alleviating food and water shortages, and planning for increased resilience in the face of fu ture shortages; establishing fair labor laws, ensuring that such labor is mean ingful and productive for particul ar habitats, and management of markets for the local good; en couraging more holistic and tr ansdisciplinary educational arrangements, more sustainable administrative st ructures, and more ecol ogically and socially sensitive education, and a host of other activities that attempt to increase ecological, social, and exchange resilience. Institutionali zed religious groups have been participants in or advocates of all of these activities, and some scholars have po inted to the spiritual dimensions of many of those that fall outside of the bounds of conven tional religions (i.e. G ould 2005; Daly 1980; Wright 2007; Taylor 1995; Jordan 2003; and Berk es 2008 [1999], to name a few). None of these activities or groups is definitive of the sustai nability movement, though they all work toward sustainability. These widely variable activit ies can all be envisioned as families of sustainability-related practices, and e ach has its own sets of values. I envision these as fuzzy sets of sustai nability-related activity, related to what Wittgenstein meant when he suggested that sets of things (concepts or ideas) are understood as belonging to a particular family when they have on e or more of a set of prototypical attributes of that thing. 36 Wittgenstein meant that there may be memb ers of a set that resemble more of the prototypical features th an others, but that hardly warrants ma king the claim that these attributes 36 By fuzzy sets I mean that they ar e categories of practices, values, and ch aracteristics that maintain fluid and permeable boundaries, often related to other sets of practices, values and characteristics.


45 obtain across all items in that set.37 The use of the term or concept itse lf is part of a language gameits deployment is partially constitutive of its unfolding meaning in particular situations (2001: 40).38 Sustainability, then, is multi-factor ial, encompassing many meanings with different histories and accompanying values. Id entifying which values particular constituencies are invoking when they characterize themselves as involved in the quest for sustainability is the first step to understanding su stainability for that part icular situation set. I find this multi-factorial approach produc tive in defining sustainability because it coheres with the way I approach religion. It make s it possible to see sust ainability in a number of social, economic, political, and other movements and programs, even where they are not explicitly all about sustainability (for example, the Chri stian constituencies discussed in Chapter 4). The multi-factorial model allows closer focus upon an element that I believe is significant in sustainability discourse: the importance of meta-e thical debate. As political scientists Michael Kenny and James Meadowcroft have argued, nearly all definitions [of sustainability] concede that it involves the re-orientation of the meta-objectiv es of a given societyby raising questions about different possibl e social trajectories through wh ich the society may move, and then by promoting some of these as more susta inable than others (1999: 4). Norton also addressed the importance of these meta-objectives when he argued that individual preferences and social valuesas well as the institutions that shape themmust be considered, and 37 Wittgenstein anticipates prototype theory when he wonders what a typical member of a set resembles. Is it not possible, he asked, to find say a schematic leaf, or a sample of pure green?Certainly [it] might. But for such a schema to be understood as a schema and not as the shape of a particular l eaf, and for a slip of pure green to be understood as a sample of all that is greenish and not as a sample of pure green-this in turn resides in the way the samples are used (2001 [1953]: 15 (73)). 38 Norton is a philosopher of language, and is certainly aw are of Wittgensteins approach, though he does not deploy it specifically in his definition of sustainability.


46 modeled, as endogenous to the soci al process of environmental management (2003: 409). For Norton, re-orientation of societal goals occurs with in his fourth category of sustainability values: community-identity values (2005). Religious or spiritual values, Norton says, may be vetted within those particular communities, but cannot be reliably translated into the language of democratic politics. Indeed, for Norton, the whol e point of focusing on political processes is to ensure that such subjective metaphysical comm itments are not needed in formulating public policies that appease the majority in democratic populations (int erview 3 January 2008). But if value preferences are to play such an important role in the policy formulation process, why should the deeply felt sources of such preferences and values, religious motivations, be excluded? 39 My argument here is that such core values and deep beliefs are extremely important to a fully transparent policy formulation process, an d that the moral austerity of environmental decision making cannot be overcome without maki ng these values foundations explicit (Gilroy and Bowersox 2006).40 If sustainability is to be a long-term cultural project, these values require more attentiveness, and different communitie s of accountability requi re more practice at translating them into the public sphere. While Nortons analysis utilized hier archy theory to account for communities of accountability at different scales he did not detail at what level religious or metaphysical beliefs and values should fall out of the mix of normative information included in adaptive political processes. For example, presumably it would be fine for individual and even family identity to be tied to core religious beliefs and values. But they should not, in Nortons account, 39 By religious I refer to deeply felt preferences, values and beliefs, which need not involve beliefs in supernatural beings or include large organizations. 40 Gilroy and Bowersoxs book is an edited volume which includes contributions from Norton. However, Norton does not in that volume endorse the inclusion of the religious values I am highlighting here.


47 play a part in the normative machinations of publ ic policy formulation. One might ask: At what point do these normative, religious values beco me too cumbersome for an inclusive policy process? My interview work with dozens of high level actors in various sectors of the sustainability movement indicate that Kenny and M eadowcroft are correct: nearly all definitions of sustainability envision a re-orientation of th e meta-objectives of a society, whether it is a new ethic, an alternative anthropology, or a ne w vision of where humans stand in relation to the rest of the world or cosmos.41 If this is indicative of the movement as a whole, then Nortons community identity values may be too limited to characterize what people mean when they talk about a new approach to ethi cs. To assume that the ripple s of community values extend only within the bounds of the commun ity misses the richly networked relationships among the various sectors of the sustainability movement. In many cases insiders are pointing these agreed upon community values outward to critique the larger culture, and its social trajectory. These values, then, may be held by communities, but when they are displayed and dissected in the public eye they inevitably impact popular culture (whether doing so through challenging prevailing paradigms, or reinforcing them).42 41 New and alternative are terms that advocates use to expr ess what they feel is a new set of guiding principles and values that differ in significant ways from those held by the dominant culture. For examples of this language that range from counter-hegemonic social movements to mainstream development and international political institutions, see (Sumner 2005: 112; Hawken 2007; Goldsmith et al. 1972: vi; Edwards 2005: 2; Golliher 1999: 446; International Union for the Conservation of Nature 1991: 9; World Bank 2001: xxv; WCED: 1 [also quoted in Davison 2001: 32]). 42 The instances of local and state school boards atte mpting to include caveats about the imperfections of evolutionary theory, or trying to include in science curri cula the teaching of intelligent design, are an excellent example of how particular community values are deploy ed outside their native communities, impacting popular culture. One humorous and religiously-relevant result of these debates was the creation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), a deity that through subtle subversion questions the imposition of one communitys values on broader subsets of the general public. For more information about the FSM see ), which has recently become a lightening rod for evol ution/intelligent design co ntroversy in Crossville, TN The original news story appeared in the Crossville (TN) Ch ronicle on 24 March 2008, but access to the article was denied when I tried to access it on 27 January 2009. For another article on the debate see


48 The fourth, religious dimension of sustainability focuses specifically on the translation and transformation of values that occurs when different communities and their accompanying value preferences contact each ot her in political and social wo rlds. The importance of this additional dimension became increasingly apparent to me as I gathered qualitative data from people in various sectors of the movement who ci ted their own individual and community values as well as values arising outside their own communities as generative of a new sort of moral imagination. Far from remaining hidden from the public eye, these are the value sets that should be presented and debated in the public sphere. I am suggesting here that being honest about core values and deep beliefs in the public sphere can act as a sort of communi ty therapy, invigorating the moral vacuum within which much political decision making occurs. In this work I neither defend the value of re ligion nor suggest that it is the most important ingredient in the quest toward sustainable societies. Rather, I suggest that people who attend to sustainability in various ways of ten ascribe their motivation for doing so to core values and deep beliefs, many times describing them in religious language. In these cases they offer another category of, and emotive reinforcement for sust ainability values. Thus, while I remain unconvinced that religion is or will be the key variable in motivating sustainable behaviors and lifeways, it is in many cases an important medium for the exch ange of deeply held values between various constituencies (between subcul tures of resistance and mainstream political bodies, for example). In addition, religious langu age is frequently used to endorse affective engagement with sustainability-related behaviors. With this background in place, after a brief theoretical interlude, I will examine the development of the concept of sustainabi lity and its intelle ctual foundations. 52.html or for a partisan perspective, see ) (both accessed 27 January 2009).


49 Figure 2-1. This is one representati on of the three pillars of sustainability. Google reports at least 1,100,000 hits when the phrase p illars of sustainability is searched (search performed on 13 July 2008). Not all are germane, but it hi nts at the extent to which such ideas are circulated among various constituencies. This pa rticular image was taken from the website of a development pr oject that bills itself as the largest sustainable development under construc tion in North America today. By development they mean housing development. The community is in Baja, Mexico, and they profess to focus on ecol ogical, social and econo mic sustainability (accessed 7 May 2008).


50 Figure 2-2. The shaded area represents the presence of the religious dimension across the other dimensions. Ecology Equity Economy


51 CHAPTER 3 A THEORETICAL EXCURSUS: CLARIFYING METHODOLOGY Oppositional Milieus, Religion, an d Cultural Transmission In 1972 philosopher Colin Campbell published a provocative essay about what he called the cultic milieu (Campbell 1972). His key insight wa s that different in dividuals and groups within oppositional subcultures engaged in a re latively free exchange of motivational metaphors and tropes, although they generally retained distinctive identities and sometimes even antithetical beliefs and goals.43 Jeffrey Kaplan and Helen Loows The Cultic Milieu (2002) took up Campbells idea, highlighting how oppositional subcultures operated in an era of increasing globalization. The volume trained the theoretical lenses of the cultic milieu on phenomena such as radical environmentalism, neo-shamanism, ultra-conservatism, occultism and racists movements (to name a few). Cults thrive, and freely exchange ideas, ho wever, only within a cultural medium that is conducive to the spawning of such cults (Campbell 2002: 14).44 Campbells original focused on a pa rticularly rich era in the emer gence of alternative subcultures (A. Geertz 2004: 37-70). Kaplan and Loows volum e grew out of a period of particular concern about the effects of globalizati on. In that volume, Bron Taylor adapted Campbells theory by theorizing the exis tence of a gobal environmentalist milieu which not only promoted information exchange between e nvironmentalist subcultures but be tween such subcultures and mainstream individuals and institutions. In a cu ltic milieu where the characteristics and foci of 43 Interestingly, Gary Snyder made a similar claim, but ca lled this loose affinity of countercultures the great underground (see Hawken 2007: 5). 44 That is, according to Campbell, there must be something about the dominant cultural milieu that either structurally, intellectually, or academically facilitates the emergence of cults. Campbell contended that the concept of cult derives from a set of religious categories first made by Troeltsch, where a cult was associated with, and derived from the nature of mystical religion. The term was later used in a somewhat different way to refer to any religious or quasi-religious collectivity which is loosely organized, ephemeral, and espouses a deviant system of belief and practice relative to the domina nt social culture (Campbell in Kaplan and Loow 2002: 12). I believe that both definitions are descriptive of at least so me features of sustainability movements.


52 cults adapt to specific socio-political circumstance s, it would be expected that in an age of ecocrisis there would be increasingly strong enviro nmentalist and anti-glo balization activity, and hybridity among participants. Campbells idea is helpful in imagining how ideas and metaphors are exchanged across disparate constituencies, but with Taylor, I believe that these sorts of exchange relations operate outside oppositional subcultures. Various sustainability movements in particular have created a space for what may well be a novel cross-fertilizati on of ideas between subcultures of resistance and mainstream policy-making bodies. Taylors analysis focused on dark green themes within the environmentalist milieu, and in some places traced the influence of these them es with international political venues such as the United Nations Earth Summits (2009).45 These dark green elements were formative for and are certainly present within the sustainability milieu. The sustainability milieu as a whole, however, is certainly not dark green in the sense that much of the environmentalist milieu is, and in some cases does not appear to be very gree n at all. Many sustai nability advocates do not consider themselves to be outdoor enthusiasts or advocates, and would not immediately or easily connect their understanding of nature to the ideas that the natura l world contains intrinsic worth or sacred value. Yet many of these people w ould unhesitatingly use highly emotive normative or religious language to promote na ture preservation if it promoted their vision of sustainability. 46 45 Dark green religion, according to Taylor, includes the following: endorsement of the idea of a metaphysics of interconnection, which is correlated with a non-anthropocent ric ethics grounded in the intrinsic value of non-human nature, and a sense of obligation to behave in ways that inflict minimal damage on nature. Taylor formulated a typology that characterizes such dark gr een perceptions as either Gaian or animistic, drawing on the ancient idea that the earth system is a superorganism or equally anci ent ideas about the agency and inspiritedness of non-human natural entities. Light green constituencies may not resonate with any of these features of dark green religion, though many are prone to agree with the idea that there is a deep biological, ecological or cosmological interdependence more than the other concepts. 46 This was clear not only from my formal interviews, bu t also from informal interviews and networking with sustainability advocates in various settings from 2001-2009.


53 Figure 3-1 illustrates the constituencies that make up the sustainability milieu. The dark green circle represents those who likely resonate with some form of nature-as-sacred religion or ideas about the intrinsic value of nature.47 Light green sustainability participants are those who recognize some correlation between social justice and ecological degradation, but who would not assent to the idea that nature itself is sacred or has intrinsic value. This light green group is not biocentric, but could be characterize d as being weakly anthropocentric.48 The light brown circle represents those who advocate for sustainabil ity but frame their activism in purely humancentered terms (economic or social terms, for example) with little or no consideration of nature having its own good or of any human oblig ations to non-humans. Those outside the sustainability milieu dwell in the dark brown circ le, which represents those who typically do not support the central aims of sustainability or have affinity for those who reside within the green portions of the diagram. The sustainabi lity milieu, generally speaking, retains a human-centered ethos that focuses on empathetic negotiation and personal and interpersonal responsibility. Thus, the focus here, what I refer to loosely as the sustainability milieu, extends the analyses of the scholars mentioned above and highlights the presence of similar themes even across groups perceived to be on opposite sides of the sustainability spectrum. 47 Individuals who resonate with a nature-as-sacred religion generally perceive that the entities and relationships that comprise nature (typically conceived as at least all organic and living entities, and sometimes non-living entities) taken together are inherently valuable and worthy of reverence. Certain forms of pantheism and other naturalistic religions, those that do not posit a supernat ural agent or agents, would fall under this category. 48 I refer to the form of weak anthropocentrism advocated by Bryan Norton (1984). Norton contended that the idea that humans can have a nonanthropocentric ethics is a confusion (let alone the best choice for an practicable environmental ethics). According to Norton, a weak an thropocentrism manifests in political outcomes that are no different than those arrived at from supposedly nonanthropocentric ethics, yet weak anthropocentrism avoids the philosophical pitfalls of attributing inherent worth or value to nonhuman entities (see also Norton 1991 for his convergence hypothesis).


54 Cultural Transmission in Viral Form This research seeks to d ocument a loosely rela ted set of social movements referred to as sustainability movements. The first stage of this research trajectory attempts to gather data about the religious language, metaphor s, and motivational concep ts employed by movement participants and supporters. One way to appro ach this inquiry is through interviews with networks of experts from different facets of th e movement. Each of th em carries significant influence within their own organizations (one of their primary communitie s of accountability). But they also interact with leaders from ot her groups, taking the experiences from these relationships back to their home communities. In so doing they are engaging in both religious and cultural production. My aim is to trace thes e mutual influences to illustrate how these coalitions of the unalike make progre ss in the quest toward sustainability.49 To illustrate how such cultural transferen ce occurs, the political scientist Paul Wapner has argued that environmentalism is a social moveme nt that generates a global, civic politics that is above the individual and be low the state yet across natio nal boundaries (2004: 125; 1995).50 In order to understand the broa der social changes initiated by environmental non-governmental organizations, he uses a fluid model of cultu ral production which interpr ets activist efforts by noticing and analyzinga cultural drift, soc ietal mood, or public orientation felt and expressed by people in diverse ways (2004: 12 5). Sustainability movements cross national boundaries and can also be imagined as contributi ng to a cultural drift or public orientation, and could thus be characterized with a fluid mode l. Religion scholar Thomas Tweed has recently 49 This phrase coalitions of the unalike is used by T homas Weber to describe collaborative conservation (1993), but I extend its usage here to groups engaged in the ma nufacture of sustainability discourse. I discovered Webers work through conversations about restoration with Sam Snyder. 50 The first reference is a reprint of the 1995 article in the edited volume Green Planet Blues (Conca and Dabelko 2004), which originally appeared in the journal World Politics 47 (3).


55 used a fluid or hydraulic mode l of culture to describe the flows of religious beliefs and practices, which raises the possibility of whether such a parallel might point toward a theoretical convergence that might contribute to a social scientific analysis of the religious dimension of sustainability. Sustainability discourse has be come a venue for the gl obal transmission of a variety of ideas and practices (including religious ones), and these flows beg for more detailed investigation. Manuel Vasquez is another re ligion scholar who has argued that religion has become both a conduit for global flows and a source of the scripts that crisscross various spatial scales (2008: 158).51 Vasquez urged careful scrutiny of these flows of practices, institutions, and artifacts, which he sees as tied to global comm odities and financial exchange (156). In similar fashion, religion is integral to understanding the individual beha viors, social and political institutions, and the heterarchi c exchange relations that are imagined as characterizing a sustainable global civilization. To a point, Vasquezs treatment accords with Tweeds hydraulic model, but Vasquez believes that Tweeds an alysis does not adequa tely attend to power dynamics within and between cultural groups. He proposes that envisioning these relations as networks helps to recognize the nodes where power dwells and th e constrained possibilities that confront agents and groups who are parts of networks.52 The use of network theory to describe 51 Here Vasquez quotes Arjun Appadurai, who suggests that these scripts are played out over several scapes that constitute the terrain of a globalizing world. Appadurai names five types of scapes: a) ethnoscapes; b) technoscapes; c) mediascapes; d) ideoscapes; and e) fi nancescapes. Global flows occur in th e disjunctures between these scapes. These scapes are perspecitval constructs. That is, they refer to a group of related things or features that do not look the same from every angle (Appadurai 1996: 31). 52 Vasquezs argument is an important one, for analyz ing cultural transmission without recognition of power relationships may highlight only one side of the story. It is possible that the hydraulic model could be improved if it is imagined as a purely organic metaphor. Rather than imagining the fluid model as a set of random and unconstrained flows as in a sea, for example, perhaps it would be better to imagine the model as a riverine system, which is certainly constrained by geographical, geophysical and spatial boundaries. The river follows the ge ological features of the landscape just as sustainability and religion are dependent upon or reactions to the particul ar features of the national or geopolitical powerscape.


56 the environmentalist milieu has a history, and like the fluid model of cultural transmission, may be applied to the sustainability milieu also. Sociologist Luther Gerlach published on th e character of environmentalist social movements beginning in 1970 (Gerlach and Hine 1970; Gerlach 1971, 2002), noting that the most common organizational struct ure was neither entirely fluid and amoebic, nor hierarchical and bureaucratic. Gerlach pr oposed the acronym SPINs ( S egementary, P olycentric, I ntegrated N etworks) to describe the most common structur al features of these social phenomena. Such movements are segmentary because they are comprised of many diverse groups which grow, divide, die, fuse, etc.; polycentric because there are often multiple or competing leaders or centers of such movements; and networked because they form a loose, reticulate, integrated network with multiple linkages through traveler s, overlapping membership, joint activities, common reading matter, and shared ideals and op ponents (2002: 289-290). Gerlach argued that movement participants are not only linked intern ally, but with other movements whose participants share attitudes and va lues (296). This is evidenced in the relationships discussed in my case studies, and I would add that in th e case of sustainability movements, movement participants are sometimes linked in various ways to others who do not share the same attitudes and values. The mode of cultural transmission I describe in this study resonates with network models, but is perhaps best characterized by what some cognitive psychologists and anthropologists refer to as the epidemiological model of social transmission (Sperber 1985; Atran, Medin and Ross 2005). That is, it spreads from, through and to individuals and their networks like a virus, Such an organic understanding of a hydraulic model of religious transmission may be the functional equivalent of the network model. In addition, it should be remembered that people actively engage in social engineering, building bridges to other networks often over, or around the particular features of the powerscape.


57 striking those who are primed (or susceptible) in some way to receive the messages that sustainability advocates offer.53 Sustainability, to the extent th at it offers alternatives to prevailing norms, socio-political arrangements, and exchange relations cannot therefore be transmitted primarily through cultures through sets of shared values or norms since they represent explicit alternatives to such cultural norms.54 Themes related to sustainability are transmitted primarily through the inte ractions of the high le vel actors in each of these particular groups and movements, who share th eir information in an intenti onal effort to construct large scale narratives.55 Therefore, studying the transmission of motivational tropes, metaphors, and language among actors in expert networks in disp arate facets of the sustainability movement provides the first data set. Futu re research unpacking the cultural transmission of sustainability themes should include more extensive and deep qualitative work among othe r participants in the same organizations and communities, to discern to what extent the information transmitted by these experts infects the perceptio ns and behaviors of others. 53 I use the term viral to refer to the manner in which cu ltural transmission occurs, that is from person to person, and then through groups, rather than as larger level acceptance of sets of cultural norms. Stern et al. (1999) claim that people are primed to beco me supporters of or activists in particular social movements if they a) accept some or most of the values of the movement, b) believe these valued objects or ideas are threaten ed in some significant way, and c) believe that their individual acti ons can affect the outcomes. Just as a virus may contact and live within a host for some time before symptoms are activated, individual values and beliefs may be resonant with a particular social movement but may not activate if there is no perceived outlet for positive action. See chapter ten for further discussion of the sustainability virus. 54 That is not to say that shared norms and values do not exist, but within the sustainability milieu an epidemiological model more closely fits the data (and this is possibly the case within the environmentalist and other cultural milieus as well). 55 If this analysis is correct (and here I am indebted to Atra n et al.s analysis [2005]), this would be a strike against meme theory, at least as it is currently formulated by mo st of its proponents. Memes are theorized as hypothetical cultural units that operate analogously to genes, subject to cultural rather than genetic selection. Richard Dawkins popularized the idea in his 1976 work The Selfish Gene. Little progress has been made in unpacking the concept of memes, and thus they have remained primarily hypothetical constructs. Some (see Gers 2008) have argued that they may yet be saved by devising lists of memes that could conceivably be empirically tested as units of natural selection. However, it is difficult to see how devising lists of memes that obtain across cultures escapes existing critiques of structuralist appr oaches to anthropology.


58 The highly political religious dimension is a persistent part of the global flows of information across various constituencies related to sustainability. As the sources of language used to describe sustainability in the public sphe re are revealed (Chapter s 3 and 4) they provide some support to Vasquezs contention that powers capes are important variables in determining the flow of such information. Sustainability discourse in the United States and Europe has affinities for particular metaphorical and imagina tive discursive tools, many of which are derived from the natural sciences and religious systems that are either extant in, or romanticized by those in the industrialized world. Even when metaphor s and imagery generated by those in the global South is vetted in the international political realm, it is typically related to events sponsored by or heavily invested in by several tr ansnational corporate interests (such as the Johannesburg Earth Summit). Attention to how these themes are tr anslated across oceans and cultures, then, will expose existing nodes of power within international political networks. Gerlachs network model paired with this a ttentiveness to political power has explanatory power for large scale social dynamics. The biol ogical metaphor advanced by Sperber and Atran, however, has greater explanatory power when de scribing how the values and practices that Gerlach analyzes on a societal scale are sustained and transmit ted at the individual and group level. Together, they provide a theoretical back drop for the analysis of the religious dimension of sustainability, and the political work it does by facilitating in the translation of values across constituencies. These models of cultural transmission in conc ert with my description of the sustainability milieu extends the cultural and environmentalist milieu models, and provides the possibility of operationalizing how cultural transmission occurs. Noting the existence of these expert networks could provide a first step in iden tifying the content of several culture-specific learning strategies.


59 With these methodological caveats, I now turn attention to the ways in which distinct but highly interactive groups participate in the cultivation and spread of the religious dimension of sustainability. Figure 3-1. An illustration of the constituencies that make up the sustainability milieu.


60 CHAPTER 4 THE GENESIS AND GLOBALIZATION OF SUSTAINABILITY Introduction Defining both sustainability and religion broadly as I have here allows a closer investigation of a num ber of historical, intellectual, and policy rivulets that carved their way across the cultural landscape toward the sustainability stream. In this chapter I will expose some of the roots of sustainability, which are often me ntioned in passing by scholars who investigate sustainability, but are seldom brought to the surface. The ideas and concepts that lie at the roots of sustainability are heavily spir itualized, and usages of sustainability and its earlier cognates eventually manifested in what I call the religious dimension of sustainability. For my purposes it is important to understand the values that were embraced by those who first deployed these terms in the public sphere and the way these values have been digested and re-deployed for, and by leaders of sustaina bility movements and the general public. I will highlight the persistence of tw o foundational ideas related to sustainabilitythe notion of ecological limits, and the idea of sustained resource use over timeand note some of the places where the two were rhetorically and practically joined over the past two hundred years. When they were joined, I will argue, it was through re ligious or spiritually-g rounded rhetoric or actions, and the interaction of these variables worked together to coalesce into the fuzzy sets of values I characterize as the religi ous dimension of sustainability. Early Uses of Cognates for Sustainability The word sustainable appeared in Middle English (in the late 1200s according to the Am erican Heritage Dictionary) as an adjective that modified a verb or noun, and indicated an ongoing or persistent action or entity.56 The term sustainability was used to refer to wise human 56 Accessed on, 15 September 2008.


61 use and preservation of natural resources at least as early as 1849, when a German scientist named Faustmann described his attempts to di scern what forest rotation would produce the largest yields for the future (Berkes, Folke a nd Colding 1998: 347). Se veral scholars attribute the contemporary use of sustainability to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCED) held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972.57 This makes some sense, since this was the first emergence of a concern for global sustainability. But there are much deeper roots to the notions of ecologica l scarcity and limits, the idea of sustainable use of natural resources over time, and the re ligious and spiritual attachments to the natural world that supported the emergence of environmental concern in the 20th century. In many cases, religious and spiritual concepts may have provided the fe rtile habitat where the ot her two concerns could be fruitfully grafted together. Many of the core values and goals that are attributed to sustainability today were present, albeit in slightly different manifestations, two hundred years ago.58 Even scholars who push the genesis of the term back deeper into the past do not connect it to the present use of the term in any convincing way. 59 Andres Edwards, to his credit, traces 57 Jennifer Sumner suggests that, acco rding to the Oxford Dictionary, the term originally derived from Thomas Sowells 1972 book Says Law (Sumner 2005, viii, 179). 58 Donald Worster declares that sustai nable development has been around for at least two centuries; it is a product of the European Enlightenmentand reflects uncritically the modern faith in human intelligences ability to manage nature. All that is new in the Brundtland Report and the other recent documents is that they have extended the idea to the entire globe (Worster 1993: 146, italics his). 59 Susan Bakers work Sustainable Development suggests that the term sustainab ility can be traced back to Malthus, Jevons, and others in the 18th and 19th century who first noted, and publicly worried about resource scarcity (Baker 2006: 18). Paul Hawken argued that the environmental movement was spurred by the industrial revolution in England (Hawken 2007 : 6). Hawken goes on to sugges t that the three primary tri butaries for the contemporary sustainability movement are environmental activism, soci al justice, and indigenous cultures resistance to globalization (12). Baker does little to flesh out her claim, and immediately skips ahead two centuries to find the idea of scarcity re-emerging into public consciousness in the mid 20th century. Hawken pinpoints the first stirrings of environmentalism in reactions to the industrial revolution, but does little to connect early resistance to industrialization to the Transcendentalist movement in the United States, where he begins his treatment of environmental consciousness. In both cases, I believe, there may be more to this story.


62 the impetus for sustainability back to the Tran scendentalists (such as Emerson and Thoreau), John Muir and the concept of wilderness (E dwards 2005:12), and the emergence of an awareness of the profound spiritual links between human beings and the natural world (14-15). In my estimation Edwards is correct in these cl aims, and his observation of the spiritual links with the non-human world is astute. But ot her forces that helped to manufacture the contemporary understandings of global sustainab ility endorsed in the negotiations at Stockholm are underappreciated. Ecological Limits and th e Ethics o f Scarcity Ideas regarding the limits of human habitats and attempts to live within them reach back at least to ancient Greek philosophers (Glacken 1967; se e also T. R. Peterson 1997: 7). Varro was perhaps the first to note in print that sheep c ould easily decimate a landscape if not properly grazed (Glacken 1967: 143), a reco gnition later taken up by John Muir as he watched portions of his beloved Sierra Nevada range denuded by later generations of sheep (prompting Muir to brand them with the moniker hoofed locusts).60 Cultural narratives related to ecological limits persist from early Western civilization to the r oots of environmental movements catalyzed by the activism of Muir and others in the late 1800s. If environmental movements are, as Hawken (2007) claims, one of the primary roots of contemporary sustainability discourse, and if Muir and his ken are at the root of environmental movements, then the political interests and social concerns that drive the contemporary sustainability movement certainly have ancestors in deeper historical streams. As historian Roderick Nash pointed out, nature appreciation, at least in the fo rm that came to be identified 60 Glacken suggested that Varro had an awareness of the pow er of [sheep] (an extensio n of human activity because it is under mans control) as a destroyer of the vegetation of the farm or the mountain wilderness (Glacken 1967: 143).


63 with environmental movements, began in the citie s, prompted largely by an ethics of scarcity which began to seep into Europ ean consciousness in the early to mid 1700s as natural resources were overexploited (Nash 2001). During this period ecological lim its took on a normative dimension, promoting a shift in human societal norms and helping to spawn the emergence of the intellectual movement Romanticism. One of the most influential Romantic th inkers, Jean Jacque s Rousseau (1712-1778) promoted what he called primitivism, a return to dependence on the natural world, while glorifying the native peoples and wild places of th e North American continent as exemplars of a better way to live.61 Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), whos e father was an acquaintance of Rousseaus, was likewise impressed by the increasi ng industrialization of Europe, and at the end of the 17th century was perhaps the first to connect th e idea of ecological lim its to population. It was around the same time that Ned Ludd (now a famous anti-technology folk hero) allegedly sabotaged some of the factory machin ery that had put him out of work.62 The wheels of industry were turning faster with each passing year and Ludd and other factory workers were imagined as martyrs (of sorts) of a bygone era when human labor (rather than machines) had driven the expansion of markets. Malthus, aware of this growing mechanization suggested that as industry progressed it would increase human productivity and the subsistence base, triggering a concomitant increase in populat ion. Population increases woul d eventually result in human 61 Nash argued that Romanticism resists definition, but in general it implies an enthusiasm for the strange, remote, solitary, and mysterious. Consequently in regard to nature Romantics preferred the wild (2001: 47). 62 Legend has it that Ludd threw a shoe into the mech anized loom, destroying it. The shoes were called sabots and the word sabotage derives from this episode. Bron Taylor pointed out to me that most likely, Ludd never intended his action to be an anti-technology direct action, and th at this was probably a later addition to the tale. But the story of Ludds resistance was popular within some environmental subcultures, particularly some of the more radical ones.


64 encounters with the ecological limits, leading ul timately in at least some areas to increased competition for resources. Environmental limits quite literally helped to determine the shape of society as recognition of limits grew more widespread. Ea rly European resource management was not simply a tool for utilizing natural resources; it also contributed to the management of citizen populations. For European foresters, science could provide a systematic method for ensuring that social chaos did not ensue from the overexploitation of the land, providing for the persistence of the social orde r (Worster 1993: 144-145). Expertise in managing forests was believed to be related to the orde ring of society in general. One of the first North American foresters, Gifford Pichot, would draw the same connections between resource management and the social order in the United States. If the ethics of scarcity mo tivated the first efforts at cons ervation on the Continent, then the subsequent celebration of wild places cat alyzed the emergence of the church of the wilderness in the young United States.63 Nash argued that if, as many suspected, wilderness was the medium through which God spoke most clearly, then America had a distinct moral advantage over Europe, where centuries of civili zation had deposited a layer of artificiality over His works (Nash 2001: 69). The Transcendental philosophers (most notab ly Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau) are well-known for taking th eir inspiration from nature, and they in turn inspired 63 I take the phrase wilderness church from environmenta l historian William Cronons admission, in response to numerous critics of his well-known essa y The Trouble with Wilderness, that wild places were where he worshipped. (1996a; for the original essay see Cronon 1996b). In a similar vein, in his book Making Nature Sacred (2004) John Gatta traces nature writing (from the late 1600s into the 20th century) in the United States and its consecration of the idea that nature is a locus dei


65 generations of people to act on behalf of their habitats.64 Nash noted that John Muir was heavily influenced by the Transcendentalists, partic ularly Emerson and Thoreau: For John Muir Transcendentalism was always the essential philo sophy for interpreting the value of wilderness (Nash 2001: 125).65 It was no coincidence that Muirs founding of the Sierra Club in 1892, the first wilderness preservation orga nization in the United States, fell so near the announcement by well-known historian Frederick J ackson Turner that the frontierso instrumental in the formulation of U.S. nationalism and American moral imaginationhad officially closed (Turner 1956 [1893]). Thus, the ethics of scarcity was activated in the United States as well as Europe. When ecological limits were reached or breached, first in Europe and later in North America, preservation and conservati on grew into important causes. Often Muir and his Transcendentalis t contemporaries (who are often termed preservationists) are c ontrasted with the primarily utilitar ian rhetoric of Gifford Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt (typically called conservati onists in the litera ture). Often these preservationists have been portrayed as unhelpful because they depend upon moralizing language and emotion-based arguments for keeping certain portions of nature free from human interference. Those on the othe r side of the debate, however, are no less evangelical in their insistence that utility maximization is a moral good. Bryan Norton argued that both Muir and Pinchot were ideologues because they carried their preexperiential commitments with them into the public sphere (Norton 2005: ix). In part Norton is correcteven in its more 64 Emerson and Thoreau both also retained an ambivalence about wild nature. Efforts at mediating between wild and cultivated worlds were in a significant sense driven by spiritual metaphors which focused on achievement of human potential, and advocated a certain humility regarding the natural limits that bounded humans attempts to understand, and master the natural world (Gatta 2004; Sears 1989). 65 Gatta argued that Muirs thought should not be reduced to Transcendentalism, that it differed in important ways from the prototypical Transcendentalist authors (2004: 148157, esp. 151). But the infl uence is clear. Clearly borrowing Thoreaus dictum on preserving the wildness in nature, Muir wrote that in Gods wildness lies the hope of the worldthe great fresh, unblig hted, unredeemed wilderness (Nash 128). From Muir (My First Summer p. 250).


66 management-oriented manifestations, arguments that resources should be sustainably managed were no less dependent on religious and spir itual rhetoric and metaphor than more poetic pronouncements of natures value.66 The Gospel of Conservation: The Idea of Sustainable Resource Use Over Time The term sustainability was used in European forest management in the mid 1800s, but at that time North America had no schools dedicated to studying forest use and management, no foresters, and no forestry pla n. Gifford Pinchot, the son of well-to-do and politically savvy family studied forestry in France and imported the idea of sustainable resour ce use over time to the United States. Thus, the use of the sustainable resource management in contemporary parlance reaches back before the first inklings of resource management programs in the United States, and it is this usage, a human-centered one that focused on maximizing production and linking it to national security a nd citizen management, eventually translated into a North American context, which would dominate the use of the term into the present. Gifford Pinchot was largely responsible for both th e establishment of the U.S. Fo rest Service and the emergence of political progressivism, and was thus a pivotal figure in the formulation of the domestic resource management and economic policies aimed at sustainable resource management and national development (and eventually, sustainable development ). 66 I agree with much of Nortons analysis, and his processoriented, schematic definition of sustainability has been a powerful influence on my own understanding of sustainability. But as will become clearer, I remain unconvinced that the distinctions he draws between the ideas of Muir, Pinchot, and Leopol d are entirely accurate. I suspect that they were all, to some extent, pragmatists (in the way he is using the term), using the scientific knowledge of the day to make educated guesses about how humans interact with ecosystems, nonetheless relying on spiritualized language and rhetoric when circumstances seemed especially dire. For example, Pinchots most dramatic spiritual language comes in his vociferous attacks on the administration officials who removed him from his post (Pinchot 1947, also see the introduction to Pinchot 1910). Muirs us e of theological references certainly intensified as he watched the fight for Hetch Hetchy slip between his fingers (see Holmes 2005: 1126-1127). While Norton likes to think that Leopold had moved away from utilizing such arguments, many (including his daughter) perceive in his work ethical lessons drawn from a spiritual attachment to the ecosystems with which he interacted (Meine 2005).


67 In his book Breaking New Ground Pinchot stated that the goal of forestry was to make the forest produce the largest possible amount of whatever crop or serv ice will be the most useful, and keep on producing it for generation after generation of men and trees (Pinchot 1947: 32). Pinchots utilitarianism incl uded as central variables future generations of humans and trees in its calculus. Intere stingly, protection of the public good from co rporate raiders is at the root of Pinchots progressive social philosophy (Pinchot 1910: 48) bolstered by his belief that building social equity was a moral duty. 67 In his last work, Pinchot de scribed conservation as centering on three main goals: 1) to wisely use, protect, pr eserve and renew natural re sources; 2) to control the use of natural resources for the common good, and to ensure th eir equal distribution; and 3) to see to it that the rights of the people to govern themselves shall no t be controlled by great monopolies through their power ove r natural resources (Pinchot 1947: 596). Pinchotism,68 as his philosophy has been called, remains highly in fluential (if implicit) in the United States resource management philosophy, and was instrumental in the emergence of the sustainability movement.69 67 Pinchots utilitarian ideas were the first instance of a nationally-mandated program of sustainable yield for a natural resourceresources which were, for Pinchot, the basic wealth of the nation (Penick 1968). 68 This is in fact a pejorative term devised by critics in the Western US who disliked federal agencies meddling in local land use matters. Their critique according to one Pinchot biographer stemmed from a generic pioneer individualism, the desire to exploit the countrys resources unhampered by government restriction (Pinkett 1970: 75-80). 69 The impact of Pinchots perspective on national resource management regimes should not be underestimated. When Theodore Roosevelt ascended to the White House in 1901, his first address to Congress outlined the creation of a Bureau of Reclamation to help develop the arid lands of the U.S., and more importantly for Pinchot (the son of an old family friend), the Bureau of Fo restry, which was to have jurisdiction over all public forests (McGreary 1960: 54; Pinchot 1947: 189-191). As Roosevelts premier resource manager, Pinchot wrote a great number of Roosevelts speeches regarding resource management, and often the President sent Pi nchot to negotiate on his behalf with the full power of the Presidential office. As a member of his tennis cabinet, Pinchot weighed in on every facet of federal resource mana gement and policy (Penick 1968: 5). According to Pinchots estimates, during Roosevelts presidency, between 1903 and 1909, Forest Reserves increased from 62,354,965 acres to 194,505,325 acres, more than three fold (Pinchot 1947: 254).


68 To no small degree Pinchots religious belief s informed his political ideals and his understanding of how forests shoul d be managed. The spiritual foundations of Pinchots politics were revealed most clearly in his book The Fight for Conservation (1910).70 The relationship between Pinchots conservation, politics, and spir ituality is exposed in Pinchots three primary presuppositions. First it is importa nt to realize that Pinchot viewed the conservation of natural resources as the foundation of long-te rm national success (Pinchot 1910: 4).71 Second, for Pinchot, achieving the first goal of conservation, national securit y, is somewhat dependent on a prior choice between unclean money or free men as the ultimate object of the political system (Pinchot 1910: 92).72 Third, these moral duties to protect resources for future generations and for the common good stem from a larger commitmen t to foster the actualization of Christian values in the world. Pinchot argue d that among the first duties of every man is to help in bringing the Kingdom of G od on earth, and public spirit is patriotism in action; it is the application of Christianity to the commonwealth.[it] is the one great antidote to the ills of the Nation (Pinchot 1910: 95-96).73 70 As the introduction to the book stated, Pinchot saw himself on the side of the angels, leading the forces of righteousness against dark, evil, conspiratorial influen ces. Reflected in what Theodore Roosevelt termed the doctrine of stewardship, Pinchots neo-Calvinism was Puritanism placed in early-twentieth-centu ry dress (Pinchot 1910: xviii). Pinchot was heavily influenced by the soci al gospel movement, which attempted to apply Christian principles to solve social crises created by the industrial revolution (Naylor 2005: 1281). 71 Making the nation into a prosperous and permanent (or sustainable) home for future generations was the focus of Pinchots social philosophy, and in its elucidation, Pinc hot drew on imagery from the Constitution and the founding fathers vision of the agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal (Pinchot 1910: 21-39). He stated we have a duty resting upon usto a reasonable use of natural resources during our lifetime.for in the last analysis this question of conservation is the question of national preservation and national efficiency (P inchot 1910: 77-78). 72 For Pinchot conservation was a particularly democratic movement, and regard[ed] the absorption of [natural] resources by the special interests, unless their operations are under effectiv e public control, as a moral wrong (Pinchot 1910: 81). 73 For Pinchot, it was each persons moral duty to manifest Christian ideals in the society for equitable distribution of resources and the sustainability of the nation, since a man in public life can no more serve both the special interests and the people than he can serve God and Mammon (Pinchot 1910: 115). Pinchot believed that it was greed that drove resource overexploitation, and that those who were guilty of such greediness were working against the common good. As historian Donald Worster framed the greed that drove resource exhaustion, Jesus, for


69 Pinchots three pillars of sust ainable resource use, a long-te rm perspective, protection of the poor and weak from the predation of moneyed interests, and the inve ctive to serve a higher moral calling, are all instrumental in contemporary discussions of sustainability. As Tarla Rai Peterson noted, sustainable development was ad dressed by Gifford Pinchot .[who] advocated development of resources and prevention of wast e for the benefit of th e largest possible number of people (Peterson 1997); see also Pinchot 1910: 42-50). The humanism reflected in later definitions of sustainability, for example in the Bruntland Commission Report (discussed below), is reminiscent of Pinchots invocation of 1) a global ethic designed to protect the poor by promoting social equity, 2) the maintenance of economic productivity to preserve national sovereignty and security, and 3) the long-term conservation of environmental products and services. Some Early Foci of Global Sustainability and its Religious Dimensions These two perspectives, the re cognition of the importance of ecological lim its, and the more managerial model focused on sustainabl e use of resources over time, contributed significantly to the emergence of environmen tal and social movements which eventually manifested in the late 20th century in a variety of movements loosely related to sustainability. Both leaned heavily on religious and spiritual rh etoric and metaphor to support their positions. Unfortunately, important figureheads such as John Muir and Gifford Pinchot are often characterized as being motivated by opposite ai ms, which tends to accentuate artificial dichotomies in the emergence of environmental c onsciousness. Muir and his preservationists are often described as advocating that wilderness can only be cons idered truly wild when it is instance, had declared that it was harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle. Apparently, in America, however, our camels were smaller and our needles larger (1993: 14).


70 devoid of humans or the footprint of human aciti vity. Pinchot and his conservationists, on the other hand, are typically portrayed as conseque ntialist utility maximizers, willing to use (and possibly even use up) natural resources so long as the benefits accrue primarily to human users. Although I used these two personages here as exem plars of different pers pectives (awareness of ecological scarcity and limits, and the belief that resources should be conserved for future generations), these perspectives are in fact complimentary in contemporary sustainability discourse, not in opposition. Moreover, both of th ese figureheads deployed religious or spiritual language in direct correlation to the severity of the political fight s at stake (Muir, for example, during the fight to prevent the construc tion of Hetch Hetchy dam [Nash 2001: 167]).74 Most importantly for my purposes here, both of thes e streams of argument are crucial to the ideas behind and practice of 20th and 21st century sustainability. Globalizing the Sustainability and Development Discourse The beginnings of what geographer Aidan Davison (2001) called the first wave of environmentalism emerged here at the turn of the 20th century: from the emergence of scarcity and environmental concern in Europe, the emergen ce of Romanticism, the myth of the frontier, the elaboration (in art, music, and national park s) of a new U.S. nati onalism in the form of wilderness, the formation of the Sierra Club by John Muir (1892), the creation of the Audubon Society (1905), and finally the emergence of a scar city ethic in the United States around the turn of the 20th century. In the first thirty years of the 20th century, farming technologies improved increasing food yield per acre and decreasing the number of workers required to produce those yields. 74 I am not suggesting that these two really should have gotten along, or that they had congruent ideas about how to relate to or manage the natural world. What I am suggesting is that despite their significant disagreements, both drew on religious metaphor, language, and imagery to buttre ss their positions in the public sphere. This provides a good illustration of my point that sustainability movements are deeply infused with this religious dimension, and it further highlights that this is by no means a recent development.


71 During World War I, the government demanded that increased wheat yields would win the war, boosting further production increases (Worster 1977: 60-61). Immediately following World War I ideas abou t ecological limits and sustainable use of natural resources persis ted in the background. But it was duri ng this politically and socially tumultuous era that the development tributary of what later became sustainable development exploded onto the interna tional scene. Worries over basic su stenance and security preoccupied the industrialized world because it was believed that shortfalls in these areas in less or unindustrialized places had manifested in very co stly military and reconstructive expenditures. Gilbert Rist argued that by deploying the idea of development, by defining itself as the precursor of a history common to all, the West c ould treat colonization as a generous undertaking to help more or less backward societies al ong the road to civiliz ation (Rist 1997: 43).75 With the full inertia of the aftermath of the Fi rst World War behind it, development flourished on the newly international world stag e as a new grand narrative (Ris t: 39). Rists opinion of the character of this grand deve lopment narrative is evident in the subtitle to his book, From Western Origins to Global Faith. For Rist, the concept of developmen t operates as a religious narrative, providing a vision for where the global community is headed, and a normative framework for getting there. The League of Nations was created at the end of World War I, just days before the signing of the Treaty of Versaill es (which officially ended a ggression on 28 June 1919) (Rist: 59). The founding document of the League of Nations, using a largely economic calculus, reinforced the idea that there were stages of development which provided a motivation for those in the industrialized world to facilitate the reconstructi on of conquered areas and provide 75 Rist traces the idea of development, of somehow bettering the human cond ition, back to Ancient Greece (1997: 25-31) and the elucidation of the idea that there is some directionality and continuity in the process of history (27).


72 improved standards of living for the less developed countries.76 Just as Christopher Columbuss landing in the New World began the conquest of the Americas in the name of Christianization, colonization no w present[ed] itself, thorough the League of Nations, as a sacred trust of civilization. This was not just an innocent form of words, for it placed the final objective [of development] in the realm of re ligion and the sacred (R ist 1997: 68, Rist is quoting the Leagues founding document). This new grand narrative, the religion of development, highlights the allencompassing vision that the term (and its cognate sustainable development) still offer.77 By the 1930s it had became clear that massive increases in productiv e capacity in North America had taken their toll on the soils. This soil crisis, coupled w ith the economic hangover from the market crash in 1929, prompted a turn to science in a rush to discern the causes and mitigate the impacts of the recent environmental crises. 78 The economic downturn of the 1920s and 1930s caused by intensive tilling and farming technologies resulted in unpleasant encounters with ecological limits, and brought the idea of sustainable use into public consciousness once againthis time related (if weakly at first) with notions of development th at had incubated in the global North, arguably since colonial times. 76 The justification for what Rist characterizes as disguised annexations wa s clothed in humanitarian and religious language that suggested that the victors held the future of civilization in their hands (1997: 62). 77 Rists assessment of the religious status of development is negative, operating as he presumably imagines other institutionalized religions do, manufacturing consent, re pressing dissent, and marginalizing minority voices. 78 As Worster put it, in the environmental crisis of th e dirty thirtiesthe new profession of ecologists found themselves for the first time in service as land-use advisers to an entire nation. That episode laid the groundwork for a more scientifically fueled conserva tion movement in America (1977: 253). Worster makes clear that this new science of ecology, by the 1930s, had already had an increasingly significant impact on the policy process as a direct result of a perceived environmental crisis (1977: 233).


73 World War II brought pervasive social and economic changes across Europe and North America.79 The rhetoric of reducing waste, re-using materials, and recyclin g products, one of the more common slogans of some cont emporary sustainability advocates (reduce, reuse, recycle), has a long history. My grandparents, who had moved from the f arm country to the city early in their married lives remembered how to pl ant again when the government began its WWII public relations campaign in support of home -grown victory gardens. These positive affirmations of voluntary simplifi cation of the middle American lifestyle played a significant role in helping to achieve the productive ca pacity required to win the war. However, there were also more apocalyptic reminders from the federal government that any failure to act according to the new ethic of voluntary simplicity amounted to complicity with the enemy (see Figure 4-1 and 4-2). If you we rent carpooling, one adve rtisement said, it was the same as giving Hitler a lift (see Figure 4-3). Perhaps ironically, many contemporary environmental activists suggest something sim ilarthat mindless consumption (especially of oil-based products or petroleum) is a threat to national security, an aid to the enemies of our culture in particular, and hast ens our demise as a species.80 Following the Second World War, the wartime productive capacity of the United States and Western Europe required addi tional outlets. The Marshall Pl an (1947) was created to help a struggling Europe regain its economic and poli tical footing and to simultaneously provide additional markets for American goods as producti on shifted from war machines to consumer 79 Worster (1977) may be correct in tracing the first inklings of truly nation-wide concern for ecological limits and the importance of sustainable use of resources to the afte rmath of the Depression and Dust Bowl. During World War II sustainable use and re-use and rationing of materials helped to continue this significant shift in consumption patterns. 80 This sentiment is not only proffered by environmentalists. L. Hunter Lovins, a well-known entrepreneur and sustainability consultant argues that current energy polic ies in the United States, and within development schemes abroad, compromise national security by perpetuating dependence on centralized energy production typically associated with fossil fuels (see www.natcapsolutions.o rg/resources.htm#ART especially 1982; 2002; accessed 28 October 2008).


74 goods (Rist 1997: 69). In contrast to the war ye ars demand for reducing material consumption, in the late 1940s and early 1950s the United States prosperity was tied to the willingness of the individual to amass an increasing volume of consumer goods. Consumingputting money back into the economyhad become a pa triotic act. Interestingly the n, while the war era helped to provide some of the first experiments with na tion-wide voluntary simplicity, wartime growth in industrial output cau sed a resultant backlash of increased consumerism. This was a watershed moment that significantly contribut ed to growing sustainability move ments. As the first resource management regimes were generated in Europe and the United States by an emerging ethic of scarcity, environmentalism bubbled up in bot h places as a reaction to the increased exploitation of natural resources, and spread due to the globalizati on of politics in the wake of the two World Wars. The globalization of sustainability and development discourse included concerns for both ecological limits and increased re source efficiency. Mo reover, both of these important foundations of sustainability were tethered to a nationalist pride th at had at the heart of its ethos certain sets of principles, prescrip tions, and observations that can (and have been) analyzed as a civil (or nationa l) religion (Bellah 1970: 168-18 9). During and following World War II, this civil religion was especially potent, and an important precursor to sustainability in general and sustainable deve lopment in particular. President Harry Trumans 1949 inauguration address where he outlined his Four Point Plan arguably officially int ernationalized the idea of development (and eventually, its offspring, sustainable deve lopment) (Jolly et al ., 2004: 50; Rist 1997: 70-72).81 Development was given a human face, and its spread was aided by the structural homology with religious 81 The four-point plan was a platform for foreign policy. It was Point Four which related to development. The first three points of the plan included the perpetuation of the young United Nations, the formulation of the Marshall Plan, and the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).


75 discourse (Rist 1997: 77). Rist argued that the new belief in development had its credibility further strengthened by a naturalist metaphor so long part of th e Western collective consciousness (77).82 The emerging ideas of development and environmentalism were new ways to frame concern regarding ecological li mits and wise use of resources over time. Contemporary sustainability discourse preserved both and added the ingredients of emerging global political and economic bodies. Conclusions: From Religious Resistance to Global Faith Licking th eir wounds from battles with countri es ruled by fascists and emperors, many of the younger generations in Northern Europe and the United States were uneasy about both the promise of technological progress an d sources of authority (whether political or economic). This youthful unease, typically associated with the countercultural disconten t that bubbled up in the 1950s and came to a head during the 1960s includ ed members of peace, civil rights, feminist, New Left, and neo-Marxist movements (Davison 2000: xii). Armin Geer tz argued that these movements were facets of a new primitivism83 which grew in part from the hippie movement and were based on experience, anti-r ationalism, and anti-intellectualism (2004: 53).84 Further, Geertz argued that these movements were directly influenced by the emergence of a closely related tributary of primitivism that grew out of the University of Chicagos History of Religions research agenda, one spearheaded by Mircea Eliade. Geertz argued that Eliades Shamanism, for example (first published in French in 1951), influenced the theosophy 82 Truman mandated that we must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.The old imperialismexploitation for foreign profithas no place in our plans.Greater production is the key to prosperity and peace (quoted in Davison 2000: 31). 83 The older primitivism was champi oned by the likes of Rousseau and his Romantic era supporters. 84 While Geertz uses the term anti-rational to describe these countercultural movements, that they are grounded in the importance of experience does not necessarily imply that are always anti-rational, or anti-intellectual. This may be an oversimplification of what was certainly a diverse movement.


76 movement, the author Jack Kerouac and one of Keroaucs real-life prot agonists Gary Snyder, and helped to prompt the turn to the East and to indigenous traditions as sources of spiritual growth (A. Geertz 2004: 55). 85 As these countercultural movements began to grow more aware of development and its impacts on the habitats around them, development was given a boost on an international scale when U.S. President J ohn Kennedy proposed to the UN General Assembly (25 September 1961) that they initiate a Decade of Development which focused on promoting economic growth (Jolly et al., 2004: 85).86 The countercultural currents in Europe and especially in the United States provided sustainability movements with ties to peace and la bor movements, and advertised the idea that development and globalization were not always universal goods. Related scholarly currents, such as the Chicago school alluded to above, al so exposed sustainability movements to other cultures and lifeways. Meanwhile, what Rist called the global faith of development was increasingly touted by governments and multi-national groups such as the United Nations as the means to alleviate poverty and increase security in a sustainable manner (Rist 1997). Thus, the roots of sustainability and su stainable development, it should be clear, reach into both subcultures of resistance as well as institu tional, and international political and economic structures. While the spiritual dimensions of the r eactions of civil society to sustainable development have been well documented (Posey and Balick 2006; Sumner 2005; Carr 2004; Taylor 1995; Warren et al. 1995; Ghai and Vivian 1992; Wright 1988; Wright forthcoming), less attention has been paid to the spiritual dimens ions of international political discourse (though Chapman, Petersen and Smith-Moran 2000 is a notable exception, and Taylor 2009 has recently 85 Snyder was the inspiration for Japhy Ryder, the main character of Keroaucs The Dharma Bums (1958). 86 Kennedy called for a 5% increase in aggregate income per year in the underdeveloped countries.


77 begun to fill the gap). Chapter 5 focuses on how civil society, multinational political groups, and religious cultural producti on intersect and strengthen th e religious dimension of sustainability. Figure 4-1. Conserve Material


78 Figure 4-2. Sacrifice for Freedom


79 Figure 4-3. Car-Sharing


80 CHAPTER 5 THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF SUSTAI NABILITY AT THE NE XUS OF CIVIL SOCIETY AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS Introduction Over the pas t two decades, environmentalism (Dunlap 2004; Palmer and Finlay 2003; Dudley, Higgins-Zogib, and Mansourian 2005), development (Rist 1997), capitalism (Loy 2000: 15-28; Harvey 2005), and social and eco logical resistance to capitalism (Sumner 2005; Taylor 1995) have all been described as religion s or at least as havi ng significant religious dimensions. In many cases sustainability, whic h in various ways manifests all these other phenomena that could be considered religious, also functions as a religious narra tive whose roots lie in certain readings of the natural sciences, th e social sciences, as well as existing religious and spiritual practices and traditions.87 Religious groups and leaders, as well as sp iritual language and metaphor were important to sustainability from at least the beginnings of the counter-cultural movements discussed at the close of Chapter 4. They contributed to both faith-based elucidations of ecological consciousness and a more generic, humanistic civil religion. All three of th ese types of religious productionthe nature-as-sacred religion that resonate s within many subcultu res of resistance, ecological pronouncements from institutionalized re ligious traditions, and generic, humanistic civil religionwere present within international po litical venues attended by civil society actors and international governance units such as the UN and World Bank This chapter focuses on the contributions of instit utional religions, political institutions and religions of resistance to the religious dimension of sustainability at major benchmark conferences and events, and concludes 87 By this I mean that the language used to describe what sustainability is typically derives from one of these three sources. This chapter focuses on the latter, the contributions to sustainability from existing religious traditions and practices. Chapter 6 focuses on the contributions of natural and social scientists to the religious dimension of sustainability.


81 by highlighting some contemporary developments at the nexus of civil so ciety and international politics. Interestingly, both religious and secula r groups utilize the religious dimension of sustainability (in the form of sp iritualized language, religious meta phor, or discourses of awe and reverence) for their own, often different ends. That may mean that religious discourse can sometimes acts as the tie that binds these varied constituencies (environmentalists, development advocates, conservationists, capitalists, government s and oppositional subcultures) together in the search for sustainability.88 To illuminate how these varied stakeholders contribute to the religious dimension of sustaina bility, it will be helpful to provide more detail about how narratively-embedded cognitive tools are transmitte d through sustainability networks. With this web of relationships (between agents, ideas prac tices) in view, it should become clear that the political processes that some scholars (i.e., Norton 2005; Ligh t 2002; Light and de-Shalit 2003) have pointed to as the essential elements of sust ainability may require inputs from this spiritual dimension of sustainability for the fo rmulation of sustainable public policy. Global Attentiveness to Limits, the Stockh olm Conference, and Other Indicators of Possible Do om In the mid-1960s the National Council of Chur ches (NCC) convened the Faith-Man-Nature Study Group, focused on transforming Christian at titudes toward nature. In 1966 the World Council of Churches (WCC) launched a five-year study program devoted to the impacts of technology on society, including co mponents that attended to e nvironmental effects. The resulting report accepted the thesis of natures limits and called fo r a society that is both just 88 The etymology of religion is typically traced to the Latin root leig (to bind), or religare (to reconnect). See Dubuisson (2003: 22-39), Saler (1999: 64-69), Thomas (2005: 21-26) and Taylor (2007: 9-14) for further discussion. Although it seems that the inclusion of this religious dimension is important for democratic politics, its inclusion does not mean that negotiations will always be positive or fruitful. Indeed, religion may also prevent consensus and action at times, but at least in such cases the fundamental value sets that lead to the failure of consensus are explicit, rather than implicit.


82 and sustainable (Chapman, Peterson, and Smith-Moran 2000: 12).89 Interestingly then, these ecumenical groups were one of the first to use the term sustainable as a shorthand reference for a socially equitable and ecologically responsible global commun ity. In 1967 Pope Paul VI declared his commitment to equitable development, stating that the new name for peace [is] development (quoted in Therien 2005: 29). The United Nations first addressed environmental issues directly when in 1968 when the Ec onomic and Social Council (ECOSOC) created resolution 1346 (XLV) which recommended that the General Assem bly consider convening a United Nations conference dedicated to addres sing a crisis of world wide proportionsthe crisis of the human envi ronment (Jolly et al. 2004: 125).90 This tone of crisis set the stage for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm (1972), which, in response to the ECOS OC resolution, for the first time brought concerns about sustainability to the global community by suggesting that unsustainability was directly correlated with poverty in the developing world.91 Attendees envisioned development as the only salve for the poverty that created human vulnerability to environmental fluctuations and encouraged ove r-exploitation of local resource bases. For example, Principle Eight, endorsed by the commission, stated that Economic and social development is essential for ensuring a favor able living and working environment for man [ sic ] and for creating conditions on earth that are n ecessary for the improvement of the quality of 89 The report was officially accepted by the WCC in Bu charest in 1974. 90 The resolution passed on 30 July 1968, see accessed 30 January 2009. Jolly et al. are quoting the speech from the Secretary-Ge neral U Thant (UN 1969: 4). Thant, a native of Myanmar, succeeded Dag Hammars kjold in 1961 to become the third UN Secretary-General (see for a biography, accessed 30 January 2009). 91 In essence the document argued that poverty was the causal element in most of the worlds ills, including resource shortages, violent conflict and ecological degradation.


83 life.92 Most of the worlds problems, the report concluded, were due to under-development. Interestingly though, while human needs were ultimately paramount, the ecological matrix upon which they depend was offered as the context in which all good decisions about the shape of development must be made: Man is both creature and moulder of his environment, which gives him physical sustenance and affords him the opport unity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. Humans are referred to as creatures, a wo rd whose origin is rooted in Middle English and which referred to something de rived from an act of creation, which implies a common understanding that there is a creator behind the existence of humans and their ability to exact change on their habitats.93 The conclusions reached by those at the conf erence upheld the sovere ignty of particular nations to exploit their resources in accordance with their own values. Importantly, even in this early manifestation of sustaina bility discourse, the unique needs of each nation were recognized: it will be essential in all cases to consider the systems of values prevailing in each country, and the extent of the applicability of standards which are valid for the most advanced countries but which may be inappropriate and of unwarranted social cost for the developing countries.94 Although there was a tacit recogniti on that sustainability might not be a monolithic concept or solution set, participants recommend a comm on outlook andcommon principles to guide the 92 The full text is available online at s.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=97&ArticleID=1503&l=en (accessed 13 September 2008). The quotes in this paragraph are from this online text unless otherwise noted. 93 The dictionary (accessed 12 Februa ry 2009 at, which is based on the 2006 Random House Dictionary) lists six definitions of creature, two of wh ich are based on the creatures ultimate dependence upon another being. These are relevant to the way in which the word was used here, marking an instance of an early international political venue where religious ideas were invoked. 94 From accessed 13 September 2008.


84 search for sustainability.95 Perhaps the most important l ong-term outcome of the Stockholm meeting was the birth of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), headed by conference chairman Maurice Strong and based in Nairobi, Kenya, quite far from the power centers of the UN. Elsewhere, the same year that the Stockholm Conference was convened, Donella Meadows and her collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Tec hnology (MIT) published their treatise Limits to Growth (1972), a report funded by the Club of Rome, a group of influential international scientists, business lead ers, and public servants. The researchers used computer models to simulate the trends in population and consumption of food and nonrenewable resources, leading them to the conclusi on that if such trends continued, very real ecological limits would impose very real sufferi ng on human populations within a hundred or so years (Dresner 2005: 25-26).96 Though arguably somewhat apocal yptic in tone, it revitalized what had long been one of the principal facet s of the long history of sustainability-related discourse: the idea of ecological limits. Other assessments of potentially catastrophic encounters with ecological limits included Garret Hardins influential essays The Trage dy of the Commons (1968) and Lifeboat Ethics (1974). The former argued that resources managed as a commons would inevitably be overexploited.97 Using the example of sheep grazers, Hardin reasoned that since each commons 95 This phrase was used in the opening paragraph of the Stockholm report. 96 Dresner suggested that strong criticisms of Limits to Growth ultimately doomed it to irrelevancy (2005: 26). He likewise dismissed other books focused on limits, such as Paul Ehrlichs The Population Bomb (1968) as alarmist. As I showed in the last chapter, ideas about ecological limits were common within sustainability discourse long before this, and in my judgment continue to be significant concepts. 97 One strong criticism of Hardins wo rk that has that it presumes a specifi c moral anthropology, a way of making ethical decisions based on strictly individualistic cost-benefit analysis. For some criticisms of his idea about commons management regimes related to sustainability see Buck 2004 and Sumner 2005, chapter five, especially pages 100-112.


85 user would have high personal incen tive to protect their own flock but would share with all other users the cost of overexploitation, logic would lead all users to aim for maximum exploitation of the resource in the shortest time causing a collapse of the resource. Hardin later extended his metaphorical models to the international scale and argued that each sovereign state could be envisioned as a lifeboat with a fi nite number of resources (1974) Each boat could easily be swamped by allocating such resources too liberal ly or even uncritically sharing them with those in other boats (or nations).98 In the end, Hardins poli tical recommendations for the environmental crisis manifested in a political arrangement he called mutual coercion mutually agreed upon (Hardin 1968: 1247-1248). William Ophuls Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity (Ophuls 1977) similarly suggested that only a coercive poli tics and an accompanying global scale green religion could prevent the deterior ation of ecological resour ces that resulted from ineffective or absent incentives for conservati on (for further discussion see Taylor 2009: 260). Meadows et al., Hardin, and Ophuls have each had their share of harsh critics, both for the assumptions underlying their arguments, as we ll as their proposed solutions (i.e., coercive political schemes). Although such pronouncements of ecological overshoot are now based in the sciences related to population dynamics and carry ing capacity (Catton 1980), they have strong parallels with Malthusian arguments (see Chapte r 4 pp. 63-64). Far from disappearing from sustainability discourse as Dr esner has suggested (2005: 26-27), they remain important. Religious language may be (but is not always) evident in such literature, but such resource management measures are nearly always considered morally obligatory.99 98 To elaborate, providing food to other boats that do not themselves have any more food would overcome natural selection in a sense, keeping alive organisms that would not ordinarily survive without such aid. Eventually the population would exceed the carrying capacity of the habitat. 99 Some of the protgs of these scholars, such as Hunter Lovins (heavily influenced by Meadows) publicly use metaphors and language with spiritual overtones or implications.


86 Gilbert Rist noted that The birth of the ecological movement coincided with a period of gloom and creeping doubt in the industrial coun tries (1997: 141). But these predictions of ecological limits and coercive poli tical measures were not to have the last word. For the first time the idea that individual and family securi ty (adequate sustenance, water, shelter and physical safety) were prerequisites for achieving sustainability was vette d in an international political venue. Glimmers of Hope from the South: The Barbados Declarations and the NIEO The global S outh in particular continued to emphasize the social aspects of development. While the Stockholm gathering highlighted poverty as the primary scourge of peace and equity, it had also prescribed a somewhat invasive idea of growth, facilitated by external development bodies and governments, as its cure. Just pr ior, in 1971, the World C ouncil of Churches (WCC) convened their Program to Combat Racism in Barbados. The attendees, primarily social scientists, were calli ng attention to what was being calle d the Fourth World, populations in already underdeveloped (Harry S. Trumans term) nations who were disenfranchised not only by the prevailing intern ational economic and political powers, but also by the governments of their own nations.100 As the anthropologist Robin Wright put it, these social scientists were advocating the notion that indigenous peoples thr oughout the world are un ited by their common situation as disenfranchised people, whose existence depends on a moral claim but who challenge the First World to examine its institu tions, structures, and values, which have left indigenous peoples powerless a nd dependent (Wright 1988: 365-390). In the early 1970s several nations in the de veloping world proposed a Declaration on the Establishment of the New International Economic Order (NIEO). According to members of a 100 The term Fourth World was coined in a bo ok by George Manuel and Michael Posluns titled The Fourth World: an Indian Reality (1974). The term was quickly popularized. The University of Florida library, for example, lists 214 hits with the phrase fourth world in the title, most of them from the two decades following this first publication (search performed 22 April 2009).


87 team of analysts from the UN, the historic importance of this pr oposal derives from the fact that it was an authentic Third World initiative, launc hed at a time of probably the peak bargaining power of the poor countries in the entire pos twar period, and was f undamentally concerned with a radical restructuring of in ternational economic, financial, a nd political relations (Jolly et al. 2004: 121). Overall, howev er, on the most important proposals made by the developing countries, almost nothing was done (Jolly et al. 2004: 23). At the same time anthropologists shepherded a growing discipline called ethnodevelopment which provided an analysis of development from perspective of the global South. Scholars such as Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira (1972 [1964]) and Rodolfo Stavenhagen (1970, 1990) helped to elucidate alternative models of development that highlighted the ways in which access to political and economic power wa s denied to certain populations despite the emergence of sustainability-relat ed language that advised inclus ive and participatory political arrangements.101 Disenfranchised by their nation-states some indigenous and traditional peoples began to increasingly rely on non-government al groups for support. Non-governmental organizations became important mediators betwee n indigenous and local peoples, international political regimes, and multi-lat eral development agencies (C onklin and Graham 1995; Wright 2009). These NGOs, however, were often se lective regarding which individuals and communities were targeted for sustainable develo pment, perpetuating the symbolic and political dominance of certain key figures in the politics, and the imposition of a model that privileged and shaped specific indigenous organization, while excluding others (Wright 2009: 204).102 101 I am deeply indebted to Robin Wright for introducing me to this literature, and for noting its significance to this history. 102 The differences between ethnodevelopment and sustainable development beg for further study. This is a potentially fruitful area for further research.


88 A second Barbados Conference was held in 1977, and many of the participants in this second conference were indigenous activists, mark ing the extension of their influence into international policy regimes. Overall however, the lack of a ny concrete results following the Barbados declarations was disappointing for many indigenous peoples and the social scientists that supported their cause. Alt hough there were few results that followed directly from these conferences, the ideas first vetted here and carried forth thereafter by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) did influence the direction of development in a positive direction. The authors of the UN Intellectual History Project quoted Jan Pronk (deputy secretary of UNCTAD and minister of the Netherlands), who rela ted the NIEO and the work of UNCTAD: UNCTADhad a major analyti cal input to international thinking.A little radical, but there would not ha ve been any progress without such a challenge. It was a confrontational attitude on the basis of the Group of 77s New International Economic Order approach (Emmerij, Jolly and Weiss 2001: 53).103 Moreover, the pressures placed on development organizations and related political a nd economic institutions were at least in part responsible for these groups hiring of several anthropologists in an effort to increase their ability to respect and protect the cultures with which they interacted on the ground. The Brandt Commission Concern about the relationships betw een the developed and developing world also came from the global North. In 1977 chair of the World Bank Robert McNamara asked former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany W illy Brandt to head a commission that would 103 The Group of 77, or G-77 is the group of countries origin ally referred to as the Third World (the term credited to Alfred Sauvy in the 1960s). There are now some 135 countries that are part of this group. Emmerij, Jolly and Weiss, members of the UN Intellectual History Project, s uggested that the work of UNCTAD was largely focused around the G-77s critique of development and trade. Beginning in the 1980s, their Trade and Development Reports were envisioned as a counte rpoint to the World Banks World Development Report highlighting a different set of issues (Emmerij, Jolly and Weiss 2001: 54).


89 systematically analyze the main problems with development, particularly in light of the increasing dialogue between the global North and South and the subsequent failure of negotiations to systematize the NIEO.104 According to UN collaborators, the Brandt Commissions recommendations were ultimatel y anchored in the great moral imperatives thatare as valid internationally as they were and are nationally, and appealed to values more than to rational calcul ations (Therien 2005: 33).105 The Commission published two reports, North-South: A Program for Survival (1980), and Common Crisis: North-South: Co-operation for World Recovery (1983), both of which advanced Brandts idea that all nations had a mutual interest in generating just a nd equitable development. Most of the participants (half from the global North and half from the global South) favored a social-democratic perspective,106 and while the Commissions ideas may have been somewhat innovative, the payoff was less than hoped for as the Commissions findings were released into a world ripe with political strife.107 Thus, despite repeated attempts by Third and Fourth World activists and the Brandt Commi ssion to make the case that the prevailing 104 Although McNamara issued the call for the commission, the World Bank did not fund the project. The Dutch government paid for roughly half of the costs, while other nations, OPEC, and other research centers bore the remainder of the cost (Therien 2005: 31). 105 The commission proposed a four-pronged solution to development problems which included: 1) transfer of resources from North to South, 2) a global energy polic y, 3) international food in itiative, and 4) reform of international institutions. Essentially, the Report recommended a global trade regime based on rules rather than power relations (Therien 2005: 34). This would at least make strides toward preventing particularly powerful countries from taking extreme advantage of those with less political or economic power. 106 The participants in the Commission tended to favor the social democratic development approach advocated by the United Nations (including the Economic and So cial Council [ECOSOC], United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], United Nations Conference on Trade and Development [UNCTAD], and International Labor Organization [ILO]) over the approach epitomized by th e Bretton Woods Institutions (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT], the International Monetary Fund [IMF], the World Trade Organization [WTO] and the World Bank). While the latter are preoccupied primarily w ith (neo)liberalization, the UN paradigm adopts a more social-democratic view of development. 107 Another surge in oil prices in 1979 related to the Islamist Revolution in Iran, the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the election of Margaret Thatcher in the UK (1979), and Ronald Regan (1980) in the United States (both of whom supported the Bretton Woods development paradigm over the UN paradigm) all served to limit the influence of the Brandt report (Therien 2005: 30).


90 conceptions of environmentally and socially re sponsible development were not sustainable in most cases, these concerns were transposed into the language of furthe r economic globalization and integration of global markets. Security and Sustainability Form er Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palm e, chair of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues, made deep ripples in the international scene in 1982 by bringing national and global security to the atte ntion of world leaders. The Palme Commission (as it came to be called) was modeled after th e Brandt Commission, and focused on: 1) charting a long-term course toward nuclear disarmament; 2) focusing attention on short-term arms control; and 3) stimulating public debate over security issues.108 The Report of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues, called Common Security: A Programme for Disarmament (1982), suggested that the build-up of longrange missiles in Eastern Europe, far from en suring security, was actually compromising not only the security of the Cold War states but of the global community. Th ey challenged the long revered language of nuclear de terrence with a doctrine of mutual interest in avoiding nuclear conflict. Following the language of common cr isis offered by Brandt, the Palme Commission declared that addressing the th reat of nuclear war was central to common security (Wiseman 2005: 46-75). Although largely overlooked by top leaders from the two primary Cold War nations, the Commissions recomm endations were adopted and ad apted under cover by various 108 The impetus for this gathering included an increasingl y frigid Cold War between the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) and the US. Escalation of the cold war was due in part to the modernization of NATOs intermediate nuclear arms in the form of Cruise and Pershing II missiles, plans to build the MX missile system (an offensive system), and a new set of strategies touted by NA TO leaders that, at least to those on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain, looked like official approval of a nuclear first strike policy (Wiseman 2005: 49).


91 high-ranking officials. By the end of the 1980s concepts related to common security had journeyed across the Atlantic, thr ough the Curtain, and back again.109 Recall that Pinchots brand of sustainability (in Chapter 4) in cluded national security as a central concern, but it was thereafter seldom consid ered related to sustai nability until the latter part of the twentieth century. Although the Palme Commission is ra rely mentioned as part of the history of sustainability, it is important to the development of sustainability discourse for three reasons. First, security and peace are pre-requisi tes for sustainability. Wars and other armed conflicts are some of the most ecologically de vastating activities in which humans engage. Second, the Commission framed such common security (or in another manifestation of the same concept, cooperative security) as pivota l for the global community, noting a profound interdependence, particularly in matters of nuclear warfare. Third, it de monstrates the potential political power of such commissions. 110 The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) In the m idst of these global concerns a bout thermonuclear warfare and unpleasant encounters with earths limits, the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) was convened in 1983 by UN Secretar y-General Javier Perez de Cuellar.111 Chairperson Gro Brundtland stated in the foreword of Our Common Future (WCED 1987), the 109 Former diplomat Geoffrey Wiseman suggests that althou gh it appeared that the Co mmissions recommendations fell on deaf (because overly politicized) ears, the concept of common security was re-la beled and re-deployed in different terms by conservative politicos on both sides of th e Atlantic, and even behind the Iron Curtain (2005: 53). 110 In 1990, Willy Brandt called together members from his own Commission, the Palme Commission, the Bruntland Commission, and others to generate a more effective system of global security and governance in the aftermath of the Cold War. The Stockholm Initiative on Global Governance published their results in 1995 (the 50th anniversary of the UN) under the title Our Global Neighborhood (Commission on Global Governance 1995). The title was designed to highlight the importance of security, peace, and institutional reform to the entire, interdependent global community (Jolly et al. 2004: 178). 111 While the Brant and Palme Commissions had been comprised primarily of a smaller number of politically important people, the Brundtland Commission was made up of environmental specialists as well as high-ranking UN and other political figures. Members, then, represented both environmental interests and development interests (Rist 1997: 179).


92 publication of the Commissions recommendations, that the WCED was to be a third and compelling call for political action: After Brandts Programme for Survival and Common Crisis and after Palmes Common Security would come Our Common Future (WCED: x; quoted in Smith 2005: 76-98). Brundtland viewed her charge as one directly in line with the increasingly common recognition that global security, social and ecological probl ems were linked and moreover, were global in scope.112 Building on the foundations laid at Stoc kholm and in the Palme Commission, the Brundtland report paid special attent ion to the link between security and sustainability. Chapter 11 of Our Common Future is dedicated to fleshing out the links between pea ce, security, the environment, and development. The report suggest ed that the po ssibility of nuclear war, or military conflict of a lesser scale involving weapons of mass destruction, is undoubtedly the gravest. Certain aspects of the issues of peace and security bear directly upon the concept of sustainable development. Indeed, they are central to it (WCED1987: 290). They praise the Reagan and Gorbechev administrations (of the Un ited States and the then USSR, respectively) for beginning the end of the Cold War with discussions of warhead reduction. Brundtland and her collaborators, drawing on the positive statements of common security provided by the Palme Commission, stated that the level of armaments and the destruction they could bring about bear no relation to the political conflict that triggered the arms competition in the first place. Nations must not become prisoners of their own arms race .They must face the common challenge of providing sustainable deve lopment (1987: 304). Finally, the Commission argued in nearly every chapter th at more stringent national governing bodies and regulations were required to prevent envi ronmental degradation, and put 112 While many trace the term sustainability in its contempor ary form to this Commission, it is clear that the ideas did not emerge here. These leaders stood on the intellect ual shoulders of other, earlier politicians and leaders, who had already wrestled with the complex task of comb ining ecological, social and economic concern.


93 exceptional emphasis on the importance of inte rnational governance for preventing problems associated with management of the commons. Invoking the metaphor of the wheel of life (1987: 262, typically attributed to indigenous cultures), Our Common Future noted that common resources were marked by an interdependen ce not limited by the pol itical boundaries drawn by humans and their cultures. Thus, larger and more cooperative internat ional governance regimes were required to protect resources such as oceans, air, Antarctica, and outer space (1987: 261287). In many ways, their advocacy of larger-scale management regimes is reminiscent of Hardins and Ophuls suggestions that a broader sort of govern ance is needed. Brundtland and her colleagues stop short of directly endorsing th e sort of coercion (agreed upon or otherwise) advocated by Hardin and Ophuls, but the influen ce of these earlier resource management ideas is clear in this inte rnational venue. Interestingly, the Brundtland Commission report preserved the idea put forth in Stockholm fifteen years earlier that raising standards of living in the developing world could only be achieved by stretching carrying capacity so that economic growth could continue unabated.113 This was one of the reasons that some critics of the WCED dismissed it as inconsistent, since it defended bot h economic growth and living within the carrying capacity of the planet. For example, historian Donald Wors ter called sustainability (particularly in its manifestation related to development) a magic word of consensus (1993: 144), which allowed the capitalist and the so cialist, the scientist and the econom ist, the impoverished masses and the urban elites[to] happily march together on a stra ight and easy path, if they did not ask any potentially divisive questions about where they were going (144145). But upon careful 113 As Jim McNeill, Secretary-General of the Brundtland Commission stated, the maxim for sustainable development is not limits to growth; it is the growth of limitsmany present limits can be expanded, through changes in modes of decision-making, through changes in some domestic and international policies, and through massive investments in human and resource capital (quoted in Smith 2005: 79).


94 analysis, the Brundtland report did not imply th at sacrifices were unnecessary. In its introductory chapter the report dismisses as fantas y any suggestion that th ere will be no difficult choices: sustainable development can only be pursued if population size and growth are in harmony with the changing productive potential of the ecosystem.We do not pretend that the process is easy or straightforward. Painful c hoices have to be made (WCED 1987: 9). To be fair to the authors of the report, they believe d that significant changes in the distribution of resources, the application of technologies, a nd social organization were necessary before economic growth could be considered to be equitable and good (WCED 1987: 8). While the search for sustainability is tie d to technological improvements that stretch the biospheres ability to absorb the effects of hu man activity (WCED 1987: 9), ul timate limits there are, and sustainability requires that long before these are reached, the world must ensure equitable access to the constrained resource and reorient technol ogical efforts to relie ve the pressure (WCED 1987: 45). The Brundtland definition of sustainability continues to be the most widely used and visible one.114 The year after Our Common Future was published (1987), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizatio n (UNESCO) released a work intended for a more popular audience. The title, Man Belongs to the Earth (UNESCO 1988) was drawn from a now famous speech ostensibly given by Chief S eattle, and the work was intended to expand ethical horizons by promoting a sp irituality of connection that had become an increasingly frequent accompaniment to sustainability.115 This publications implication that humans are indebted to a larger biosphere is especially prov ocative, particularly given the strong 114 Their basic definition is that development is sustainable if [humanity] meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED 1987: 8). 115 The authenticity of the speech has been contested. See Michael McKenzies entry Seattle (Sealth), Chief in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2005: 1511-1512).


95 anthropocentric tone of Our Common Future. For example, the Brundtla nd report concluded the introduction with the statement that First a nd foremost, this Commission has been concerned with peopleof all countries and walks of life. And it is to people that we address our report (1987: 23). Man Belongs to the Earth (1988), however, clearly invokes a conception of humans place in the natural order that implies a greater human dependence on the ecological matrix within which humans persist. Later meeti ngs retained influences from both the more anthropocentric tone of Brundtland and the more biocentric sentiment of the UNESCO report, though the human-centered approach continues to dominate sustainabi lity discourse. Beyond Brundtland: The Road to Rio The sam e year that the Brundtland Commission completed Our Common Future (and two years prior to the UNESCO publication), His Roya l Highness Prince Phillip (the husband of the United Kingdoms monarch Queen Elizabeth II), 116 leader of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), invited six of the worlds religi ous leaders to Assisi, with thei r stated goals to discuss: how the environmental crisis is a mental and ethical crisis due, in part, to powerful, predominantly Western and Christian world-view s that encourage materialistic, dualistic, anthropocentric, and utilitari an concepts of nature;117 that environmental organizations and politic ians are victims of the same economic and technological thinking that provoked the crisis; that alternative world-views and ethics must be respected to counter current dominant thinking; and that the worlds religions constitute enor mous human and spiritual potentials (Jensen 1999: 494). This early meeting of environm ental and religious minds had two important offspring. First, according to Jeff Golliher, it inspired some at the 1993 Parliament of Religions, under the leadership of Hans Kung, to propose the Declaration toward a Global Ethic (1999: 446). 116 Philip was born Pr ince of Greece and Denmark, but renounced th ese titles when he married Elizabeth in 1947, becoming the Duke of Edinburgh, the Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich (see the information on Philip on the royal familys website at accessed 20 January 2009). 117 See for example Lynn Whites now famous article The Historic Roots of the Ecologic Crisis (1967).


96 Second, in 1995 (nine years following the firs t meeting), HRH Prince Phillip, the WWF and a larger number of religious leaders (representing 11 world faiths this time) met in the UK to revise their previous commitmen ts. It was during this second meeting that the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) was formed unde r the leadership of Martin Palmer (Jensen 1999: 494). The ARC is one of the few non-governmental conserva tion organizations that have maintained long-standing working relationships with the WWF, the World Bank, and the United Nations, all of which have their own working de finitions of sustainability (see Chapter 8 for more details about ARC). Between 1987 when the Brundtland Commission released its findings and the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Deve lopment in Rio, two other important events helped to solidify the importance of religion and sp irituality to the quest for sustainability. The first came in 1990 when over thirty well-known sc ientists composed An Open Letter to the Religious Community, an invitation for people of faith to join with scientific leaders to find common cause in the protection of the earth. The scientists noted two primary reasons for issuing their call: 1) religious leaders had long been a significant force le ading change toward peace, human rights, and social justice, and 2) the scientists reported th at many of them had profound experiences of awe and reverence before the universe (Chapman et al. 2000: 14), and that efforts to safeguard and cherish the environm ent need to be infused with a vision of the sacred (Chapman et al. 2000: 13). The second significant moment came when these combined constituencies, following a conference in 1992, released their Declaration of the Mission to Washington of the Joint Appeal by Religion and Science for the Environment, which argued that religious and scientific leaders had an ob ligation, in the face of the impending environmental crisis, to work together toward the common good:


97 Insofar as our peril arises from a neglect of moral values, human pride, arrogance, inattention, greed, improvidence, and a pe nchant for the short term over the long, religion has an essential role to play. Insofar as our peril arises from our ignorance of the intricate interconnectedne ss of nature, science has an essential role to play (quoted in Ch apman et al. 2000: 15-16). The importance of global interconnectedness and moral values to the sustainability ferment was important in these Northern, institut ionalized venues (that is, within the established world religions and the scientif ic establishment). In 1988 when Mikhail Gorbachev assumed the role of Prime Minister in the USSR, added optim ism about the global future helped to preserve the idea of sustainable development. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 this optimistic momentum was seized upon a nd translated into the Unite d Nations Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED), a signi ficant step in creating global awareness of environmental and social problems. The Brundlandt Report concluded by suggesti ng that the UN sponsor an international Conferenceto review progress and promote foll ow-up arrangements that will be neededto set benchmarks and to maintain human progress (WCED 1987: 343; Rist 1997: 188). The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was the response to this call. The Conference drew together over on e hundred heads of state and thousands of other delegates from all over the world and was the la rgest such gathering of heads of state and government to that time (Rist 1997: 188), indi cating the high profile concern garnered by environmental and social problems (Baker 2006: 55). In preparation for the upcoming UNCED (s ponsored by the United Nations, and attended by representatives of the establishment) a World Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Territory, Environment and Development was held the week prior to the UNCED at Kari Oca, a site on the outskirts of Rio (perhaps symbolically highlighting th e marginalization of indigenous


98 voices in the development dialog) Invoking the metaphor of Mother Earth or Pacha Mama, the indigenous peoples drew attention to their own blending of knowledge and spirituality. They claimed that they were knowers of nature and that their resistance, [their] strength comes from a spiritual relationship with nature (Hart 2005: 1764). One indigenous activist noted that they had come to share with the world and the United Nations our way of thinking, our visions, our way of life, an alternative. We do not speak of the environment; we speak of the spiritual and physical world in which we live (quoted from Valerio Grefa, Ecuador, in Hart 2005: 1763). For Grefa and others, the Joint Appeal from scientists and religious leaders (discussed above) was important, but endorsed a rift in epistemological appr oaches (between science and religion) not approved by indigenous peoples Tadadaho of the Haudenosaunee Nation echoed Valerios sentiments, We need to seek a balan ce between the spiritual a nd the political. There should not be separation of spirituality from politi cal or social life. Americans have two houses, one for government and one for prayer. Our people keep them together (Hart 2005: 1763). 118 This Peoples Summit, as it is often called, drew some 20,000 additiona l people to Rio. This group, though philosophically, in tellectually and geographica lly separated from the UN sponsored Earth Summit highlighted a different set of issues, including food production and alternative economic and environmental posit ions (Rist 1997: 188, 191). Thus, the idea of sustainability, and its major benchmarks, have been attended and promoted by both institutional and elite sectors of society as well as resi stance-oriented members of civil society. Though its overall contribution to the quest for sustainability is sti ll contested, the Earth Summit did result in five important outcomes: 118 Life, as Oren Lyons, Haudenosaunee faithkeeper remi nded the gathered peoples, is community (quoted in Hart 2005: 1763).


99 1) the approval of the Rio Declaration, which included 27 principles of sustainable development (Rist 1997: 189; Baker 2006: 55);119 2) the approval of Agenda 21, a document of over 800 pages which provided sets of guidelines for implementing sustainable develo pment with particular attention to local communities;120 3) the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which drew on the findings of th e International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);121 4) the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), wh ich endorsed the value of indigenous ecological knowledge, and stated that sove reign nations should have rights to the biological resources of their territory;122 5) the Declaration on Forest Principles, which created broad frameworks and recommendations for sustainable use of forest resources. In addition, in a directly re ligious overture at the 1992 Ea rth Summit, chairman Maurice Strong and several other delegate s endorsed what they called the Earth Charter. Promoted on the international stage largely by religion schol ars, the Earth Charter invokes a global ethic grounded in a moral anthropology of kinship with other humans and non-human entities that is in many ways religious (Rockefelle r 2005; Taylor 2009: 184-187) Beyond the endorsement of social justice and equity and th e incorporation of environmenta l concerns into the goals of political bodies such as the UN, the 2002 Earth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa123 saw evidence for the possible early emergence of what some believe may be a sort of global civic 119 The principles were explicitly normative and prescr iptive, recommending that national governments take responsibility for wise resource use and conservation, endorsing the precautionary principle and notions of both interand intra-generational equity (Baker 2006: 55). 120 Moreover, it created a Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) which was to report to the Economic and Social Council of the UN (Baker 2006: 56; Rist 1997: 190). 121 Five years down the road, this body created an international set of standards in Japan, referred to as the Kyoto Protocol, which every major industrialized nation, with the exception of the United States, has signed. Even in these early days, the US refused to be bound by specific emissions reduction goals, and thus the Framework agreement was signed by over 150 countries, but without any concrete commitments for improvement. 122 President George H. Bush and the US representatives at the Summit refused to sign the CBD, which Bush claimed would cause financial strain to the US biotechnology industry (Baker 2006: 96; Rist 1997: 189). 123 This summit is sometimes referred to as Rio+10.

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100 earth religion (Taylor 2004).124 During the opening ceremony, part icipants were treated to a performance that depicted the common emergence of humanity in Africa, and suggested that humanitys past, and also its fu ture, must be bounded by the limits of a finite world. It is worth quoting Taylors recounting of the event: In this musical theater, a child was found wondering what happened to the forests and to the animals. In response, in prose and s ong, a cosmogony compatible both with evolution and Gaia spirituality was articulated. The ear th was conceived of as a beneficent person while at the same time, the emergence of complex life on earth was depicted in a way suggesting an evolutionary unfolding (2004: 1003). Taylor argued, It may be that such a religion, in which the evol utionary story, embedded in the broader Universe Story, fosters a re verence for life and diverse prac tices to protect and restore its diverse forms, will play a major role in the re ligious future of humanity (2004: 1004). That remains to be seen, but this evolutionary story has certainly played a ro le in the rhetoric of sustainable development. Outcomes, in most cases, have been more modest than participants at Rio and Johannesburg hoped.125 For now, it is important to note th at sustainability rapidly developed from being relevant primarily to individual behaviors,126 to national sovereignty and health,127 124 Taylors most extensive analysis of the evidence of such earth religion at the WSSD is in the forthcoming Dark Green Religion (2009), and includes discussion of the Earth Charter celebrations during the meeting, pilgrimages to World Heritage sites, and events at civil society venues. There, following the political theorist Daniel Deudney, Taylor called this civic earth religion terrapolitan earth re ligion (Taylor 2009). For Deudneys use of the phrase, see Daniel Deudney, "Global Village S overeignty: Intergenerational Soverei gn Publics, Federal-Republican Earth Constitutions, and Planeteary Identities," in The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics ed. Karen Litfin, ed. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998). 125 Such ideas vetted in international venues are difficult to enact because each is a non-binding resolution, which means that even countries that sign on to their principles cannot be held legally responsible for not adhering to them. Moreover, all such negotiations at the international level have honored the principle of subsidiarity, which suggests that decision making and binding laws should be left to the smallest constituent legislative body. 126 For example when earlier cognates of sustainability we re related to personal consumption choices and resource use, for example during World War II. 127 Concern for clean water and air, for example, became a national issue in the decades after WWII when increasing consumption, encouraged by the federal government, was found to have detrimental environmental costs.

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101 and finally to the global community128 in a short period of time. Su stainability as an overall goal is now taken for granted in many venues a nd organizations, and an ecologically-grounded spirituality is an increasingly frequent complement to the discourse of sustainable development. These religious narratives of interdependence undergird both global subcultures of resistance, and the American and European mainstream. Acco rding to some, a new sustainability ethic is implied by the metanarrative of sustainability. As noted anthropologist Da rrell Posey put it, on the level of international policy-making, the em ergence of a new paradigm encapsulated by a global ethic centers on the terms sustainability and sustainable development (Posey 1999: 446).129 Contemporary Contributions to the Relig ious Dimension of Sustaina bility from Institutionalized Religions, Political Institutions, and Subcult ures of Resistance John Smith of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) always considered spirituality a sort of fourth dimension of sust ainability, and was at one time at work on a dissertation on that topi c (interview 29 May 2008). 130 Smith is a devout atheist and socialist who nonetheless believes that developing a sustai nable and just culture is impossible without religious people and communities. Despite his athe ism he believes that his work cultivates the 128 Although the Stockholm convention is often noted as the first international recognition of sustainability, similar ideas were vetted earlier by religious groups, as noted above. 129 It is important to note that Darrell Posey, who has played an important role in popularizing traditional ecological knowledge and the importance of indigenous peoples to sustainable development and conservation, has been criticized by other anthropologists for helping to perpetuate rather romantic portraits of indigenous peoples (Parker 1993). To the extent that such criticisms are correct, the idea that a global sustainability ethic is directly related to indigenous cosmologies or some traditional ecological ethics may help perpetuate to a colonialist impulse within international sustainability circles. For more discussion see pp. 137-140. 130 This is in addition to the usual three pillars of sustai nability, the ecological, social, and economic dimensions.

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102 sort of mindfulness that is an exercise in spiritual formation. So do many others who work within the broad arena of sustainability.131 This and other interviews with NGO leader s suggest that, whether religious in the traditional sense or not, they are doing religious work by intentionally facilitating new forms of exchange, providing interpers onal and community cohesion, a nd focusing the desire of communities of people. Some of the common themes with religious dimensions in the literature related to sustainability have become clea r already: the idea th at humans are deeply interconnected to other biological, ecological or cosmological wholes, the importance of individual and ecological limits, a nd an ethic of interpersonal em pathy. Normative concepts are typically embedded in narratives, particularly when they are shared with those outside the community to which those norms are na tive (Johnson 1993; Lakoff and Johnson 1999; MacIntyre 1984; Hauerwas 1981, especially pp. 1-87). Institutional Religions and International Politics While m any scholars have noted that poli tical resistance movements typically deem attentiveness to traditional land tenure and use as particularly important, and have attended to the religious motivations for such resistance (P eterson 1997; Wright 1998; Mburu 2005: 957-961; Darlington 2005: 1629-1630; Taylor 1995: 334-354), less academic a ttention has been paid to the participation of religious groups in international political decision-making the operations of development agencies (though Chapman et al. [2000] is a notable exception, and Taylor [2009] has begun to help fill the gap).132 Religious ideas, particularly invocations of interdependence 131 Like many in Northern Europe and the United States in recent decades, he generally identifies religion with institutional structure and hierarchies, but believes that spirituality is more personal, and avoids some of the pitfalls that accompany organized religion. 132 Susan Delgados book Shaking the Gates of Hell (2007) focuses on faith-based resistance to corporate globalization, but I am more interested here in instances of cooperation and support.

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103 and the importance of interpersonal empathy, did not evolve independently within subcultures of resistance and among structures of political a nd economic power. Rather, at several points they cross-pollinated, creatin g new manifestations of old religio us ideas, and sometimes entirely new narratives. 133 The Committee of Religious NGOs, those w ho characterize their work as religious, spiritual, or ethical, have b een accredited and actively involved in United Nations proceedings since its infancy (Neff 2007; Pigem et al. 2007).134 But the interest of national and international political bodies in religious belief and pract ice has increased since the turn of the new millennium, in part because religious fundament alisms have been re-invigorated in North America and in the Near and Far East. While most of Europe has in the past century steered a course toward increasing secularism, traditional religious groups continue to control large proportions of land, capital, and pol itical influence. For instance, former Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair recently founded a non-prof it group called the Tony Blair Faith Foundation dedicated to proving that coll aboration among those of differe nt religious faiths can help address some of the worlds most pre ssing social problems (Elliot 2008: 26-30).135 In this, 133 The invocation of global civic nature reverence at UN sponsored events such as the Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg Earth Summits is probably a relatively new so rt of religious production. I treat it here as but one stream of religion that exercises influence on the sustainability metanarrative, along with the world religions, which have been active in sustainability for decades, and other subcultures of resistance who resonate with non-mainstream religious traditions. 134 Pigem et al stated in a footnote that religious groups have been involved since 1972, but UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pointed out that faith-based NGOs were present at the organizations founding. These are drawn from combined press releases offered by the Forum on Religion and Ecology (FORE) each month. This particular communiqu from FORE was received on 14 October 2007. 135 Blair identified resource access and use as the heart of th e worlds social problems, and therefore a key focus for religions aimed at promoting social justice.

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104 Blair joins former Soviet Union President Mi kail Gorbachev, founder of a group called Green Cross, which promotes environmental justi ce along with a sort of green global ethic.136 Since the Joint Appeal from religious leaders and scientists (see th is Chapter, pp. 96-97), religious scholars and practitioners have ofte n worked with scientific leaders to promote acknowledgement of the importance of religious na rratives in the search for sustainability. The United Nations Environment Programme generates several press statements each year detailing the engagement of religious groups and leaders with their projects. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently argued that the UN should play a crucial role in promoting cultural diversity and dialog, and noted that religi on and its free exercise were f undamental to achieving dialogue and cultural respect ( UN 2007, press release).137 At the United Nations inception in 1945 fortytwo faith-based organizations were accredited, while today the number stands at over 400 religious non-governmental or ganizations (Neff 2007, quoting Ban Ki-moon). Not only are religious groups reaching out to international political institutions and development organizations, but these political bodies and development organizations are reaching back, inviting faith groups to exercise their political will, their economic muscle, and their collective conscience to achieve a more sustai nable and just global community. In an address to evangelical Christians Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon quoted Isaiah 58:10 to great applause, reminding his audience that se rvice to the poor stands at the center of the Christian vocation. 138 Ki-moon also acknowledged that whil e the UN must necessarily strive to stand outside any particular religious tradition, in a very r eal sense the UN is itself an 136 See 137 Accessed online 1 November 2007, received via email from the Forum on Religion and Ecology. 138 The verse reads If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday (NRSV).

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105 instrument of faith.inspired by what unites, no t by what divides, the great religions of the world (Ki-moon 2007). He went on to note that th e key motivation for participating in the quest for a better, more sustainabl e world was often religious: If you ask the people who work for the Unite d Nations what motivates themwhether they are building peace in Timor-Leste, fighti ng human trafficking in Eastern Europe, or battling AIDS in Africamany reply in a language of faith. They see what they do as a mission, not a job (Ki-moon 2007).139 This focus on what unites us illustrates w hy a global civil earth religion might be a frequent accompaniment to UN development a nd sustainability discourse. Invoking emotively tied stories that are understood as somehow spiritual or religious is an easy way to stimulate cross-cultural moral sensibilities. As Scott Thomas has argued, the global resurgence of religion and its importance to global pol itics was stimulated by and integr ally related to criticisms of modernity, also often one of the targets of sustaina bility discourse (2005). Sustainability then, as I have described its history here, is deeply related to and dependent upon the global resurgence of religion in international politicsthe emerge nce of sustainability and the resurgence of religion may be viewed as complementary trends. The Forum on Religion and Ecology (FORE) spearheaded by religion scholars Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim (who in 2007 moved from Bucknell University to the Yale School of Forestryfounded by sustainability ancestor Gifford Pinchot) has been instrumental in disseminating this good news about the incr easing collaboration of religious groups and scientific and political elites. The UNEP press releases are collated and sent out by the Forum on a monthly basis. 139 In UNEP news clippings, forwarded by the Forum on Religion and Ecology 1 November 2007.

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106 Oppositional Subcultures and Sustainability The interpersonal em pathy involved in engagi ng other living creatures, and the ecosystems of which they are a part, is an often-cited and important piece of the moral milieu of subcultures of resistance. These subcultures generally see their primary task as opposing, or hampering the progress aimed at by multilateral development organizations (such as the World Bank) and international political regimes (such as the United Nations). Nonetheless, they frequently use parallel if not nearly identical motivational trope s, and also intentionally cultivate relationships with those outside of their particular commun ities of accountability for strategic reasons. Making explicit these two sets of stories, subc utural and mainstream, may help them to find common ground for the common pursuit of sustainable living. Highlighting resistance as the core meaning of sustainability, Jennifer Sumner argued that sustainability is best defined as the creation of a set of structur es and processes that invigorate and grow the civil commons. 140 At the heart of the civil commons she imagines the three building blocks of sustainability: counter-hegem ony, dialogue, and life values (2005: 112). For Sumner, sustainability is defined as an alternative vision that challenges a) business as usual, b) existing social structures, and c) prevailing economic wisdom. More than that, however, Sumner suggests that the search for sustai nability is rooted in our affin ity with the deep interrelatedness of the world, and helps to repair damaged rela tionships with the ecological matrix cultures depend upon: empathetic ways of knowing need to be woven into a new understanding of sustainability if we are to survive as a species.they can help foster the kind of relationship with the environment that stresses the interconnectedne ss of all things. Ultimately, we must come 140 She defines the civil commons, drawing on McMurtry, thusly: it is societys organized and community-funded capacity of universally accessible resources to provide for the life preservation and growth of societys members and their environmental life-host (2005: 96, italics in original).

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107 [presumably at a cultural scale] to know what the Buddha said in his first sermon: Everything depends in its origination on everyt hing else at once and in unison (2005: 102). What Sumner envisions as building the civil commons is essentially an exercise in recognizing the commonalities amon g various subcultures of resistance in comparison to the prevailing socio-politico-economic powers.141 Paul Hawken, immersed for over thirty years in the sustainability milieu, terms this complex cros s-fertilization of groups intertwingling, a new set of partnerships facilitated by technologies and social relations that compress time and space, bringing the world ever closer ( 2007: 5). Social and ecological re sistance movements, as noted above, find common cause in cultural streams li ke the sustainability milieu, but their collaboration predates the contemporary emer gence of sustainability (see Gar 1998). For example, in the United States, many environmentalist subcultures look to Native Americans as bearers of inherently environmenta l ethical perspectives, and as the first real resistance to the colonizing forces that ultimatel y lay at the root of capitalistic societies. Native American resistance, moreover, enjoyed a revitalization in the late 1960s and 1970s when indigenous rights emerged for the first time into the consciousness of in ternational political bodies as human rights violations committed in th e name of development became increasingly common.142 Here in the U.S. for example, in 1969, some two hundred Native Americans and supporters occupied the island of Alcatraz for over a year, calling themselves the Indians of All Tribes to protest treatment of Native Ameri cans (Deloria 1992). In 1973, a standoff at Wounded Knee led by American Indian Movement (A IM) activists resulted in some violence, and the arrest of many Lakota a nd other Native Americans protesti ng governmental insensitivity 141 There is significant resonance here with Gares claim (1998) that various intellectual streams must join together to create a new metanarrative. 142 Such violations have always been ongoing, but they came into international political consciousness around the late 1960s.

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108 to native land rights. 143 It is clear that such episodes impact both Native American communities and other subcultural constituencies in the US. Many Native Americans, for example, have taken these events and weaved them into a new narrative of resistance connected to traditional lifeways (see for example Hand 1998). Sarah Pike, for example, in her excel lent treatment of New Age and Neopagan subcultures noted that both groups, beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, drew on Native American traditions to motivate different ways of relating to other humans and non-humans: The desire to share in native peoples pe rceived harmony with nature become a common theme of the 1960s counterculture an d in 1970s Neopaganism and New Age communities.New Agers acted to fill this n eed (for sacred spaces) by resacralizing the landscape with a combination of indigenous my ths and stories of UFOs and ancient lost civilizations (Pike 2004). In addition, Bron Taylor has highlighted the co alitions formed by environmentalists and Native American groups, for instance in protest of the construction of large te lescopes on the summit of Mt. Graham, a sacred place for many Apache (Taylor 1997). These and other subcultures of resistance, t hough they differ in their basic tenets and foci, tend to exhibit some similarities. Taylor has argued for example that these groups generally view the animistic, pantheistic, and/or panent heistic spiritualities of indigenous peoples, or certain religions originating in Asia, as offeri ng positive environmental values superior to those found in largescale, centralized, monotheistic societies (2005: 603) Grassroots social movements, even if not catalyzed by ecological concerns, tend to recognize that the forces they resist, typically governance by outside elites a nd disruption of tradit ional land tenure, are intimately related to deterioration of habitats and quality of life. Taylor suggested that 143 The first contribution from Wounded Knee to the American moral imagination (or conscience) came in 1893 when over 200 women and children and men were killed by fede ral soldiers for their persistent practice of the Ghost Dance, a millenarian religious movement that enjoyed pan-I ndian popularity in the late 1800s. The 1973 incident recalled this deep wrong in profound ways, bridgi ng past events with (t hen) present affect.

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109 renewing sustainable lifeways is the overall objective of popular eco logical resistance movements, and this depends on the restoration of the commons (Taylor 1995: 334-354, italics his). Extending the analysis beyond ecological move ments to grassroots social and political resistance, Taylor concluded that many of these subcultures embrace a spirituality of connection which focuses on relationships between human beings, and between humans and the non-human worlds Of course, many questions have been raised about the authenticity of such cultural recombination and borrowing, partic ularly with regard to New Age and Neopagan appropriations of indigenous ritual (see Chidester 2005a; Ha rner 1990; Krech III 1999). What is clear, however, is that they help some people to navigate the complex worlds they find themselves a part of, and also impact popular culture. Thus, as David Chidester noted in his book Authentic Fakes (2005a), whether religions are authentic or inauthentic is im portant, but also important is noting that in either case they are expressive of personal values, motivate particular behaviors, and are therefore doing real reli gious work. My intention here is to provide a descriptive analysis of these trends, not to adjudicate whether or not they are instances of authentic religion. They are, however, performing real religious wo rk. Most importantly for my purposes, I suggest that the notion of interconnect edness and interpersonal encounter has been disseminated through a broad cross-section of gra ssroots resistance movements as well as within mainstream institutions. One of the most important avenues by wh ich contemporary cultures learn about and define this interconnectedness is through the natural sciences. While science is not truly multicultural in its Western manifestations (Harding 1998), its methodology has been adopted by natural scientists across the gl obe. In Chapter 6 I examine th e contributions of the life and

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110 natural sciences to the religious dimensions of sustainability. Fi rst, however, I will offer some reflections on the globalization of sustainability discourse and how sustai nability is envisioned from the nexus of civil societ y and international politics. Discussion and Evaluation In m y judgment the most convincing criticisms of sustainable development generally come from those who question the ut ility of pursuing sustainable development through the top-down promotion of a globally acceptable ethic. Thes e critics suggest that even a common ethic coupled with improvements in effi ciency, technology transfer, and the intention to promote more effective communication cannot unt ie the tricky knot of power re lations among humans and their diverse social, political, and eco logical systems. Locally-rele vant values and knowledge are crucially important and should not, according to thes e critics, be diffused into a common ethic. Some of these critics believe that sustainabil ity can only succeed if nature is infused with some sort of intrinsic value, or if humans are able to embrace a new worldview. For example, reflecting on that magic word of consensus, sustainbility (1993: 144), Worster suggested that there are three primary problems w ith the concept of sustainable de velopment: 1) it suggests that the natural world exists primarily for human use; 2) even when humans acknowledge some limits on that use, there is an assumption that the carrying capacity of local or larger systems is easily determinable; and 3) such assumptions rest on the unexamined acceptance of the traditional world-view of progressive, secular materialism.We are led to believe that sustainability can be achieved with those institutions and their valu es intact (1993: 153-154). Worster goes on to invoke the idea of intrinsi c value, arguing that the living her itage of evolution has an intrinsic value that we have not created but only inherited and enjoyed (154-155). In his provocative work Contesting Sustainability (2001), Aidan Davison agreed with Worster that the optimistic assessments provided by definitions of sustainable development

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111 offered hope only in the form of recycled sl ogans from modernity cloaked in ecological conscience. In documents like the Brundtland report the hard edge of su stainable development, which requires sustained economic growth, is wrappedin the softer, alluring vision that sustainable development is gath ering humanity together as on e cooperative, caring community (2001: 31). Contrary to such optimistic assessmen ts from international commissions or agencies, Davison stated that I counter such sanguine assessments with th e argument that the appearance of either consensus or intellectual clarity in sust ainable development discourses is superficial and deceptive (2001: 37). Further, in Davison s estimation, the appropriation of the term by instruments of the dominant cult ure certainly does not indicate that ecological awareness has been smuggled into the core deliberations of th e technological society. It indicates the exact oppositenamely, that the interests of the tech nological society have been smuggled into ecological awareness (Davison 2001: 38).144 Certainly some manifestati ons of a global earth revere nce are dark green (Taylor 2009). But Davisons observation scrutinizes th e genuineness of actors who invoke dark green themes in international political venues and corporate sustainability statements by suggesting that in many cases the apparitions of global civil earth religion are really, at bottom, anthropocentric and deployed primar ily because of their strategic value in promoting particular policies. Sustainability may sometimes be tied to ideas about the intrinsic value of nature but more often it persists and often thrives in li ght green and light brown sustainability circles focused on human concerns.145 As Davison has noted, the deployment of the term sustainability 144 Davisons observation may call into question the veracity of statements in international political venues and corporate sustainability statements that invoke dark green religion. 145 I do not here distinguish between intrinsic value and inherent worth, for such distinctions are irrelevant to any points I wish to make here. Paul Taylor provides a good elucidation of the differences between the two terms and their applicability to environmental ethics (1986: 71-80, especially 72-75).

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112 has its shadow side also, and the term and its spiritual accompaniments can be wielded by corporate and government entities to perpetuate existing power structures or to marginalize particular groups. This is one of the fears that opponents of a global ethic frequently noted in my interviews. Although some of my informants expressed worries about global ethics, particularly those who worked for international religious and interfaith NGOs, such ethics are often articulated at the international level by religious scholars and anthropologi sts, ostensibly people who are sensitive to the imposition of Western values and practices on marginalized peoples and who have strongly endorsed protec ting bio-cultural diversity. In part then, fears about such a global ethics might be over stated (see Chapter 8 for more details ). Certainly all groups that refer to religious narratives as bac kground assumptions for their reas oning in international political venues are to some extent engaged in religious cultural production, though they have different understandings of their mission and approach. Though there are significant differences betw een how religious advocates and secular conservation organizations approach sustai nability, they also exhibit some common understandings of the causes of connected ecol ogical and social cris es. For example, one common belief is that these crises are at bottom spiritual crises, and that religion thus has a crucial role to play in correcting them. Leader s of all of the groups analyzed here have cited Lynn Whites now famous essay The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis (1967) as one of the principal motivators for the greening of religi ons. For example, White s essay is cited in the Foreword to every volume of the Harvard Series on World Religions and Ecology (conceived and supervised by Tucker and Grim), seminal Christian creation care texts (Schaefer 1970; Wilkinson 1980), as well as in a joint publicat ion by the World Bank and the World Wildlife

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113 Fund (Dudley, Higgins-Zogib, and Mansourian 2005) One of Whites most important points was that the Judeo-Christian dominion them e in the book of Genesis exhibited an elective affinity for certain technological advances in Europe in the Middle Ages, contributing to a culture that overexploited natura l resources. Importantly for his religious res pondents, White determined that since the cause of the ecological crisis was so clearly re ligious, the solution must be also. International groups are starting to ag ree that environmental issues cannot be solved without religious intervention. In collaboration with the Worl d Bank and the ARC, the WWF argued in print that, what has often been lacking in conventional conservation ap proaches is the regard and respect for all values of an area of land or sea including both tangible and intangible values. While cultural values are sometime s considered when creating protected areas, spiritual and religious values are seldom taken into account by conservationists, yet an understanding of these issues is often critical to successf ul management (2005: 39). Saving more in-depth explorations of these ideas for later chapters I hope here to point out only that these widely divergent groups enga ge with each other relatively frequently and often use similar language. Th is overlapping language often takes the form of religious metaphor or story, foregrounds concern for marginal peoples and the freedom to retain particular cultural lifeways, and invokes descriptions of deep biological or cosmological interconnectedness. The public discussion of b asic principles by United Nations SecretaryGeneral (since 2006) Ban Ki-moon provides a go od example. Among these principles are justice, conscience, and most important, consciousness. Consciousness of the community of humanity and all living things, and conscious ness of our sacred duty to them (Ki-moon 2007).146 146 Received in collated UNEP notes from FORE (accessed 14 October 2007).

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114 To the extent that these high level actors of the movement express their goals as alternatives to the prevailing political and economic powers, and deploy normative language, they are fleshing out the religious dimension of sustainability.

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115 CHAPTER 6 THE CONTRIBUTION OF NATURAL SCIENC ES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES TO THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF SUS TAINABILITY Introduction The scientists who conceived and constructe d the first atom ic bo mbs did not know until they witnessed it what shape the explosion woul d take. The detonation of an atom of u-237 manifested in a simulacrum of a life form: a tall, straight mushroom. Mu shrooms typically grow out of dead and decaying matter, given life through the death of another (or tens of thousands of others). Another irony accompanied the split ting of the atom: Perceptions of a deep interconnectedness with nature reported by many bomb scientists while laboring on one of the most potentially destructive tools ever devised derived primarily from profound experiences in nature. Physicists and life scientists of various types, inspired by th eir professional work, have contributed to sustainability movements normative ideas related to recogn izing a biological or cosmological interdependence. Such percepti ons and beliefs are typi cally communicated to others with language drawn from science, but stretched beyond its accepted scientific usage. The suggestion that the cosmos is evolving, for example, is an application of a biological term to a particular (and in some cases normative) depictio n of astrophysical spacetime. Such affectivelyoriented language gleaned from scientists has been deployed within the sustainability milieu by many people to describe the central themes of sustainability discour se: interconnectedness, awareness of limits and interpersonal empathy. While biophilic affiniti es (those couched in language derived from the life scie nces and directed at biological entities) extend to the carbon-

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116 based world, some scientists imagine human well-being against the backdrop of a larger cosmological narrative and advocat e for cosmophilic affinities.147 At least within the Wester n scientific tradition, the firs t seeds for these blossoming affinities were planted around the turn of the 20th century as several physicists (such as Ernest Rutherford and Max Planck) conducted experime nts that opened the door to a new sort of physical science that would later come to be known as quantum mechanics. In 1935 Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Ro sen published a three-page article in Physical Review (now commonly referred to as the EPR paper) on a thought-experiment designed to test whether the new quantum mechanical picture of reality could be considered complete.148 Their experiment helped to usher in two research programs that are relevant to the idea of sustainability. First, it helped to set the stage for early work on atomic fission, and thus, the first atomic bombs. Second, the notion of quantum entanglement, the focus of this experiment, blossomed into an interpretive metaphor that exhibited elective affin ity for other holistic interpretive frames such as systems science (Lazlo 2001: 175-179), the Gaia hypothesis (Capra 2002: 6, 29), and later narratives such as Thomas Berry and Brian Swimmes Universe Story (Swimme and Berry 1994). The affinities for deep relationality found among physicists have parallels in the life sciences. Certainly the roots of ideas related to biodiversity are present in the writings of Charles 147 This affinity often manifests in a kinship ethic, or an affectively oriented fellow-feeling. There many way to characterize such interdependence and em otional attachment to other life. 148 They discovered that two particles, having once inte racted, continued to displa y instantaneous correlated behavior even when separated by such a distance that they could not be causally related according to relativity theory. For the experimental singlet state, the statistical predictions of quantum mechanics were incompatible with separable predetermination. Either the particles were exchanging information faster than the speed of light, or the quantum mechanical explan ation must be considered incomplete. EPR assumed relativity theory was correct, and that what Einstein called spooky action at a dist ance was illogical, thus concluding that the quantum mechanical description of reality was not complete. As EPR put it, No reasonable definition of reality could be expected to permit this [the correlation of two distant particles without direct causal relationship] (Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen 1983 [1935]: 141).

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117 Darwin (Taylor 2009: 30-31), Gilbert White (Worster 1977: 3-14), J ohn Burroughs (Worster 1977: 14-23; Taylor 2009: 69-71) an d other life scientists who e xperienced a sense of awe and wonder when confronted with the objects of thei r study. In addition, non-scientists such as John Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau had voiced such ideas before the turn of the twentieth century (see Taylor 20 09, Chapter 3 for a detailed analysis). The primary contribution of Edward O. Wilson and other cons ervation biologists in the twentieth century was the generation of memorable terms such as biodiversity and biophilia for use in the fight for conservation and the discourse of sustainability (Wilson 1984). These manufactured terms were also predated by holistic interpretations of the physical sciences that endorsed an evolutionary perspec tive on the emergence of morality but placed it within a larger, cosmological stor y. Several physicists and concep ts from various subfields of physics have proved influential in the ways that people conceive of sustainability and its on-theground implementation, though these influential tributaries are not as frequently highlighted as the contributions of life sciences. Through a study of certain ideas from the life sc iences and the physical sciences that have influenced the idea of sustainability, namely the idea that ecosystems, the planet itself, or even the cosmos are deeply interconnected and organis mic entities, I have found that sustainability advocates often deploy scientific concepts, language and metaphors strategically to advance their arguments and to market them to others. In such cases these scientific narratives are performing religious work. Although science is generally conceive d (at least in the industrialized West) as the cen tral pillar around which secular society structures its moral imagination, the cosmologies and implicit ethical imperatives presented in sustainability-related

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118 sciences149 at least run parallel to, and in many cas es intertwingle with more explicitly religious interpretations of such phenomena. 150 Sustainability is deployed in many differe nt ways in the public sphere by different constituencies, and they all use science or pseudo-science to bu ttress their own conceptions of sustainability. As rhetorical analysts Killings worth and Palmer noted, the connection between science and the environmental reform movement sa match directly enc ouraged by authors like Thomas Berry and implied in the perspect ive of deep ecologyhas become the most problematical and the most important link in the evolution of environmental politics in America (Killingsworth and Palmer 1991: 48).151 It is my task here to di g into how scientific ideas and data are gathered by scientists, displayed for the public eye, di gested and politicized in the democratic arena, and then re-deployed in the context of sustainability. The Search for a Bridging Science In his introduction to the Encycloped ia of Religion and Nature Bron Taylor argued that a growing number of scientistsshare a central, common denomi nator belief in.the sacrality of the evolutionary processes that produce biological divers ity. Participants in such scientific professions often view their work as a spiritual practice. Some of these have been influenced by those who, like the religion scholar Thomas Berry, believe that sciencegrounded cosmological and evolutionary narratives should be understood as sacred 149 By sustainability-related sciences I refer generally to a number particular interpretations of phenomena observed within the life and physical sciences that inform, wh ether explicitly or implicitly, various efforts toward sustainability. The most obvious examples are certain inte rpretations of ecology, systems science, and what many have called the new physics. 150 Paul Hawken forged the term intertwingling to descri be the complex intellectual cross-fertilization of different groups within civil society whose means and goals are different (2007: 5). Perhaps most interestingly, these groups exchange ideas rather freely across political and cultural bo undaries. Hawken invented this term, but work tracing the free exchange of ideas and metaphors across subcultures has a long history (see discussion in chapter three, pp. 24-26). I use Hawkens term because Hawken is a particip ant in what might be termed a sustainability milieu, the focus of my interest here. 151 It is perhaps telling that Killingsworth and Palmer use the term evolution to describe the development of environmental politics, for they certainly do not use the term in the sense that most biologists would. Their uncritical use of a scientific term to describe social phenomena is illustrative of the pervasive use of scientific language, metaphor and imagery to convey ideas central to issues related to the environment and sustainability.

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119 narratives, and that so understood, they will promote reverence-for-life ethics (2005: xviixviii). Twentieth-century scie ntists such as Aldo Leopold (Meine 2005), Rachel Carson (Sideris and Dean Moore 2008; Taylor 2009), E.O. Wilson (Wilson 2006, 1998), and Stephen Kellert (Kellert and Wilson 1993, Kellert and Farnham 2002) have all contributed to ideas about how humans can sustainably interact with the ecological matrix up on which they depend, and to the cache of religious metaphors available for advocac y. Scientists such as James Lovelock added leavening to the metanarrative of sustaina bility with his now well-known Gaia hypothesis (1979). According to Lovelock, the earth could be imagined as a self-regulating super-organism. Much to his surprise, Gaia theory became sta ndard fare among many of the aforementioned New Age and Neopagan communities searching for new metaphors to guide their search for human meaning (Monaghan 2005), and also appears as a heuristic category for examining nature religion in Taylors forthcoming book on Dark Green religion (Taylor 2009). Killingsworth and Palmers investigation of scientific discourse offered a continuum of perspectives on how humans value nature: from N ature as Object (on one extreme) to Nature as Spirit (the other extreme). The novel twist came w ith their suggestion that the continuum is in the process of bending into a horseshoe, the ends moving gradually toward each other as contemporary science evolves in a direction that fosters the emergence of holistic ecology, a bridging science that is capable of integrating these two former extremes (see Figure 6-1 italics mine). Of course, those on the upper portion of the horseshoe are often reticent to cede authority to what Killingsworth and Palmer referred to as deep and social ecologists.152 But the 152 The authors do not define deep and social ecology, and it should be noted that they use them more casually than would many who study such movements. The authors use social ecology broadly to refer to those who perceive a close relationship between social injustice and ecological degradation. Others use it more specifically to refer to a political philosophy advanced primarily by Murra y Bookchin. The authors use deep ecology to refer to biocentric or ecocentric environmental stances, not to refer specifically to the philosophical system developed by Arne Naess, or its intellectual offspring.

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120 authors were hopeful that such resistance might be overcome by greater acceptance of a bridging science. Their discussion of possi bilities for such a science included Nascent theoriessuch as the Gaia hypothesisand holistic versions of general systems theory, which they lamented were still consigned to the margins of the accepted canon of knowledge (1992: 16). Over 15 years have passed since Killings worth and Palmers work, and the Gaia hypothesis remains a controversial theory. Its premises, however, have certainly been woven into mainstream venues, such as the invocation of Mother Earth tropes in international political venues for the UN (see Hart 2005; Taylor 2004) and the personification of the earths systems in many climate change discussions (Monaghan 2005). The ability of such ideas to slide between mainstream and non-mainstream science and pub lic awareness is an ill ustration of how the sustainability milieu functions as a marketplace for concepts and practice. The medium of exchange often takes the form of a naturalism that resonates with traditional science, and posits an earthen consciousness that intuitively appeals to deep ecologists and th eir intellectual kin. The expanded consciousness often associated with deep ecology was di rectly influenced by religious teachings (Henning 2002; Weber 1999, Jacobsen 2005) and similar concepts have also been championed scholars who offer naturalistic religions of nature (see for example Crosby 2002). The Gaia hypothesis has remained on the margin s of interpretive scientific research, but systems science has enjoyed immense success in the scientific and political realms. 153 The interdisciplinary work Panarchy (Gunderson, Lance and C.S.Holling 2002), for example, and the increasing prevalence of adaptive management in resource management circles signals the 153 Lovelock actually considers his Gaia hypothesis a metaphor that helps to market the concepts that inhere to systems science to a broader audience (see for example Lovelock 2005: 683-685).

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121 widespread acceptance and advocacy of systems sc ience. In practice, it is often difficult to overcome the political and bureau cratic obstacles that impede quality adaptive management schemes, but such ideas are becoming more wide spread in on-the-ground scientific restoration and conservation.154 While Killingsworth and Palmer hoped that the Gaia hypothesis or a holistic form of ecology might eventually tie off the horseshoe, there is one set of social movements where systems science, the Gaia hypothesis, adaptive management, hierarchy theory, and holistic language repeatedly bubble up (sometimes tether ed together, sometimes not): sustainability movements. The subtitle of Nortons book Sustainability is A Philosophy of Adaptive Ecosystem Management (2005). As noted in the more extensive e xplanation of his schematic definition of sustainability above, Norton combined adaptive ma nagement and hierarchy theory to provide a model for what he hoped would manifest in a mo re democratic and politically effective public sphere. Norton proposed an adaptive set of eco system management techniques, supported by a multidirectional, iterative dialog that generates partial, and thus constantly evolving, solutions to problems (Norton 2005: 138). To be successful, however, some common vocabularies for negotiation are necessary (2005: 130). One of the common languages that Norton missed, however, was the religious language deployed not only by scientists who promote recognition of limits and sustainable lifeways but by practitioners and members of the general public involved in sustainability advocacy. 154 Joanna Macy, for example, was one scholar who intentio nally combined general systems science with religious belief and practice, specifically Therav ada Buddhism, to analyze a different sort of approach to development (1991). On-the-ground practitioners are also aware of systems theory. For example, it makes frequent appearances in the literature related to the Northwest Earth Institute discussion groups (see chapter six for more details).

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122 From Biodiversity to Biophilia One of the specific terms used acro ss disciplines and constituencies in contemporary sustainability discourse is bi odiversity. Biodiversity is, like sustainability and religion, a malleable and emotively charged term, one deploye d for particular purposes (Takacs 1996). The term was coined and developed by conservation biologists, and thus contains some of the normative flavor of that professiona l field. But its use has flourished beyond its early confines. The idea of biodiversity Conservation biology, as a field of academ ic study, emerged in the mid-1980s as a synthetic discipline aimed at in tegrating biological science and so cial and political advocacyan explicitly normative science (Norton 1986, 2003).155 Biologist Michael Soul founded the Society for Conservation Biology in 1986 a nd shortly thereafter launched the journal Conservation Biology moving the field toward the mainstre am. However, it is interesting to note that the first two editors of the journal had ties to radical environmental groups and sympathies with the philosophy of deep ecology, both of which have affinities for nature religions (Taylor 2005). Soul also developed a close relatio nship with Arne Naess, the philosophical father of deep ecology, and has openly stated that his profession is related to his Buddhist meditative practice.156 Conservation biologists have been the pr imary champions of the use of the term biodiversity since its populari zation. And while many (perhaps most) conservation biologists would not be comfortable discus sing the spiritual implications of deep ecology, these religious 155 Conservation biologists generally advocate holistic landscape planning schemes with the aim of restoring or reinvigorating ecosystem diversity, and part of their aim is to point up instances where human activities hamper, or halt the ability to achieve those goals. 156 Information about the foundation of the Society for Co nservation Biology, the affilia ted journal, and Soules Buddhist practice comes from a series of talks at the University of Florida in Autumn of 2004.

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123 ideas influenced some of the most important people in the field. If conservation biology was developed with the help of several who had affinities with countercultural movements and nature-based spiritualities, the te rm biodiversity itself was in larg e part developed by those in the scientific mainstream. David Takacss The Idea of Biodiversity (1996) traced the idea back to scientists such as Aldo Leopold, Charles Elton, and Rachel Carson. While they did not use the term biodiversity, they employed similar concepts such as natur al variety, flora and fauna, wildlife, fellow creatures, wilderness, or simply nature (Takac s 1996: 11). Norman Myers, and Paul and Anne Ehrlich, who published books detaili ng the quickening of species loss, all believed that these disappearing species possessed intr insic value, and the Eh rlichs suggested that their argument for preserving biological diversity was at bottom a religious one (Takacs 1996: 35). The first popular appearance of the shortened term biodi versity probably came in 1986, at the National Forum on BioDiversity, sponsored by the Na tional Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Smithsonian Institution.157 From the beginning, biodiversity was envisioned by the organizing biologists as a tactical term designed to influe nce governmental and public perception of the loss of species and habitats. Particip ant Dan Janzen stated that the Fo rum was an explicit political eventdesigned to make Congress aware of this complexity of species were losing. And the word [biodiversity] was coined [and] punched in to that system at that point deliberately (Takacs 1996: 37). In short, conservation biologi sts promotion of biodiversity was a way to market the idea of ecological limits (or carrying capacity) in a way that was explicitly normative. As Takacs put it: 157 Given the normative character of the term biodivers ity, Takacs noted that it is ironicthat the term biodiversity and the politics it has engendered sprang from this au gust and cloistered institution [the NAS] (1996: 36).

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124 Battles over biological resources ragein ev ery remote corner of the Earth. These battlesset at odds the perceived needs of hu mans and those of ma ny millions of other species, and of the natural pro cesses that nourish them and us. Scientists who love the natural world forged the term biodiversity as a weapon to be wi elded in these battles (Takacs 1996: 3). For many, biodiversity is the defining feature of sustainability, and the other dimensions (the economic and social) are subsumed under the que st to maintain biodiversity (see Lovejoy in Patten 2000). 158 In many cases biodiversity discours e is blended with themes of deep interdependence and a generic form of nature reverence. Tim ORiordan, for example, used highly emotive and I would argue religious language in describing the importance of biodiversity: The future of biodiversity sign ifies the future of humankind.By being cognizant, and by being morally alive, humanity can save its own body and soul (ORiordan 2002: 13). As Takacs noted in his book, this language is not so unusual. Later in the same work ORiordan returned to the theme of deep relationality: N ot to protect biodiversity means not to protect humanity from its communion with the planet. As we lose biodiversity, so we lose our individual and collective souls. To use biodiversity as a ba rometer for our ethos, and as waymarks for our pathways towards sustainabilit y, is our best course (ORiordan 2002: 26). The love of diversity In the latter half of the twentieth century scientists growing real ization that both the resilience of ecosystems and th e historical evolution of Homo sapiens depended on biologically rich habitats understandably led to feelings of awe and reveren ce for the worlds complexity. The spiritualized language increasingly used by scie ntists to describe the reasons individuals and governments ought to care for biological diversit y indicated the matura tion of the idea of biodiversity toward an affectivel y-oriented affinity for living th ings. In 1984 Edward O. Wilson 158 Pattens book includes contributions from many well-known scientists such as Thomas Lovejoy, Vandana Shiva, and political personalities such as Gro Brundtland and HRH Prince Philip.

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125 spawned a research program that explained, in terms of biological and genetic mechanisms, the reasons that biodiversity might be imagined as somehow related to human souls. Wilson popularized biophilia the idea that living organisms posse ss a genetically-based affinity for other living things, which he believed should evoke a deep awe and concomitant respect for nature, and a new foundation for ethics based on the adaptiv e advantages of ecosystem preservation (Wilson 1984).159 The project was driven, ultima tely, by the recognition of species disappearance, but Wilson was sugge sting that there was a deeper reason to care about the disappearance of all species, not just the charis matic ones. Quoting Aldo Leopolds land ethic as the foundation for a respectful ethical approach to nature, Wilsons collaborator Stephen Kellert stated plainly that Bio logical diversity and th e ecological processes that make it possible are the crucibles in which our species physical, mental, and spir itual being have been forged (Kellert 1993: 26). Kellert continued, mitigation of this environmental crisis may necessitate nothing less than a fundamental shift in hum an consciousness (Kellert 1993: 26). This shift in consciousness (what Leopold might have cal led the development of an ecological conscience [Leopold 1949: 207-210]) was characterized most lucidly by Scott McVay in the Prelude to Kellert and Wilsons The Biophilia Hypothesis (1993). Alluding to Melvilles masterpiece Moby Dick, McVay recalled a scene where the protagonist Ishmael is tethered to one of his mates as the man removed the precious blubber from a kill.160 Ishmael pondered the implications of the ro pe between them, and realized th at this mates fate would be his own: this situation of mine was the precise situation of every mortal that breatheshe [ sic ], 159 Stephen Kellert defined biophilia as The idea that people possess a genetic inclination, grounded in the quest for individual and collective fitness, to attach physical, emo tional, intellectual, and moral meaning to nature (2005: 185). 160 Moby Dick is a saga of a whaling vessel. Removing the blubber from a kill could be dangerous, one of the reasons shipmates were tied together.

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126 one way or other, has this Siamese connexion (sic) with a plurality of other mortals (McVay 1993: 5, italics in original). McVay, also a scientist, related several instances of what mi ght be called biophilic conversion moments where people are quite s uddenly struck by the humanness of other animals, a sudden realization that the emotional lives of animals are every bit as rich as ours.161 For example, he recalled a bright acquaintance who remained extremely skeptical of reports about drowning swimmers being rescued by porpois es. One day McVay met her skepticism with an offer to accompany him to his lab, which contained a tidal pool and a female porpoise. McVays acquaintance agreed, and once there entered the water and assumed the dead mans float. McVays retelling of th e incident is worth quoting: From behind, the porpoise swam onto the woma ns back and clasped its flippers firmly under her arms and began to pr opel her around the pool with powerful tail flukes. At first she resisted. She was unused to letting go or losing control. She noticed, however, that she could see and breathe. The weight and ve rtical stroking of the flukes lifted her head clear of the water as the twojoined by a belly-to-back Siamese connexionmade a circuit of the pool to the gasps of the onlookers. She let go. She told me she relaxed as deeply and as fully as she ever had. The porpoi se made two complete circuits of the pool and then shot straight up in the air, releas ing the woman gently a nd precisely on her knees on the cement lip of the pool. She said softly, I understand (McVay 1993: 7). An edited volume by Stephen Kellert and Ti mothy Farnham (2002) fu rther explored the spiritual aspects of biop hilia, with biologists, ecologists, and religious scholars weighing in on how biophilia can give rise to an ethics of kinship. Their preface stated that we see our own salvation in the preservation of the health, integrity, and beau ty of creation (2002: xiv). According to Farnham and Kellert, an ethic of right relationship with the nonhuman world, the recognition of human interdependence with other creatu res, and the cultiva tion of sustainable lifeways can only come by building bridges be tween science and religion. Biodiversity 161 For a book length treatment of the emotional lives of animals, see Mark Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals (2007).

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127 recognizes the richness of life, while biophilia advocates for an affective bond with the interdependent web of life. The idea that human s can and should have affinity for other living organisms is central to many sustainability movements.162 The idea and putative importance of biologica l diversity (if not the more affectivelygrounded biophilia) made its way into the Brundtland report, the most well-known work elucidating the idea of sustaina ble development. The retentio n of biological diversity and genetic diversity are both referred to as cr ucial for achieving sustainable development for a variety of reasons, including potential contribu tions to human welfare, ecosystem services (WCED 1987: 147-148), and the eth ical cultural, aesthetic, and purely scie ntific reasons for conserving wild beings (WCED 1987: 13). The Commission conc luded Chapter 6 on Species and Ecosystems with the admonition that Our failure to [save species and their ecosystems] will not be forgiven by future generations (W CED 1987: 166). It is worth noting the close parallel with E.O. Wilsons claim in Biophilia that the one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of ge netic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our des cendants are least likely to forgive us (Wilson 1984, quoted in McVay 1993: 4). These themes of interconnectedness and inte rpersonal relationship, couched in loosely religious language and grounded in scientific evolutionary narratives, are common among life scientists engaged in sustainability discourse. Biophilia grants an additional layer of affective power to the already rich idea of biodiversity. For Wilson, Kellert and othe rs the innate, evolved 162 For example, as I wrote this, I received an e-newsl etter from the University of Floridas Office of Sustainability, and at the bottom of the newsletter was this quot e from J.J. Rousseau: "It is in man's heart that the life of nature's spectacle exists; to see it, one must feel it."

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128 human affinity for other life is ample material for the construction of a strong environmental ethic. From Biophilia to Cosmophilia The idea of biophilic affinity predated and in fluenced the developm ent of sustainability discourse, manifesting in the writings of both scientists (Darwin, White, Burroughs) and nonscientists (such as Muir, Emerson, Thoreau, and others). But by the middle of the twentieth century physicists were also frankly articulati ng awe and reverence inspired by their work, and were thus contributing to the still nascent myth of sustainability. Awe, reverence and the path to destruction Killingswor th and Palmer argued that the completion of the atomic bomb was the crowing moment for the Nature as Object end of the value continuum (see discussion above; specifically the science, government, and industry perspectives). Their [science, government, and industrys] greatest glory, the authors stat ed, came in alliance with one another, potently symbolized in the Manhattan Project and the continued development of the scientific-militaryindustrial complex after World War II (1991: 15). But these successes were facilitated by men whose motives were not so much military as human. Environmental historian Mark Fiege connected bomb scientists expe riences with nature, which in many cases moved them to pursue science as a profession, to those of some of the life scientists di scussed above: the experiences of children such as Oppenheimer, Meitner, and Ra bi [all Manhattan Project scientists] mirrored events in Rachel Carsons girlhood (Fiege 2007: 585). Later, Fiege compared Carsons upbringing to that of noted physicist and public intellectual Richard Feynman: Nature study with loving parents, wonder expe rienced in local landscapes, scie ntific careers, the championing of unmediated contact between children and the physical world: Carson and Feynman shared much (587).

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129 Fiege noted that many of these scientists be st ideas materialized, or were vetted on long walks in natural settings. J. Robert Oppenheimer (the Project director) ma intained a ranch in the mountains of New Mexico, and many of the European scientists working on the project were mountaineers.163 Fiege argued that Physicists, chemis ts, and mathematicians studied atoms out of profound curiosity, and when th ey detected the inner workings of the tiny particles, they experienced awe, amazement, delight and transcendence (2007: 581). Of course, such awe and reverence did not prevent them from building a large bomb. But Fiege, comparing Oppenheimer to Leopold this ti me, argued that when Oppenheimer realized the destructive capacity of the bomb, and stated his conviction that humanitys only hope lay in the binding obligations of the world community, he was closer to Leopold than either of them could have known. Oppenheimer and other atomic scientists could find inspiration in a mountain. But somewhere on a lonely, windswept, vertiginous slope, they also learned, in their own way, to think like one (2007: 602).164 Like the first views of the earth from space, the detonation of the first atomic bombs brought a deeper level of consciousness to the gl obal community. It was abundantly clear for the first time in recorded history that Homo faber had manufactured a tool th at could cause its own extinction. The sustainability of the species was for the first ti me questioned by large portions of the global population. Some early invocations of ideas related to global sustainability were vetted in international commissions such as th e Palme Commission (1982), which was explicitly dedicated to addressing the threat of thermonuclear war (Wiseman 2005). 163 While the bomb was being tested, Oppenheimer, speaking w ith another project scientist, supposedly gazed at the Sierra Oscura range in the background and muttered, Funny how the mountains always inspire our work (Fiege 2007: 579). 164 This quote refers to a well-known chapter of Leopolds Sand County Almanac titled Thinking Like a Mountain (1949: 129-133). There, Leopold discussed his belief that fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean a hunters paradise (130). On one occasion, however, Leopold shot a she-wolf and watched as a fierce green fire died in her eyes. This mysterious fire represented something new to Leopold, something known only to her and the mountain (130). Leopold sensed that his opinion of wolves was not shared by the mountain, and it is this conversion moment that is often referred to as a paradigmatic example of an ecocentric ethics.

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130 A web of hidden connections If the m anufacture of the atomic bomb facilitated the integration of scientific, governmental and industrial sect ors, its detonation acted as an alarm, alerting the global community to the possibility of its own destruction. There were several cultural responses, and some of them focused on positive steps that could be made in the wake of nuclear despair. Greenpeace, inspired by Quaker conceptions of nonviolence, was birthed by nuclear insecurity and concern over ecological degradation (Hunt er 1979; Hawken 2007: 196; see also Wapner 1996). Other activists, such as Joanna Macy, began their activist car eers envisioning positive responses to fears about nuclear wars and winters. In the late 1970s Macy began conducting what she called Despair and Empowerment Work shops designed to help people cope with and vent the emotional strain caused by the esca lating Cold War arms race (see Macy 1983).165 In the late 1980s, as the Cold War wane d, many peace and nuclear disarmament activists turned their energies toward the increasingly dire predictions of environmental degradation. Macy, along with environmental activist John See d, created explicitly envi ronmental rituals such as their Councils of All Beings, where part icipants meditated on the non-human creatures around them, identified with them, and spoke for them in a healing circle where all beings (especially those with no polit ical voice) were recognized and heard (Seed, Macy, Fleming and Naess 1988). 166 Seeds now famous metaphor that I am the rainforest, recently come into consciousness, defending myself s uggested that his direct action in defense of the rainforest was 165 Macy was an activist working with Tibetan refugees when she was exposed to Buddhism. After obtaining a doctorate by exploring the resonances between general systems theory and Buddhism (Macy 1991), she worked for the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement, a movement for sustainable communities in Sri Lanka (see Strobel 2005 for more details). She has been influential on Buddhist environmentalism, environmental ethics, and deep ecological thought and practice, and has thus contributed to ideas related to sustainability. 166 Much of this background was discussed during lectures at the University of Florida by Heart Phoenix, longtime radical environmental activist (Spring 2005), and John S eed (Spring 2007). For a more detailed description see Taylor (2001: 229).

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131 in fact self-defense (Seed 1983; Seed 2000).167 Bryan Norton told me that Seeds idea was probably the single most helpful notion to co me from deep ecology, and was an important corrective to sciences tendency to project environmental pr oblems and solutions as somehow out there rather than intimately intertwined with the choices people make individually and culturally (interview 3 Janurary 2008). It was in this rich cultural loam of th e late 1970s and1980s that the ideas birthed in quantum mechanics over a half cen tury earlier began to exert influe nce in environmental circles. Many of those who brought such ideas from science to the sustainability milieu, such as physicists David Bohm and Fritjof Capra, characterized them in spiritual terms, using metaphors of deep interconnectivity. Two of the fathers of quantum theory, Ni els Bohr and David Bohm, had a longstanding disagreement regarding how to interpret qua ntum mechanical mathematical formalism.168 Bohr wished to emphasize that there was an inherent ontological uncertainty implied by the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. That is, there was genuine causal indeterminacy at the quantum level. Einstein, and later Bohm contended that the unce rtainty Bohr noted was really an epistemological uncertaintythough the physicists tools were not yet sensitive enough to see them, there must be one or more hidde n variables working to produce the results that 167 Seeds observation was stimulated by participation in a di rect action to stop logging in a rain forest. He talked about this experience at lectures given at the University of Florida in Spring of 2005. In print, Seed described his meditative technique: [I] lie down in the forestcover my self in leaves, and imagine an umbilical cord reaching down into the earth. Then I visualize myself as being one leaf on the tree of life, both as myself personally and as a human being, and I realize that the sap of that tree runs through every leaf including me, whether Im aware of it or not (Seed 2000: 288-289). 168 Bohr and later Bohm both insisted, contra EPR (discussed above), that the quantum mechanical picture of reality was complete, and that EPRs mistake lay in relying on tr aditional conceptions of physical reality (see Bohr 1983 [1935]: 146).

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132 appeared to be underdetermined.169 One popular way to account for these hidden variables was to recall the idea of entanglement, where the hidden explanatory factor was imagined to be the radical inseparability of physical reality: a wholism whose recognition, it was often anticipated, could spark a new sort of moral imagination in humans.170 By the late 1970s Bohm had published with well-known theologians J ohn Cobb and David Ray Gr iffin discussing the theological implications of such who lism (Cobb and Griffin 1977; Griffin 1988).171 Other physicists were writing about the impli cations of what they were calling the new physics, and in print combining phys ical descriptions of reality w ith religious and/or mystical traditions. Fritjof Capra, for example, in the foreword to The Tao of Physics (Capra 1984 [1975]) argued that the lopsided sc ientific imagination of the West was giving way to a crisis of social, ecological, moral and sp iritual dimensions (Capra, xvi).172 Like many others, he traced his understanding of systemic holism to profound experiences in nature and experimentation with entheogens.173 During one of his entheogen-fuled experiences, Capra reported that he suddenly became aware of my whole environmen t as being engaged in a gigantic cosmic 169 Einstein, as discussed above, believed this signaled that quantum mechanics was an incomplete theory. Bohm recognized that an epistemological uncer tainty could in theory be overcome with more powerful tools or logic, and suggested new interpretations of quantum mechanics that considered it to be a complete theory. There are many interpretations of quantum mechanical phenomena that can fit the data. For example, Hugh Everett proposed a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics which was understood to suggest multiple parallel universes (Everett 1957). 170 I spell wholism with a w here to follow Bohm, though elsewhere I use the more conventional spelling. 171 The volume edited by Griffin, titled The Reenchantment of Nature (1988), included contributions by life scientists Charles Birch (with whom Cobb published an influential volume called Liberation of Life [1981]), Rupert Sheldrake, and physicists Bohm and Brian Swimme. 172 Capra stated that Western culture was lopsided becaus e it had been preoccupied with the yang, or masculine energy. He believed the rising c oncern with ecology, the strong interest in mysticism, the growing feminist awareness, and the rediscovery of holistic approaches to health and healing are all manifestations of the same evolutionary trends (1984 [1976]: xvi). 173 According to Chas Clifton, entheogens is a term that refers to drugs which provoke ecstasy and have traditionally been used as shamanic or religious inebrian ts.The terms Greek roots translate as god generated within (Clifton 2005: 596). Capra stated that in the beginning, I was helped on my way by power plants which showed me howspiritual insights come on their ownemerging from the depth of consciousnessit was so

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133 dance (1976: xix). Capra elaborated: I saw the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and heard its sound (xix). Bohm agreed with Capra that fragmentati on of thought prevented humans from having a coherent world view, and suggested that a pr oper world view, appropriate for its time, is generally one of the basic factors that is essential for harmony in the individual and in society as a whole (Bohm 2002 [1980]: xiii). For Bohm, a proper worldview was wholistic: relativity and quantum theory agree, in that they bot h imply the need to look on the world as an undivided whole, in which all parts of the universe, includi ng the observer and his instruments, merge and unite in one totality (Bohm 2002 [1980] : 13, italics in the original). What makes Capra and Bohm interesting is that they not only interpreted quantum mechanics ontologically (that is, as suggesting that the world really is an interconnected, unified whole), but also normatively. While both of them are physicists, they subsume their understanding of physics into a larg er interpretive framework that includes biological, cognitive, social and religious dimensions. Capra later noted in The Hidden Connections: Integrati ng the Biological, Cognitive, and Social Dimensions of Life In to a Science of Sustainability that he realized in the 1980s that the new physics was not an ideal paradigm and so urce of metaphors for th e conceptual shifts that had manifested throughout the physical and life sciences, and in a series of social movements since the 1960s (2002: xvi). Instead, in this book, Capra used sustainability and systems science as the guiding paradigms, for these terms better capture d the thrust of these associated cultural movements. Capra, then, was using sustainability for a strategic purpose, overwhelming that I burst into tears, at the same time, not unlike Castaneda, pouring out my impressions on to a piece of paper (1984 [1976]: xx).

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134 deploying the term in publication be cause he believed it to have greater descri ptive power and public impact. Scientific discourse acts in two ways in th e construction of the myth of sustainability. First, it offers empirical evidence about the ways the world works. Second, it points to potentially adaptive ways of gaining knowledge, speaking about that knowledge, and arranging social interactions around that knowledge. Moreover, in the instances discussed above (which only hint at the depth and richness of such discussions), spirit ual ideas and ideals are used both to interpret physical reality, and to translate these in terpretations to others. The two ideas that most commonly emerge from holistic interpre tations of science are the foundational interconnectedness of the living wo rld and the cosmos, and the notion that a new paradigm, or new consciousness of human affinity for the unfolding universe, a cosmophilia is emerging. Science and the Myth of Sustainability Biodiversity, biophilia, and invo cations of what I have here called cosm opihlia evoke a reverence for cosmological unfolding and have been influential within sustainability discourse. But it is questionable whether most of the citizenry would, at least in the United States, be able to easily define biodiversity or sust ainability, or consider quantum mechanics to be in any way morally instructive. Whether or not these terms motivate public awareness and activism, the idea that humans have a deep and affectively-orient ed affinity for living things, a biophilia, and possibly the entire cosmos, a co smophilia, still pepper academic scholarship, the popular realm and the policy arena. Just as oppositional or environmental subcultures exchange ideas and metaphors rather freely, within the sustainability milieu ideas such as biophilia and cosmophilia may arise independently (within the life sciences and physical sc iences, respectively) but be exchanged across the boundaries of these discip lines with ease. Moreover, such ideas exert

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135 influence on popular culture, as well as other academic disciplines re levant to sustainability, such as environmental ethics. For example, environmental philosopher J. Baird Callicott (1985) attempted to tag quantum mechanics as a source for environmental ethics. His primary goal was to solve what he called the most recalcitrant problem for environmen tal ethics, the creation of a coherent theory of the intrinsic value of nonhuman nature (1985 : 257). Drawing on Capra and Paul Shepard (a human ecologist influential in the deep ecology movement), Callicott argued that If quantum theory and ecology both imply in structurally similar ways in both the physical and organic domains of nature the continuity of self and nature, and if the self is intrinsically valuable, then nature is intrinsically valuable (275).174 Note here the parallel between Callicotts philosophical position and the credo popularized by John Seed (discussed above) that he is the rainforest defending itself.175 Although Seed is not an academic, the others mentioned above are, so I should be clear that these concepts do not belong only to academic s (whether of the scie ntific or philosophical variety). Ideas about ecologi cal and cosmological interdepe ndence and heightened human consciousness have also been circulating for some time within popular venues. For example, the popular documentary film What the Bleep Do We Know? (WTBDWK 2004) was billed as Exploring the worlds of Quantum Physics, Ne urology, and Molecular Biology in relation to the 174 Callicott asked the reader to assume a) with Shepard and Capra that nature is one and continuous with the self, and b) with the bulk of modern moral theorythat self-interested behavior has a prima facie claim to be at the same time rational behavior. Following this logic to its conclusion, the central axiological problem of environmental ethicsmay be directly and si mply solved (1985: 275). 175 In this essay, Callicott is not defending objective intrinsic value (as Holmes Rols ton, III often does [see Rolston III 1993 for an example related to biophilia]), but rather a subjective intrinsic value, where human valuers are required to encounter nature, and consider it to be valuable for its own sake. In essence, Callicott is really making two points: a) first, that quantum mechanics helps to overcome the fact-value dualism by positing emergent complementary properties; and b) that quantum theory of fers a new cosmological-met aphysical interpretive frame that transcends traditional rationality (here I draw on Michael E. Zimmerman 1995 [1988]).

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136 spheres of Spirituality, Me taphysics and Polish weddings. 176 The film featured interviews with several mystics, neuroscientists and religious leaders who sugg ested that the human mind can literally shape the world around it because it is an internally related and integral part of that world. An emotively-grounded interconnectedness w ith the cosmos is the central theme of the film. A follow up six-disk special release called Down the Rabbit Hole and an ongoing series of books, study groups, and a newsletter (The Bleepi ng Herald) attest to the popular impact of such themes. Although the film did not direct ly advocate for sustainability, many subcultures that participate in environmental or sustainabil ity activism exhibit resonance with the idea that humans are integrally related to the world, and that the way humans conceive of and relate to the world matters. Some scientists promote the idea of quantum consciousness as portrayed in WTBDWK (Capra, for example), while other grassroots progra ms promoting sustainab ility perpetuate ideas drawn from life scientists such as Aldo Leopol d, Rachel Carson, physicists such as Capra and Brian Swimme, and ideas such as Lovelocks Gaia hypothesis and Wilson and Kellerts biophilia hypothesis.177 In all of these cases, cosmophilic ideas are used strategically to influence the development of a wider moral imagination, one that envisions humans as in tegrally related to a process of cosmological evolution. For instance, the Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) promotes a series of discussion groups for communities that includ e publications from all of the above scientists. What began as a husband and wife team promoting sustainabl e lifestyle choices in th e Pacific Northwest has 176 From the official website, accessed 23 April 2008. 177 For example, Einstein, Capra, Carson, Leopold and many other ecological heroes are honored with pages in the Better World Projects Earth Day coloring book. The Better World Project is dedicated to the diverse movements for change toward a just and su stainable world. For more info rmation about Better World, see accessed 18 June 2008.

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137 blossomed into a grassroots movement that over several years ha s included over 85,000 participants. The Discovering a Sense of Place discussion module is advertised with a quote from deep ecologists Bill Devall and George Sessions: The work we call cultivating ecological consciousness involves becoming awar e of the actuality of rocks, wo lves, trees, and rivers the cultivation of the insigh t that everything is connected, wh ile in the Exploring Deep Ecology module Brian Swimme discusses the cosmol ogical Epic of Evolution: Within the evolutionary point of view, you realizeholy todelo!the mind itsel f is just an expression of the powers of the universe (NWEI 2001: iv-10). These ideas are not mere academic mantlepieces; they have become fodder for the public imagination. The idea of biophilia, in these cases, is t oo narrow: the affinities of living things are imagined to reach beyond the carbon-based world, manifesting in cosmophilia. Even when the language of sustainability advocacy is not explic itly religious, in many cases it reflects core values and deep beliefs of particular indivi duals, communities or groups, and when deployed in the public sphere it is performing religious work. Ideas about interconnectedness and alternative ethics or anthropologies have been raised and popularized by both life scientists and physical scientists, often usi ng religious language and metaphors. 178 Moreover, it is usually through such religious language that these concepts are interpreted for the public. Particularly in these circles, where science is ex plicitly connected with sustainabi lity, scientists tend to promote an approach to envisioning the environment that is distinctly normative. To the extent that these scientists are treading on normative territory, an d are connecting their own existence and moral sensibilities not only to living things, but al so to affinities with broader cosmological 178 These are envisioned as alternatives to the ethical demands proffered by the prevailing economic, social, and political powers.

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138 evolutionary narratives and for ces, a cosmophilia, they are contributing to the religious metanarrative of sustainability. Social Sciences and Sustainability The social sciences have also contributed to the crucial hum an dimension of this emerging metanarrative of sustainability. Anthropologists and later religi ous scholars analyzed cultures whose lifeways were envisioned as alternatives to Western culture, while some economists began to propose alternative mode ls of exchange. To the extent that they use language of deep relationality and interconnecte dness, and promote differing soci al arrangements and exchange, they are doing religious work. Mo reover, these models are freque ntly referenced by scholars and activists outside of the social scienc es as important to sustainability. Other Peoples Science and Sustainability Louise Fortm ann, professor of sustainable de velopment at UC Berkeley, suggested that appropriate development schemes always included input about the ways that the targets of development conceive of and classify their worlds -what she called other peoples science.179 Several scholars have attempted to take se riously the knowledge systems of indigenous and other marginalized peoples in an effort to gene rate more equitable and sustainable development (see for example Wright 1988, 2007). For example, Berkes suggested that traditional ecological knowledge was the embodiment of a lifestyle th at was the product of extended residence in particular places, and could be combined with postmodern science to achieve sustainability (Berkes 1999: 154-155). Environmental philosopher J. Baird Callicott, in his work Earths Insights: A Multicultural Survey of Ecological Ethics from the Mediterranean Basin to the Australian Outback (Callicott 1994), argued th at postmodern science epitomized by the new 179 Class lecture, Fall 2002.

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139 physics and the new ecology can create a consilience of Western an d indigenous knowledges, with the result being a more pr oductive search for sustainabilit y. Callicott advocated a new, multiethnic environmental ethic: an internat ional environmental ethic firmly grounded in ecology and buttressed by the new physics will complement, rather th an clash with, the environmental ethics implicit in the worlds ma ny indigenous traditions of thought (209-210). While Callicotts vision, where the contemporary custodians of traditional and indigenous nonWestern systems of ideas can be cocreators of a new master narrative for the rainbow race of the global village sounds intuit ively appealing, I suspect that actual political and social structures may be needed to facilitate the construction of such large-scale narratives (Callicott 1994: 192). For example, such literature recommends a me thodological pluralism and a democratization of political contact points for these plural episte mologies as a starting place. In many cases, however, the use and abuse of such language and ideas in international politi cs has contributed to what some anthropologists consider to be a persistent paternalism toward indigenous or otherwise marginal cultures (Wright 2009). Traditional or neo-traditional lifeways (that is, those that are based on observation, experience, and extensive loca l knowledge), including the beli efs and practices that help populations to negotiate these lifeways, are neither metaphysically irrational nor merely simplistic, erroneous renderings of how the world really works. 180 According to those who extol the virtues of indigenous a nd traditional peoples their persis tence over time illustrates the accuracy of their understanding of the embodied, situ ated worlds in which they participate. 180 Berkes and Folke suggest that it is not historical continuity that is most important. Experience, observation, and attentive learning from particular places are what constitute the essential ingredients in traditional or neo-traditional management (1998: 5).

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140 Darrell Posey suggested that Western scientif ic management regimes are over time growing closer to older, traditi onal forms of management: Many people in industrialized count ries are trying to re-integ rate the concep t of sacred balance into a practical ethic of land, bi odiversity, and environment. This movement takes its inspiration from Leopolds ideas of land ethic and environmental citizenship.Indigenous, traditional and local communitiesexpress their profound concerns in cultural and spiritual terms precisely because they recognize its deeprootedness (Posey 2004: 204). Posey explicitly drew on Black El ks teachings, David Suzukis book The Sacred Balance (Suzuki 1997), as well as from indigenous peoples and publications from international political bodies.181 This exemplifies the cross-fertilization of these varied constituencies, and the common languages used by them. However, a note of caution should be sounded here, for these invocations of supposedly indigenous values are not always accurate, nor are they totally i nnocent. For example, Darrell Posey was an important supporter of the incl usion of indigenous voices in sustainable development regimes, editing a weighty volume elucid ating the spiritual valu es of biodiversity as part of a UNEP supplement to the Millenni um Ecosystem Assessment (Posey 1999). The veracity of Poseys research, however, has been questioned. Anthropologist Eugene Parker, for example, whose work in the Am azon overlapped geographically with Poseys, has argued that Poseys research on indigenous resource manageme nt strategies is a remarkable house of cards (1993: 722). Poseys claims, Parker contends, we re based not just on a misunderstanding of the indigenous experience but also on his intentional disregard for re peated entreaties by the peoples 181 On Suzukis influence see chapter six of Taylors Dark Green Religion (2009).

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141 themselves that Poseys explanatory categories di d not make sense to the way they perceived and interacted with their habitats.182 In short, Posey was reading his own ideas about sustainable cultural behaviors into the Kayapo experience. While the use of the term su stainable to describe in digenous or traditional activities might resonate with the political engines that promote and fund sustainable development projects, these fundi ng agencies and sometimes the scholars that support them tend to view indigenous aims through Western lenses and rely on a few bicult ural individuals as leaders (Conklin and Graham 1995: 704; quot ed in Wright 2009: 204). In such cases, anthropologists may work toward manufacturing, rath er than cultivating, a sust ainable society. Traditional social-ecological systems can be helpful without this strong tendency to romanticize the beliefs and practi ces of cultural others. As Berkes, Folke, and Colding have argued, adaptive management in modern society c ould be seen asa sort of rediscovery of principles applied in traditional social-ecologica l systems. It is a search for a sustainable relationship with life-supporting ecosystems, a social and institutional response to resource scarcity and management failure (Berkes, Folk e and Colding 1998: 358). They are suggesting that some traditional social-ecological systems are instructive not because the people possessed some inherently sustainable ethi c or worldview, but rather because their social structures were more sensitive to perturbations in the ecological system. This is a valuable lesson, Berkes and his collaborators believe, for re-thinking how to structure socio-political systems within the industrialized world. 182 One of Poseys primary contributions was the idea that the Kayapo had cultivated a series of forest islands in savannahs in and around their villages by bringing useful plants from far away. Parker stated that I conclude that apt [forest islands], as described by Posey, do not exist (1993: 715). Parker draws on some of the same informants that Posey cites in his own research.

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142 Berkes, Folke and Colding sum up how natural sciences, social sciences, and values are tied together and placed within an ecological ma trix, providing a nice segue into the discussion of economics as it relates to sustainability: [J]ust as physics moved in other [less reducti onistic] directions (e.g. Capra, 1982), so too has biology (e.g. Kauffman, 1993) and econom ics (e.g. Anderson, Arrow and Pines, 1988)..The critiques of reductionistic biology or, for example, neoclassical economics, are now becoming dated. Those bodies of scholarship are being superseded by true innovative integration of economics and ecology (Berkes and Folke 1998: 345). Exchange Relations and the Metanarrative of Sustainability After the tragic events of 11 Septem ber 2001, U.S. President G.W. Bush reported to a special Joint Session of Congress that freedom itself was under attack. 183 In this speech, the freedom that the U.S. represented was explic itly related to economic activity. Economic sanctions and measures we re taken to cripple ex isting terror networks,184 and Americans were encouraged to go about their busin ess, especially with regard to their typical purchasing and consumption patterns.185 In the same speech, Bush pleaded for your [Americans] continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity. They did not touch its source. We will come together to take active steps that strengthen Americas economy, a nd put our people back to work. In Chapter 4 I highlighted other examples of economic arguments used to promote capitalism and consumption following the first two World Wars. Capitalism, in its present form, 183 Four US-owned passenger jets were hijacked, and two of the jets were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York. The full speech is available at (accessed 10 June 2008). 184 One of Bushs calls for aid went to banking systems around the world ( accessed 10 June 2008). 185 On 15 September 2001 Bush was asked at a press conf erence: Sir, how much of a sacrifice are ordinary Americans going to have to be expected to make in their daily lives, in thei r daily routines? His reply was Our hope, of course, is that they make no sacrifice whatsoever We would like to see life return to normal in America. Full text available at (accessed 10 June 2008).

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143 however, has a peculiar attribute that makes it a repeated target for sustainability advocates. Neoclassical economics always assumes some leve l of substitutability of resources and goods (Sumner 2005: 87).186 Since at least the 1970s several scholars and activis ts have argued that the present form of capitalism has historically been one of the primary engines of ecological degradation and social injustice. For example, Gary Gardner of the Worldwatch Institute argued that market capitalism represents a threat to all world religions, and that religious attitudes are the necessary counterbalance that could prevent us from fouling our nests (Gardner 2002: 9). Economists Thomas Prugh, Robert Costanza, and Herman Daly put it more forcefully, arguing that capitalism is fatally blind to the critical issues of the scale of the global economy and the maldistribution of the worlds wealth, denies ethical obligations to community welfare, shifts all possible costs to others (including the public), seeks to co-opt the political process by means of moneyed interest groups and otherwise er odes and corrupts the public sphere, and encourages the global homogeniza tion of culture (2000: 71). There have typically been three sorts of economically-grounded res ponses to traditional neoclassical arguments that markets can genera te justice and facilitate increased cultural resilience. First, some scholars have argued that the lo calized diversification, rather than growth in sheer size, of markets can provide similar or equivalent economic stimulus for increasing levels of human well-being (see for example Mander and Goldsmith 1996).187 Second, economists such as Herman Daly, drawing on th e idea that growth is not always good, have offered instead a provocative vision of a st eady-state economy (Daly 1980, 1996). Finally, others have suggested that capitalism is skewed at least in part because it clings to GNP as a 186 Advocates of weak sustainability, for example, might allow the replanting of logged old growth forest with a single high-pulp species, noting similar levels of net primary productivity, and arguing that this is an appropriate substitute. Some strong sustainability advocates, on the other hand, might draw stricter boundaries on what sort of resource substitutions would be allowed. See the introduction, pp. 4-5 for further discussion. 187 Former World Bank economist Hermann Daly refers to this diversification without increasing throughputs development (1996).

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144 standard of a successful economy. Examples of alternatives to GNP include the standard imposed by the nation of Bhutan, which has started using the idea of happiness as its index for assessing the performance of th e economy (Anielski 2007: 137-145).188 Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen (2000 [1999]) has argued that the su ccess of development projects ought to be measured not by the increase in production or ex change but in the degr ees of freedom provided to the citizenry. These alternatives are of central importance within sustainability circles, highlighting the limits to economic activity and pathways to increased technological efficiency.189 Perhaps the most well-known use of economic logic to highlight ecological limits in the 20th century was Limits to Growth (Meadows, et al. 1972), a repor t commissioned and promoted by a group of elite scientists, businesspeople, and government agents from around the world. Partly in response to th is report, the editors of the well-known journal The Ecologist penned their Blueprint for Survival that same year, reviewing ecologi cal and social problems and providing some suggestions for moving toward a sustainabl e society (Goldsmith, et al. 1972: 1). They hoped to promote a new philosophy of life which might bring on the dawn of a new age in which Man (sic) will learn to live with the rest of nature rather than against it (vi). Their citation and assessment of one of the Bishop of Kings tons lectures is intere sting, particularly in the context of economics. In th is particular speech, the Bishop190 provides a new set of commandments about humans responsibil ity for maintaining Gods household:191 188 Their official measurement is Gr oss National Happiness, or GNH. 189 They are not always considered separately. They are sometimes discussed together as a set of solutions. 190 The reader is introduced to the bishop in the reading qu ite suddenly, with no real explanation of who he is, or why he is important to the authors. 191 The etymology of the term eco nomics derives from the Greek oikos and literally refers to the process and means of exchange within the house.

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145 You shall not take the name of the Lordin vain by calling on his name but ignoring his natural law. In other words, there must be a fusion between our re ligion and the rest of our culture, since there is no valid distinc tion between the laws of God and Nature, and Man must live by them no less than any other creatur e. Such a belief mu st be central to the philosophy of the stable society, and must perm eate all our thinking. Indeed, it is the only one that is properly scientific, and science mu st address itself much more vigorously to the problems of cooperating with the rest of nature, rather than seeking to control it (165). I do not believe that the journal editors inte nded for this remarkable passage to promote Christianity. Rather, they used religion in a br oader sense to refer to core values and deep beliefs, and claim that good social science accounts for such valu es, rather than pretending to remain value-neutral. Moreover, religion has been a key element in recognizing that economies make sense only within ecological boundaries. Herman Daly has argued that we need a new central organizing principlea fundamental ethic that will guide our actions in a way more in harmony with both basic religious in sight and the scientifically veri fiable limits of the natural world. This ethic is suggested by the terms sustainability, sufficiency, equity, efficiency (1996: 218). Like the Bis hop, Daly provided an th commandment: Thou shalt not allow unlimited inequality in the distribu tion of private property (1996: 206).192 The economic future, at least accord ing to many economists, does not depend on endlessly growing the economy on a global scale, and may be better served by the emergence of more localized exchange relati ons and technology transfers. The scholars above are talking about a new way of envisioning our excha nge relations. Certainl y economic globalization brings significant benefits in the form of health care, raised standards of living, and arguably social equality and justice. But it has also spawned emerging fundamentalisms (abroad as well as in North America), increased intolerance, and violence (both state-sponsored and reactionary). But there remains hope, as Tom ORiordan puts it that If the world political, religious and 192 Daly grounds his argument on what he calls a biblical basis, which provides a particularly cutting commentary on the ideas of equity and economics.

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146 economic leaders combine the centrality of w ealth, health, stability and security with sustainability, then there is a chance that th e outcome of the unforgettable events of 11 September will generate a profoundly tr ansformative legacy (2002: 27). Toward a Constructive Social Scientific Research Program Like the rest of the ecological m atrix upon which they depe nd, humans are variable and unique. Fingerprints are a matchless amalgamati on of swirls, no two huma n ears are the same, and human cognitive capacities (while they undo ubtedly follow genetic predispositions and general developmental patterns) represent processing capacities uni que to particular places and modes of life. This diversity is in large part what makes life interesting but it can be inconvenient for politics. Ev en in political programs labe led with terms related to sustainability or sustainable development pe ople have different understandings of what those words mean, and differing perceptions of end goals It is this dizzying variety that prompted Bryan Norton to propose a new constructive soci al science research program, one concerned with developing a new kind of integr ative social science, a social science that will find its role as mission-oriented science within an adaptive management proce ss (2005: 291). In this new research program, natural sciences have rele vance to social values, which are empirically confirmed (or falsified) through in terdisciplinary social scientific investigations. While Norton recognizes that pluralism inevitably leads to a range of values from consumptive to transformative to spiritual, those aff ectively held values are relevant only within particular communities of accountability (2005: 373). For Norton, operationalizing the definition of sustainability requires that a particular community specify its most important values within an open and adaptive process (2005: 432). This process-oriented model is indeed helpful for viewing policy making as a series of reflective and action phase s, where public discussion on co mmunity mores (the reflective

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147 phase) lays the groundwork for experimental action, which leads to re-v isitation of community goals. While Nortons model is invaluable, his contention that religious or spiritual language should not be utilized in public deliberation between communities to describe policy goals is problematic.193 First, these religious values can in so me cases be instructive for people outside of a particular community, and engagement with outsiders may help to inform that communitys own values.194 As my case studies demonstrate, core values within communities are intentionally marketed outside their social boundaries for the purpose of forging partnerships and educating others about community values. Second, fencing religious valu es out of public deliberati on not only truncates creative decision-making applicable to the people it affects, but also raises an artificial boundary within an already difficult process. To suggest that reli gious values are not tran slatable across cultures, or to argue that they make the political proce ss too laborious and slow is to place only limited trust in the capabilities of democracy. As Nort on said, In the end, I guess we all face a choice: We must decide whether we are first and fore most environmentalists or first and foremost democrats.For my part, given these alternatives, I choose democracy (2005: 251). But if, as anthropologists and others are aw are, most of the worlds popul ation does not draw significant boundaries between religious and political life, then democratic processes, especially those coupled with sustainable development schemes de signed to help marginalized peoples across the globe must allow reflection and public debate on religi ous values to produce viable, sustainable 193 Drawing on Habermass work, Norton states that discourse ethics promotes multilayered communication channels that are unshaken by substantive beliefs or personal values (2005:288). 194 Fazlun Khalid, founder and director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) told me that working with other people helps us to educat e the Muslims. He went on to say that this was a crucial piece of faith-based environmental protection, particularly in areas where Musl ims engaged in violent conflict were unable to see the issues that lie beneath their feet! [envir onmental issues] (interview with Khalid, 29 May 2008). Muslims, then, were also learning from those outside of their own communities.

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148 public policy.195 At least some of the people I intervie wed engage in deliberation rather than violence (to use Nortons example) precisely because of their religious beliefs and values, not in spite of them.196 This goes against the grain of Norton s claim that such commitments to risky partnerships (commitments to negotiate with others outside of your own community) have nothing to do with the particular beliefs and va lues of the participants (2005: 285). In fact, in some cases they are directly re lated, and hiding this from public eyes may hamper the process of public debate. In part, Norton is using a definition of religion th at is Protestant in sp irit if not in name. That is, Norton endorsed the idea that religion is a private affair confined to the home and the home community. I would argue, ho wever, it is also a set of valu es that guides and supports practices that provide for the flourishing of both individuals and communities and which negotiate relationships with those outside partic ular communities. The reduction of religion to a private sphere separate from political and soci al worlds, and its dismissal as subjective and politically unhelpful is no longer acceptable Recognizing the close relationship between cultural diversity, religion, and environmental well -being is essential to the creation of just policy regimes. Perhaps the integrative, constr uctive, and mission-driven social science that Norton envisions could benefit from more epis temological inputs, a sort of comparative 195 David Chidester notes that a now out of date guidebook for Christian missionaries put the number of animistic peoples on the planet, those who do not resonate with traditional Western categories and concepts, at roughly 40% (2005: 78, study referenced from 1991). Anthropologist Darrell Posey suggests that, excluding urban populations, indigenous peoples could amount to 85% of the worlds population (2004). One publication from the IUCN, UNEP, and WWF put the number of indigenous peoples at about 200 million, or approximately 4% of the (then) global population (1991: 61). 196 Norton suggests that the commitment to deliberation rather than violence should be on e of the principle elements of the glue that holds various communities together in public dialog. If this commitment is grounded, however, in deeper commitments, then these deeper foundations could be examined in good faith by interested constituents in an effort to engage empathically with others without adjudi cating the correctness or veracity of any particular set of religious, meta-ethical or metaphysical assumptions.

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149 epistemology. But many of these alternativ e epistemologies are grounded in spiritual knowledge. Noted ecologists Carl Folke, Fikret Berkes and Johan Colding note that in sustainable development we knowthat there are multiple epistemologies [involved], different ethical positions with respect to the environment, and different cultural traditions in the perception of ecosystems and resources. To extend our consideration of th e range of resource management alternatives requires an openness to different epistemologies and cultural traditions, and the worldview behind them (Berkes, Colding, and Folke 2002: 427).197 There is a close relationship between knowledge and power, and this relationship becomes especially crucial in intercultu ral encounters facilitated by sustai nable development schemes. As Michael Redclift put it, the c onsideration of epistemology in sustainable development carries important implications for our analysis, since it st rikes at the cultural ro ots of quite different traditions of knowledge (in Ghai and Vivian 199 2: 33). This relationship between power and knowledge can in some cases, particularly when fr amed within the context of religion, stall or even dismantle negotiations altogether. But acco rding to Redclift and others, core values, life practices, and the myths that grow from and inform them should at least be acknowledged and vetted for public scrutiny rather than dismi ssed as subjective matters outside the realm of interpersonal and community conversation. One crucial gap in the implementation of sustainable development lies between the values-laden politics of those peoples who find themselves the targets of development and the ostensibly value-neutral utilitarian politics of contemporary Western liberal democracy and its accompaniment, a peculiar form of market cap italism (Wright 2009; Prugh, Costanza, and Daly 2000: 67-87; Deloria 1992: 202-253; Torgerson 1999: 120). Such democratic political 197 Public policy expert Michael Redclift notes that What is required is the admission that we are dealing, when we observe local resource management strategies, with multiple epistemologies possessed by different groups of people (Ghai,and Vivian 1992: 35, italics in original).

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150 structures carry their own sets of foundational va lues, whether they are made explicit or not.198 To his credit, Norton believes that adaptive manage ment, which lies at the heart of sustainability, is a value-laden science. But wh ile Nortons model allows vetting of many sorts of social values in the public sphere, it leaves religious language locked within partic ular communities. Some political scientists argue that these value commit ments (as well as a host of others) should be made public if a democratic system is to ope rate effectively (Gilroy and Bowersox 2002). These value sets should be debated in public, and with the full i nput of local populations. Without direct attention to the resource deci sions made by people no the community level and the local-level power relations that facilitate and constrain them, sustainability on a broad scale is unlikely to develop (Redclift 1992: 29). In many cases, particularly in the South, such community decisions are heavily influenced by relig ious life (Wright 2009). It will be helpful to unpack how some social scientists couple religious values with cu ltural diversity, resilience, and sustainability. Concluding Remarks on Religions, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Cultural Transmission in Sustainability Three significant str eams of religious m etaphor and la nguage from existing religious practice (i.e., world religions, nature religions, and international civic religion, discussed in Chapter 5), the natural sciences, and the social sciences (discussed above)-have as implicit common foci the idea of deep interconnectedne ss, the recognition of eco logical and individual limits, and an ethics of interpersonal empat hy, where democratic processes and development prospects depend on genuine attempts to hear the stories of cultural others. In most cases the priorities of these various c onstituencies are woven together using religious language, often 198 For example, traditional Western democratic theory assumes that the primary economic unit used for analysis is the individual, who is, at least in the process of making rational decisions, is a completely autonomous cost/benefit calculator Thomas Prugh, Costanza and Daly 2000: 100; Posey 2006).

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151 translated through non-governmental organizations that facilitate intera ctions between them. These groups are able to communicate across these boundaries (gra ssroots, national, international/secular, religious) using the lingui stic and metaphorical content of the religious dimension of sustainability. In the following chapters, I explore such re ligious production, beginni ng with those that are more obviously religious (in the traditional sense of the wo rd) in Chapter 7, moving toward those that are interfaith or non-denominational (Chapter 8) and secular (Chapter 9).199 Figure 6-1. The Horseshoe Configuration of Perspectives from Killingsworth and Palmer 1992: 14. 199 I do not mean to imply that those groups that are explic itly religious do not interact with other religious groups. On the contrary, they do partner with ot hers with different religious beliefs an d practices, but they do so because of teachings within their own tradition. The groups analyzed here th at I characterize as interfaith are groups whose primary aim is to facilitate interactions across faiths. Th e secular groups also work with various religious groups, but their explicit goals are not framed religiously, but in terms of sustainability and conservation.

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152 CHAPTER 7 WALKING TOGETHER SEPARATELY: EVANGE LICAL CREATION CARE Introduction Northland C hurchs morning service starte d right on time as the three movie theater screens across the back of the stage lit up with thousands of stars. With the heavens speeding by on the screens, at least a dozen singers cried out repeatedly Lord of all creation.the universe declares your majesty! In the midst of the stars, several names for God appeared in series (Jehovah, Elohim, Yahweh, God, and others, finally concluding with LORD in all capitals). The song went on to recall the immensity of the un iverse together with th e unity of the Creator God, concluding with Gods admonishment to Job Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?200 A cosmocentric perspective was at least implied in the imagery and words, one that takes the cosmos itself as the unit of mo ral considerability. This sort of imagery and language is increasingly common, t hough its use by evangelicals should be clearly differentiated from the sort of cosmophilia endorsed by many scientists and sc holars in Chapter 6.201 Such an expanded sense of moral obligation may be rare among evangelical Chri stians but some high profile evangelical leaders are attempting to create a large-sc ale shift in values among the conservative Christians in the United States. This chapter focuses specifically on the emergence of environmental advocacy among evangelical Christians in the Un ited States, the political structur es they have formed around this development, the partnerships they have brokere d with others outside th eir faith tradition, and their local and national impacts. While the idea that there is some common Judeo-Christian 200 From the Hebrew Bibles book of Job 38:4. In the passage God is reminding Job that a mere mortal could never know the deep history of the cosmos, or understand the mind of the Creator. 201 Evangelical Christians believe it is important to distinguish themselves from scientists who resonate with a religious naturalism, or with other religion scholars such as Thomas Berry who advertis e a scientifically-grounded universe story (see Swimme and Berry 1994).

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153 historical consciousness is outdated, the claim has frequently been made that the United States is a Christian nation (Harris 2008).202 If Christians generally are a powerful lobby and a prevalent source of the American moral imagination, evangelical Ch ristians, as the largest single religious group in the United St ates (26% of the adult populati on), wield significant political, economic and social power. 203 While some have become frus trated by the apparent political savvy of these constituencies, many do not acknowl edge the thoughtful broke ring of partnerships with other religious and secula r groups that underlies their po litical and social stamina. I refer to these Christians as evangelicals primarily because that is their term for selfidentification. George Marsden suggests that contemporary evangelicalism includes any Christians traditional enough to affirm the basic beliefs of the old nineteenth-century evangelical consensus, which include: ) th e Reformation doctrine of the final authority of the Bible; 2) the real historical character of Gods saving work recorded in Scripture; 3) salvation to eternal life ba sed on the redemptive work of Christ; 4) the importance of evangelism and missions; and 5) the importance of a spiritually tran sformed life (Marsden 1991: 1-2). According to this broad definition the informants in this chapter are evangelical. As with any other religious denomination, however, there is wide variance within th ese boundaries. Marsden argued that evangelicalis m and fundamentalism are essentially religious movements, and their 202 Illustrations abound in the popular press. The Gainesville Sun (Florida), my local newspaper, includes frequent opinion pieces which insist that the United States is a Ch ristian nation founded on Christian values, and that these values ought to play a significant role in setting policy. These local voices grow louder and more frequent when public disputes arise about including evolution in public school curricula or about which public areas can display religious symbols and texts. For example, in 2007 ther e was significant controversy in Florida when one school board attempted to remove all mention of the age of the earth and of macroevolution from high school science textbooks. To further illustrate, in 2003 a Georgia j udge was ordered by a higher court to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom wall (I was living in Athens, GA, at the time). For a period, citizen support for the judges cause (in defense of the Christian nation) was demonstrated by the rash of plastic placards that bore the Commandments that appeared in yards across the nation. 203 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, accessed 1 July 2008. Evangelical Christians are the largest single religious group in the US according to the Pew Study, nearly 2.5% larger than Catholics, and a full 8% larger than the mainline Protestant Christian denominations. Although not all who are classified as evangelical Christians in the Pew study would resonate with the views of those I discuss here, most would agree in many cases on legislation on other matters, including life and death and marriage issues.

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154 identity cannot be neatly confirmed by de finitional fiat (1991: 3, italics his). 204 Ecologist and evangelical Calvin DeWitt used an expansive definition which stated that evangelicalism exists within nearly all Christian denominations, including Catholicism (2006: 572). Paralleling Marsdens definition to some extent, DeWitt characterized evangelicalism as a belief in the Bible as the authoritative source for understanding how to live on earth, and th e belief that the good news of salvation must be actively proclaimed.205 Generally, evangelicals are distrustful of both secular and ecclesiastical au thority, which has arguably hampered their engagement of the natural sciences.206 But their knowledge of and dialog with the natural scien ces is increasing, and the individuals I interviewed often cited scie ntists as central to their understanding of environmental issues. The evangelicals discussed here are often criticized by those w ithin their own faith communities for earnestly engaging with the broa der secular society. They are atypical and controversial figures within their faith communities. Certainly the evangelicals who attend the 12,000 member Northland Church in Orlando, Florid a and representatives of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) are very differe nt from those who identify themselves as evangelicals and resist mountaintop removal in A ppalachia, or those who consider themselves evangelical but generally resi st participation in the secular world. The peculiar network discussed here is seeking to change how evangeli cals relate to the broade r culture, and to change evangelical culture by cultivating some socially progressive policies within a theologically 204 For good introductions to the emergence of evangelicalism in the United States, a topic which is not my concern here, see Mark Nolls The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1995) and Marsdens Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism (1991). 205 The term evangelical derives from the Greek euangelion meaning a bearer of good news. DeWitt detailed this etymology in two public addresses in Gainesville, Florid a April 7 and 8, 2008 (see also DeWitt 2006: 572). 206 DeWitt noted that their distrust of authority has also prevented many evangelicals from embracing biblical teachings on environmental degradation, and knowledge of the content of ear ly Hebrew or Greek biblical texts (2006: 573).

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155 conservative constituency. These are non-tradit ional, non-denominationa l evangelical leaders who take it as part of their reli gious vocation to cultivate partne rships with those outside their own evangelical communities. Importantly however, evangelicals have been careful to set themselves apart from other religious responses to the environment, and es pecially from secular environmentalismthe way they put it, they are walking together separately.207 The partnerships they form often fail to achieve any lasting results. But when the partnerships do work, they are significant and lasting in part because the participants are clear about the sources and shap e of their core values. Rather than use these religious values as bargaining chips, however, these evangelicals use them as socio-political markers to help those within their communities and outsiders better understand the sets of rules by which they intend to negotiate. Analysis of these strategic relationships debunks stereotypes of conservative evangelicals which suggest that they ignore scie ntific facts, are nave to political manipula tions, and culturally insular. To better grasp the ethical foundations of evangelical envir onmentalism, it is helpful to understand the genesis of this religious social movement. 207 I first heard this phrase used by Alexei Laushkin, Program Assistant for the EEN in our interview on 13 May, 2008). When I used that phrase to describe evange lical environmentalism, Jim Ball, Executive Director and President of the EEN, agreed that it was an apt characterizat ion of the way that evangelical Christians relate to nonevangelicals. Ben Campbell, another evangelical respondent employed by Conservation International (see chapter six) also agreed that it was an approp riate description for how he viewed his spiritually-centered life in relation to secular conservation advocates.

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156 The Genesis of Evangelical Environmentali sm: From Environmental Stew ardship to Creation Care208 The history that I present here does not descri be all evangelicals in the United States. Ecological issues are a growing concern among evange licals, but that does not mean that they are a concern for all evangelicals. The responde nts I draw upon here, however, represent a high profile group of leaders who are changing the public face of evangelicalism in the United States (Calvin DeWitt, Jim Ball, Joel Hunter and others), and thus the stories they tell about the sources of their advocacy is relevant to my pr oject. All evangelical respondents mentioned a relatively short list of peopl e as largely responsible for the emergence of evangelical environmentalism, including Jim Ball, Richard Cizik, and Calvin DeWitt.209 Lynn White and the Greening of Evangelicalism Evangelical environm ental advocacy emerged, with awareness of ecological degradation generally, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. To date most acade mic treatments of evangelical environmentalism trace the intellectua l roots of the greening of the worlds religions back to historian Lynn Whites argument (1967) that the dominion theme in Genesi s, through an elective affinity for particularly invasive technologies, caused the current ecological crisis (see DeWitt 2006: 577; Larsen 2001: 39-85; Wilkinson 1980: 104; Schaeffer 1970). Impelled by White to demonstrate that the Christian tradition could be a vibrant, living religion relevant to 208 Jim Ball, founder and director of the EEN suggested that it was important to clarify what I meant by creation care, since many Christians, as well as people of other faiths, use it to describe their activism for the environment. I use it here to refer to a specifically evangelical Christia n understanding of creation care that views this activism not as environmental activism, but as advocacy for Gods whole creation. There is no distinction in this cosmovision between advocacy for the poor (the leas t of these) and advocacy for the enviro nment, for both are undertaken in obedience to God (not in response to some perceived ecological crisis). 209 My intention here is to highlight significant benchmarks in the development of creation care, not to offer an exhaustive history of its emergence. David Larsens two volume dissertation at the University of Chicago, titled Gods Gardeners: American Protestant Evangelicals Confront Environmentalism (2001), provides such a history with a detailed account of the tributar ies and main events in the emergence of what he termed evangelical environmentalism.

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157 contemporary problems several Christians began ri fling through their traditions searching for glimmers of green. Evange licals were no exception. The first extended evangelical response to White came when theologian Francis Schaeffer published Pollution and the Death of Man in 1970, which provided much of the theological foundation for what later became known as evangelical environmentalism or creation care. Schaeffer answered Lynn Wh ites charge by arguing that a perversion of the Christian message was responsible for environmental disa sters. Schaeffer argued that humans were divinely-appointed rulers ove r creation, charged with mainta ining harmonious relationships between humans and nature. Christianity, prope rly understood, could prov ide the transcendent grounding that could combat what Schaefer perceived as widesp read cultural anxiety. According to Schaeffer, toward the end of his life Charles Darwin expressed a profound existential anxiety derived from his realization that nature, including man, is based only on the impersonal plus time plus chance (Schaeffer 1970: 11). Schaeffer interpreted Darwin to mean that he could no longer find beauty in nature be cause he could discern in it no divine spark. A parallel inability to find joy in nature, Schae ffer believed, had become widespread by the late 1960s even manifesting in popular music such as The Doors song Strange Days, from which Schaeffer took the inspiration and titl e for his first chapter (1970: 12).210 For Schaeffer, the basic tenets of an ecol ogically responsible Chri stianity included the following key concepts: a) nature was valuable in itself because it was made by God (1970: 47); b) humans and the whole creation are equal in their origin being created by God (1970: 48); c) 210 The title of the chapter is Our Fair Sister, drawn from the lyrics, What have they done to the earth? / What have they done to our fair sister? Schaeffers use of this song is ironic, for The Doors were important purveyors of the music that was an integral part of the subcultural m ilieus that Schaeffer collectivel y and pejoratively referred to as hippies and pantheists. In addition, Jim Morrison, The Doors lead singer, fa mously called out to a crowd gathered outside a Los Angeles nightclub that he was the Lizard King and could do anything. This demonic moniker is now frequently associated with Morrison in memorabilia.

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158 Christs incarnation indicates that the physical world will be re deemed; and d) humans, created in the image of God, must exercise a wiser sort of dominion over the lower orders of nature (1970: 50, 69-77).211 These foundational ideas became cen tral to later enunciations of evangelical creation care. By the late 1970s, other environmentally-c oncerned evangelical academics had organized a forum, the first official eva ngelical gathering dedicated to imp lementing a practical evangelical response to Whites challenge and the churchs perceived inaction. This forum was launched in 1977 by the Calvin College Center for Christian Scholarship, which focused its initial year on Christian Stewardship and Natural Resources (Wilkinson 1980: vii; DeWitt 2006: 579). The Fellows selected by the College to participate were Peter DeVos (professor of Philosophy), Calvin DeWitt (professor of Environmental Studi es), Eugene Dykema (professor of Economics), Vernon Ehlers (professor of Physics) and Lore n Wilkinson (professor of English). They published the results of their research as Earthkeeping: Christian Stewardship of Natural Resources (Wilkinson 1980).212 This book extended the theo logical foundations laid by Schaeffer, providing a more detailed analysis of ecological degradation, land use, population, and technology, and effectively in troduced the idea of Christian stewardship as an evangelical environmental theme. 211 The italics in this paragraph are from the original text. Schaeffers work is one early illustration of the idea that non-human nature possesses intrinsic worth (nature was valuable in itself ) without dependence on a bioor ecocentric ethics. In this case, recognition of intrinsic value derives from a theocentric viewpoint which retains a strong human exceptionalist component, not from the perceived sacredness of nature itself. 212 Their focus was on what was then called Christian Environmental Stewardship (interview with DeWitt 08 April 2008). David Larsen, in his authoritative dissertation on evangelical concern for the environment from 19602000, termed this movement evangelical environmentalism (Larsen 2000). DeWitt seemed uncertain about the value of the term environmentalism to describe evange lical motivations, but has used the term in print (DeWitt 2006). He has emphasized that evangelicals are not sympathetic with the claims typically advanced by environmentalists, and evangelical care for creation should not be confused with environmentalist sentiment (2006: 571).

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159 The Further Development of Biblical Fo undations for Evangelical Environmentalism The authors of Earthkeeping (1980) em phasized that Lynn White s thesis was central to the development of ecological evangelicalism: I t is our thesis that White is, with a few important exceptions, correct in his analysis of th e effect of Christianity on views of nature (1980: 104). Among the most important exceptions for the Calvin Fellows was that it was Christendom not Christianity which was to blame for the ecological crisis: What White and others have pointed to as the de structive influence of Christianity is, in fact, the destructive influence of pre-Christian ideas, imperfectly tr ansformed by the gospel, and too often mistaken for the gospel itself (104). The Fellows echoed the argument advanced by Schaeffer (1970) that it was not Christianity, but a perversion of Christianity that was responsible for the environmental crisis. It has been particularly important to evangelicals to distance themselves from Christendom (which they believe is tainte d by pre-Christian influences), and from environmental ism which in conversation and in evangelical literature is of ten equated with a religious reverence for nature itself.213 As Wilkinson and his colleagues put it, All Christians immediately disassociate themse lves from such views of the relationship between God and nature [the identification of God with nature], for if there is one thing about biblical religion which is abundantly clear, it is that God is the maker of the world, and thus he is completely apart from it. He does not depend on it, but it depends utterly and completely on him (1980: 205) Thus, while the human is considered an excepti on within the animal world, continuity with nature is emphasized: What the words and the whole account [the Genesis account of creation in the Hebrew Bible] suggest, then, is what contemporary bi ologists and ecologists have been trying hard 213 If the influences of dark green religion reach as deeply and broadly into environmentalism as Taylor (2009) believes they do, then these evangelicals fears may be warranted.

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160 to tell us: whatever else they are, humans are also earth ; they share their nature with its soil, its plants, its animals (Wilkinson 1980: 208). The authors of Earthkeeping (1980) argued that nature tends to ward stability, and that, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, the ecosphere would eventua lly cause human population and consumption to stabilize. Christianity also, th ey agreed, promoted the idea of harmony between humans and the creation entrusted to them, and thus a task arising from the Christian gospel is to bring about such stability, and to do it th rough means other than starvation and warfare (Wilkinson 1980: 44). In a remarkably astute an alysis they suggested that inadequate food distribution, population growth, a nd unfettered market capitalism all contributed to social inequity, a symptom of a fallen society.214 This creation-centered theology remains th e foundation of creation care efforts today. DeWitt, in two public lectures in Gainesville, Florida in April 2008 recited nearly verbatim the interpretation of the Hebrew words abad and shamar provided in the volume authored by the Calvin Fellows. These terms are used in the Genesis creation story to describe human responsibilities toward creation. De Witt argued (as had Wilkinson et al.) that these Hebrew terms connote humans call to serve and preserve Gods garden (or creatio n), to exercise their dominion in a non-coercive partne rship with non-human nature (interview with DeWitt 8 April 2008; Wilkinson 1980: 209). In recent decades, when climate change grew into a focal point of activism and international politics, it was frequently suggested that natural disasters were on the rise, and that human suffering caused by climate change would likely increase. The poor, many evangelical 214 According to these Christians, humans are born with an inherently degraded spiritual and emotional capacity as a result of Adam and Eves original act of disobedience in th e Genesis narrative. This act of rebellion, partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, is often (particular ly after Augustines work in the 4th century CE) referred to as the Fall.

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161 leaders realized, would bear the brun t of the impacts of climate change.215 This creationcentered theology pioneered by the Calvin Fellows and others complexified, adding a biblicallygrounded concern for our neighbors to the exis ting notion that humans were Gods beneficent gardeners. The Evangelical Environmental Network By 1980, a sm all evangelical magazine called Firmament (published by Bob Carling) had emerged to promote the spread of evangelical environmentalism, while DeWitt and others formed the new Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies.216 The Institute offered universitylevel coursework and fieldwork opportunities in environmental studies. Students remained enrolled at their home institution, but could tran sfer credits from Au Sable for courses that integrated the natural sciences and their methodologies with theological instruction. The mission of the Institute was to cha llenge the two perceived shortcomings of Christianity in the public sphere. First it was designed to combat the fragmentation of knowledge by conceiving of environmental studies as an integrative discipline dedicated to integration of knowledge of the Creation [science] with biblical principles.217 Second, it was meant to correct the behavior of humans, including evangelicals, who corporately and individually, [had] become destroyers of creation (DeWitt 2006: 584). Between 1980 and 1985 215 Richard Cizik, Joel H unter, and Jim Ball all cited this as central to their understanding of creation care. While the first creation care publications focused on the relationships between humans, God, and nature, later theological reflection focused on Jesuss imperative to care for the l east of these (this quote co mes in Matthew 25:40, where Jesus suggests that caring for the poor, sick and hungry is equivalent to caring for Jesus). 216 The magazine was later called Green Cross, and later still Creation Care According to DeWitt, Bob Carling was active from the early days of evangelical environmentalism and remained active in the EEN after its founding. 217 From their website, accessed 7 August 2008. According to Calvin DeWitt the apparent dearth of practicable environmental ethics is a direct result of the fr agmentation of knowledge. That is, the division of the Academy into distinct disciplines has encouraged the erosion of constructive fields of study whose task was, at least until the end of the 19th century, to provide some connective tissue between different areas of inquiry. Theology, in this understanding of educa tional history, held the curriculum together and provided it with purpose, ensuring that education was used for the public good (from interview w ith DeWitt, 08 April 2008).

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162 eighteen institutions had agreed to accept college-level credits from Au Sable, and 12 professors participated in Au Sables programs (DeWitt 2006: 579).218 Over the next decade the Au Sable Institute and other evangelical responses to th e environment grew, prompting David Larsen to characterize this increasingly prevalent stream of evangeli cal theology as the AuSable theology (2000: 203-220). The outlines of what was to become the AuSable theology were sketched out in Earthkeeping (Wilkinson 1980), and it was this biblically-cente red vision that attended to instructions from the Book of Nature. The Au Sable Institute organized an in ternational consultation on evangelical ecotheology in 1992, and at this m eeting the International Evangelical Environmental Network (IEEN) was created (interview with DeW itt 08 April 2008; DeWitt 2006: 579) with the impassioned claim that Christians must dare to proclaim the full truth about the environmental crisis in the face of powerful persons, pressure s and institutions which profit from concealing the truth (quote from the summariz ing report in DeWitt 2006: 580). Led by Jim Ball, a graduate of Drew Theological Seminary, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) (according to DeWitt, a U.S.-based derivative of the IEEN) held their first meeting the following year and captu red the phrase creation car e from the title of another small-distribution mag azine dedicated to evangelical environmental stewardship.219 According to their website, the EENs work centers simply on worshipping God, loving His 218 All of the participating institutions are small Christian colleges and seminaries in the US. 219 David Larsen reports that the EEN was a ministry of Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), a group spearheaded by Ron Sider. DeWitt, both in our interview and in prin t (2006) has described the genesis of the EEN the way I have here, as derivative from the IEEN. There is no information on the website of ESA or IEEN that describes the EEN as a partner or offshoot. Alexei Laushkin of EEN reported that he thought that the EEN derived from a joint ministry of ESA and WorldVision, a Christian development organization. Thus, I have been unable to determine if there was, or continues to be any relationship between ES A and ISEE, but neither of th ese groups claims the EEN as a derivative. Ball was unresponsive to my requests for clarification. Interestingly, this part of the emergence of evangelical environmentalism a ppears to be contested.

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163 people, and caring for His creation.220 Ball and others immediately set to work on the Evangelical Declaration on the Ca re of Creation, which was signed by dozens of high profile academics and pastoral and lay leaders.221 The Declaration brought a rush of attention to Ball and the EEN, who had helped to engineer the declaration and promoted it among high profile evangelical leaders. The EEN, the Au Sable Institute and other evangelical organizations continue to actively participate in ecological ju stice campaigns, particularly those related to climate change. By 2005 the Au Sable Institutes influence ha d grown with more than sixty participating colleges and seventy professors. As the largest single religious group in the United States, evangelicals exercise significant sway in the political realm especially with regard to environmental legislation, and the EEN and the Au Sable Institute help to encourage the recognition and wise use of this power.222 Northland Church, Longwood, Florida223 In the 1960s, alternative, contem porary Christian worship servi ces were being held at the Circle Church in Chicago, Illinois.224 Other churches, patterned on their vibrant, simple worship services began to spring up in other parts of the country including in Clearwater, Florida. Two 220 See accessed 7 August 2008. The editor of Creation Care was Bob Carling, whom DeWitt credits with the name that eventually stuck to this Christian social movement (interview 08 April 2008. 221 See resources/declaration.php accessed 7 August 2008. 222 For instance, in 2008 Jim Ball was one of the keynote panelists for a session on faith and climate change at Florida Governor Charlie Christs Climate Change Summit, attended primarily by business and industry leaders. This illustrates that evangelicals have a powerful political voice nationally. 223 A more detailed accounting of Northlands history than can be provided here is available at their website, from which the information included here was drawn: accessed 10 January 2009. 224 The Circle Church was envisioned as a progressive church. It was mentioned in a 1969 article in Time magazine which described a pervasive existential need for Americans, and particularly youth, to seek out a vibrant, living spirituality rather than the institutiona lized religions of their parents (Fri., 26 December1969, available online at ntout/0,8816,941816,00.html accessed 4 February 2009).

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164 members of the Clearwater Circ le Church, Lyle and Marge Nels on, were transferred to Orlando, Florida. They started a Circle Church in Orlando, and eventua lly, in 1972, the Nelsons and nine others established Northland Church (on the north side of Orlando), meeting in two elementary school gymnasiums over their first ten years. By 1984, the congregation had grown to 500 people, and it became clear that a more permanent facility was needed. As the congrega tions leaders searched fo r a structure, a rift emerged within the congregation between those who wished to remain loyal to the founding principles of the Circle Church (small congreg ation size, no ownership of buildings or other structures), and others who did not wish to remain constraine d by numbers. The latter group purchased a defunct roller skat ing rink and in 1985 pastor Jo el Hunter joined them. The renovations on the building were comple ted in 1988, and between 1985 and 1997 the congregation grew from 200 to more than 5,000 pe ople. In 2007, construction was completed on their new 160,000 square foot, forty-two million dollar facility next door to the old skating rink. The church and the distribution of its message ha ve grown immensely. More importantly for this project, Joel Hunter, as a Board member for th e National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the Evangelical Environmental Network, has si nce 2005 become one of the most important evangelical voices for creation care. While evangelical policy advocacy in the past decade has focused most visibly on opposing abortion and restricting th e legal definition of marriage to the union of a man and a woman, there is another constituency emerging among evangelicals that eschews some of the fundamentalist leanings of more conservative evangelicals. This in creasingly vocal group has been re-investing political energy in to issues that are directly c oncerned with ministering to the poor (both at home and abroad) and on protectin g creation. It is through the convergence of

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165 resource shortages and wars that more people will perish, they believe. Thus, the ethical pronouncements focused on policing marriage boundari es and life and death issues have for some morphed into a more globally aware ethics of accountability to the poor. Contrary to the perception that evangelicals shy away from scientific knowledge, many of these leaders have intentionally formed working alliances with scie ntists to increase their own political acumen and weight in the international policy sphere. God Doesnt Speak with Forked Tongue: Evangelical Leaders and Scientific Knowledge Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland Church (Longwood, FL) admitted that many Americans believe that evangelicals are opposed to science, and try to inject re ligion into politics. It was a charge that he was well prepared to answer: Theyre lumping togetheractually theologi cally, theyre called fundamentalistsand fundamentalists do eschew learning and sc ience, and you know, things of the mind. Theyve got a battle going on with the worl dthings of the world. The much larger constituency are evangelicals who absolutely see nocontradiction between science and scripture. They do not believe that God speaks with forked tongue. You know, He used one tongue to create scriptur e and another tongue to create science (interview, 31 March 2008). Dr. Hunter and other evangelical s I interviewed tended to agree on two things: a) science was a crucially important ingredient in unders tanding our world and in working toward environmentally responsible and sustainable beha viors, and b) scientism, the valorization of science as the ultimate arbiter of truth, was misplaced faith in a social construction (though an admittedly valuable one). Even though they shared some commonalities, there was a range of positions on the importance of science to moral reasoning. For example, Raymond Randall, volunteer head of the Creation, I Care Committee at Dr. Hunters Northland Church, s uggested that Its when we elev ate it [science] to the primary thing, thats when we run into a problem. Both sides [in the debate over climate change] think theyve got the truth and were not getting anywhere (aut hors interview 30 March 2008). In

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166 our conversation, Randall cited Dr. Hunters po sition on the relationship between science and faith. If there is a discrepancy between science and scripture the appropri ate response, according to Randall, is to look at the disagreement system atically, noting that eith er scripture has been misinterpreted or that the scientific data is flawed (interview 30 March 2008). Randall declined to participate as the director of a non-pr ofit volunteer network sponsored by Interfaith Power and Light (IPL ) (a religiously-inspired alternative energy organization, see Chapter 8 or more details). Some staff members of IPL believed the refusal stemmed from his desire to a void openly endorsing the science suggesting that climate change was anthropogenic (from interview with Sally Bingham, 6 July 2008).225 Randall, however, suggested that his reticence act ually stemmed from the motiva tions cited by IPL for changing energy use and other behaviors. In Randalls vi ew, IPL endorses the idea that shifts in earths climatic patterns have been caused by humans, a nd thus works to utilize the political weight of faith communities to correct the crisis. In cont rast, for Randall, scientific evidence that humans are responsible for climate change does not info rm his participation in creation care. Randall works against climate change because he believes that he is being obedient to Gods wishes, not because he is concerned about the consequences of human induced climate change. For Randall, it is the source of motivation that differs: IP Ls motivation is this-worldly, while his own motivation is transcendent. B ecause they are an interfaith group, IPL cannot use explicitly Christian theological language as the centerpiece of their public argument. For some the distinction may be minor, but for evangelicals, it is a particularly important one. As Joel Hunter put it, The issue to evangelical Christians isn't global warming; the issue is whether or not we 225 Bingham is the founder and director of Interfaith Power and Light.

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167 will exercise a moral and biblical obedience to a direct command of God (Genesis 2:15) (Hunter 2007).226 Although the perception was that Randall wa s uncomfortable with science, in his understanding the science was ir relevant to his behaviorwhether climate change was anthropogenic or not he was obeying a bibli cal mandate by acting to steward the earth by reducing human impacts on the environment. Bu t he underlined the im portance of the core values that provided the motivation for action: If you look at Climate Ch ange, Sustainability and Creation Care, the monikers given [to the sets of soci al movements I called sustainability] by the environmental movement, the business m ovement, and the church [respectively], the actions taken are largely the same (interview 30 May 2008). He noted that reducing energy consumption, increasing water efficiency, a nd reducing solid waste were common elements between these approaches. But Its the motivat ion thats different, he told me: In the environmental movement its Were gonna sa ve the worldour world is ending,; In the business movement its, Hey, you know what, at least for the time being, we can probably capture market sharemake a little more money; In the church its being more biblically obedient (interview 30 May 2008). This is an excellent exampl e of why it may be important to include debate about core values and deep beliefs in coopera tive enterprises, even when inte rpreting scientific evidence, for it is clear that the lenses through which such scientific data is vi ewed make a difference. Despite differing values, it is possible th at diverse constituencies coul d work together toward common 226 This quote was taken from Creation Care magazine, published by the EEN, which printed an excerpt of Hunters Right Wing, Wrong Bird (2006). The article was on the EENs website ( ) accessed on 9 September 2008.

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168 policy goals. But a practical c onvergence of values may never emerge if the values underlying practical actions keep different parties from working together to begin with.227 Dr. Hunter volunteered his understanding of the relationship between religion and science in our interview (31 March 2008): We believe that if there seems to be a disagreement between scien ce and scripture, its because either weve misinterpreted scriptur e, or, science hasnt caught up yet.There was a time, for example, when science thought virgin birth was l udicrous, now theres a whole field of study cal led parthenogenesis.228 While almost certainly not attempting to rob th e virgin birth of Jesus of its supernatural importance, Hunter is, at least in this instance, indicating that a non-interventionist perspective on divine action could be as theo logically satisfying as a more fundamentalist perspective which conceives of Gods action working ag ainst natural laws in many cases.229 227 Bryan Nortons well-known work Toward Unity Among Environmentalists (1991) argued that although anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric ethical theories might disagree on the ultimate source and locus of value, they would typically concur on practical recommendations for environmental policy. In this case, practical convergence might be prevented by underlying value commitments, suggesting that in many ethically rich situations practical convergence may not be possible without the negotiation of core values and deep beliefs. 228 Dr. Hunters mention of parthen ogenesis (a natural phenomenon where birt h results from an unfertilized egg) interested me greatly, for I had never heard that mentioned in the context of explaining the virgin birth of Jesus. In a brief search I could find no references which indicated that it was possible for mammals to give birth from an unfertilized egg, but the implication was that this idea wa s circulating in evangelical Christian circles. However, recently evidence has pointed to this phenomenon in at l east two captive sharks (see .ap/index.html accessed 10 October 2008). Parthenogenesis is also thought to occur under population duress in certain bi rds, amphibians and reptiles. It is interesting to ponder the effects that a scientific explanation for Jesus birth would have on Christian theology. Presumably it would still be considered miraculous. But if so, this would likel y require a revision of the popular understanding of miracles as events which suspend or overrule natura l laws. Several theologians have advanced complex models of divine action in which God is non-interventionist and works through the forces and relationships of nature, not instead of them (see for example Murphy and Ellis 1996; Russell 1998) 229 There is an extensive literature detailing the differ ences between interventionist and non-interventionist understandings of divine action, the best of which has been produced by scientists, philosophers of science and scientifically sophisticated theologians through the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences in Berkeley in collaboration with the Vatican Observatory. In short, a non-interventionist perspective on divine action suggests that whatever divinity exists works through natural laws, not instead of or against them. For an excellent article on the subject see Robert J. Russells Special Providence and Genetic Mutation: A New Defense of Theistic Evolution (1998).

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169 Randalls and Hunters accounts of the rela tionship between religion and science were nearly identical, which provides evidence that ideas and interpretive frameworks can be transmitted between actors engaged in simila r networks. Importantly, these ideas and interpretive frameworks are also translated and transmitted to those outside the evangelical community.230 For example, evangelicals have formed alliances with the scientific community, and through these alliances, Hunter cultiv ated a relationship with E.O. Wilson.231 Hunter told me he once asked Wilson, So, why are you guys teaming up with evangelicals? According to Hunter, Wilson replied, Are you kidding? If you took all of the humanist organizations in the United Statesall of these [secular] organizations, took all of their membership, wed add up to maybe 5,000 peoplethats half of your church! You ve got 30 million members in the NAE! Why would we not know that we need you to encompass this [the environmental crisis] (interview with Hunter 31 March 2008). Hunter called these partnershi ps little confederations, li ttle alliances, but he was forthcoming about the big tactical advantage prov ided by these little alliances: The curious thing about this is that the scientists, a lot of them, are just secular humanists, I mean theyre not believers. But theyve got the information we need, because evangelicals dont have the science. But weve go the base that they need (interview 31 March 2008). Whether or not the political advantages that accrue to both sides are made explicit, they are important in motivating the formation and maintenance of such partnerships. 230 In both cases, such cultural transmission could be plausibly explained by the biological (or viral) model. 231 A series of meetings occurred in Thomasville, GA fr om 30 November to 2 December 2006 sponsored by Center for Health and Global Environment at Harvard Medical School and the National Association of Evangelicals. See their press release, accessed through the Evangelicals an d Scientists United to Protect Creation website at accessed 4 February 2009. Their joint statement was released in January of 2007.

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170 Right Relationship: Human Partnering from a Cosmocentric Perspective At a Sunday service at Northside Church Dr. Hunter held aloft his grandmothers Bible, well-worn and a bit tattered, and told the congreg ation (somewhere around 12,000, with others tuning in through simultaneous webcast) with tears in his eyes that sometimes he simply opened the Bible at random, pointed to a verse, and med itated on what that particular passage had to teach him that day. It was a way of putting trus t in God, believing that Gods word would be relevant to whatever struggle he was facing at that time. Reflecti ng on this trust in the Lord, Dr. Hunter said You cant change others, but you can let God change you (30 March 2008). He told this story in the context of discussing interpersonal relationships: G od wants humans to have healthy, loving relati onships because God is a relationship (a Trinitar ian one). Relationship, at least according to the lessons gleaned by Dr. H unter from his grandmothers Bible, means engaging with others with an open heart without th e expectation that the other will change to suit your needs or desires, but with the hope that you can nonetheless have a positive relationship together. Righteousness, Dr. Hunter em phasized, is about meeting the demands of relationships (service 30 March 2008 ). This is the evangelical Ch ristian manifestation of one of the central themes in sustainability discour se, the ethics of interpersonal empathy. Recognizing the interdepende nce of life is one of the key common elements typically found in sustainability advocacy, and it is evident in these evangelical circles in the recognition that the entire created world has a common ancestry (it ultimately derives from God) and ideally exists in a state of shalom or right relationship.232 At the Let There Be Light Creation Care Conference (C3) held at Northland Church, a pa nel consisting of Dr. Hunter, Rabbi Steven 232 Michael Guinans The Pentateuch stresses the strong presence of stability and order within the natural realm during the creation, and uses the idea of shalom to describe them. Though he does not use the term, Theodore Hieberts The Yahwists Landscape (1996) also discusses Israelite relationship with the land and the natural order.

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171 Engel, and Imam Muhammad Musri discussed the importance of maintaini ng a right relationship with all of creation. Enge l invoked the spaceship earth233 metaphor, and using terminology that permeates the sustainability movement, stated that we are all related (21 February 2008). Here is one significant difference between th is evangelical constituency situated within the sustainability milieu and constituents of th e environmentalist milieu investigated by Taylor (2009): for the environmentalist milieu unde rstanding common ancestry is linked to evolutionary emergence; for evangelicals it sugge sts that all creatures and indeed the whole world was created by, and is thus dependent upon, God.234 These evangelicals do not perceive a conflict between science and their theology. Al l of these accept some of the tenets of evolutionary theory, though typically not in the way it is typi cally understood by scientists. However, in that, they are no different from the mainstream citizenry (approximately fifty percent of whom believe that the world was crea ted in the past 10,000 years in its present form). Only 5% of scientists, versus 47% of the general public believe that humans were created in their present form several thousand years ago. Ultimatel y, nearly half of the general population is at least skeptical of Darwinism (Holden: 769). At the C3 at Northland Church, Richard Cizik, the Vice President for Governmental Affairs for the National Associat ion of Evangelicals (NAE), implored those gathered to raise their standards for providing moral leadership in the crusade agains t human-induced climate change and environmental destruction. He ca lled on the gathered group of ministers and lay 233 This metaphor was first invoked by ecological economist Kenneth Boulding in the early 1970s. 234 These evangelicals do not perceive a conflict between scie nce and their theology. All of these accept some of the tenets of evolutionary theory, though typically not in the way it is typically understood by scientists. However, in that, they are no different from the ma instream citizenry (approximately fifty percent of whom believe that the world was created in the past 10,000 years in its present form). Only 5% of scientists, versus 47% of the general public believe that humans were created in their present form seve ral thousand years ago. Ultimately, nearly half of the general population is at least skeptical of Darwinism (Holden: 769).

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172 leaders to cultivate transformational relationships, those which raise the ethical standards and aspirations of both the le ader, and the followers.235 Cizik is undoubtedly one of these transformational leaders, was one of the most significant figures to give creation care political teeth, and according to DeWitt was one of the firs t to inject the popular evangelical community with the environmental message (int erview with DeWitt, 8 April 2008).236 According to Cizik, many members of Congress now consider evange lical leaders the goto people for climate change issuesthey have become political ins iders (C3 Conference 21 February 2008). They are perceived as the most educated on the issues and most aware of the moral implications of policy decisions. Leaders like Hunter and Cizik are making deci sions from a religious standpoint, directly connecting (in the private and public spheres) their activism with their Christian moral framework. They are intentionally brokering tac tical partnerships with the expressed aim of generating large-scale change in the formulatio n of public policy, the management of exchange relations (they favor more just economic arra ngements), and the inclusion of spiritual and religious values in the public sphere. These leaders are generating ri pple effects among their followers. Dan Hardaway, a member of Hunters No rthland Church, reflected on how his faith leaders had encouraged him to make small behavior changes, which in turn affected the quality of his relationships with othe rs. Hardaway was moved enough by his relationships to post a thoughtful testimonial on the Creation, I Care website: 235 The title of the talk was For Gods Sake: Literally. 236 The term inject is DeWitts language. As the discussion above noted, evangelical environmentalism goes much deeper than Ciziks work, but DeWitt was crediting Cizi k here with effectively bringing creation care into the public sphere and making it a political issue.

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173 I felt like for the first time, as I have taken some very minor steps, I was engaging people who I sought to reach. Now instead of just articulating my differences, I am making progress in loving them. I've even become vig ilant about rinsing out the recyclables. We are buying more efficient light bulbs and even bought a blanket for my hot water heater. Christ is still returning, and I'm not a tree hugger, but the environment is becoming an area of concern.237 Alexei Laushkin, Program Assistan t at the EEN, considers his faith centrally relevant to the cultivation of these relationshi ps with those outside his evangelical community because he believes it is important for evangelicals to be witne sses for Christ with their entire lives, not just on one or two politically hot topi cs. Religious values, in this case, make a significant difference in the amount, manner, and quality of engagement in politics and the pu blic sphere. Laushkin put it this way: If religious groups are goi ng to be religious groups in societythen they have to not necessarily be tied in to a part icular ideology. If theyre goi ng to speak to transcendent values, they have to speak about these tran scendent values in all parts of lifeand developing those relationships and making those arguments, you know, in the public square in a way that doesnt turn people off with our language, but helps people understand who we are and where were coming fromin a constructive fashion (interview with author, 13 May 2008). If religion and sustai nability are both fundamentally abou t relating to ethnic, cultural, or ethical others, then these eva ngelicals are participating in sust ainable relationships when they invoke the evangelical calling to pay particular attention to the needs of marginalized others, those whose political voices are muted, or whose physical opportunities are limited. At the C3 conference, Cizik invoked a well-known questio n in Christian circles, who is my neighbor?238 Drawing on the biblical tale of Daniel, Cizik no ted that there are politic ians in Washington who sacrifice the Empire for their friends, specifi cally their oil and gas producing friends (his 237 Testimonies at 05/why_i_care_dan_.html accessed March 2008. 238 This question comes from Luke 10:29. Jesus was supposed to have summarized the Christian message as love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10: 27). When asked by a lawyer, and who is my neighbor? Jesus replied with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

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174 language). Such skewed domestic priorities affect the global social and political scene. In the end, therefore, according to Cizik, the answer to the question Who is my neighbor? must include the Indians whose lives are being ta ken away by the rising s eas! (speech at C3 conference, 21 February 2008). The way Cizik framed it, evangelicalism must include the recognition of divinely imposed limits on our ow n opulence for the sake of the greater good and a sense of biblical outrage at th e realization that it is consum er markets, and not devotion to God, that drives American culture (quote from Cizik at C3 conference, 21 February 2008). As Joel Hunter wryly put it (quoting Saint Augustine), He w ho has a lot of goods has someone elses goods (C3 conference, 21 February 2008).239 To characterize this expanded evangelical moral sensibility, Cizik c oncluded with the reflection that We [evangelical leaders] have to have a cosmocentric worldviewnot an anthropocentric worldview (C3 conference, 21 February 2008). Patron Saints of Ecology: Modeling Being (a Better) Human The sort of cosm ocentrism invoked by Cizik is of a particular type, however. Some academics, according to DeWitt, attempt to trace evangelical environmentalism to leaders such as noted Catholic priest Thomas Berry and re lated scholars and writers. As DeWitt made clear, the sort of cosmocentrism espoused by Berry (who called himself a geologian), or parallel, process-oriented models of divinit y, are off-putting to most evangelicals.240 DeWitt specifically 239 Dr. Hunter did refer to Augustine as Saint Augustine. I was not able to confirm that this quote came from Augustine, but this was Dr. Hunters recollection. 240 By process-oriented I refer to those theologies, su ch as Berrys, that were influenced by Alfred North Whiteheads process philosophy (see his Process and Reality 1978 [1927]). While Berry does not necessarily declare allegiance to Whiteheads philosophy, he retains many features of Whiteheads thought, including the temporally-dependent nature of the divine (God does not know the future before it happens), and the consideration that cosmological unfolding is a sacred process. Most directly, however, Berry was influenced by the priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whose Phenomenon of Man (1959) suggested an evolutionary cosmos with humans at the pinnacle of creation, able to use clarified reason to access a noosphere a transcendent realm where human consciousness could reunite with God. In either case, the sort of divinity implied by the cosmological

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175 cited suggestions made by Berry th at Christians ought to put the Bible on the shelf for twenty years, or that God was an emergent property of cosmological evolution. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim and a number of other scholars w ho have shaped the emerging field of known as Religion and Ecology are long-standing proponents of Berrys thought, and in many cases have used it to frame the common quest of the worlds religions toward sustaina bility. However, the notion that evangelical environmental stewardshi p follows Berrys views is offensive to some evangelicals, and according to DeWitt, am ounts to hubris (interview 8 April 2008). DeWitt, Hunter, Cizik and others have cons ciously and carefully begun to provide some color to a different sort of cosmocentric worldview for the evangelical masses through the construction of positive myths and stories that re-imagine the place of the human within the natural matrix, a dependent creature in a good world.241 For example, DeWitt argued in his speeches at the C3 and at the University of Florida (April 2008) that economy should be redefined to recognize that the creation (ecology) is th e foundation of the economy.242 Blending scientific classifications with theological concep ts DeWitt characterized Jesus as the king of the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, and the mine ral kingdom, and as a teacher who mostly taught on field trips (address on 21 February 2008). This blending of evangelicalism and science, however, was nothing new. Evangelicals have long cultivated relationships with scientists as a means to increase their political access. model is not one that resonates with most evangelicals, which is DeWitts point, and crucial for distinguishing between these different forms of cosmocentrism. 241 In the Genesis account, after almost every stage of the creation, God declares the work He has done to be good. This is a frequently cited passage in eco-theology circles. 242 The title of his speech at the C3 conference was Earthke eping and God's Love: Bibli cal Teachings on the Care of Creation. This point resonates with some economists also. See for example Herman Dalys On Economics as a Life Science and The Steady-State Economy: Toward a Political Economy of Biophysical Equilibrium and Moral Growth, both in Daly 1980 [1973].

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176 In 2002 at the Climate Forum 2002 at Ox ford (UK), for example, a meeting of scientists, policy makers and Christian leaders wa s designed to achieve th e goal, according to participant Cal DeWitt, of getting American eva ngelicals and scientists to see if we could penetrate the evangelical community (interview 8 April 2008).243 A follow up meeting was held in December 2006 at Melhana Plantation in southern Georgia, resu lting in a resolution released on January 17 2007 called An Urgent Call to Action.244 The combined group declared that in their dialogue they happily di scovered far more concordance than any of us had expected, quickly moving beyond dialogue to a shared sense of moral purpose. Important initiatives were already underway on both sides, and when compared they were found to be broadly overlapping. Beyond this encouragi ng convergence of aims, the group expressed significant non-anthropocentric sentiment when th ey argued protecting biol ogical diversity was a profound moral imperative which serves the inte rests of all humanity as well as the value of the non-human world. These environmentally and socially enga ged evangelicals have actively worked to separate themselves from, and combat the negati ve public perceptions of the extreme religious right, who claimed responsibility for G.W. Bushs victory in the presidential race of 2004. Joel Hunters books Right Wing, Wrong Bird (2006) and A New Kind of Conservative (2008) tried to correct the mistaken conflation of evangelicals with their funda mentalist Christian cousins and spelled out more clearly what it means to witness for Christ in the twenty-first century. Hunter (and Creation Care advocates) focu s on the least of these, the poorest peoples in the world who 243 A press release from the Oxford Climate Forum was available online ( ) through the John Ray Initiative website (accessed 6 Fe bruary 2009). The John Ray Initiative is a nonprofit educational organization focused on integrating Christian teachings with scientific knowledge. 244 The full text is available at accessed 12 August 2008. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes in this paragraph are drawn fr om the full text document available at the PBS website.

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177 stand to bear the greatest part of the increasing biologi cal, emotional and cultural costs of climate change. These evangelicals see their vocation as a new sort of lived witness, acknowledging their moral stance on abortion and end of life issues but focusi ng their activist and political energies toward advocacy for the poor in marginaliz ed countries, and for a cu lture change here in the US. As Laushkin imagined his role and that of other evangelicals within sustainability movements, What were doing is part of that broader movement [toward sustainability], but each broader movement in American society brings their own perspective to the table, and those perspectives can look quite different to [o ther] constituency groups. We [evangelicals] are more conservative overall..We see our [his and other Creation Care leaders] roleas being messengers to the conservative part of society. But this good news is not just transm itted among the evangelical leadership, and cosmocentric discourse is not used only to broker partnerships outside the evangelical community. These strategic partnerships and expa nded ethical perspectives are also encouraged at the local level, and derive from the grassr oots. For example, Tri Robinson, pastor of the Vineyard Church in Boise, Idaho attributed hi s Christian concern for the environment to an outdoor experience at the age of 16. He recalle d standing on the side of a mountain in California, wondering who God was. Robinson said that God spoke to him on that mountain, and eventually guided him into the ministry, a nd although an outdoor peak experience had been deeply formative for him, he did not bring advo cacy for the natural world into his ministry for some time (C3 conference, 21 February 2008).245 Boise is surrounded by some of the wildes t country in the nation, and environmental sentiment runs strong there (wheth er it is of the more preservationist variety or the deep appreciation for nature that may arise from hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities). 245 He stated that he was uncertain how his congregants would respond to what he perceived was an atypical Christian message.

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178 Robinson and his congregants had participated in restoration and other conservation activities, but never under the auspices of the church. Af ter some deep reflection and prayer, and decades removed from the voice on the mountain, Robinson discerned that God required him to bring the message of environmental stewardship from that mountainside in to the pulpit. At that time, Robinson performed three serv ices on Sundays to accommodate all of his worshippers, and on the day he star ted his earth ministry all thr ee were concerned with creation care. With tears in his eyes, Robinson recalled that it was the only time in his ministry that he had ever had three standing ovations in a row at his sermons. These environmentally-oriented sermons gave rise to more, and the concern fo r a cosmocentric perspective combined with biblical concern for the least of these translated into social activism in Boise. The Vineyard Church has since started an organic garden where members grew over 20,000 pounds of food last year, all of it donated dir ectly to the homeless. A free medical clinic has also appeared on site. It has changed our church, Robinson said, pe ople are touching the heart of God in new ways (C3 conference, 21 February 2008). Joel Hunter closed the C3 conference with an admonishment to the gathered church and lay leaders that they it was both a Christian and a democratic duty to speak their values directly into the social policy formation process. Hi s conclusion was forceful, if blunt: If you follow Jesus, you dont destroy the earth. Personal change literally save s lives (21 February 2008). Personal transformation is particularly impor tant for evangelicals, who also value the individual liberties that accompany capitalism and democracy.246 But such transformation is not merely individual, it always occurs within partic ular communities of accountability, and often 246 Other things, such as end of life issues, abortion, and marriage are not generally considered part of these individual liberties for evangelicals, but rather are issues they perceive to have been decided upon by a higher power.

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179 sets them off from complete identification with what evangelicals perceive to be the dominant secular culture. Though the larg est population of Christians in the US, evangelicals envision themselves as out of step with the mores of the masses. Laushkin noted the clash between consumerism (what he perceives to be the focus of American culture generally) and what he imagines the Christian vocation should be, name ly a focus on family and community. He further related consumerism to other unhe althy, but uncritically accepted behaviors that permeate our culture. There are people in L.A. that drive two hours a day to work, Laushkin told me in mild disbelief. He continued, From whatever pers pective you use, whatever ideology you ascribe to, youre not going to say, thats how we were meant to live. In a more pensive tone, he then asked, When was the last time you enjoyed a suns et, you know? It was given to us every day, for our enjoyment (interview, 13 May 2008).247 Stories about what is importa nt, about participation with others, and about providing transformational leadership are growing into guiding metaphors for the evolving evangelical Creation Care movement, which itself is a partic ular theocentric approach that has significant philosophical, ethical, and practical overlap with other facets of the sustainability movement. Northland Church and a Message Distributed Many of these evangelical lead ers intentionally cultiv ate part nerships that involve some level of risk, recognizing that openness to pluralism is a nece ssary starting poi nt of social, political and economic negotiation. But many ev angelicals reject forms of pluralism that promote moral relativism. My respondents, fo r example, would feel uncomfortable admitting that their understandi ng of God, the Creation, and the orde r of the cosmos was only one among 247 As will become clearer in chapters 5 and 6, positive me ssages, myths, and narratives are more memorable, and more frequently cited by my interview subjects than are the more pessimistic assessments of humans place in the natural world.

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180 many views and not in any way true or privileged. But one need not endorse metaphysical pluralism in order to recognize th at Western cultures are becoming more diverse. These newly developed partnerships involve ac ceptance of and transparent par ticipation with others, whether at the community, state, national, or intern ational levels. The us e of terms such as cosmocentric or theocentric248 to describe their theological position, and to advocate for the extension of moral concern to non-human lives and ecosystems recalls for evangelicals the intertwined past and destiny of human and non-human systems. It also focuses attention on the deep relations that bind the world together. Co nsciousness of these webs of connections are more than a metaphor for some green ev angelicals, they are a blueprint. Northland Church is a church distribute d, with one mother church (Longwood, FL), three smaller churches in Oviedo, Dora and West Oaks, Florida, 249 and an additional 1200-1500 smaller groups of people joining in via the In ternet for every Sundays message. One of the core values listed in every Sundays program is to reconne ct by building relationships. Joel Hunters rationale for the Church Distributed best describes the impetus for the distributed message: God designed us to work in partnership. Multiagent partnerships are distributed systems. In fact, most of nature and most of technologyare distributed systems. On a macrolevel, every ecosystem is a distributed system because each one has interdependent and widely varied components. If even one component of the functional unit we call an ecosystem fails, then everything in that system is affected. On the micro level, the smallest entities of the universe all have interrelated connections. Wh en an elementary particle, the photon, is stimulated an immediate response can be detected in a photon eight miles away. There is no doubt that the universe is c onnected. Survival in ever-changing 248 As a flyer from Tri Robinsons church puts their th eocentric motto, We do this [advocate for environmental justice] not because of Mother Earth, but because it belongs to Father God (see ). Joel Hunter specifically used the term theocentric to describe th e evangelical Christian perspect ive at the C3 conference. 249 The other churches are in Oviedo, Dora, and West Oaks, Florida.

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181 environments requires interaction with others. Integration of di fferences is a key to a hardy lifeeven in the plan t world (Hunter 2007).250 In a sort of biomimicry, Hunter suggests that Northland Church is organized according the most successful features of the natura l world, namely distributed (and t hus resilient) systems that have deeply interdependent part nerships with others. These groups are doing religious work by forging new individual and community identities (re-focused on ministry to the poor), fo cusing desire (re-aiming th e political energies of congregations), and facilitating a more mindful sort of excha nge (in encouraging responsible trade through purchasing). The importance of this last point should not be overlooked when large congregations such as Northland Church gather approximately $250,000.00 in tithes and offerings each week. Discussion and Evaluation First, it is im portant to high light the biblical foundations of evangelical creation care, which include a) a theology that declares the creation good, b) the belief that Jesus physical resurrection illustrates the inclusion of the whol e created world in future culmination of the kingdom of God, and c) the idea that these create obligations for humans who are called to rule over the world. Each of these ideas, on its ow n, would probably not gi ve most evangelicals pause. But increasing numbers ar e resonating with interpretations of the Bible that integrate these ideas, those pioneered by people such as Richard Cizik and Jim Ball and popularized by preachers such as Joel Hunter. Are the theologi cal foundations of evangelical environmentalism, however, generalizable to mainstr eam Christian constituencies? Some central features of evangelicalism are unlikely to be widely adopted within mainstream Protestant denominations, let alone ot her religious groups. Belie f in the literal truth 250 Note his invocation of the principle of quantum entanglement, discussed in chapter six.

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182 of the Christian Bible, for example, is an increasingly rare attri bute among mainstream Protestants, and it may grow more so as the tene ts of evolutionary theo ry are better understood and communicated to the general public. Even so, this does not mean that biblical literalists will necessarily grow more liberal in their understanding and interpreta tion of Christianity. It is possible that literalism will die out, but an alternativ e scenario is also possible, in which there is no general decline in the number of believers in the literal tr uth of the Bible, but rather substantial changes in interpretive methods th at continue to find creative (and sometimes paradoxical) ways that science a nd biblical literalist theology can co-exist. As CIs Ben Campbell put it, The trick is in the interpretation of the bible (interview 29 July 2008).251 To illustrate, Joel Hunters suggestion that parthenogenesis may be a plausible explanation for how Jesus could have been born without a father provides an implicit endorsement of a naturalistic explanation for an event that, if explained naturally, could compromise the foundation of Christianity. Such apparent paradox is not uncommon in Christianity and conflicting concepts are found in several of the worlds other religious systems also. Campbells own recollect ion of conversations about how evangelical Christians wrestle with the theory of evolution are worth recounting. The Bible, he said, is full of a lot of things. The stories (as he called them) c ontained within are non-chronological. Campbell continued, We falsely believe the Bible as though its a 20th century, straight narrative, not recognizing some Middle Eastern approaches to storytelling.I f I [taking on the perspective of the authors of the Genesis narrative] were talking to a fairly primitive society, and trying to explain to them the process by which the worl d was created, and the fact that God was involved, how would I do it? Would I talk about something thats 40 billion years old?...[No,] I would frame it in a timeframe that theyd understand. I would show a similar trajectory of Gods involvement, and a process Which if you read the two Genesis narratives, it [the story] follows that [pa tterns of divine action in history]. More or 251 Campbell is an evangelical Christian employed by a secular conservation organization.

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183 less. Our concepts of what we think about in scientific terms, it follows that [suggesting that the Genesis account was parall el to scientific theories of th e evolution of the cosmos]. Seven days?252 Well, I dont have to believe that [seven-day creation] to believe that God created the world. And I know people in my home church who say, well dont you believe in the mature earth theory, that God created everything with a full compliment?253 Well, I dont have to! And it doesnt change my relations hip with Jesus Christ. It doesnt change anything about wh at I think about the importance of the Bible as a narrative of our society and Gods role in our understa nding of society. If youre going to get hung up on that, honestly, that will be something that will prevent a scientist in our office [CI] from ever even considering Christianity as an opt ion. If that is an obs tacle to belief, we are doing a disservice to Christ. For Campbell, if human interpretations drive pe ople away from the biblical message by, for example, demanding that the creation story refers to a literal seven-da y creation, they are not fulfilling their Christian vocation. Yet Campbell and the other evangelicals still contend that they take the Bible to be literal truth. Such paradox does not, however, pr event these Christians from finding in these stories moral guidance. Campbells attitude illustrates, as do Randall s and Hunters nearly identical suggestions that God does not speak with forked tongue, that the interpretation of th e Bible may change over time, though the content may be presumed to be unchanging and literally tr ue. Three out of the four evangelical primary informants cited at least one scientist as a personal inspiration for their creation care advocacy (all three ci ted E.O. Wilson, and two of them cited several others). Other recent joint declarations by evangelicals and scien tists have helped to push large proportions of the evangelical population to rec onsider their understanding of science. The most common attitude toward science among this interesting group of progressive evangelical assumes that 252 Campbell is referring to the account in Genesis where th e cosmos was created in six days, with God resting on the seventh. 253 This refers to the idea that God created a full compliment of animals in their present form. This explanation directly challenges the idea of macroevolution, the notion that entirely new species can develop through processes of natural selection.

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184 science is an important and reliable way of gaining knowledge a bout the world, but that it has very little to say about the content of faith and its moral juri sdiction. Science a nd religion are, to use the phrase coined by noted biologist St ephen Jay Gould, non-overl apping magesteria (or NOMA).254 The Protestant understanding of authentic religion as a private and emotional affair is obvious among these evangelicals, who suggest that faith provides the most satisfying explanations at the personal level of understa nding, even while acknowle dging that science in most cases accurately descri bes the corporeal world. For some like Randall, attributing environmental activism to obedience to the biblical message rather than to analysis of scientific data makes a stronger case for fighting climate change, for the scientific method is an ongoing process of confirmation and falisif ication and not the discovery of an objectively real world. If activism flows from commitment to transcendent principles it essentially dodges tough questions about which scientific data is more credible. Though technically speaking a literalist interpretation of the Bible could not coexist with key features of evolu tionary theory, including the notion of macroevolution or the emergence of living material from previously inanimate matter, in reality some people resonate with a nd consider these conflictin g perspectives morally relevant. The perception that it is only evangelic als and fundamentalists who misunderstand science and lobby against its use in the public sphere may be in correct. While large proportions of the general public believe nature can provide moral guidance and spiritual inspiration (see 254 Gould coined the phrase in his book Rocks of Ages (1999). For a clever if not alto gether convincing critique of this idea see Dawkins The God Delusion (2006: 54-61). Dawkins points out several problems with the NOMA approach, though his primary concern is that Gould is bending over ba ckwards paying lip service to completely impartial agnosticism (2006: 55, 54). Interestingly the crux of Dawkins argument depends upon a theistic belief in supernatural miracles and an interventionist perspective on divine action. Such an interventionist perspective on divine action does not ch aracterize all, or even most Christians For a thorough characterization and rejection of an interventionist perspective on divine action, see Robert John Russells Special Providence and Genetic Mutation: A New Defense of Theistic Evolution (1998).

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185 Proctor 2006), about half of the general public (far more than th e number of evangelicals in the population) does not connect such reverence for nature with evoluti onary science in any personally meaningful way, believing that human s were created in their present form around 10,000 years ago (Holden 2006: 769).255 Evangelical Christians, like many in the general population, are selective and ofte n contradictory in their endorsement of religious and evolutionary ideas. It seems uncertain, ther efore, whether a greater acceptance of Darwinian evolutionary theory would automa tically lead to more environm entally benign attitudes, or a reduction in the general number of evangelical Christians. In any case, though evangelical s have often suggested there is a biological continuity between humans and the rest of creation, their understandings of evol utionary science still typically retain an ontological distinction between human and nonhuman nature. Created in the image of God, humans are called to exercise a beneficent sort of dominion, later referred to as stewardship. The idea that non-human nature is worthy of respect and possibly even reverence can coexist with strong human exceptiona lism provided it is framed within a theocentric perspective, one that imagines all value as re siding in or deriving fr om the divine. If a transcendent creator declared th e whole creation good and deemed hu mans rulers of it, then any strong anthropocentrism may be masked by refe rences to a divinely-ordained cosmological order. The elevated place of humans above the rest of creation suggests that evangelical creation 255 Holden is referring collectively to a decade or more of re search that continues to sugges t that close to half of the public has serious doubts about evolutionary theory and agr ees with ideas related to a young earth. She includes as evidence reports that even college science students do not differ much from the general public, noting studies conducted by Edward Crisp (geology professor at West Virginia University) and James Colbert (biology professor at Iowa State University) who found that about thirty-two percent and twenty-five percent of their students respectively expressed agreement with th e idea that humans were created in their present form about 10,000 years ago. Moreover, in a survey after completing the biology class, Colbert found that the numbers declined only to seventeen percent.

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186 care is unlikely, even over the very long term, to develop affinities with dark green spiritualities although they clearly continue to make important contributions to the sustainability milieu.256 One seeming contradiction that surfaced as I investigated evangelic al creation care was the ontological distinction presently noted be tween humans and non-human creation. Wilkinson and the Calvin College Fellows begin with the argument that We simply cannot escape from our embeddedness in nature or natures embedde dness in us (1980: 3), a nd that whatever else they are, humans are also earth ; they share their nature with it s soil, its plants, its animals (1980: 208). Yet the authors later note that complete identification of humans with creation is problematic: such an understanding implies that persons can not exist apart from their bodies. Yet it seems to be the clear teaching of the New Te stament that those who have died, and whose bodies decay, nevertheless continue to exist until the day of resurrection, when they will be clothed with spiritual bodies. Thus this portrayal of mind and soul as dependent upon the body would seem to be incorrect (1980: 230). The relationship between humans and the rest of nature is summed up with an allusion to and play upon the idea of the hypostatic union, which ma intains that Jesus is simultaneously fully human and fully divine: Humans are fully dust, and fully soul; they ar e soulish dust (1980: 230).257 This evangelical perspective, then, preserves a thoroughgoing human exceptionalism even with impassioned pleas for humans to reme mber that they are part of and dependent upon their ecological matrix. 256 Even if many evangelicals are willing to assent to the idea that the creation is inherently good, the source of this good is God, and not nature itself. This marks a break with those who resonate with dark green spiritualities and consider nature-as-sacred, something to which these evangelicals would never assent. 257 The hypostatic union is a powerful idea precisely because it is paradoxical. Similarly, the idea that humans are fully soul and fully dust is counter-intuitive, but partly beca use of this it is a potent concept. Jesus often taught in parables that were full of paradox, the most obvious example being consistent references to the Kingdom of God, which was already manifesting on earth, and yet still awaiting its fulfillment in the second coming of Jesus (for a popular portrayal and examples of paradox in the parables see Borg 1994: 80-81).

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187 At least in its early manifestations, eva ngelical environmentalism endorsed a view of Darwinian science that did not necessarily match empirical data. For example, in a statement that strongly resonated with the Gaia hypothesis (offered by biologist James Lovelock), Wilkinson et al. argued that In the ability to sustain itself over a long period of time, an ecosystem is like an individual organism (1980: 13). Further, this capac ity for self-regulation, it was suggested, had a built-in tendency toward justice and equity, for the follow-up argument deployed by Wilkinson and his coll aborators imagines that starvi ng animals are rare in nature (13). In such cases, Christians are reading th e plot of the peaceable kingdom, wherein all creations dwell together in harmony, into a real -life Darwinian drama characterized by predation, death, and often starvation and suffering (see the strong critique of most eco-theology by Sideris 2003).258 Their embrace of evolutionary science may be incomplete, but this has not prevented their embrace of values central to the sustainability milieu. Al though generally anthropocentric in tone (or at best theocent ric with a strong human exceptiona lism), evangelical advocates of creation care are strong allies, at least in terms of political impacts, in social movements toward sustainability. Further Reflections on Cultural Tr ansmission of a Religious Virus Every Sunday at Northland Church Dr. Hunt er delivers his message to at least 12,000 people, both present in L ongwood and through the Internet.259 From 200 members in 1985 (when Hunter took over as pastor), the church gr ew so quickly that groups of members began to meet in their own communities, tuning in through the Internet. Aside from the main congregation that now meets in the 160,000 square foot mother chur ch each week, each of the 258 For a review of Sideris book which suggests that she may be too harsh in her criticism of ecotheologians see Ferre 2003. 259 When I attended services, those tuning in via the Internet incl uded U.S. servicewomen and men in both Iraq and Afghanistan, viewers in Europe, Mexi co, South America, and Canada.

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188 three satellite churches now has its own junior pastors, youth groups, singles groups, committees (and so on), and all gather to hear pastor Joel each Sunday, though anyone can watch the services.260 The distributed church began as a practical solution to overcrowding but has become a religious community philosophy: This is not another church-growth strategy or some lets-play-nice-together ecumenical effort. It is a connecting strategy that resu lts in spiritual maturity. Christians must intentionally combine in more effective ways to go into the world to present the Gospel and support each other (Hunter 2007). The distributed church seeks new relationships, cultivates new territory there, and spreads rhizomically. Likewise, the ideas, practices, a nd values associated with Creation Care and the larger sustainability movement spread th rough evangelical Christian communities and beyond, carrying with them novel forms encouraged by each encounter. As Joel Hunter said at the Climate Change Conference at Northland in Fe bruary 2008: This day is about being equipped for leaders to take this message back to thei r constituency group. We can make this movement viral this way! His implication was that the c hurch was an effective medium of communication for many who would not otherwis e think of making environmenta lly and socially responsible consumer choices. The church could help infect others with similar sets of social and practical norms. Hunters friendships (and in some cases formal partnerships) with Jim Ball (Executive Director of the EEN), Richard Cizik (Vice Presid ent for Governmental Affairs for the NAE), and Sally Bingham (Interfaith Power and Light), to name a few, help to shape his moral sensibilities and enhance the strength of his networks. His participation in United Nations-sponsored peacebuilding processes (for example in Doha in 2007) has provided an intern ational venue for these agglomerated values. Finally, he brings this rich international expe rience back to Longwood, 260 The sermons are archived at

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189 Florida, and attempts to promote the greening of a very large and affluent set of Christians (who have their own networks of Christian friends). The network of leaders discussed above is (as will become evident in later chapters) embedde d in even larger networks of participants in global sustainability movements. It is not sole ly the charismatic leaders of such movements who concoct and distribute these big id eas, nor is it the cultures or organizations themselves that inject ideas into the minds of a passive citizenr y. There are expert netw orks (such as the ones described here) that exchange ideas across community borders. Further, there are grassroots programs and organizations that engage the values exchanged at the level of experts, and in turn generate feedback to experts who re-examine, re -formulate, and re-package their own values and those they carry into broader communities of accountability. For example, after Joel Hunter signed the Evangelical Declaration on Climate Cha nge, he requested a full audit of the ecological footprint and energy usage of the sizeable No rthland Church. Raymond Randall spearheaded the formation of a committee that generated the audi t based on the values ou tlined by the community leader (which in turn derived from interac tion with scientists, la y leaders, and other evangelicals). The audit helped to generate educ ational material that can be shared with other congregations in an attempt to spread this new fo rm of Christian service in the name of creation. Hunter has used this audit within his expert networks as a conc rete example of how he and his church are making positive changes and Northland ha s also created educational materials to walk other congregations thro ugh their own energy and land use audits. Note the similarity between what is o ccurring amongst leaders of the evangelical Christian movement and other religious lead ers (such as Sally Bingham, and Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim) to the free exchange of conceptual tools and metaphors between oppositional subcultures as postulated in Co lin Campbells cultic milieu and Taylors

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190 environmentalist milieu. The biological metaphor of cultural transmission briefly outlined in Chapter 3 extends the theories of the cultic and environmentalist milieus and provides the possibility of better unders tanding the processes of cultural transmission. The relatively rapid and successful spread of the Creation Care theme across a broad segment of evangelical Christians and its popularity in the U.S. media, is an example of the rapid cultural transmission of a social movement. The leaders interviewed here are participating in the ongoing construction of a set of positive myths that refram e the evangelical identity in terms of ecological and social just ice, and thus they contribute in their own unique manner to the metanarrative of sustainability.

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191 CHAPTER 8 STORIES OF PARTNERSHIP: INTERFAITH E FFORTS TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY Allowing a Thousand Flowers to Bloom Fazlun Khalid, founder and director of the Islam ic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) told me that bu ilding a sustainable worl d was impossible unless the earths diversity was consider ed one of its strengths, rather than something to be overcome with a diluted, global ethic. For Khalid, the varied ecological and social crises that confront the globe can only be fruitfully addressed by preser ving a diversity of pers pectives, actions, and partnerships. Quoting Mao Tse-tung, Khalid sa id, Im for allowing a thousand flowers to bloom! Let people work, make their own solu tions from their own beings and their own places.Solutions and places and beings are different (interview 29 May 2008). In this, Khalid agreed with Martin Palmer, his former employe r and the Secretary-General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) who, when addressing the necessity of plural approaches to achieving sustainability, suggested that any unity of purpose or pers pective in sust ainability was a fantasy: Its just not how humanity work s. Christianitys been trying to unify everyone for the past 2000 years, communism for the past 200 years, ca pitalism for the past 100 years. It doesnt work. Why dont we just go with what we know does work: pluralism and diversity? which can often lead to conflict, but thats an issue of defining what were saying! (interview 27 May 2008). Palmers insight is precisely what I have highlighted througho ut this study: that sustainability requires clear statements of th e goals and deep-seated values of various stakeholders for effective problem solving. D efining what we are sa ying in the case of sustainability depends upon caref ul elucidation of core valu es and deep beliefs, whether explicitly religious or not. In a word, the search for sustainability and the partnerships that make it possible depend on pluralism. As Palmer put it, Pluralism says: what is that you bring to the

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192 table thats distinctive, and can I work with that? What do I have to give up? Its engaging with what fires people. What vision th ey have (interview 27 May 2008). In Chapter 7, I noted that some evangelic al witness for the environment is grounded in biblical stories, tactically complex in the form ation of partnerships, and intent on ensuring that evangelical goals are not conflated with other environmental activists and their motives whose foundations are not biblical. The focus of that chapter was on groups that derived from a particular religious tradition. This chapter is about groups wh ose primary purpose has been to bridge the gaps between different religious groups and between re ligious groups a nd a variety of secular institutions charged with environmental re sponsibilities. I focus on the strategies that interfaith advocates and groups us e to facilitate and maintain pa rtnerships across faith traditions, and translate these traditions into terms that resonate with secular groups. Pluralism requires negotiation across boundari es, whether such boundaries are personal, communal, or organizational. To illustrate, I fo cus in this chapter on input gathered from with leaders of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), and Interfaith Power and Light (IPL). IPL, ARC, and Interfaith Approaches to Building Sustainability To better understand how these groups work tog ether toward sustainability it will be helpful to detail the emergence of the two gr oups that are my focus here. ARC was created through a mandate from a high-ranki ng international figure, while IPL began at the local level in one activists attic. Nonetheless, they share so me of the same priorities and strategies. Let There Be Light!: the Emergence of Interfaith Power and Light Sally Bingham founder and Director of Interfaith Power and Li ght (IPL), recalled that she began her journey toward combating climate cha nge when she was invite d to participate as a trustee for the National Defense Fund (NDF), an environmental legal defense group. Her

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193 awakening, as she called it, came in 1985 as she listened month af ter month to the NDF scientists detailed descriptions of over-f ishing, water pollution, deforestation, coral reef decimation, and by the mid 1980s, climate change. At the time she was a member of the Church of Heavenly Rest in New York City.261 The more Bingham learned, the more emotionally depressed she grew about what was happening to the earths ecosystems, and the more insistent she grew with the clergy at her church. She be gan to pester them, asking How can [you] stand there and talk about love, peace a nd justice and never mention clean air, clean water as a right for peopleNot only that, but the intr insic value of everything God cr eated (authors interview, 8 July 2008).262 In the late 1980s Bingham and her family moved to San Francisco where she was again struck by her churchs in attentiveness to environmental problems. She recalled that the rector of their new congregation, St. James Episcopal Church, had several so ns, one of whom was a river guide.263 Bingham remembered saying to him, You r kids are out there river guidingarent they seeing whats happening? And why dont you talk about it from the pulpit? His answer: Why dont you go to seminary and find out where the di sconnect is between what we say we believe, and how we behave? (interview 8 July 2008). 261 This was an Episcopal church founded by a group of veterans in 1865, just after the close of the U.S. Civil War, as a memorial to those who had fallen. The parish was officially established in 1868. See their website for more information at accessed 22 December 2008. 262 Bingham believed that everything possessed intrinsic value, I later learned, because everything had been created by God, and declared to be good (see, for example, chapter two of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible). This could be considered a theocentric perspective, po ssessing strong resonance with the sort of theocentrism advocated by some evangelicals in chapter five. Binghams stories, however, suggested that she re sonated with a slightly milder form of anthropocentrism, and certainly would not have advocated the retention of the dominion or strong stewardship themes advocated by Schaeffer (1970) or Wilkinson (1980). However, while she uses the term intrinsic value and even expresses sentiments th at occasionally border on pantheistic perception, for the most part Bingham frames her environmental advocacy within an anthr opocentric Christian perspective. 263 For more details about St. James Episcopal Church see (accessed 20 January 2009).

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194 This was the impetus for Binghams academic journey. At the age of 45 she enrolled at the University of San Franciscos B.A. program After completing her degree in Theology and Religious Studies, she enrolled at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, the Episcopal seminary of the Graduate Theological Union, to pursue her Masters of Divinity. She was able to convince the bishop to allow her to organize an environmenta l committee for the fieldwork component of her degree. In 1992, she traveled from church to church within the diocese, drumming up support for this Episcopal group. The end result was a group of 12-14 people who met around Binghams dining room table on the th ird Tuesday of each month for five years (interview 8 July 2008). It was never part of Binghams plan to be ordained. She resisted ordination even after members of the environmental committee encour aged her repeatedly, arguing that she would need to be ordained to sponsor and vote on e nvironmentally-oriented re solutions at general conventions. Nevertheless attending chapel ev ery morning at seminary, Bingham began to understand the Christian message in a new way: it wa s starting to assimilate into who I was as a person, and I had to begin to accept the fact th at it was a call, I mean, an honest-to-goodness call (interview 8 July 2008). This perception of a divine call, however, was not to perform weddings, funerals or fulfill the other usual resp onsibilities of the clergy. Instead, it focused entirely on saving creation. She remembers that she felt so strongly that this [protecting the environment] was the jobreally, of anybody who professed a love of God. And we [Christians] had a responsibilit y, not just the opportunity, but th e real responsibilityperhaps obligation is a better word, to be the leaders of the environmental movement (authors interview, 8 July 2008).

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195 Bingham was finally ordained in 1997, the sa me year that California deregulated the energy industry, which meant that citizens could purchase their power from any one of a number of providers including renewabl e power sources. She and a lay Episcopal collaborator began going door to door among the Episcopal churches in California, promoting Christian-based energy stewardship and asking them to buy rene wable energy from Green Mountain utility company.264 In 2000 the Rockefeller Brothers Fund o ffered Bingham the funds to make a film of her persuasive green energy stump speech and hire a national campaign manager, which resulted in the dissemination of Binghams message to many more Episcopal churches.265 The film, titled Lighten Up, had the desired e ffect and by 2000 there were approximately 60 Episcopal churches in Califor nia buying renewable energy. The same year, however, a major energy crisis hit California, and in an effort to provide consistent power the energy industry was again regulated, which meant that the churches could no longer purchase renewable energy in the same way. The setback, however, also provided a new opportunity for partnership. Bingham and her supporters created an alliance with the Californi a Council of Churches and broadened the scope of their concern to all Christian groups in Calif ornia. Bingham recalled that they were already getting calls from Unitarians and Jews, saying c an we join this program or is it just for 264 Vermont-based Green Mountain is an energy provider that has options for carbon neutral energy purchase. Green Mountain does not appear to have any obvious ties to religious groups or to non-profits generally. They do, however, have an extensive code of ethics available online that refers to their expectation that all employees will act as good stewards of the earth, implying a softened anth ropocentrism that perhaps intentionally resonates with a generic Christian sentiment (see their website at accessed 20 January 2009). 265 The mission statement of the Fund states that their goal is Helping to build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund was founded by the ch ildren of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1940 to combine some of their philanthropic efforts. The major contributions to the Fund came from J.D. Rockefeller, Jr., and from his estate. The Fund did not provide further funding for Interfaith Power and Light following this initial investment. For more information see accessed 5 February 2009. Interestin gly, Steven C. Rockefeller, a descendant, was one of the primary drivers behind the drafting and promotion of the Earth Charter.

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196 Episcopalians? (interview 8 July 2008). So in 2001 they adopted a ne w moniker: Interfaith Power and Light (IPL). Since, Binghams work has broadened to involve Muslims, Bhais and Mormons, becoming a genuinely interfaith effort. Interfaith Power and Light now has programs in twenty-seven states as well as the District of Colombia. By 2008, IPL had doubled in size (from around four teen chapters to twenty-eight), tripled its operating budget, and had a full-time staff of seven people. From conversations around the dining room table to a nationwide advocacy group, and Binghams 2008 installment as Canon for Environmental Ministry by the Episcopal Chur chs Diocese of California, IPL began with a grassroots initiative and went on to influence diverse faith-based and secular communities; by 2008 about half of the audiences Bi ngham addressed were secular groups.266 Their bottom-up approach has been different than the Alliance of Religions and Conservation but both center their work around partnerships that cross faith boundaries, and suggest how important such relationships are to the prospect of sustainable societies. The Glue that Mends the Plate: the Creation of the Allianc e of Religions and Conservation In 1995, HRH Prince Philip (the husband of the United Kingdoms monarch Queen Elizabeth II),267 convened a meeting at Windsor Cas tle, England, with the worlds major conservation groups and nine world religions to form a group specifically to link the secular worlds of conservation and ecology with th e faith worlds of the major religions. 268 It was 266 In the Episcopal tradition, canon is a title granted to a senior clergy member of high regard, often focused on performing a particular set of tasks for the Church or ministering to a particular group. The Episcopal Church website describes a canon as a member of the clergyon a diocesan staff [who] assists the bishop. Members of the clergy and laity have at times been made honorary canons of a cathedral in recognition of significant service or achievement (see accessed 20 January 2009). 267 See footnote twenty-six in chapter three for more information (p. 16). 268 The quote is from the website, accessed 31 August 2008.

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197 called the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC). The first steps toward the genesis of this organization, however, had occurre d nearly ten years earlier. In 1986 the World Wide Fund for Nature, at the time headed by HRH Prince Philip, brought together leaders from five of the worlds largest faith traditions and several leading environmentalists to explore how the worlds religions could help in the struggle to save the natural world (Jensen 1999: 492).269 Assisi, Italy was chosen as the site for the meeting, which was highly symbolic, as it was home to 13th century monk Saint Franci s. Francis is well known for his relationships with non-human animals, and was nominated by Lynn White (1967) as the patron saint of ecology (White 1967). The procee dings of the conferen ce a) echoed Whites argument that Western and Christian perspectives are largely responsible for the ecological crisis, b) suggested that a signifi cant change in political processes and structures is needed to correct the crisis, and c) argued that episte mologies, cosmologies, and their ethical and behavioral accompaniments which are alternativ es to Western worldviews should be valued as instrumental in efforts toward sustainability (see the brief outline of the stated priorities in Chapter 5, pp. 95-96).270 The WWF, World Bank and the ot her non-governmental organizations present at this meeting, moreove r, explicitly endorsed the idea that there was a significant, positive correlation between biodiversity and cultural diversity. The diversity of perspectives was envisioned as a major strength. Accordi ng to the ARCs website, the special invitation received by the participants asked them to Come, proud of your own tradition, but humble enough to learn from others, and pointed out that this applied as much to the secular environmental groups as it did to the great faiths.271 269 The faiths represented there were Buddhism, Chri stianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. 270 These meetings were the impetus for the Assisi Declara tion, which was approved by the participants in 2002. 271 See accessed 31 August 2008.

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198 Following the meeting, Prince Philip asked Martin Palmer to take the lead in proactively working with these faith groups, including Buddhist s, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews to promote conservation. Over the next ten years these leaders worked with the five groups from the Assisi meetings, and cultiv ated relationships with four additional faith groups, Bahais, Daoists, Jains, and Sikhs. Prior to the 1995 launch of ARC, each of the faith leaders was invited to elucidate what they believed to be the greatest challenges to th eir adherents and their faith traditions in the era of globalization. There was consensus on two point s: the first was the impact of media and the global reach of communication i ndustries that easily and rapidly disseminated Western values; second was the overwhelming power of Western ec onomic structures such as the World Bank. Thus, the event organizers ensured that the Worl d Bank was present at the birth of the ARC, and since then, World Bank officials have been acti ve partners with the ARC in promoting biocultural and religious diversity. Palmer was aske d to become the first Secretary by the original Board of Directors, and he has serv ed in that capacity ever since. By 2000, Shinto and Zoroastrian religious lead ers had joined the cau se, bringing the total number of religious traditions represented to eleven faiths whose adherents comprise approximately two thirds of the worlds popul ation, own around seven percent of the worlds habitable land, and hold approximately six to ei ght percent of the global investment market (Palmer and Finlay 2003: xi). The ARC prim arily operates behind the scenes, brokering partnerships between international political bodies. Palmer noted, Some people say Well weve never heard of you. And if you read Prince Philips interview on our website, he makes the point: You never should! It should look as though the most natural thing in the world is that the major religions would work with the major bodies concerned with saving the planet, and pr eserving habitats. Were the invisible glue that mends the plate (interview 27 May 2008).

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199 Many environmental and social justice activis ts have long been hars hly critical of the World Bank because it was cast as the principle instrument of global biological and cultural simplification. But Palmer has been more ch aritable, recalling that when the partnership between the World Bank and the ARC began, the World Bank employed more full time ecologists and spent more money on understand ing ecology than any conservation group in the world (interview 27 May 2008). 272 While Palmer and others w ho would later form ARC were forging relationships with the Bank, other groups with whom they worked broke off relations. According to Palmer, some environmentalists felt that working with the World Bank amounted to abetting the enemy. Clearly, sometimes new re lationships exact a cost on older partnerships. This is part of the risk of cultivating relationships in a pluralistic world. The Ethics of Risky Partnershi ps: A Marriage of Inconvenience Partnership is actually a bout the risk you m ight change, Martin Palmer said when discussing how the ARC has been able to effectiv ely bridge gaps between religious and secular groups across the globe. If youre not prepared to take that risk and to do so with integrity, we cant work with you. Its very much like a marriage in that sense. He went on to say that many development or conservation orie nted groups believed they alr eady had the answers to how to provide development, sustainable agricultural regimes, new political structures (or what-haveyou), and merely presented these ready-made an swers to peoples from other cultures or backgrounds (interview 27 May 2008). To the exte nt that they were unwilling to risk changing their pre-existing plans or take the time to h ear what problems were most pressing for local residents they were not participating in a sust ainable marriage, a tw o-way relationship that 272 The employment of environmental economists, ecologists and anthropologists was at least in part due to pressure from NGOs and activist groups that co ntinually highlighted the World Bank s inability to achieve sustainable development. While the Bank continues to operate with economic considerations as their primary concern, they have at least exhibited some ability to include the perspectives of others, a hopeful sign for Palmer and others.

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200 attended to the stated needs of the other. Risky partnerships need not always involve only interactions with cultural others. According to Palmer, interactions with peers and colleagues in the global North also require risky partnerships where people express deep beliefs and core values. For example, Palmer recalled his brief involvement with Friends of the Earth (FOE), a well-known conservation organization, which ente red a tumultuous period when their policy platform and administrative direction were uncertain.273 The head of the organization decided that the ten division heads woul d benefit from a retreat where they could work through the emotional obstacles in the way of positive progress toward agreement on a policy platform. According to Palmer, for the first two days nothing happened. Negative feelings seemed to dog the participants and almost no progre ss was made in congeniality let alone policy agreement. Finally, one night, it came out that one of the leaders was a Christian. Once word was out, conversations were jump started, and it turn ed out that all of them were Christians, and that all of them had ultimately joined FOE because of their faith Not one of them had ever spoken to their co-workers of it until then. But after that night they were able to move forward productively because for the first time they understood why their peers were engaged in this particular career path. The foundations of the values that motivated their chosen occupation were laid bare.274 273 Friends of the Earth was founded in 1969 by David Brower (himself no Christian), longtime President of the Sierra Club (see Van Horn and Blackwelder 2005). Brow er later left the organization, but Friends of the Earth continued to flourish. It is a mul tifaceted environmental activist organizati on, with programs fo cused on global warming, energy, government and industry and transportation (among others). For more information see accessed 5 February 2009. 274 Friends of the Earth is not an explicitly Christian orga nization, nor is it entirely comprised of Christians. Its governance structures are rather decent ralized and the constituency diverse.

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201 Engaging Neighbors One of the ideas that my informants most frequently noted was the idea that protecting the environment was in an important sense protecting ones self. Fred Kirschenmann, director of the Leopold Center, called it developing our ecolo gical conscience, drawing directly from Aldo Leopolds insistence th at in order to be in an ethical relationship with th e land ones moral imagination must include ecological systems. Sally Bingham, Richard Cizik, and others I interviewed voiced a parallel idea when they re -interpreted an importa nt Christian story as illustrating that all cultures including non-humans are neighbors, and that Christians ought to love their neighbors as themselves.275 Bingham put it this way: I had a cousin who went off to Vietnam,276 quite regretfully, who said that when you kill a person, you kill part of yourself.its that way with the earth, I think. When you harm any part of the earth, you harm yourself. What were doing now is trying to save ourselves from ourselves. An exploration of the concept of neighbor is part of Binghams usual speech fo r both faith groups and secular audiences. She attempts to persuade her audi ences that the concept should include the next generation, and people on the other side of the world who are affect ed by every single thing we do here (interview 8 July 2008). The expa nded meaning of neighbor is a metaphor for expanding the boundaries of morality. In this, it parallels the environmentalist metaphor that describes the actualization of an ecological conscience through an expanded sense of self. Moreover, it seems to be a set of metaphors that can be used across several Christian 275 I did not interview Cizik, but at the Creation Care Conf erence in Longwood, Florida, he asked the audience, who, in todays world, is our neighbor? His answer was a story of his visit to the Arctic where he saw Native Americans whose lives were literally bei ng washed away by rising seas. He told those gathered, This is todays civil rights issue! (21 February 2008). 276 She referred to the armed conflict with communist-backed forces in Vietnam. US involvement in the conflict began with the involvement of military advisors in 1950, continued through the commitment of battle units in 1965, and ended in 1973.

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202 constituencies and which also resonate with those (such as Leopold and Seed) who are not Christian. This ability to engage others by fi nding common stories is, for Palmer, central to moving toward sustainability. He suggested that one central task of his work was to get religions to remember theyre storytellers, a nd we get the inspirers of the environmental movement to remember they ought to be poets. Then they can talk. Otherwise, theyre just wearing the armor of their impenetrab le language (interview, 27 May 2008). Palmer confided that conservationists too often use language that is not meaningful outside of their own in-group. Li kewise, religious groups often c ouch their motivations in terms that are not meaningful for others. Words lik e sustainability, Palmer noted, are problematic precisely because they can mean so many things to so many different people or groups. They are of little use unless the values th at go along with any particular deployment of the term are made explicit. For example, biodiversity Palmer argued, means almost nothing to anybody outside [conservation biology and the biol ogical sciences].The point is that we use language that people dont understand. You have to challenge people to use terms that the other side can understand (interview, 27 May 2008).277 Palmer went on to say that, when dealing with such concept-words, he often asks people to Show us a poem in which that word has been used.If you cant show us a poem, then its not a word that people love enough that they want to play with it. If you cant show us a poem, it probably means it doesnt mean anything. As illustrated in Chapter 6, biodiversity was intentionally coined to gain political and public traction for conservation. It is a word designed to make complex ideas easier to understand. Rather than 277 To be fair, biodiversity has arguably had a significant impact on both national environmental policy in the US. It has manifested in international declarations and statem ents, but these measures typically depend on voluntary compliance (see Takacs 1996). Palmers point, I believe, was that while such words may be useful policy devices they do little to inform the moral sensibilities of the typical layperson. Zimmerman (1995 [1998]) has suggested that concepts derived from holistic sciences (he was particular ly speaking of quantum mechanics) have little bearing on peoples ethical formations. The extent to which biodiversity and similar terms have shaped public understandings of nature is certainly an empirical question.

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203 teaching people who receive development aid new words to describe ideas already embedded in their religious world model, Palmer suggested that his goal is to draw out and highlight extant values. Walking Between Two Worlds: World Mo del Interpretation and Sust ainability According to Palmer, Bingham and others building consensus and making progress on policy issues requires translating value sets a nd worldviews between diffe rent constituencies. Once Episcopal Power and Light became Interfa ith Power and Light their first task was to investigate what resources differe nt faith traditions already po ssessed for promoting beneficent stewardship of creation, and then effectivel y market these resources to the traditions participants.278 Thus, in some cases, IPL representativ es were outsiders intent on selling new interpretations of traditional stories to those inside that tradition. Bingham was also able to make a stronger case for reducing energy c onsumption and making renewable energy choices within her own tradition by noting that other fa ith leaders and traditions were already making progress. For Bingham, even translation of th e IPL message to secula r groups (for example, university audiences), is relatively simple: a) quote experts in ot her denominations and religions (i.e., Joel Hunter, th e Dalai Lama, the U.S. Catholic bishops) who argue that their tradition demands environmental responsibility (oft en couched in terms of stewardship); and b) outline what sorts of behaviors should follow from these ecologically-friendly readings of these traditions.279 For the insiders (those within the particul ar faith traditions), it is a way of reading the traditional texts in a way that is relevant to contemporary concerns. When broadcast to those 278 There has been significant resistance to the idea that specific religious traditions can and should be mined to get at the glimmers of green that appear when looking through the lenses of ecological concern (see for example [Larson 1989]). I generally agree with such criticisms. Some of the gems mined from particular religious traditions do, however, seem to seep into the economy of ideas that feeds the sustainability milieu. 279 See for film resources related to various denominations and faiths (accessed 2 September 2008).

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204 outside faith communities the task is to explai n why people of faith are legitimately concerned with environmental issues. For Palmer, the task is similar but the groups for whom ARC acts as a translator are large-scale in ternational groups such as th e WWF, the World Bank, and the United Nations. Palmer noted, Because were ab le to speak the languag e of both sideswe are a trusted mediator (interview 27 May 2008). The translation of one groups values into language that other peopl es can understand is a difficult and time consuming task. Beginning with such a slow and unwieldy set of processes is problematic when most conservation and development organizations have project goals, timelines, and budgets which discourage a slow pr ocess of community-based engagement. But as John Smith, Director of their Sacred Land Program of ARC said, The downside is that some projects take longer, but the benef it is a) the people believe that th ey did it; b) they therefore are much more protective of it (interview 29 May 2008).280 The Pitfalls of Partnership Sm ith recalled that many times when ARC propos ed a project to local residents their first question was often whos going to pay for this? Smith reported his re sponse was usually the same: Were not going to talk a bout that for the first six months Instead, that time was spent learning what each particular stakeholder brought to the table and what they sought to change. Conservation and development, Smith emphasized, can not be a one-size-fits-all solution to what are typically complex contextual problems. In Smiths experience many organizational participants, though their intentions are good, are not willing or able to undergo such a lengthy courtship period. This is why some partnerships fail. 280 Smith noted to me that his job title and description were highly flexible, and in large part depended on the project and the groups with whom he was working. Most of his work, however, fell under the Sacred Land Project. For more information on the Sacred Land Project see

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205 Among the problematic relationships they ha ve encountered, both informants from the ARC noted the deeply unsatisfying relationships formed with academics. Palmer remembered the gradual engagement of religious scholars in conservation and development work beginning around 1989. Hans Kungs work advancing a globa l ethic helped to inspire an exhibition on religions and ethics in Washi ngton, DC (Palmer and Finlay 2003) For Palmer, Kungs grand global ethic is academically inte resting, but ultimately irrelevant to the world I work inthats not what Im dealing with when Im in Indonesi a working with single mo thers running a logging operation according to the Qura n (interview 29 May 2008). While acknowledging that most academics get involved for the right reasons, their strategies are often misguided, according to Fazlun Khalid, head of IFEES. In response to questions about the possibility of such a globa l ethic, Khalid genera lly described it as an academic fantasy: I like small. If its global somebodys got to control it.So whos goi ng to decide this ethic? We going to have a new global pope for everybody? Maybe Mary [Evelyn Tucker] wants to be the global pope! (laughs). 281 We cannot have academics in Yale, or Harvard, or Oxford or Cambridge or wherever thinki ng for the rest of the world (interview 28 May 2008). The problem with academic approaches, according to some of my informants, is that they are top-down: academics and policy experts decide on a set of global principles, then disseminate them to the masses. The perception is that the values of the people them selves are never vetted, they remain private while the public global ethic ex tols a diluted set of va lues. The emphasis in sustainability-oriented work is on publications (f or academics) and delivera bles (for conservation and development organizations), but this does no t account for peoples motiv ations, which is the focus of groups like ARC and IPL. Their goal, in a sense, is allowing the private to become 281 He was referring to Mary Evelyn Tu cker, one of the leaders of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Khalid had worked with Tucker on several projects previous ly, and stated that they were friends.

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206 public again, providing a venue for people to express their deep seat ed values and beliefs in the public sphere tied to particular religious or community narratives (Palmers wording, interview 29 May 2008). According to Palmer a global et hic is empty of content because it is not significantly tied to particular community narratives, and perpetuates the notion that such particularistic beliefs should rema in within the private sphere (see Palmer and Finlay 2003: 1721). In such cases, partnerships can sometimes hamper positive progress. Engaging groups with different value preferences and goals is no easy task. The ARC was perhaps the first religious NGO to cultivate a relationship with th e World Bank but the partnership was rooted in ARCs honest rendering of the complicity of the Bank in the destruction of ecosystems and cultures. At ARCs launch in 1995 at Windsor Castle, one of the Banks bureaucrats had given a presentation with the usual stat istical and graphical representati ons of data which prompted a response from ARCs poet, w ho was present at the event.282 The poem read: Somewhere between Christ and Lucifer with your silver-grey hair and your quick, silver tongue, as you slide the transparencies over each other, Mercurial in the projectors glow. And your shadow, as your rapid, polished monologue lulls us into believing, into hoping even, beyond the figures you skate over like thinning ice, smiling, energizing as you arabesque and spin and stop dead with your hand outstretched to grasp. And I could, we could all, almost vote for you now for the Father of Comfort and Finance and Light, making us feel as safe and secure as we need. 282 Palmer told me that at the founding event for ARC, and since, he has insisted that both a poet and an artist are present at all ARC events and meetings (interview 27 May 2008). They provide artists renderings of the events through their own media.

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207 And its not that I dont believe you, or see how easy it is for us to distrust you. Everything you say is right on, and good. It stands. Its justthat He is crucified everywhere on earth where you arrive with your plans, and panaceas. Its justyou cant serve tw o masters without being bought, or sold.283 When the bureaucrat refused to allow the poem to be published with the rest of the proceedings under the auspices of the World Bank, the poe m circulated via email through World Bank employee networks. Many were astounded at how their organization appeared to others, to outsiders with whom they were attempting to forge partnerships. Palmer reported that the poem Brought that man down, and needed to. Th e bureaucrat had no passion. He had no story. He had no heart. He could only give you statistics. The man was removed from his post, transferred, and given a less vi sible position in the Bank. His story ultimately had a happy ending, but according to Palmer, it was because th e bureaucrat had recovered the passion that had driven him to this work: Hes a better man fo r that but also we were then able to begin working with the World Bank. Because a group that could read that poem, and go, Ahso, thats how we seem to some people, is open to thinking that, maybe, ther e are other ways, that there are other stories (interview 29 May 2008). This story is an example of how costly some partnerships can be, but for Palmer it is also an example of their potential for fostering partnerships that that last. It was at that time rare (at best) for a multilateral development organization to consider poems as a source of data. But in this case, a po em effectively caused a po licy shift in one of the worlds most politically insula r institutions. According to Palmer, the World Bank employee was living without a story, that is, he had no guiding narrative th at informed his perception of 283 This poem is unpublished. Palmer read it to me from a piece of paper.

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208 his purpose in the world or within his organization. All of my in formants, and particularly those involved in the ARC, were excellent story-tellers. It is no coincide nce, however, that the leaders in these relatively successful organizations tell good stories. Telling and listening to stories, particularly other peoples stories, is increasingly cited as the most important ingredient in sustained collaboration, through which security and smart subsistence within habitats can develop.284 From Partnership to Stories: the Importance of Narrative for Sustainable Collaboration Storytellers All According to Martin Palm er and Victoria Fi nlay, humans interpret their worlds through stories even if we sometimes like to call them facts (Palmer and Finlay 2003: 51). The environmental movement in particular retells a seri es of stories that vari ous participants endorse and recall as authoritativ e. When these stories draw on metaphors of apocalypse or green utopias, valorize earlier or alternative cultural mores and practices (such as the wisdom of indigenous peoples), and endorse Christ-like visions of Spotted Owls and Polar Bears they are religious (or at least religion -resembling) stories. Oftentimes though, secular groups do not realize that they are manufacturi ng narratives. The crucial task, according to Palmer, is to help secular groups understand that they are also storytellers. In hi s eyes, the secula r environmental movement has clothed itself in the garments of religion, [but] claims to be scientific. Reflecting on engaging with secular conserva tion organizations, Palmer stated that one of the first tasks weve had to do is to help [them] recognize that they function symbolically, metaphorically, and so to some degree quasi-spiritually, and that the science bit is pretty much irrelevant. Thats not w hy theyre there. And once they get to the point 284 There is an extensive literature on this subject from the field of strategic management. A review of this literature is beyond the scope of this study, but see for example Banathys Designing Social Systems in a Changing World (1997), Schwartzs The Art of the Long View (1996: 227-248), and Cowan and Todorovics Spiral Dynamics: the Layers of Human Values in Strategy (2000).

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209 that they recognize that they tell stories, then you can intr oduce them to other groups that tell stories (interview 29 Ma y 2008, emphasis Palmers). Stories That Dont Inspire: Environmen tal A pocalypticism and Negative Affect Many environmental activists, particularly thos e whose motivations are primarily religious, shy away from the more negative imagery and ar gument of the environmental movement. Both ARC employees and Bingham reported that positive st ories tend to fare better with audiences but also resonate more with their own sentiments. Most religions have ritu al fasts, but they are typically followed by feasts. Some religions have a doctrine of sin, but also deal in forgiveness. Thus, according to ARC, balancing the need for repentance with the need to party is a central insight into human psychology that the faiths can bring to the e nvironmental and developmental movement (Palmer and Finlay 2003). On the other hand, stories that do not work according to thes e thought leaders include those that use terror or fear to promote action, or those that eschew democratic solutions in favor of quicker, more authoritarian op tions. For example, John Smith of ARC stated that most of the conservation organizations he has worked with be lieved so deeply in their programs that they assumed they had the right answers. Beneat h the surface, Smith belie ves, such overconfidence stems from an implicit religious story, derived fro m quietly religious attit udes, like we are the saviors of the planet. It [e nvironmentalism] was sort of like a new religion (interview 29 May 2008). Palmer recalled that during the question and answer period following a panel in which he had participated, an eminent ecologist insisted that the urgency of the plan ets ecological crisis required that humans bypass democratic means of change, that we should stop nine-tenths of what people are doing and it has to be done, if necessary, by military force (Palmers

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210 recollection, interview 28 May 2008).285 Oftentimes such extreme positions are accompanied by what Palmer termed Neo-Puritanism. He meant that some use the ecological crisis as a means of demonstrating their superior moral fiber through abstention from some aspects of Western culture. For example, that scient ist later informed Palmer in c onversation that he and his wife had vowed never to fly in an airplane again be cause of the large carbon output. Unfortunately, this well-intentioned act of self-limitation had caused them to miss both their sons weddings, and prevented them from ever meeting their gra ndchildren. In Palmers view, the scientist had forgotten how to partythe repentance, in this case, did not fit the crime. Palmer recalled an old Jewish proverb he believed was relevan t: On the day of judgment, youll be judgedand condemnedfor every legitimate pleasure that y ou could have taken, and did not (interview 28 May 2008). For Palmer, negative stories are capable of inspiring fear but not of producing positive change. The environmental movement, said Palmer, cloaks its religious stories behind secular science, and because science is presumed to be value free, it is incapable of providing positive large-scale guiding metaphors. Environmentalism, he said, can bring us to the moment of crisis, it can bring us to the foot of the cross, it can bring us to Auschwitz, but what it cant do is take us to the transformi ng, or transcending experience (interview 28 May 2008). How to Party, or, Learning How to Dance in the Earthquake: the Pow er of Positive Narratives Palmer and the others at the ARC call thes e positive stories wonder-ful storiestales which depend on positive messages that inspire not just hope but responsible environmental behavior (Palmer and Finlay 2003) There are narratives in nearly every one of the world 285 Palmer did not name this scientist, though following up on hints dropped by Palmer during our conversation I believe that he was referring to Meyer Hillman. Hillman was originally trained in architecture and planning, and in 1970 received an environmental policy-related PhD from th e University of Edinburgh. For more information see

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211 religions that remind people to wo rk hard, but not too hard, and to celebrate what they have, not weep for what is gone (Palmer and Finlay 2003: 23-36). The report from a UNESCO conference on faith-based organizations contributions to edu cation for sustainability noted that the worlds current problems of overdevelopment and undernourishment, overconsumption and undereducation, overpopulation and underemploymen t, overmilitarization and undersecurity are contrary to values that have been upheld by re ligious communities for thousands of years. Quoting Rabbi Arthur Waskow, the reports editor stated, The whole world today is in an earthquake : politics, economics, sexualityPeople look for something that isnt quaking and so they dont pay attention to the state of the Earth. Our calling today, as Rabbi Waskow emphatically put it, is like learning to dance in an earthquake. This quaking will transform everything, including religions (Pigem 2007: 119). According to Waskow and others, religions are adapting their message to the ecological crisis and one of their primary contributions can be to remind people how to celebrate each other, and life in the midst of these over-under crises. You protect what you love My informants motivations for engaging in sustainability advocacy were attributed to emotively intense personal experien ce in nature, or to an intense concern for social equity. Sally Bingham was one of those who traced her e nvironmental awareness to profound childhood experiences in nature. She believ ed, moreover, that if I were to ask all of my respondents when was the first time you ever had a sense of the divi ne, or of something bigger than you are?, I would invariably be told that it had occurred in nature (interview 8 July 2008). Her own account of the emergence of her environm ental conscience is worth retelling: I used to lie on the ground behind our house .Its not totally country anymore, but 60 years ago it was. We bordered on a stack of property where th ey had herds of cattle out in the fields. And I would lie on the ground, sort of underneath this willow tree where Id built a fort, and I had my ear to the ground one day, and I could hear this earth beating! I

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212 mean I heard the heartbeat of the earth. And I went, wow, this is alive! And I stayed with that for a long time. And then, when I was older, I realized what I was listening to was cattle in the field.But never mind! For me, it was so real. It gave me this really innate sense that the earth is alive with this beating heart. And of course, people say that now. Carl Sagan said [the earth] is a living species. And so thats been with me all my life. And I did grow up in a place where we played outdoors. With chickens, and dogs and cats, and foxes eating the chickens, and chasing coyote, and you know, that is who I am. Whos going to protect our parks? Our beau tiful wildlife refuges? Whos going to protect those things when my generation is gone? A few people in your [the authors] generation, my children, for example, are natu re lovers, and two of them work in the environmental community. But after them, if children want to be indoors playing with electronic toys as a preference over being outsi de, whos going to love nature? You protect what you love! (interview 8 July 2008). John Smith told me that his love and respec t for place grew out of a deep belief in the importance of social justice, indicating the prim acy of the human dimension of sustainability. One story he told illustrated his claim that re spectful partnerships comprised of people from widely divergent backgrounds was the key to sust ainability. Smith recounted one instance when ARC decided to provide fundi ng to a Buddhist group that ha d purchased an old building previously used by the Irish Republican Army in an area of town with no self-esteem.286 The Buddhists turned the building into a monastery, and constructed a garden in the old building. Though Smith admitted that they never achieved the full scope of what they envisioned, what went on was enough. The monks turned the fa cility into an educational establishment, community meeting place, ran a caf that promot ed healthy lifestyle choices, and brought in students from schools across the region. The director of the mona stery was Buddhist by conversion, Smith told me, and still sang in the local Christian church choir every Sunday. It [the monastery] became the center of economic regeneration in that area, Smith said. Overall, 286 The building had bombproof walls in some places an d its fortress-like appearan ce did little to add to the communitys esteem.

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213 Smith estimated that they probably spent ar ound one million pounds on the project, a figure he notes as remarkable given the usual budgets of community redevelopment groups: No authority in the country could spent a million pounds and make such a change! They could spend 10 million and not get the return. It was particularly interesting because it was not a faith that was native to that part of the world. As Smith put it, Something quite exotic, and unusual, and completely outside their experience had got pe ople thinking, we are worth something! (interview 29 May 2008). If Binghams awareness of something bigger first came to her alone in the fields, awareness of accountability can also arise among groups of people who engage each other in novel, and mutually beneficial ways. In these cases, religious beliefs, far from being confined within particular communities, become the pr imary motivations for engaging with others. Religious metaphor and language are often the primary means of communication between these disparate groups. Follow-up work by the ARC in instances like the one above illustrate that in some cases environmental protection may derive from an expanded sense of self and a moral sensibility that extends the concept of neighbor to include people or groups who hold significantly different worldviews a nd values. Even to stimulate community-level change, as in the story Smith related, interpersonal interacti on is of paramount importance. Smith believes that the most effective way to enact change is one on one with individuals, in discussions of values, priorities and short and long term goals. Smith, who describes himself as an atheist, told me that these are the sorts of projects that work and that there are more success stories from faith communities than from any other group. These examples alone should make a convincing argument for at least revisiting the arguments of those who, like Norton (2005) would evacuate religion from the public sphere, for in many

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214 cases it is the primary motivation for peoples enga gement in activities that could be considered sustainability advocacy.287 Islam in action in Zanzibar In keeping with the philosophy that solutions to environmen tal, social and development problems should not be imposed fr om the outside, ARC and WWF of ten recruit others to help them fulfill their goals. For example, in a much-celebrated conservation victory, ARC and WWF teamed up with Fazlun Khalid and the Is lamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) halt the destru ction of the reefs around Zanzib ar, endangered because of nontraditional and unsustainable dynamite fishing. Khalid, whose father is an Islamic th eologian, created a set of workbooks with accompanying visual media in the local language (Swahili) detailing Muslim resources that promoted awareness of ecological limits and inte rgenerational obligations. Khalids first step was to gather with a group of Quranic scholars. He offered the materials with passages of text from the Quran and asked them to interpret the text with an eye to th e environmental problems prevalent within their communities. According to Khalid, many of these scholars told him, we read these verses every day, and weve never thought of them that way before! These religious leaders agreed to help Khalid spread th e message to the community fishermen. With the authority of these community l eaders behind him, Khalid engaged the local fishermen in a series of workshops. The workshops were a tremendous success: The result was that in twenty-four hours they stopped dynamiting the coral reefs. Whic h CARE International, 287 This is certainly not to argue that the inclusion of religious values in the public sphere always leads to environmentally-responsible behaviors or attitudes. Many religious groups strongly resist environmental values. However, sustainable human-habitat interactions are unlikely to develop unless adaptive and empathetic relationships develop among the human populations, the species with the broadest impact upon habitats. Thus, many sustainability advocates, particularly those motivated by social justice, often focus first on this human dimension of sustainability.

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215 which WWF couldnt do for 3-4 years. They just couldnt stop them. In 24 hours, overnight, they stopped dynamiting the coral reefs! (interview29 May 2008).288 In suggesting to these scholars a new interpretation of traditional texts he is assisting with the manufacture of an ecologically-aware Islam, and thus with the manuf acture of the meta-narrative of sustainability (interview 29 May 2008). Tending the garden in a tough neighborhood: cultivating love in place Smith told of another garden in the middle of a series of high rise flats where only the most desperate people lived. Between these hi gh rises was an old Anglican church with a crumbling school long since abandoned by the church. A friend of Smiths, Reverend Canon David Wyatt, decided that school yard would be a fine spot for a garden, but had no money.289 On a walk one day, Wyatt discovered so me young men vandalizing a bus stop. Wyatt stopped, observed them for a moment, and as ked the boys, Do you like doing that? Well, yes! the boys chimed, though puzzled they were not admonished by the older gentleman. Come with me, Wyatt said, and they followed him to the old playground. Do you think you can destroy that? Wya tt asked the boys, pointing to th e abandoned play structures? The boys, of course, took him up on his o ffer, gradually tearing down the old bars, pulling out the old concrete, as Wyatt collected and recycled newspapers (long before it was common practice). With the small allowances of money from the newspapers, they built a garden together. Smith told me, 288 Care is a non-profit organization founded in 1945 to provide aid to refugee survivors from World War II. It is now one of the worlds largest humanitarian organizations, and according to their website ninety percent of their 2007 expenditures were directly targeted at helping women (see accessed 7 February 2009). 289 For more information on Episcopal canons, see footnote 6, this chapter (p. 6).

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216 The outcome of it was: That [the garden] wa s the catalyst that completely changed that area.when I [Smith] interviewed him [Wyatt], there was actually a waiting list to get into those flats. And the only, you know, real visibl e change you could see was this garden. It had a nice high wall around it, and it was very mu ch sort of a quiet, open space. He had built the respect at all levels of the commun ity, huge numbers of which had never stepped foot in the church. Smith used this as an example of grassroots proc esses that create genuin ely sustainable positive outcomes. Even when religion is not specifi cally the catalyst for positive action, it often provides resources that can facilitate positive co mmunity formation (like the old churchyard). When such initiatives work well, Smith concluded, they work really well (interview 29 May 2008). Transformational leaders in sust ainable partnerships tell such stories to their collaborators and those outside their communities. Part of th e reason such stories are often not influential on World Bank and other development and political inst itutions officials is th at they do not provide hard data and are infused with ethical and often religious language. Larg e institutions such as the World Bank, or the five-year plans preferred by the UN, may have concrete goals which are ideal for engaging governments and institutions. But Smith is convinced these strategies are not very effective on the ground (interview 29 May 2008). When Palmer, Smith, and others brought these and other stories to the World Bank for publication in their planned, jointly-published report, the World Bank editors balk ed, stating that there were not enough facts in the stories. As a multi-lateral development institution beholden to a variety of stakeholders, they could only publish facts. Palmer and his colleagues pleaded with them: thats not how religions work, and informed the Bank that if they wanted to ge nuinely engage with the worlds faith traditions, they were going to have to listen to such stories. Palmer told this story with some satisfaction: In the end, they passed an editorial deci sion. That is, according to the World Bank, myths, legends and tales are facts And on that basis, they were able to publish the book (interview 28

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217 May 2008).290 By deciding to listen to the stories of some of the worlds faiths, the World Bank was also helping to broaden the scope of its own story by raising the possibility that new sorts of information, such as religious narratives, could provide data for normative decision making. Ethics at What Scale? The above stories raise signifi cant questions about the scale at which values should be included in deliberations about c onservation, developm ent, and sustainability. Smith and Palmer both believe that sustainable partne rships are created when they fit with the values of individuals at the most local level, not when they match the broad agendas of external agencies and organizations. This is part of the rub between NGO employees and the academics they perceive threaten the worlds cultural diversity by promoting a comm on set of foundational ethical principles to guide the worlds diverse cultures. Hans Kungs universal ethic, first articulate d in the 1980s and presen ted at the Parliament of World Religions in 1993, continues to be popular with some religion scholars, and its presentation is still mentioned as a formative ev ent for the field of Religion and Ecology (see for example Tucker 2006: 404; Golliher 1999). Mary Evel yn Tucker, in her survey of the field of in the Oxford Handbook of Religion (2006) mentions Kungs contri bution as well as the Earth Charter. Tucker and her husband John Grim have made significant contributions to the international dialog on sustainability, providing the most visible link between the academic community concerned with religion and environm ental issues and international political bodies such as the United Nations. They launched the Forum on Religion and Ecology (FORE) in October of 1998 at a United Nations Press Conference held to report on the series of conferences 290 The book was Faiths in Conservation (Palmer and Finlay 2003).

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218 at the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) from 1996-1998.291 Beyond their monthly report of religion and ecology oriented news bites from the UNEP, Tucker and Grim have participated in many other programs. In the published report from a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cu ltural Organization (UNESCO)-sponsor ed event at their Catalonia, Spain location (called UNESCOCAT), Tucker is cited no less than half a dozen times, and her idea that there is an emerging new sensibility provides the structure for the report (Pigem 2007).292 Sustainability, Tucker suggested, needs to be placed in a larger, spiritually inspired context that includes the following major elements: 1) planetary awareness; 2) caring for future generations; 3) nurturing bior egional cultures and local knowle dge; 4) expanding our ethical horizon; and 5) celebrating life (Pigem 2007: 8). To some extent, such global ethical formul ations act as a religi on (Taylor 2009), and in most cases such efforts were criticized by my informants. Ethics cannot be generated from nothing, Palmer argued. They must be grounded in an ethos, and a global ethic necessarily has no common community or life experience in whic h an ethos could be plausibly grounded. Palmer was especially critical of the Earth Charter: I dont know anybody apart from those who promote it whos even heard of it. I mean, what does it do other than state the obvious in a somewhat bland way? People do not do things because theyre the same. They do things because they have something distinctive to gi ve (interview 28 May 2008). The critics believe that these global ethics schemes basically promot e a new, less specific sort of faith without attending to the rich possibilities that the existing faiths already possess for creating positive 291 The FORE is a research, education and outreach-focused organization. The conferences hosted by the CSWR included leaders from ten of the worlds global religions, as well as leaders from higher education, economists, scientists, ethicists and policy experts. See for more information and history (accessed 22 March 2009). 292 The event was envisioned as deepenin gthe global dialogue called for by the Earth Charter (Pigem 2007: 4).

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219 change (see for example the crit iques in Taylor 2009: 185-186).293 Fazlun Khalid called such ethical systems mega-ethics, and argued, The people dont want an earth religion, they want their own religi on. These things are coming from academics.For them [the peopl e], this kind of language would be alien, anathema to their own beings Its alrigh t as a debating point, which is what the academics like, butwho wants to create anot her religion? Weve got enough religions! (interview 29 May 2009). Sally Bingham noted that she did not see evid ence that people were tu rning toward a global ethical system but believed that people were finding within and through their own traditions new strength, new stories, and new partners. Interestingly, although thes e thought leaders disagree about the value of universal minimum standards of earth citizenship and resp onsibility such as the Earth Charter, they generally agree that the preservation of bi oregional and indigenous languages, lifeways, world models and narratives is centrally important to sustainability. So while there is agreement on some ultimate goals, there is some disagreem ent about the appropria te scale of ethical formulations in an interfaith context. Some be lieve that different faiths can assent to sets of common principles while others are convinced that any ethic that ope rates at such broad scales is useless, top-heavy and thus unstable. If Palmer is correct, and he is well placed to have a good grasp of the prevalence of such ideas in interfaith NGOs, then efforts such as th e Earth Charter neither filter down to the typical citizen with whom they work (especially the A RCs partners in the non -industrialized world), nor convince people in leadership ro les in sustainability initiatives.294 The high profile position 293 Taylors assessment (2009) is that the Earth Charter has been important in international elucidations of sustainability. Palmers comment, however, suggests that while the Earth Charter and similar declarations are important at the international scale, most laypersons (partic ularly in the developing world) remain unfamiliar with them. 294 This point is certainly arguable, and furthermore could be empirically verified. This is not to say, however, that is has not

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220 of Tucker and Grim at Yale Universitys School of Forestry, howev er, and their working relationship with the UNEP suggest that the Eart h Charters exposure con tinues to increase, and may become more widely appreciated. Moreove r, it is possible that the less doctrinally dependent universe story promoted by Tucker and Grim could appeal to more people, including those (in Europe, for example) who shy away from institutionalized religions in favor of a more personalized form of spirituality. Discussion and Evaluation There are th ree primary and related themes on which I would like to offer further comment. The first is the idea offered above (see pp. 196-198; 168-169) th at an expansion of ethical concern is important to sustainability ad vocacy. The inclusive unde rstanding of who is a neighbor (offered by Bingham, Hunter, and Cizik) parallels ideas drawn from scientists and activists also involved in sustai nability. For example, recall that the idea that defending the environment is defending ones self was articula ted by the deep ecologist John Seed. Clearly the idea of ethical extension has manifested in signif icant ways in both radical environmental circles as well as among mainstream sustainability advocat es and even evangelical circles. But more importantly to my argument here, the extensi on of moral considerati on through stretching the self to include others (ethni c, cultural, ethical, or non-hum an), or through an expanded conception of neighbor, is an important ingredient of interp ersonal empathy. It is the foundation upon which genuine engagement with others begins in these faith and interfaith communities. Ideally, individuals treat themselves and their nei ghbors with care and respect and demonstrate openness to their ideas and worldviews. It is often difficult to encourage individuals or groups, particularly ones that disagree profoundl y on particular issues, to participate together in a way that exposes core values and beliefs, and holds them up for scrutiny. But according to my informants, when it does work, the products ar e much more sustainable. Progress toward

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221 sustainability is ultimately generated by these risky partnerships, wh ere people with differing foundational values work together in their common interest. Second, the disagreements among my informan ts regarding the usefulness of a global ethic are worth greater scrutiny. Both sides have made plausible arguments for their cause. But interestingly, this may be an instance where th e clarification of terms and motivations could prove helpful. For example, Palmer and Kha lid both expressed reluctance about common or global ethics because they have witnessed what th ey believe to be a sign ificant danger of green fascism within environmentalist movements.295 DeWitt, on the other hand (in agreement with Kung, Earth Charter supporters, and UNESCOCAT conference participants), explicitly extolled the virtues of a global conservation ethics (interview 8 April 2008). Whatever sort of global ethic UNESCO, the Earth Charter, DeWitt, Kung and Tucker advocate, when unpacked it includes provisions for grounding ethics in local communities, and deliberately attempts to avoid imposition of a one-size-fits all ethic. But this does little to soothe thos e who resist such global values. Perhaps in part because nearly all attempts at promoting global green ethics are permeated with religious language. The UNESCOCAT conference discussed above, which e ssentially promoted a schematic definition of global sustainability, incl uded in its recommendations to UNESCO that fostering local knowledge and nurturing local cu ltures and languages is part of preserving the ecological integrity of a bioregion, and that sustainability and environmental ethics must be place-based rather than universal (2007: 18). Further, the conference participan ts believed (along with, according to my interviews, Palmer, Khalid, Bin gham, and Laushkin [see Chapter 7]) that most of the damage to the Earth is done by believe rs in the secular modern worldview, with its 295 This is likely, in part at least, due to the influen ce of Maoist ideas on both Palm er and Khalid and their longstanding concern with social equity and pluralism.

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222 ingrained faith in endless economic gr owth and consumerism (Pigem 2007: 18).296 For these critics, this expansionist secular modern worl dview is precisely the problem, and a new global ethics cannot provide adequate correction. Thus, whatever sort of ethic is sugg ested by the UN, the religious scholars who participate with them (such as Tucker and Grim) and some civil society representatives, it is not intended to be an ethical panacea to be successfully applied ever ywhere. As Tucker and Grim put it, the FORE volumes then are not looking for a unified worldvi ew or a single global ethic, rather they seek a minimum global standard fo r environmental conduct and believe the affective power of religious rhetoric to be the best means of achieving it (Tucker and Grim 1997: xxiv). They intend to graft this ethic of reverence for life and the cosm os onto existing religious cultural production, not to replace existing traditions w holesale. For example, the UNESCO publication specifically noted that religious traditions ar e crucial to providing e ducation for sustainable lifeways, and assented to the idea that our cultu re requires a reevaluation of our place in the cosmos, and awareness that human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratit ude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature (Pigem 2007: 11). This universal spirituality of connection and its accompanying kinship ethic is certainly a religious vision, and may be integrated with extant religious narratives, a global civic earth religion, or personalized forms of generic spirituality. Third, and related to the search for a global ethics is the extent to which the religious themes within ethical discourse reflect the na rratives, practices and worldviews of diverse 296 For example, Palmer told me that Secularism itself is an ideology. It seeks to impose one model upon the world, and there is no space for anybod y else (interview 28 May 2008). La ushkin said that consumerism was the pedestal by which we measure all things, and pointed out thats not the Christian message). He went on to suggest that You find a lot of the things you can do to, you know, reduce your environmental impact, comport to simple living, you know, having more time for family, and community, things that are more wholesome (interview 13 May 2008).

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223 peoples. The editors of FORE volumes use as a framework for their project a suggestion attributed to J. Baird Callico tt (1994) that scholar s and others should mine the conceptual resources of the world and traditional religions to generate a global environmental ethics (Tucker and Grim 1997: xxii).297 There have been significant criticisms of this approach (see Larsen 1989). Such endeavors are often envi sioned by critics as er osive of traditional worldviews, diluting or adapting them to such an extent that they lose their distinctiveness.298 As my discussion of the religious dimensions of sustainability advocacy have demonstrated, however, at the international level there exist resonances between the metaphors deployed by representatives of the world re ligions, indigenous traditions, NGO advocates, and international political regimes. The convergence of narrati ves from different groups does not necessarily constitute the imposition of a global ethic. Rath er, it reflects, in part, a pragmatic, strategic approach to furthering the aims of particul ar communities. Many international aid and development organizations focus on raising standa rds of living (however defined). Conservation groups primarily aim to preserve biodiversity (a nd more recently, cultura l diversity). Indigenous advocacy groups have focused on gaining political voice and retaining traditional land tenure. Each of these groups and their differing aims can be roughly sketched for other groups using the discourse of sustainability.299 In many cases the language, metaphor and ideas frequently used 297 This is from the Series Foreword from the FORE volu mes. It appears in all of the FORE volumes, but the pagination here is from Buddhism and Ecology (1997), the first volume of the series. 298 They may be imagined as erosive pr imarily because the cultur al inspirations that so me scholars utilize either romanticize cultural others as instructive which raises problematic questions about indigenous authenticity, in some cases adjudicated by cultural outsiders. In addition, the idea that culturally marginalized peoples can become politically efficacious to the extent that they become adept at utilizing a lang uage and set of metaphors agreed upon in a public sphere that has typically excluded them is often raised. See Arne Kallands The Religious Environmentalist Paradigm (2005: 1369-1370) for a good summary of these critiques. 299 It should still be noted that Tucker and Grim are deeply indebted to Thomas Berry and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (who was a significant influence on Berry). Although Be rrys theology dampened the overtly Christian overtones and rather extreme form of human exceptionalism endorsed by Teilhard, the worldview of both authors is decidedly

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224 by the Forum to describe the reasons why indi viduals and governments ought to care for biocultural diversity are increasingl y exercised by indigenous and traditional peoples themselves in international venues. If such a broad spirituality in practice does little to erode existing religious beliefs or practices, and instead promotes bridge-building and colla boration with cultural, ethnic or ethical others then it achieves the same collaborative outcomes aimed at by Palmer, Bingham and others. But even if there is little doubt that these themes are in some way present within world and indigenous religions, li ttle or no research has inves tigated what these metaphors or themes mean for those people (particularly in the case of indigenous or traditional cultures engaged in sustainable development projects) .300 For example, participants within some religiously-inspired grassroots actions may be adopting and adapting sustainability-related concepts for their own political ends, while schola rs who analyze them imagine that such values and themes are central to their religious lives. This is a potentially fruitful area of further research.301 Although there is some disagreement regardi ng the appropriate scale for ethics, in any case a distinction should be dr awn between metaphors and tropes th at work on an international level and those which are efficacious on the ground. Even if ideas related to a global ethics are unrelated to the moral reasoning of individuals across the globe, stories of local success are transmitted (through organizations such as CI and ARC) into internationa l political venues where they perform political work. I have only begun to tease out some of the cognitive tools used in Western in origin and orientation. Questions remain th en about the applicability of a common denominator set of environmental obligations grounded in concepts native to the West. 300 Although historians and ethnographers have investigated differential interpretations of the same events among Native American and European groups (see for example Barr 2004; Griffiths and Cervantes 1999; Gutierrez 1991, especially pp. 3-141), little scholarly attention has attend ed to fleshing out differences in understandings of sustainability between different cultures. 301 Teresa Trustys dissertation The Politics of Representing Nature, Culture, and Conservation in Northwestern Bolivia (unpublished 2009), recently ta rgeted this question.

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225 these national and international political venues by leaders in civil society segments of sustainability movements. The formation of strategic partnerships based on an ethic of interpersonal empathy and recognition of deep interdependence are common attributes of sustainability advocates, and these are also im portant themes that are transmitted to other constituencies.302 The existence of a global ethic grounded in sustainability is not necessarily fascist or oppressive, but the possibility th at it could be so remains.303 Just as indigenous peoples may adopt and adapt the affective dimensions of sust ainability discourse, gove rnmental, corporate or other entities may also adapt it to promote their own ends. A spir itualized global et hic, or what some have pointed to as a global civic re ligion, may provide a uni que opportunity for greenwashing on a global scale.304 While a dark green civic earth religion may not promote the exploitation of resources or other peoples, it may be that a sustainability-oriented civic religion (which contains light green and light brown hues) coul d have other negative impacts, which I will explore in Chapter 10. Tracing the Lines of Force At the close of this chapter, two things s hould be clear. First, there are m any shared metaphors and themes between evangelical communities and the multi-faith groups discussed here. For example, the extension of the concep t of neighbor, the belief in the importance of 302 That these cognitive tools are important among the expert network described here does not mean, however, that they are generalizable across populations. 303 Taylor has argued that dark green en vironmentalist sentiment, although often viewed as dangerous or harmful, is unlikely to promote oppression, violence or terror (2004, 2009, chapter ten of this work). 304 Greenwashing is a pejorative term used to describe the use (often misuse) of sustainability-related rhetoric to practices that are not actually sustainabl e. Recent attention to what advocates have referred to as clean coal is an excellent example, since many environmentalists maintain th at there can be no such thin g. For examples of clean coal arguments see The-Facts/77-Percent-Cleaner (accessed 27 January 2009). This website is sponsored by a coalition of coal-based electricity producers.

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226 including religious discourse in the democratic arena, and the centrality of story and narrative are all common themes. In addition, it is possible to begin to see some of the connective threads between these expert networks. Through these open-ended interviews it was sometimes difficult to establish the origin or direc tion of transmission of certain id eas, but some of the pathways for transference are apparent. For example, like some of the evangelicals I interviewed, Bingham cited E.O. Wilson as one of her inspirations. Others she cited as influential on her thinking about the relationship between religion and sustainability included the Union of Concerne d Scientists (also cited by at least one evangelical respondent), Al Gore, the poet Mary Oliver, and Mary Evelyn Tucker. Bingham recalled that early in her career as a religious environmental advocate, she was often questioned by evangelical Christians about the rapture and what impact it had on her argument.305 She called Richard Cizik specifically to ask him how he dealt with such questions among his own constituency. He was wonderful, Bingham recalled of their early conversation, He said that theres absolutely not hing in scripture that would give you any indication that the destruction of our natural resour ces is going to bring Jesus back any faster. And people who say that are heretics So now, when I get that question, I quote him! (interview 8 July 2008). In his explanation to Bingham, Cizik echoed somethi ng that Joel Hunter and Calvin DeWitt both said with different words: any interpretation of Christianity that devalues nature in this way denies the physicality of Jesus supposed re surrection and eventual return. Bingham also reported that Joel Hunter was a close confidant, and that they have worked together several times. Bingham has also sent sermons that addre ssed the concept of natural capitalism to Hunter 305 Some Christians believe that near the eschaton (end of times) all of the righteous souls will be lifted to Heaven to avoid the fiery fate of the rest of creatio n. This ascension is called the rapture.

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227 Lovins for her to make editorial suggestions and provide examples.306 The two are longtime friends, and both reported that Lovins stay s with Bingham when in the Bay Area. Bingham, Palmer, as well as the evangelical informants I interviewed cited their parents and childhood experiences in nature as formative of their ecological conscience. Palmers father was an Anglican priest, his mother an amateu r naturalist responsible for his respect for the environment, and his godmother taught him to re ad the signs of ancient landscaping (old wells, terraces, etc.) and how to listen to the wooda nd read how it had grown (interview 28 May 2008). Intellectually, Palmer also listed Shakesp eare and Jung, cited his travels as a young man in Hong Kong, and his exposure to Daoism, Buddhism and Maoism as influences. Professionally he has relationships with offici als within the World Ba nk and United Nations. But ARC also declared Binghams Interfaith Powe r and Light initiative pa rt of their Sacred Gifts program, an award which highlights IPL s significant steps in connecting religious teaching and theology with envir onmentally responsible practice.307 Palmer is also working with Ben Campbell of Conservation Internationals (CI) Faith-Based Outreach initiative to draw up a handbook for each of the worlds faiths to be used in conjunction with Conservation International projects.308 Khalid began his conservation wo rk with the ARC, and after founding his own Islamic NGO, has maintained his relation ships with groups such as ARC and cultivated new ones with people like Ben Campbell and CI. Ca mpbell is also an evan gelical Christian and is a regular speaker and attendee of environmentally-related ev angelical conferences and events. 306 See chapter nine for more details about Hunter Lovins and her organization Natural Capitalism Solutions. 307 For more information about the Sacred Gifts program, see ojects.asp?projectId=49 accessed 21 February 2009. 308 See chapter nine for more details on Cons ervation Internationals faith-based outreach.

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228 These expert networks are well connected, and they depend on their relationships to each other to broaden their own appeal, sharpen the content of their messages, and learn how to fulfill their own particular niches in the sustainability movement. It is important to note that most of these informants still believe the definition of s ustainability to be unsettled and in most cases unhelpful to their work on the ground because it cannot be operationalized. Their work, however, cultivating partnerships with an eye to ecological and personal limits and devising strategies for how to live within them, fall under the umbrella of the definition I use here. But their reticence to use the term is illustrative of it s utility as a heuristic device. This does not mean, however, that it cannot also be utilized as a policy goal in many situations. Indeed, as the following chapters demonstrate, the concept of su stainability is of central importance to many individuals and groups who have di rect influence on policy makers.

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229 CHAPTER 9 THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSIONS OF SECULAR SUSTAINABILITY Introduction In Chapters 7 and 8, values have been couc hed in broader narratives that place ethical principles, obligations and demands in the se tting of a dynamic system whether ecological, global, or cosmological in scope. The informants and the groups they represent are, for the most part, explicitly religious, and either work from within a particular trad ition, or begin from a multi-faith perspective. In all of the cases presented, these activ ists reach out to those outside their constituencies with large-scale narratives. In this chapter, I review data gathered from high level actors in secular organizati ons dedicated in some way to th e search for sustainability. The similarities between the tactics used by religious, interfaith, and secular groups will be clear. Though the religious dimension of sustainability is perhaps more muted and deep values and beliefs tend to surface further along in negotiations, religious and spiritual leaders are frequently addressed directly as allies by those in the secula r sustainability arena. Moreover, at least some of these informants consider themselves to be re ligious or spiritual but pursue their work through these secular venues, which attests to the fluid and permeable boundaries between religious and secular communities, at least in the United States. Conservation International, Natural Capitalis m Solutions, and Northw est Earth Institute Each of the organizations that are the fo cus of this chapter has a unique history and different targets. While they share some sim ilarities in strategy and philosophy, my informants envision their work in very different ways. Conservation International Conservatio n International (CI) is a large c onservation organization dedicated primarily to preserving global biodiversity with a three-pronged strategy of a) describing the importance of

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230 biodiversity (and the dangers of loss) with cut ting edge science, b) maintaining an abiding concern for human welfare, and c) facilitating and main taining partnerships with businesses and non-governmental organizations.309 Formed in 1987 by a small group of concerned activists, the organization has grown in size and scope, and now maintains field offices and programs in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Eur ope. Their focus is on biodiversity hotspots, that is, threatened areas where genetic and species variety is especially high (for the time being). Their primary purpose is to provide scientific data to populations to help them design and implement effective conservation strategies. They have cultivated partnerships with businesses such as Citigroup, BP, Chevron Texaco, Cargill, and Conoco Phillips, a nd a variety of NGOs such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and th e International Union fo r the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including at least one explicitly religi ous organization (A Rocha).310 My focus here, however, will primarily be the Faith-based Outreach Program at CI, which began in 2007. The Faith-based Outreach Program turned two years old in September of 2008. Ben Campbell was asked to spearhead the program from its inception. Because he was former director of agroforestry for CI before he m oved on to work for the Christian relief and development organization Worldvision, he had alr eady established relationships with upper level management within CI.311 Campbell believed that it was largely because he was open about 309 See er/about_us/Pages/mission.aspx for their mission, and er/about_us/Pages/strategy.aspx for their strategy (accessed 8 October 2008). 310 See scover/about_us/partners/Pages/partnerslist.aspx for CIs list of partners (accessed 8 October 2008). A Rocha, Portuguese for The Rock, is an internatio nal Christian conservation organization that provides research, community education, ecological advice, and community involvement plans for conservation of threatened habitats and species through eco-tourism or other mean s. Their first center was a field study center and bird observatory that drew thousands of visitors from across the world. See for more information about A Ro cha (accessed 25 February 2009). 311 Worldvision is a Christian relief and development agency primarily targeting children and families in underserved areas. Their website claims that 86% of their revenue went directly to relief for children and families in 2007, and that globally they provide relief to over 100 million people in over 100 countries (see http://www.worldvision.o rg/home.nsf/index.htm accessed 25 February 2009).

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231 being a Christian that CI asked him to direct the new faith-based initiative. CI began to actively pursue their vision for a Faith-based Outreach Pr ogram when the green evangelical movement began to gain momentum in the United States (see Chapter 7 for more details). News about evangelicals such as Richard Cizik, Joel Hunter and others who were promoting a creation care agenda was pervasive in the United States, and th e political power of ev angelicals reached across oceans into peace negotiations (such as the ones H unter participated in at Doha) and missionary work. As Campbell put it, CI realized here was a whole new group of people they should be talking to, that they didnt know yet! (intervi ew, 29 July 2008). The original vision for the program was to tap into the enormous political po tential of evangelicals in the United States and secondarily to mobilize churches in the U.S. a nd worldwide to get more involved in conservation efforts. CI provides an interesting example of a secular conser vation organization that is intentionally reaching out to faith groups in an effort to cultivate new partnerships to promote conservation. While the program was initially envisioned as focusing primarily on evangelicals in the U.S., Campbell noted that it became interfaith, and global, almost immediately, since biodiversity hotspots are often in the tropic s, places where Christians, Muslims, and other faiths are asked to work together e ffectively (interview 29 July 2008). Natural Capitalism Solutions Hunter Lovins spoke fondly of her ment ors Daniella Meadows (lead author of Limits to Growth [1972]) and David Brower,312 noting that one of their most important contributions was to talk freely about values and the inner dimens ion that provides the motivation to work for 312 Brower was elected the first Executive Director of th e Sierra Club in 1952, serving until his removal in 1967, following which he founded Friends of the Earth (1969) and later the Earth Island Institute (1982) (Van Horn and Blackwelder 2005: 225). He was often referred to as the Arc hdruid of the environmen tal movement (see McPhee 1971).

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232 sustainability.313 Unfortunately, Lovins noted, the inner dimension of sustainability has been separated from the technical/scientific dimens ion in the public sphere, leading to some disconnect for those who pursue su stainability. Although she believes it is important, Lovins does not see her role as rescuing this inner dimension from anonym ity. Instead, her approach is thoroughly pragmatic: she tries to meet people where they are. If they wa nt to talk financial bottom line, she begins there. If they talk abou t values, she talks about those, too. But in many ways, even frank discussions of profitability and common sense require people to analyze what it is that they wish to maximize, and ther efore require some reflection on values. Lovins is perhaps best known for her work with Amory Lovins with whom she collaborated on Factor Four (von Weizsacker, A. Lovins and L. Lovins 1997) and Natural Capitalism (Hawken, A. Lovins and L. Lovins 1999) But earlier works included two books on nuclear non-proliferation ( Energy/War: Breaking the Nuclear Link: A Prescription for Nonproliferation [A. Lovins and L.H. Lovins 1981], and The First Nuclear World War: A Strategy for Preventing Nuclear Wars and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons [OHeffernan, A. Lovins and L.H. Lovins 1983]), and about creating safe energy for national security. This work was long before widespread realization in the United States that energy scarcity and dependency was a national security issue. These books were released while Lovins ra n a non-profit organiza tion called the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a think-tank focused on strategic energy solutions.314 After parting with RMI, Lovins founded Natural Capitalism Solutions (NatCap) in 2003, an organization dedicated to educating senior l eaders in business, government a nd civil society to restore and 313 From roundtable discussion at the University of Florida, September 2007. 314 Lovins and her then husband Amory founded the RMI in 1982. HL Lovins left the organization in 2003 to found Natural Capitalism Solutions. For more information about the RMI see accessed 25 February 2009.

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233 enhance the natural and human capital while increasing prosperity and quality of life.315 NatCap provides consultations to corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell, Wal-Mart, and Interface Carpets, and has worked with the U. S. Department of Energy, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the governments of Jamaica, Australia, and Afghanistan to help promote change toward sustainability. NatCap Solutions especially targets what L ovins calls thought lead ers, high level actors in these various constituencies. These leader s are highly networked i ndividuals, and because they are often also leaders with decision making power in large businesses, educational institutions, and governments, they are well -placed to exact large-scale change. Northwest Earth Institute Other groups focus on grassroots efforts, prov iding individuals with the tools to create change in their personal lives. The Northwest E arth Institute is one of those organizations. The Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) was founded in 1993 by the husband and wife team of Jeanne and Dick Roy in Portland, Ore gon with a mission to motivate individuals to examine and transform personal values and habits to accept responsibility for the earth, and to act on that commitment (NWEI 2001b: 12). The R oys organized a series of what they called discussion groups in their home, where partic ipants met once a week to discuss a set of readings. Soon, through word of mouth, literally, the groups began to appear in local churches, homes, and in other communities. According to figures on the website, the NWEI now has over 600 volunteers in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico, Canada, Sweden, and New Zealand working to disseminate the discussion group model, with over 85,000 enrolled to date ( ). 315 See accessed 8 October 2008.

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234 The first discussion group module was calle d Exploring Deep Ecology, and included writings from authors such as Gary Snyder, Aldo Leopold, Arne Naess, Thomas Berry, Matthew Fox, Stephanie Kaza, Brian Swimme, and many ot hers. From there, the NWEI developed modules dedicated to Voluntary Simplicity, C hoices for Sustainable Living, Discovering a Sense of Place, Globalization and its Critics, Healthy Children, Healt hy Planet, and most recently a module dedicated to climate change called Global Warming: Changing CO2urse. Each discussion group compilation includes discussion questions designed to help people examine individual values and practices, build co mmunity, and to take action toward creating a more sustainable future.316 The discussion groups are grounded in the notion that current trends are unsustainable. The Roys prefaces explicitly state that they wish to challenge the values of the dominant consumer culture that erode traditional sources of social support that promote healthy living, such as extended families, neighbors, and church communities (NWEI 2007b: 10; 2001a: 10). Some of the ways in which the NWEI endeav ors to change personal beliefs and practices compliment the other organizations I have been discussing. While CI focuses on collaborative partnerships with NGOs and businesses, and NatCap Solutions focuses on creating culture change through education of high le vel actors, NWEI fosters grassr oots-level individual changes in values and practices. Despite differences in their foci and strategy, e ach of these groups is working toward a more sustainable human culture. The Ecology of a Social Movement Am ong the varied readings in NWEIs Choices for Sustainable Living module was a short piece by Buddhist scholar and activist Joanna Macy, which suggested that in the early years of 316 See accessed 8 October 2008

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235 the twenty-first century human cultures will begin a new path toward peace, justice and sustainability.317 She called it The Great Tu rning (NWEI 2007b: 20-22).318 The switchmen that will set humans upon this new path are the va ried social movements that in different but interrelated ways work toward the sustainable society. The Turning is composed of three mutually reinforcing dimensions: a) holding acti ons in defense of life on earth, b) confronting the structural causes of the global crisis and [cre ating] sustainable altern atives, and c) a shift in our perception of reality ( 2007b: 21). The third element, Macy claimed, is happening all around usLike our primordial ancestors, we begin to see the world as our body, and, whether we say the word or not, as sacred (2007b: 21). Public intellectual David Korten authored a book called The Great Turning in 2006, and his website has at le ast two references to Macys use of the phrase (one of them the exact quote that appears on the cover of one NWEI discussion guides). 319 His interpretation of the Turning coheres with Macys, though it is more complex. Korten repeatedly makes the point in print and in lectures that to change the culture it is necessary to change the stories that culture understands as norm ative. Perceptual shifts are transmitted through culture from the bottom-up, in the same way that a self-organizing system generates dynamic equilibriu m from a period of release and reorganization phases.320 317 See chapter four, pp. 18-19 for more discussion of Macys work. Th is piece was not drawn from a prior publication. 318 Macy suggested that many activ ists are using that term now 319 Kortens website describes him as an author, lecturer, and engaged citizen ( accessed 25 February 2009). He is of ten referred to as an ec onomist, but his training was in psychology and behavioral systems. He has achieved the rank of captain in the US Air Force, was a research scientist with the Pentagon, taught at Harvard Business school, was a project manager for the Ford Foundation, a regional development specialist for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and has been involved in the International Forum on Globalization and helped found th e Business Alliance for Local Living Alliances (BALLE) and YES! Magazine, whose motto is Supporting you in a building a just and sustainable world ( accessed 25 February 2009). 320 Stories are passed through cultures, Korten believes, and eventually achieve a critical mass when they are accepted by enough of the population. According to systems theory, natura l systems undergo a series of changes

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236 Examples of this perceptual shift include cognitive and perceptual frameworks (Macy mentions general systems theory, deep ecology, Gaia theory, and the Universe Story, which are based on discoveries in physics and biology and reveal the radical inte rconnectedness of all life), spiritual perspectives from both Eastern and Western world relig ions and from native traditions across the globe, and new practices and rituals (NWEI 2007b: 21). This illustrates the pervasiveness of themes introduced to sustai nability movements from the life and physical sciences discussed in Chapter 6, and also highlights Macy s belief that all of these smaller scale movements, which can be envisioned as f acets of a broader social movement called sustainability, have a significant religious dimens ion. Moreover, Macy suggests that these varied movements, from direct action to activities such as New Ag e-style ritualizing, are working together to re-make the world.321 Cooperation between these various sub-populatio ns engaged in direct action for the earth, ritualized consciousness-raising, and social justice or anti-glo balization resistance may be considered a relatively new phenomenon. Interestingly, while within the cultic and environmentalist milieus disparate groups ex changed motivational metaphors, ideas, and imagery rather freely, direct cooperation occurred (see for example Taylor 1997) but was more often the exception than the rule. For example, deep eco logy was often contrasted with shallow ecology. The latter was portrayed as mired in anthropocentrism and not sensitive to the spiritual or affective dimensions of species and habitat loss (Naess 19 73). Such sentiments were criticized by many scholars (Bookchin 1987; Zimmerman 2000) as potentially fascist and inattentive to the dangers of universalizing discourse. commonly labeled exploitation conservation release and reorganization (see Gunderson and Holling 2002). This idea coheres with Kortens and Macys idea that we are at a cultural crossroa ds, a moment of reorganization. 321 Paul Hawken (2007) used the phrase re-making the wo rld to suggest, as has Macy, that these movements are cooperating in significant ways.

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237 It was such internecine fighting that prom pted Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger to argue in a widely-read article, The Death of Environmentalism, that while the environmental movement was an important development in creating legisl ation and action that has prevented ecological and social collapse, the movement was unable to provide a rich positive vision of the future based on common core values (2004).322 On their account, narrowlyconceived policy goals and infighting ensured th at environmentalism remained a marginal movement with few positive outcomes. Note the re sonance of their claim with Martin Palmers lament (from Chapter 8) that environmentalism can bring us to the foot of the cross without offering any redemption. Hunter Lovins agre es with Shellenberger and Nordhaus, and while her activist roots lie in the environmental m ovement (with mentors such as Meadows and Brower), she considers her current work as going beyond environmentalism.323 Generally speaking environmentalists, she believes, do not wo rk well with others. Lovins uses the term sustainability to describe her work because besides highlighting practices that are unsustainable, it also offers a positive vision of how to work together to make reduce human disruption of ecological systems and increase social capital. She described some of the reasons why activists need to move past environmentalism: the activist community tends to act like a bucke t of crabs. Anytime any one of them starts to gain any elevation, the others just pull em down. And thats just stupid. And weve alsowe being those who ca me out of the environmental movement or the social movementtend to look at any other movement as inferior. So [these] activists tend to 322 They disseminated this piece through the internet, and through sustainability and environmentalist networks and listervs. The full text is available online at (accessed 10 October 2008). 323 The Death of Environmentalism argued that the old environmentalist paradigms based on pollution prevention and conservation were inadequate to address environmental issues at the global level, particularly climate change. The old environmentalism needed to die, they believed, before the next phase of sustainable cultural development could ensue. Nordhaus and Shellenberger went on to publish a book called Break Through (2007) which began with the death of environmentalism and concluded with what they called the Politics of Possibility, an extended attempt to envision a positive political paradigm that included nature as a political entity (not as a background consideration or an object to be protected). Bruno Latour has also ar gued, albeit for a different and more academic audience, that nature ought to be a political entity (2004).

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238 look at people who are doing spiritual work as somehow irrelevant.[But] theres work enough for all of us (interview 6 August 2008). Although she does not perceive her work as directly contributory to the religious dimension of sustainability, she has no problem with others findi ng deep value, even spiritual inspiration in the realization that human production, consumption a nd population could be stabilized and sustained indefinitely. During a luncheon and roundtable discussion at the University of Florida in the fall of 2007 Lovins recalled an example of the positive outcomes that derived from cooperation. Randy Hayes and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a direct-action organizati on formed in the mid 1980s that has been calling attention to explo itation of the worlds mo st biologically diverse rainforest habitats and the suffering of their peoples, had boycotted Mitsubushi and through direct action had drawn public attention to their contributions to deforestation.324 Lovins recalled that Mitsubishi then approached the Rocky Mountain In stitute (RMI, where Lovins was still employed at the time) and asked them to help end the boycott. On the one hand, Lovins and the RMI team provided some easy-to-implement bus iness ideas for Mitsubishi, small sacrifices for the cessation of a negative pub lic relations campaign. On the other hand, Lovins spoke with her old friend Randy Hayes of RAN (they had work ed together as enviro nmental activists with Brower, and elsewhere), and asked them to end the boycott. It was a nice one-two punch, recalled Lovins. It drove home her main point: as a movement, we are an ecology. We need all the species [of activism and action] (September 2007) Lovins played the role of a translator, 324 For more information on Randy Hayes and RAN see Haye ss From Hopiland to the Rainforest Action Network (2005). Hayes co-founded RAN with Mike Roselle, one of the co-founders of EarthFirst!, another radical environmental organization. Lovins ability to cooperate with both the corporate entities and relatively radical environmentalists makes her a paradigm case of the new generation of sustainability activists whose allegiances are not bounded by ideologies.

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239 and helped each side achieve wh at they wanted. M itsubishi was able to end the boycott, and RAN saw shifts in behavior and po licy at a major manufacturer. Each of the approaches noted by Macy a bove, direct action, soci al and environmental justice activism aimed at structural inequities, and advocacy of perceptu al or cognitive shifts through ritualizing and spiritua l training, what Lovins would call different species of advocacy, were present in the Mitsubishi campaign. Just as biodiversity discourse highlights the importance of diversity for the preservation of system resilience, achieving sustainability requires actors who challenge to the status quo, as well as actors who have the ear of the corporations and businesses that are often imagined to be the primary culprits of ecological degradation. Who is the enemy? Lovins asked, reflecting on th e tendency of e nvironmentalists to simplify the ecosystem of activism by shutti ng out corporations. Is it business [thats the enemy]? You know, when youve got Wal-Mart driving climate protection into its 90,000 supplier businesses its hard to couch them as the enemy (interview 6 August 2008). While negative portrayals of corporations su ch as Wal-Mart by e nvironmentalists have likely contributed to some changes in corporat e culture, sustainability advocacy has typically approached such corporations with more posit ive messages and offers of partnership. In significant ways, sustainability has added a discourse of cooperation to the preexisting environmentalist, social justice, voluntary si mplicity and resistance to capitalism discourses, tying them together through the recognition that there is a certain conve rgence of concerns despite wide general disagreement on the nature and source of the problems, and the ultimate solutions. In short, sustainability is acting as a new metanarrative, a large-scale story that is able to weave together a wide variety of value se ts. As in previous chapters, among secular

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240 sustainability activists there are many smaller stories in which these varied value sets are encoded. Stories of Value Am ericans, and probably everybody really, want three things: prospe rity, security and meaning, confided Hunter Lovins, drawing on David Kortens work (interview 6 August 2008). One of the major obstacles to achieving these thr ee basic foci of human desire, Lovins says, is that there is no plausible, desirable vision th at the whole world can share (public address, University of Florida, September 2007). Instruc tions on how to achieve these basic desires for prosperity, security and meaning are nearly alwa ys couched in stories. The transmission of information through narratives generates affective arousal. Cognitive science research has demonstrated that when people hear stories (particul arly from people w ithin their primary communities of accountability), they make inferences about the ideas and cognitive states of the agents in the story and construct meaningful storie s that are related to particular emotional states (Atran, Medin and Ross 2005).325 Stories about what individuals, groups and communities value, then, are important tools th at may be adapted and deployed in the quest for sustainability. For example, Lovins fleshed out her disc ussion of Kortens idea by saying, What the neo-cons have done is to tee up plausible stories [about how] you are personally going to achieve these three things [prosperity, security and m eaning]. They may be wrong, but they address them. On prosperity, said Lovins, the neo-cons say Dont give money to the poor, give it to the rich, because they wont squander it. Maybe untrue. But its plausible. When addressing 325 Atran, Medin and Ross draw on Michael Cole for some of this work. Part of Coles research that is relevant to this discussion is his idea of mediated cognition which suggests that human minds are formed in and through their interactions with others through a sort of empathetic projection and inference. Cole has suggested that human psychological processes are acquired in the process of mediating one's interactions with others and the physical world through culture and its central medium, language. Humans are created in joint, mediated activity (1998: 292). See also Coles Phylogeny and Cultural History in Ontogeny (2007).

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241 security, Lovins added, neo-cons say its the individual white ma le on the big horse, and so we elect people like the Terminator to be governor.326 And the progressives say, make love not war, but not much about how were going to stay secure in an insecure world. When it comes to meaning, perhaps the dimension most obviously re levant to religion, Lovi ns states that the neo-cons say my President speaks to God on Frid ay, and the rest of the country says, thank God somebody does. The progressives say separa te church and state, and are completely unresponsive to [the question of] What is Meaning? Lovins conclusion is that until the progressives come up with a plausible set of storylines about how youre going to achieve prosperity, security an meaning, theyre not going to get a lot of traction (interview 6 August 2008). Lovins was suggesti ng that these stories are cognitive tools for creating greater sustainability. Anders Edwards suggested that the principle s of sustainability are best imagined as stories, or better yet, Songlines (2005). Edward s drew the idea from the Australian Aboriginal use of Songlines, narrative tracks through partic ular landscapes, passed do wn orally, slightly different with each telling as new generations add to the understanding of a mythologized landscape. The principles of su stainability, stated Edwards represent the footprints of the various groups that make up the Sustanability Re volution. Like the Songlines, these statements of principles articulate a groups values, archive its history, and i ndicate the future direction of its actions (2005: 26).327 Songlines are religious stories and like others (including those tied to sustainability advocacy) they are deep narratives that transgress temporal and political 326 Lovins is referring to Arnold Schw artzenegger, Governor of the state of California, who earlier starred in a trilogy of movies as a terminator robot from the future sent to kill (and in the sequels, protect) the leaders of human resistance to robot rule in the future. Schwartzenegger was elected Governor in 2002. 327 Edwards goes on to say that Understanding these statements can shed light on the motivations of the groups in the Sustainability Revolution and provide a way of tracking the evolution of their core values over time (2005: 2627).

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242 boundaries by trafficking in affec tively-oriented protagonists a nd plotlines. There are biophilic stories, ones drawn from the life sciences, whic h provide a new set of st ories about how and why human ought to preserve biodivers ity (see discussion in Chapter 6). Biophilia is actually, as David Orr reminds readers of the NWEIs Deep Ec ology module, a series of choices, the first of which has to do with the conduct of childhood and how the childs imagination is woven into a home place (2001a: VI-11). For Orr, without profound experiences with nature in childhood, human survival is in question: We will not enter this new ki ngdom of sustainability until we allow our children the kind of childhood in wh ich biophilia can put dow n roots (2001a: VI12).328 In addition there are cosmophilic stories, which draw on the Epic of Evolution, a phrase popularized to refer to the awe and reverence for the cosmos engendered by the recognition of its long history of increasing complexity, which contribute to sustainability. The Northwest Earth Institute volumes weave together stories from science (Fritjof Capra, Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, James Lovelock and others as well as articl es depicting quantum mechanics as morally instructive), Native Amer ican cultures (Black Elk, Winona LaDuke, Sun Bear, Gary Snyders reflection on such cultures), as well as teac hings from Christian mystics (Meister Eckhardt, Matthew Fox) and Buddhist sc holars (Macy and Stephanie Kaza). These are all tied together and imagined as working to ward a convergence where the evolution of the universe itself is seen as morally instructive. In a section of one NWEI module entitled A New Story from Science, Brian Swimme admits in an interview that, the Epic of Evolution is definitely mythic. But itsa form of myth that comes along with this mode of inquiry we call empirical or scientific.Within the e volutionary point of view, you realizeholy t odelo!the mind itself is just an expression of the powers of the universe. And then you have that non-duali stic, hand-in-glove re alization that Newton 328 The selection was drawn from Orrs The Coming Biophilia Revolu tion in his book Earth in Mind (1994).

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243 couldnt have and that Darwin enables us to have but that he didn t fully have. (2001a: V10).329 Or, as Lovelock put it, Ancient belief and modern knowledge have fused emotiona lly in the awe with which astronauts with their own eyes and we by indirect vision have seen the earth revealed in all its shining beauty against th e deep darkness of space.Lik e a religious belief, it is scientifically untestable and therefore incapable in its own context of further rationalization (NWEI 2001a: II-5).330 Each of these stories is a tale that provides a different set of ethi cal foundations, and thus provides a different perspective on how humans are able to gain access to prosperity, security, and meaning. They are stories about healing th e earth and relationships between people. For Paul Hawken, telling this new set of stories does not require saintliness or a political party. It is not a liberal or conservative ac tivity. It is a sacred act (Hawken, in NWEI 2007b: 102). These stories explain what is ultimately good (relati onship with others, humility regarding the human place in the world, and respect for and preserva tion of cultural and biological diversity), and what is ultimately unsustainable (short-term vision, stories of domina tion and oppression, and the idea that humans are bounded, self-interes ted cost-benefit calculators). As Lovins noted, these stories are tools, fo rged for the quest toward sustainability. She told me about her strategy when she gives public ta lks: I very consciously address these issues of prosperity, security and meaning, but I do so w ithout calling them out. So I end my talks with pictures of the Lord of the Rings, and Gandalf, which is mythic, good vs. evil, and the role of little people and individuals in tackling the great challenges (interview 6 August 2008). She relates these affectively rich tales to what she beli eves are real-life evils: [and] the evil that Ive 329 The original interview was published in 1997 as Sci ence as Wisdom: The New Story as a Way Forward, in a journal called EarthLight (26: 10-11, 15, 22) (see Swimme 1997 in bibliography). EarhtLight is an eco-spirituality journal published in Oakland, California (see ). 330 The NWEI reader draws the se lection from Andrew Dobsons The Green Reader (1991). The original appears in Lovelock (1979: 152, vii, 9-11, 19-20, 25-26).

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244 been talking about throughout the talk is the loss of all majo r ecosystems on earth, and climate crisis, and peak oil, etc. (inter view 6 August 2008). In a roundtab le discussion at the University of Florida Lovins also pointed toward the polar bear as the newest martyr created by the evil, unsustainable facets of society.331 Polar bears make good icons for sustainability movements because their disappearance illustrates the interdependence of biological life, since localized but widespread human behaviors impact habitats an d food sources of the planets most remote species. In NEWIs Global Warming: Changing CO2urse module, Lovinss mentor Donella Meadows contributed a short piece entitled Polar Bears and Three-Year-Olds on Thin Ice. There she recalled her friends reaction when faced with biologists predictions that the polar bears demise was immanent: in response to this news, [Meadows friend] did the only appropriate thing. She burst out weeping. What am I going to tell my three-year-old? she sobbed. Any of us still in contact with our hearts and souls should be sobbing with her, especially when we consider that the same toxins that are in the bears are in the three-year-old (NWEI 2007a: 4). Clashing Values: Talking Through and Across Value Structures I asked Ben Ca mpbell, head of CIs Faith-bas ed Initiative, about his impression of the phrase sometimes discussed in evangelical circles (which provided the title for Chapter 7), that participants in the sustainability movement were walking together separately. His answer, I believe, is an important lesson in how people within different sectors of the sustainability movement are working together. 331 Martin Palmer compared the polar bear to a Christ figure, tactically deployed by environmentalists (interview 27 May 2008).

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245 These informants emphasized that they actively cultivate partnerships not because they have similar worldviews, or even because th ey have found some et hical common ground, but rather precisely because they have been explic it about the differences between them, and have offered up their different worldviews and value sets for scrutiny. They have attempted to engage others recognizing the mutual vulnerability and risk such engagement entails. Campbell told me that as a Christian, work ing within an organization that included and interacted with a vari ety of faiths was challenging both professionally and personally. He recalled that his wife once wondere d if his exposure to a multi-faith atmosphere required that he actually endorse Muslim or Buddhi st (or other) practices in some way. Campbells answer was a qualified no. He recalls telling his wife Do I believe theyre correct? Do I believe in their eschatology? Do I believe their ultimatewhat happens in terms of an afterlif e, in terms of a belief system? No, butit is really very much the walking together sepa rately concept. I know what motivates them, they know what motivates me, and through our va rious belief systems [we] have different reasons why we are concerned about the curren t state of the world ri ght now (interview 29 July 2009). Campbell noted that because he is rather open about his faith, he is faced with questions from colleagues in the conservation world about his be liefs and from his fellow Christians about the centrality of science to his work. One of the most frequent lines of questioning, he told me, comes from Christians who want to know if he believes that the ear th was really created in seven days, with its full compliment of animals.332 Campbells answer: Well, I dont have to [believe in seven day creation]. And it doesnt change my relationship with Jesus Christ. It doesnt change anything about wh at I think about the importance of the bible as a na rrative of our society and Gods role in our understanding of society. If youre going to get hung up on that [seven day creation]honestly, that will be 332 A full compliment of animals refers to the belief that a ll of earths creatures were created as they are today. This idea is a direct challenge to the scientific theory of macroevolution, where an entirely new species evolves from a pre-existing one. Campbells perception, which was echo ed by Hunter and Randall, illustrates the perception among evangelicals that many non-evangelical U.S. citizens have a rather negative portrait of evangelicals, particularly when it comes to science.

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246 something that will prevent a scientist in our office from ever even considering Christianity as an option. If that is an obstacle to belief, we are doing a di sservice to Christ (interview 29 July 2008). Campbells thoughtful answer emphas izes his belief that many people are driven away from the church precisely because the church has seemed to be anti-scientific and has made little effort to acknowledge and validate peoples affinities for living things, and broader ecosystems.333 That is one of the fundamental shortcomings of contem porary Christian churches, in Campbells view. Campbells perspective recognizes that there ar e features of the biblical narrative that, if taken literally, are problematic for contemporary Christians inte nt on reaching across religious and political boundaries. He recognizes the theol ogical import and context of such narratives, but still claims to treat the Bible as the li teral word of God. Hi s views are consciously formulated with an eye to maintain ing relationships with others. Here there are clear resonances with the notions of development offered by Martin Palmer and John Smith in Chapter 8, where deve lopment actually meets the needs of the people receiving aid. They emphasized that conser vation and development agencies ought not to assume that peoples goals and valuestheir vi sion of sustainabilityare universal. Recall Smiths suggestion that ARC typically spent six m onths with a particular group before they even spoke about which programs and ideas they wished to fund. Likewise, Campbell noted that he believed spending time with, and un derstanding the religi ous beliefs and practices of others was essential to his work: you have to understand the respective worldview of the religionhow their unique belief system frames how they unde rstand their relationship, not just with other humans, but with nature itself. Unless you can do that, chances are you re speaking at odds to most people (interview 29 July 200 8). Lovins echoed this when she told me that sustainability 333 Campbell made this point in his presentation at the C3 conference at Northland Church (23 February 2008).

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247 is not achieved when consultants come in with answers. Rather, they ought to come in with questions andsit with, for example, elders in the village, to ha ve a conversation about what is it that you want? Is there anything in what I ha ve [skill sets and success stories] that can help you achieve what you want? (int erview 6 August 2008). The common element here is that none of these thought leaders have the best definiti on of sustainability, or best set of practices applicable to most situations. Deciding what su stainability ought to be in these cases depends upon what people imagine are the central values that they wish to preserve or sustain within their community into the foreseeable future.334 While less attuned to the importance of explicitly religious be liefs and practice to sustainability, Lovins also noted that people resp ond best when you tell stories (such as the Lord of the Rings narratives) that touch upon deep seat ed values. For example, she told me that Americans and Western Europeans tend to valu e the individual choice, the law of small business, academic freedom, ideas. So a lot of wh at I talk about [when giving presentations in those places] is within that context. But she noted that the idea of natural capitalism, which plays upon these largely American and Western European sentiments when it is exported, must undergo a facelift: In Serbia, people hated the idea of natural capitalism, because they think that capitalism is the enemy. They had a visceral reaction against capitali sm (interview 6 August 2008). The relatively simple solution, to re-fra me natural capital as human well-being, makes a rather profound point that, as L ovins put it, if you look at whats driving unsustainability, it is largely, I think, the absence of these conversations across values structures (interview 6 August 2008, emphasis added). In at l east a limited way this talk acro ss value structures is occurring 334 Keep in mind that each individual is not accountable to ju st one community, but rather is involved in a variable set of nested communities, and thus each individuals vision of sustainability is likely to be couched in a narrative that somehow weaves together the values of these different communities.

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248 within environmentalist movements, but th e sustainability milieu includes additional stakeholders, increasing not only the frequency but the complexity of conceptual and practical transmission across these borders. Sustainability for a Global Community Values clash and m ust be negotiated within and between personal and professional lives, and larger communities of accountability such as religious groups. The importance of acquiring the language necessary to speak across these valu e systems is especially important in world characterized by rapidly contracti ng spatial and temporal scales. If Lovins is correct, and the failure to talk across these value structures is the primary driver of unsustainability, then the partnerships that individuals and groups form in order to generate change are pivotal because they provide linkages that facilitate co mmunication across these value structures. Lovins made her comment above regarding co nversations across value structures in the context of the tenuous relationship between th e United States and Near and Middle Eastern nations. She noted her perception that the U.S. is now blowing over a billion dollars every day and a half in part trying to s ecure access to oil, but even more so, for a neo-crusade against Islam. Meanwhile, theologians in Islam are tryi ng to destroy the Western ideology. That sort of battle needs to become a conversationtalki ng with people whose religious underpinning is different than the predominant one in the West. There are sincere value differences, but shooting each other isnt solving it at al l (interview 6 August 2008). Such conversations often begin through the hi gh level actors that are the focus of this study, who are highly motivated to promote c ooperation, are in the unique position of having access to and understanding of two or more sets of community values, and can effectively play the role of a translator between individuals or groups. But their longevity and effectiveness depend upon the partnerships they are able to cul tivate and sustain. Brian Campbell told me that

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249 when he has been responsible fo r international projects, while he may engage to some extent with the religious leaders in that place, he does no t talk to them specifica lly about their religious values. I would never presume to go out a nd talk about the Quran in Indonesia, Campbell told me frankly. He continued, if I were going to talk to Muslims, I woul dnt go myself, Id find a partner with whom I share, lets say, a concern about conserva tion.our partner in I ndonesia is IFEESFazlun is one of our main contacts. I would actual ly work for Fazlun[and] basically, he would know what parts of the Quran to appeal to in making the case for Muslims (interview 29 July 2008). Perhaps such relationships require interlocutors, translators or go-betweens precisely because such risky relationships require trust. The best intentions do not automatically overcome a lack of trust. Unfortunately, in many cases, partnerships are difficult to create and sustain precisely because international level negotiations and policy making rarely proceed on the basis of trust. For example, Lovins was attempting to act as a translato r at a United Nations sponsored meeting just days before the Unite d Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, describing in detail her successes in local re-development work in Afghanistan to international governmental officials.335 She and others working in Indi a had built what she believed was a solid case for the proliferation of villagebased technologies, and for re-thinking energy production from the bottom-up. After two days of presentations, she recalled that the Pakistani diplomat stated simply were just going to burn coal. We need to develop and you cant tell us not to (Lovinss recollection duri ng our interview 6 August 2008). Lovins exclaimed, Have you not been liste ning? If what you want is development, youll get it better, faster, cheaper through these sorts of technologies [village-scale energy 335 The UN Conference Climate Change Conference took place 3-14 December 2007, and was envisioned as an effort to the work of the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol, proposed by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, a product of the Rio Earth Summit) was approved in 1997 and went into effect in 2005. The Protocol, signed by 184 countries, creates binding targets for thirty-seven industrialized nations for CO2 reduction (see yoto_protocol/items/2830.php, accessed 6 March 2009).

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250 production] than you will through us ing last centurys technologies. His reply: I dont trust you. He the proceeded to point in sequence to the others sitting ar ound the room, saying I dont trust you, and I dont trust you, and I dont trust you[across the room]. Lovins recalled responding with vehemence: Tell a Colorado cowgirl you dont trust her you be tter be ready for a fight! Cause frankly, were either all in this together, and the wo rlds going to solve this problem, or theres going to be winners and losers. And frankl y, bud, youre going to be a loser! Me? Im rich, I live in Colorado. You want warming? Br ing it on, well have oceanfront property. In Pakistan the glaciers are melting: youre not going to have water. Growth zones are shifting: youre not going to have agriculture. Your country s going to dry up and blow away and frankly I dont give a damn! (interview 6 August 2008). Lovins may have been undul y provocative but her point is a good one. She had exposed his distrust by making clear what conflict reso lution specialists call the best alternative to negotiated agreement. If the scientists who de scribe and predict global climate change are acknowledged as authoritative then their claim th at developing countries such as Pakistan and others whose economies are shifting rapidly will bear the brunt of change must be given credence also. Lovins and those like her, w ho live relatively insulate d from the dangers of climate change clearly have different reasons for engaging in such international discourse, different motivations, and in a ve ry real sense Lovins near te rm survival does not depend as much on these negotiations as do the citizens in nati on states to whom translators such as Lovins are trying to market strategies a nd technologies for sustainability. Campbell also noted that appreciating plura lism does not necessarily mean that he does not challenge different people to think critically a bout their faith and its relationship to conservation. Campbell was involved in a project in Bali, for example, focused on sea turtle conservation. Sea turtles have long been harvested by the local population for religious ceremonies. At the time, however, the turtles had been over-harvested and their numbers were on the verge of extinction. Campbell recalled that one of his collea gues gathered thirty-seven Hindu

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251 theologians and asked them to go back to thei r sacred writings and look at whether bringing a species to the brink of extinc tion [was] a value held by Hinduism (interview 29 July 2008). The theologians reviewed their own wr itings, and parallel to Khalids recollection of how religious leaders inspired by re-reading their sacred texts with a new set of ecol ogically-informed lenses halted the destruction of Zanzibar s reef structures, these Hin dus adapted their ceremonies to crises within their habitat. Campbell told me, They were forced to go back and look at their own textstheir own belief systemthey [their religious myths] are stories that form peoples value systems, and how they view their relationships with the world. Now theres almost no trafficking of sea turtles, theres almost no sea turtles in ceremonies that are sa crificed. Instead theyve developed a bit of a ceremony where they find sea turtles on the beach, they turn them around and help them get back out to sea. And theres another ce remony blessing of the earth. That was done exclusively by them, we didnt ask them to hold these ceremonies[it represents] a rediscovery of their own deep values (interview 29 July 2008, italics mine). The sea turtle might have been driven to extinction without the intervention of this external NGO. These new interpretations of the same religious texts also did not come without prompting. NGOs clearly have a pivotal role in the emerging quest for sustainability, as institutional actors that act to tr anslate the concerns of different constituencies in respectful ways (at least ideally). In a way, one of the tasks of these NGOs in cases like the ones above is to generate something like what Berkes, Folke and Colding called for when they suggested that sustainability requires the development of contemporary versions of taboos and social sanctions (1998: 430). These non-governmental bodi es are helping to provide the impetus for the creation of internal sanctions and the pursuit of behaviors and perceptual frameworks that are beneficial to the persis tence of people in their habitats, and promote the aims of conservation and development organizations.

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252 Marketing the Myth of Sustainability: Prosperity, Security and Meaning If, as Korten and Lovins have argued, gene rating widespread acceptance of the quest for sustainability depends on linking it to human desires for prosperi ty, security and meaning, then references to these desires should repeatedly bubble up when people advocate sustainability. The religious dimension of sustainability is pe rhaps less apparent, or less frequently invoked when discussing the economic argu ments for sustainability (which are central to the ideas of prosperity and security), though talk of values is often present. There are several organizations and groups that begin sustai nability dialog with these practical economic arguments. Economic Arguments for Sustainability It m ay have become easier to make a convinci ng case for sustainability within the business sector than anywhere else. If so, this is ir onic because many of those in the environmental movement, one of the significant tributaries to sustainability, pin the blame for environmental degradation on capitalist mentality generally and corporate entities in particular. But the popular persuasive power of the term sustainability has re cently prompted even busi nesses that have little or no understanding of what the word means to ad opt sustainability plan s and clauses in their mission statements. Lovins recalled several exam ples of businesses that are going green in order to make more green. She cited a majo r whiskey distillery cont rolling 40% of the global spirits market, and Wal-Mart, as two examples of organizations where positive change driven by the integration of a values-based perspective is occurring, though they continue to maintain competitive market share. Marketing sustaina bility as economic good sense does not typically require deep discussion of stakehol der values. In some sense, it is the hook that brings people to the negotiating table with others, so that deeper work toward long-term relationships can occur. As Lovins put it, In what we do, we dont lead with valuesuntil someone were working with raises that, I wont (intervi ew 6 August 2008). For Lovins and others, making the economic

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253 case for sustainability can be a gateway for understanding other dimensions of sustainability, including the importance of social equity and justice, the appr ehension of inte rconnectedness and the adoption of practices that reflect it. Environmental Justice and Sustainability Markets were never intended to take care of grandchildren, Lovins told m e. Indeed, as Lovins and her collaborator Bob Willard argue d one evening at a speaking engagement in Gainesville, the current form of capitalism is unsustainable, and by most projections future generations will have a less stable and secure world. 336 Markets can certainly be effective in the facilitation of technology transfer from the indus trialized to the developing world, dissemination of public health education, monitoring and fulfilling consumer demand, and reducing the material throughputs required to sustain the economy. Markets cannot (and should not be expected to) act as formulators of values, as ex emplars of future ideal social states, or moral frameworks. The symptoms of the failure of our curre nt economic system c ited by sustainability advocates such as Willard and Lovins center around the increasing frequency of encounter between human populations and their markets an d ecological limits (i.e., water scarcity, the collapse of global fisheries, the increase in green house gas emissions, the disappearance of reefs, the fragmentation and simp lification of terrestrial habitats ), and the consequences tend to affect the poorest members of the global community first, and most. The inability of most of the 336 Willard spent thirty-four years as a top executive at IBM and has combined his business background with his interest in sustainability. He is the author of The Next Sustainability Wave: Building Boardroom Buy-in (2005). Willards argument is that, in the busine ss and industrial sectors, sustainability is no longer merely a reaction to market pressures nor relegated to passionate individual s who single-handedly implement new corporate cultures within existing organizations. Rather, in Willards view, sustainability in business and industry is driven by an increasingly solid business case for sustainability coupled with shifting c onsumer attitudes, creating an ideal opportunity to couple increasing standards of living globally with good business sense.

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254 worlds cultures to access and ut ilize these markets to facilitate their move ment out of harms way illustrates the limitations of the market when it comes to solving social issues. In the long run, Lovins said over lunch, Malthus was right. Its just a question of how much human misery we want in the interim (roundtable discussion, University of Florida, November 2007). It was this re alization that th e world was changing, that human societies were exceeding their carrying capacities, a nd that the poor were bearing the brunt of that change that contributed to the emergence of environmental ju stice movements related to sustainability. Ben Campbell told me that he came to conservation and development work largely because of a strong interest in protec ting human rights. It was his concern for human rights that led him to understand environmental issues as ce ntrally related to social justice. Its kinda funny, he told me, Christianity is layered ove r a deeper value system for th e environment. Ive foundthat theyre not at odds (interview 29 July 2008).337 While CI attends to the justice component of development, its work occurs primarily overseas. However, environmental justice does not only concern marginalized peoples on other continents. NWEIs climate change module include s a selection from Van Jones contribution to Orion magazine detailing some of the justice issues brought to the surface in the wake of hurricane Katrina.338 Jones suggests that in the new centur y, the only way to survive will be to help each other moreand judge each other less (NWEI 2007a: 10). The editors of Orion suggested that those who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, the ha rdest hit by the storm, were the first North American refugees of climate change, and th at were all neighbors of New Orleans now (reprinted in NWEI 2007a: 9) Jones suggests that the best metaphor for 337 Campbell told me he was an environmentalist before he accepted Christ as an adult, so he was an environmentalist before he was an evangelical. 338 The original version of this article appeared in Orion in the 2006 September/October issue. Van Jones is a wellknown sustainability and social justice activist.

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255 how humans ought to journey into the uncertain fu ture may well come from the biblical story of Noah, who in the midst of an increasingly chaotic world, had a simple aim: their [Noah and his familys] aim wasto survive together, while protecting as many family members and fellow species as they c ould (NWEI 2007: 10).339 Certainly the federal response to natural di sasters within our borders is a matter of national security, for miscalculated or feebly executed response plans erode confidence in government, and create vulnerabilities in national infrastructure. In addition, attentiveness to social equity and justice, not just abroad but domestically, is impor tant if the United States is to live up to the mandates expressed in the Constitution, and if it intends to become again one of the global standards for participatory politics. Environmental justice, as one dimension of sustainability, is often tied to religious imagery or commitment s, and crucially related to fulfilling the needs tied to security and meaning. Sustainability as a Sacred Duty In Blessed U nrest (2007) Paul Hawken poses a question to the reader: It has been said that we cannot save our planet unless human kind undergoes a widespread spiritual and religious awakening. In other wo rds, fixes wont fix unless we fix our souls as well. So lets ask ourselves this ques tion: Would we recognize a worldwide spiritual awakening if we saw one? Or let me put the que stion another way: What if there is already in place a large-scale spir itual awakening and we are simply not recognizing it? He goes on to discuss the Axial Age, an era when many of the world religions were born in a relatively compact region in a short sp an of time (see for example Armstrong 2007).340 Hawken 339 By family members Jones was not referring merely to immediate family, but rather to whole communities of people who depend on each other for their well-being. He earlier states that In the new century, the only way to survive will be to help each other moreand judge each other less (NWEI 2007: 10). Jones is referring to something akin to the long-standing idea of mutual aid, first popularized by anarchist prince and philosopher Peter Kropotkin (2008 [1902]). 340 The phrase Axial Age was first deployed by Karl Jasp ers to refer to the period between 900 BCE and 200 BCE, during which such important figures as Socrates, Elijah, Siddhartha, Confucius, and Lao-Tzu lived. Karen

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256 suggests that there is a sort of Axial Age is currently emergin g, whose first birth pains are the formation of a massive, fluid, and loosely interconn ected set of movements that Hawken refers to collectively as the largest movement in the world.341 Hawken argued that at the core of all organizations [involved in the movement] are two pr inciples, albeit unstated: first is the Golden Rule; second is the sacredness of all life, whethe r it be a creature, child, or culture (2007: 186). Such pronouncements clearly draw on religi ous imagery. Armstrongs project has been critiqued by Russell McCutcheon, who stated that comparative religion practiced in this manner is more akin to a theology of religious pluralism than the academic study of religion (1997: 105; see also 123). Hawkens project might be critiqued on similar grounds, for his assumption that there exists some essential feature (or set of featur es) that is definitive of sustainability illustrates that he is promoting the set of values that he would like to see sustained over the long term. If Armstrong (according to McCutcheon, like Eliade and Otto before her) is advancing a theology of religious pluralism, then Hawken might be sa id to be advancing a theology of sustainability that has a particular set of goals related to de fending particular values. As demographer James Protor and religion scholar Evan Berry and their collaborators have illustrated, environmental behaviors are more strongly correlated with political affiliations than with religious commitments (Berry and Proctor 2005). The use of religious imagery and metaphor then is certainly religious, but it is also, particularly in cases related to environmental issues, more than likely also political. When I participated in one of NWEIs discu ssion circles in Gainesville, the facilitator for our group, a long time veteran of the discussion gr oup model, began the first meeting with the Armstrongs narrative suggests that many of the world religi ons arose out of the socio-political matrix of that region and time and are basically context-specific enactment s of a universal human religious experience. 341 This is from the subtitle to the book, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, and why No One Saw It Coming (2007).

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257 declaration that What unites us is our inner sense of disquiet, and a love for the earth (spring 2005). The idea that life is sacred is woven in to many of the NWEI modules, particularly the Exploring Deep Ecology book. One of Paul Hawk ens articles, amended for the Choices for Sustainable Living book, concl udes by stating that Inspira tionresides in humanitys willingness to restore, redress, reform, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. Healing the wounds of the Earth and its people does not require saintline ss or a political party. It is not a liberal or conservative activity. It is a sacred act (NWEI 2007b: 102).342 Nancy Johnston, head of Operations and Logistics for NatCap Solutions reminded me that The third principle of natural capitalism is actually being restorative, and looking at what it takes to manage everything so that it can be pr osperous in the future. And thats [also about] waking up in the morning and feeling good about yourself, not having more money in the bank (interview 6 August 2008). She meant that sustainability drove home the point for her that prosperity (in the financial sense of the word) was not necessary to achieving a meaningful life. But her cultivation of what she believed to be a meaningful life also provided her with new resources for re-imagining what it meant to be prosperous, and for her, this was a sacred realization. Expressing her unde rstanding of the impor tance of my study, she told me that: I understand that religion is a part ofthis. In some wa yshaving a sustainable lifestyle can become a sort of religion. To me, religion is a lifestyle. Sustainabil ity is a lifestyle. Theres a lot of crossover there, in terms of what it is you valu e most. If what it is I value most is eating peas out of my garden, and th at means I work all day on Sunday to harvest peas, then isnt that religio n? (interview 6 August 2008). These examples only briefly illustrate that even among leaders from just three secular NGOs, religious imagery, language, and ideation is prevalent. Many describe the Great Turning (as Macy called it), or a paradigm shift that leads humans to more humbly and 342 This selection was drawn from an article entitled To Remake the World in Orion magazine (June/July 2007).

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258 respectfully engage with the nonhuman world, to act more mindfully, in short to consider all actions sacred ones. Extending the scope of anal ysis to the broader secular manifestations of sustainability would probably yield similar results, though this is certainly an area that would be fruitful for further study. The idea that everyday, mundane life can be filled with spiritual acts is an important ingredient in many facets of sustainability movements. Likewise, the notion that doing even small things to help reduce individual ecological f ootprints has motivated large cross sections of the population. Social scientific studies have demonstrated that environmental concern and behavior in the United States are strongly correl ated with nature religi on, with nature religion defined as agreement with the idea that nature serves as the sacred locus (Proctor and Berry 2005). Even among individuals who would not consider nature itself sacred, many still consider their everyday consumption choices to be relate d to their spiritual well-being. For example the name LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustai nability) has emerged to refer to a powerful purchasing sector in the American economy. This primarily middle and upper middle class demographic is now the primary target audien ce and consumer set of dozens of magazines, housing and automobile innovations, and clothing and food options. For these segments of the population, such media and material culture is of ten focused on spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, organic or vegetarian food choices, natural fiber clothing, and alternative fuel and lifestyle choices. These acts of voluntary simplicity, then, parallel the sacred acts of resistance and protest to consumer cultures and prevailing sociopolitical arrangements. This analysis lends support to earlier studies which illustrate th at focal themes, and motivational metaphors and imagery may cross these political and economic boundaries, and in many cases reinforce each

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259 other (Gerlach 1970; Campbell 1972 ; Taylor 2009). Moreover, the idea that humans have a sacred duty or responsib ility to act cooperatively helps to co ntribute to two of Lovins primary needsthe importance of meaning (by finding the s acred in the mundane) and prosperity (often by providing new visions of the good life). The NWEI volumes, for example, often incl ude writings from both of these subsets of U.S. culture. Many of the NWEI books present re adings, poems, or perspectives from American Indians which emphasize that attentiveness to every act cultivates a sort of spiritual awareness that is important for the sustai nability transition. The climat e change module, for example, includes a poem from the Hopi Elders: Gather y ourselves. Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary. / All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. / We are the ones we have been waiting for (2007a: 40).343 Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Sustainability It is not uncomm on for scholar s to devise a model of know ledge seeking and acquisition that imagines two modes of science: an abst ract or Western tradit ion, and indigenous or traditional knowledge. The Western tradition is described by the modern scientific method, while indigenous traditions are of ten defined by the development of place-based practices. As noted in Chapter 6 (pp. 138-139), in Earths Insights (1994) J. Baird Callico tt, following analysis of a variety of environmental ethics from the Mediterranean to the Australian Outback, proposed a postmodern ecological paradigm th at would unite these varied traditional epistemologies and perceptions with Western sciences such as the new physics and new ecology. Callicotts idea is that, shorn of their metaphysical baggage, many of the religious beliefs and practices he analyzed might work t ogether toward sustainabi lity. Perhaps ironically, 343 This is a poem included in the volume attributed simply to the Hopi Elders.

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260 it is science that has finally provided the conceptual framew ork through which industrialized nations can include indigenous cult ures in search of a just an d sustainable social order. Expressing some resonance with Callicotts cl aims, ecologist Fikret Berkes has suggested that purely Western notions such as wilderne ss could not be the basis of a cross-cultural environmental ethic. Instead, he argued that more promisin g is the notion of sustainability proceeding to quote from an important document co-authored by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Na tions Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) called Caring for the Earth (1991). This remarkable document explicitly stated that its aim was to secure a widespread and d eeply held commitment to a new ethic, the ethic for sustainable living (IUCN/UNEP/WWF 1991: 3), which included empowering people to take care of their own habitats and creati ng change in personal attitudes and practices (IUCN/UNEP/WWF 1991 : 11). Further, Caring for the Earth endorsed in no uncertain terms the idea that the nonhuman world has intrinsic value: Every life form warrants respect independently of its worth to pe ople (IUCN/UNEP/WWF 1991: 14). The document called for further action to cultiv ate relationships with religious groups and leaders, encourage the emphasis within these religious traditions on environmentally and socially responsible teachings and behaviors (15), and connected these ai ms with greater attentiv eness to the needs of the worlds indigenous peoples (61). This schematic for a global ethics is, according to Berkes, the best chance for generating a social scientific research program that mi ght lead to sustainable communities. According to several cultural anthropologist s, indigenous and traditional peoples are of utmost importance in creating su stainable relationships with the natural world. For, as Berkes argued, traditional ecological know ledge (TEK) can provide a bri dge between Western science

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261 and traditional lifeways. Berkes argued that cer tain ideas, such as Leopolds land ethics, deep ecology, Gaia, topophilia/love of land, sense of place, bioregionalism, and biophilia/love of living beings, have explored the personal meani ng and sacred dimensions of ecology that have been missing in scientific ecology (1999: 183). Berkes and others suggest that ecological management based on traditional ecological knowledge is highly adaptable, and as such, te nds to be more sustainable than Western management regimes, which are rigid and miss important features of ecosystems.344 Adaptive management is one place where some scholars claim there can be a mutually beneficial engagement of Western and traditional ecologi cal knowledge (Berkes 1999; Berkes, Folke and Colding 1998). For Berkes, Folke and Colding the resilience of ecological and social systems is the key to sustainability in a dynamic and highly interactive worl d. The preservation of cultural diversity, then, is important because it provides a greater number of examples of how human cultures have adapted to social-ecological dyn amics over time, and thus a greater cache of strategies from which to draw when imagining how to persist within habitats (Berkes and Folke 1998: 21-22). Indeed, Berkes, Folke and Colding suggest that contemporary versions of rituals, taboos, and social and religious sanctions ma y be necessary for the industrial world if sustainability is to become a r ealistic possibility (1998: 430). In at least three ways indigenous and traditio nal cultures are important contributors to the religious dimension of sustainabil ity. First, the emergence of in ternational indigenous resistance to globalization and capital a ccumulation (see for example the discussion on pp. 83-85), and the resurgence of a North American Indian resistan ce movement beginning in the late 1960s (with 344 The fields of ethnobotany (Schultes 1979; Schultes and Von Reis 2008 [1995]), ethnoecology (Posey et al 1984) have long histories and pioneered the theories and methods later expanded by scholars such as Berkes. The intentional blending of indigenous lifeways with the science of adaptive ecosystem management specifically, however, emerged in the 1990s.

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262 the occupation of Alcatraz a nd the second standoff with fe deral agents at Wounded Knee)345 were important ingredients in the counte r-hegemonic dimension of sustainability.346 Second, indigenous cultures and the anthropologists who a dvocate for them have become instrumental in the development of the social dimension of sustainability within the mainstream, international political scene. United Nations declarations and World Bank programs now not only include, but often focus on empowering local communities ra ther than imposing pre-fabricated programs onto communities with specific needs and circum stances. Third, indigenous and traditional cultures have been spiritually instructive for many within the broad range of sustainability movements. It is often said that indigenous cu ltures have a common per ception that all of life, even mundane activities, are in some sense sacred (Posey 1999: 4, 450; 2004: 64, 196-197). As noted above, however (pp. 137-140), Posey s work, although undertaken with the best intentions, incorporated his own ideas about sustainable resource management into his observations of other cultures. While Posey sugg ested that the peoples he studied had a deep spiritual attachment to their la nd and thus conserved and in some cases increased its diversity, later research has suggested that the peopl e he discussed are more pragmatists than conservationists. They use (and abuse) terms such as sustainability just those in the industrialized world might, and they do so intent ionally with their own ai ms in mind. Typically, moreover, such aims have to do more with materi al security and gain than with some imagined harmonious relationship with habita ts. Although such romanticized perceptions are overly broad (Krech 1999), they are frequently championed by sustai nability advocates. For example, Paul 345 See Delorias God is Red (1992: 9, 21-22) for further discussion. 346 Jennifer Sumner claims that this counter-hegemonic component is one of the three primary foundations of sustainability, along with dialogue and life values (2005: 112).

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263 Hawken put is this way: The quiet hub of the new movementits heart and soulis indigenous culture (2007: 22). 347 These ideas, idealized or not, are impacting th e sustainability milieu in significant ways, from grassroots advocacy to mainstream political bodies. According to such argumentation, the preservation of traditional cultur es contributes to the resilience (and thus security) of the global community and through increasing tr ust and interaction across these plural values structures and epistemologies, to the fulfillment of the search for meaning (Korten and Lovinss third important feature of sustai nability). Is the Secular Sustainability Movement Really Religious? David Korte n and Hunter Lovins may be co rrect: sustainability may ultimately be about the ability to provide for prosper ity, security, and meaning over the long term. If that is the case, however, then it should be clear that the religio us dimension of sustainability is integrally involved in producing feelings of security, fulfilling the search for meaning, and answering the question of what it means to be prosperous. The examples above are drawn from secular nongovernmental organizations, yet they make use of and contribute to the religious dimension of sustainability. They pose the question: are secular sustainability movements religious? There are some themes that are common throughout sustainability movements that are not explicitly religious but are deeply affec tive and tug on core valu es because they raise questions about the future: what sort of world do people want to grow old in, and more importantly, what sort of world would they leave for future generations? In most cultures, these questions are answered by refere nce to spiritual norms or relig ious stories. When secular sustainability organizations ask such questions, oftentimes they are not explicitly religious. 347 For a response to Krechs argument see Deloria 2000.

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264 However, when they ask these hard questions th ey help to manufacture a highly affective mode of transmitting the metanarrative of sustaina bility, and this highly affective mode of communication will inevitably be tied to religion somewhere within the web of relations that support these organizations. The NWEI readers represent one grassroots example of this mode of transmission, asking deep questions about the purpose of human life, and questions about what it means to pursue the good life over the long term. The globa l climate change module includes a partial transcript of a speech given at the 1992 Eart h Summit by twelve year old Severn Suzuki (daughter of well-known sustainabi lity advocate and author David Suzuki). Her theme resonates with Donella Meadows question about what her friend ought to tell her three-year old about polar bears. Suzuki told the delegation I have dreamed of seeing the great herds of wild animals, jungles and rainforests full of birds a nd butterflies, but now I w onder if they will even exist for my children to see (2007a: 54). She continued, Parents should be able to comfort their children by saying Everythings going to be all right, Were doing the best we can.But I dont think you can say that to us anymore.My dad always says, You are what you do, not what you say. Well, what you do makes me cry at night (NWEI 2007: 54).348 The United Nations represents the most obvi ous example of a main stream international political body that asks similar questions, and drawing on biophilic and cosmophilic themes, deploys spiritual language and imagery to promote the global ethic they believe is required to achieve global sustainability. The Interfaith Partnership for the Envi ronment (IPE) was founded 348 Suzukis speech was given in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Suzuki was twelve years old. The speech was reprinted earlier in a chapter titled A Worl d Restored in David Brower and Steve Chappels Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run (1995).

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265 in 1986, and dedicated to working to bring together the forces of religion and ecology.349 In the late 1980s they began promoting an Enviro nmental Sabbath day each year. In 1990, one poem from the Environmental Sabbath, publis hed by the UN, illustrates well how secular organizations spiritualize sustainability advocac y. In an early sect ion titled Prayer of Awareness, the poem stated, Today we know of the energy that moves all things: the oneness of existence, the diversity and uniqueness of every moment of creation, every shape and form, the attraction, the allurement, the fascination that all things have for one another Humbled by our knowledge, chastened by surpri sing revelations, with awe and reverence we come before the mystery of life. 350 Note the idea that all things ha ve a fascination for one another (a biophilia), the use of the term creation which is in many respects a religiously inspired reference to the cosmos, and the invocation of the mystery of life before which humans are calle d to be humbled. The Prayer of Sorrow, later in the poem employs a call and response pattern, with respondents repeating between stan zas, We have forgotten who we are. This is a profound statement about the mistakes in the moral an thropology that guided the modern world. The question of who we are is a meta-question that calls attention to the ra nge of future options particular groups hope to leave for later generations, and how they endeavor to live well and meaningfully in the present. The Prayer of Gratitude which followed provided a reminder of who we are, stating We live in a ll things/All things live in us. Along with the closing stanza, We are full of the grace of crea tion/we rejoice in all life, th ese lines state with clarity the 349 See http://www.nyo.une accessed 19 October 2008. 350 This poem is from Only One Earth, a United Nations Environment Programme publication for Environmental Sabbath/Earth Rest Day, June 1990. The U.N. webs ite suggests that the text will be available shortly ( ). In the meantime I was able to find the text online at ( (accessed 3 October 2008). Earth Ministry is a nonprofit organization based in the Puget Sound area dedicated to promoting sustainable lifestyles and decisions for congregations and individuals.

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266 themes of deep interconnectivity that have been noted within e nvironmental subcultures (Taylor 1995; 2009), and in Chapter 5 of this study. These na rratives of relationality and cosmic affinity are one of the foundations for sustainability move ments, and the strategic use of such themes within secular sustainability-oriented groups is no less spiritual than their invocation in religious groups. To answer the question posed aboveare se cular sustainability movements religious? the answer is a qualified yes. While they are not all about religion they are certainly utilizing religious metaphor and imagery, and calling for a reassessment of the meta-objectives of particular cultural groups. They are not exam ples of what Saler might call prototypical religions. However, they are both analogically related to religious movements (that is, they resemble more prototypical religion s), and genealogically relate d to religious beliefs and practices (which is to say that that religious groups and move ments have contributed to the present shape of secular sustainability movements).351 They have an amazing variety of features that are themselves at least quasi-religious, implic itly religious, or related to explicitly religious values, and when deployed in public venues they are doing political and religious work. The definition of religion provided in Chapter 2, th en, is central to the task of discerning the prevalence of the religious dimensions of secu lar sustainability organizations and groups. To the extent that these secular sustaina bility-oriented groups a nd persons pepper their discourse with subtly or occasio nally overtly religious elements, they open up the possibility of analyzing a religious dimension in human life w ithout limiting the study to those features of 351 Evan Berry argued that both are potentially productive ways of looking at social movements that involve religion. The analogical approach suggests that it is primarily the religious form that is the vehicle for cultural transmission, but according to Berry structural functionalism and other so cial scientific theories of quasi-religions tend to obscure the religiosity of nature religion (2009: 13). Genealogical explanations are stronger, particularly when analyzing nature religion, Berry presented this particul ar article at the Inherited Land colloquium at Florida International University, 28 February 2009.

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267 culture that we unhesitatingly label religion (Saler 1999: xv). As Benson Saler noted, while these more subtle uses of religious language, metaphor and imagery do not always fall neatly into the categories approved by scholars of religi on, segments of the general public and persons pursuing special agendas often extend the use an d inclusiveness of the term [religion] beyond conventional dictionary acceptations a nd supporting conceptualizations [and] when they do so, they are usually understood by others in the contemporary United States (Saler 1999: 23, italics in original). Attentiveness to the religious dimension of sustainability discourse helps to illustrate the social and political pervasiveness of religion in the United States, and hopefully helps to highlight the need for sensitivity wh en engaging the value pr eferences and norms of individuals or groups fro m other cultures. Connecting the Dots between Experts in the N etwork: Mapping the Ecological System All of the informants cited in this chapter are religious at least in th e broad sense that I use the term here. Daniella Dennenbe rg from NWEI told me that she was spiritual, though not religious. Interestingly, Deb Mc Namara (also from NWEI) noted the early Latin roots of the word religion, meaning to tie or to bind, an d suggested that she was certainly bound to a spiritual path. McNamara grew up a Midwestern Lu theran (and said that in some sense, that is still her core identity), gained a greater understanding of social equity in the peace corps, attended a Buddhist univ ersity, and is now a Haatha Yoga teacher and practitioner whose connection to the earth is part of my spiritua l practice as well ( interview with author, 17 September 2008). Both claimed that they consid ered their spiritual lives to be important motivators for their career choices. Nancy Johnst on of NatCap noted that sustainability, as a lifestyle choice that involved commitment to deep seated values, was itself a sort of religious practice.

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268 While Lovins is less apt to talk in explicitly spiritual terms, she did, with some frequency, allude to the importance of spiritual work to all the other species of sust ainability advocacy. In addition, as she noted in a public lecture in Gainesville, her me ntors (David Brower and Dana Meadows, for example) participated in what she called the inner work of sustainability, namely changing hearts and minds. Lovins told me that everybody she works with impacts how she approaches sustainability. Her adaptable approach is one of the hallmarks of successful sustainability advocates. Sally [Bingham], for ex ample, Lovins reported, has helped me to understand the importance of communities of faith. And speaking to people with the understandingwhatever position theyre in, whethe r theyre a CEO or government official or whatever, they probably have a faith a values structure in there as well, and that its important to speak to that as well (interview 6 August 2008). Reflecting on the web of relationships be tween leader-advocates who participate in religious, interfaith, and explicitly secular sustainability -oriented groups, it is clear that there are direct and indirect connections between all of them, providing several relatively smooth avenues for the transmission of ideas, strategies, and reso urces. Campbell noted that his work was similar to Martin Palmers in many ways, and that he depended on working with Palmer in large part because of the existing network that ARC had cu ltivated. Campbell told me that Martin has been instrumental in helping me to think through this from an interfaith perspective (interview 29 July 2008). Campbell is an ev angelical Christian who maintains close professional ties with Joel Hunter, Richard Cizik, Cal DeWitt and other ev angelicals, is in the process of producing a handbook on religions and conservation with Martin Palmer and ARC, and also works with Khalid and IFEES and other faith-based organi zations to achieve CIs conservation goals. Campbell works closely with green evangelical s in the U.S. and worldwide, while Sally

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269 Bingham remains close to at least Joel Hunter and Richard Cizik. Binghams Interfaith Power and Light was one of the honorees of ARCs Sacr ed Gifts program, and Bingham also maintains a close personal and professional relationship with Lovins. While the operatives at NWEI are not necessarily directly connected to this particular e xpert network through individuals, certainly they draw on common bodies of literature (suc h as those exposed in Chapters 5 and 6), ideas championed by individuals within this network, and work toward similar goals. Recalling this complex web of relations, it should be clear that all of the informants in this study are often directly, and all are at least indi rectly related through the connections of these expert networks. Each of these experts and thei r marketing of sustainability contribute to the idea that sustainability is not all about generating technical fixes or better management regimes. Even for those within the secular sustainability movement the long-term persistence of humans within their habitats is, as Nobel Pr ize winner Al Gore put it in his award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth a moral, ethical and spiritual ch allenge (quoted in NWEI 2007: 53).

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270 CHAPTER 10 MANUFACTURING OR CULTIV ATING C OMMON GROUND? I initiated this project because I was interested in the ways that le aders of sustainability movements endeavored to improve and refine the ability of communities and groups to communicate effectively across different value stru ctures, social mores and practices, and world models. In short, to promote a sustainable civilization, it seems nece ssary to re-civilize the public sphere, making it safe for the presentati on and democratic assessment of community values. After reviewing the emergence of sustai nability and the preval ence of its religious dimensions, my goal has been to map the spread of the normative and re ligious features of sustainability within a social network comprised of leaders from religious, interfaith, and secular non-governmental organizations. I found that there is significant agreem ent among informants about some of the key religious features of sustai nability and the strategies utilized to advertise it, as well as overlap on some of the motivating f actors that prompted thes e people to engage in sustainability advocacy. I began by suggesting that my methodology deri ved primarily from the influences of the academic study of lived religion and from the me thodologies favored by those who participate in the area of study typically termed religion and nature.352 These methodological approaches within religious studies may benefit from litera ture on social movement theory and cognitive anthropology, at least when employed for the anal ysis of social movements. First, however, more needs to be said regarding how to analyze religious discourse within a social movement. 352 For differences between Religion and Ecology and Religion and Nature see A. Petersons Toward a Materialist Environmental Ethics in Environmental Ethics (2006), and Bron Taylors Religious Studies and Environmental Concern (2005c) and Arne Kallands The Religious Environmentalist Paradigm (2005), both in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature

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271 Theorizing the Religious Dimension of Sustainability There are at least three levels where va lues are recognizable in population subgroups. Values can be 1) related to concepts of se lf and other through ps ychological and cognitive processe s internal to the individual (the subjective, individual dimension), 2) implicated in specific behaviors of individuals (the visible, performative dimension), and 3) recognizable as social patterns, preferences or behaviors (the social dimension) Each of these levels (from internalized ideas and values to personal and interpersonal behaviors to larg er patterns of social behavior) may be broken down and examined in more detail. But much work focused on religion and environmental issues aims to impact the first dimension, individual perceptions and values, assuming that changes in such values lead to ecologically responsible behavior. Sociologists, on the other hand, have focuse d on the persistence of the broader social patterns and preferences related to environmental issues, and have also begun to provide empirical evidence relating values and beliefs to behaviors (i.e., St ern et al. 1999). These studies help to provide data that may be helpful to reli gion scholars interested in the gap between values and behaviors, but in most cases such studies say very little about how the triggers of environmentally friendly behaviors are transm itted through culture (which I suggested above occurs primarily through individu al exchange and inference). It is here that some theories offered by religion scholars and cognitive scientists may compliment sociological theories. The informants discussed here are enga ged in an economy of ideas, metaphors, and imagery, and in many cases religious ideation, metaphor and language acts as the currency for exchange. While the prevalence of the religious dimension of sustainabi lity is clear from my examination of this small but well-connected ne twork of actors, another hypothesis that awaits further investigation is that the religious di mension is increasingly important throughout the broader mass movements related to sustainability.

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272 Collective Action Frames and Manufacturing Meaning In the theore tical interlude (Chapter 3) I re ferred to philosopher Colin Campbells cultic milieu and his argument that oppositional subcultures often shared or freely exchanged motivational tropes (1972; 2002; see pp. 50-51). The sustainability milieu, I suggested, demonstrated similar inter-group exchange. But as the data from this project have made clear, within the sustainability milieu motivational co ncepts, metaphors, imagery and practices are not transmitted only within oppositional subcultures but also between subcultures and mainstream cultural groups. Bron Taylor noted a similar pattern of exchange between oppositional subcultures and international venues among me mbers of the environmentalist milieu who resonate with dark green reli gion (2009). Environmental hi storians Thomas Dunlap and Roderick Nash have also examined environmen talism as a religious social movement (Dunlap 1988), or characterized the exchange of values th at occurs within this environmentalist milieu (Nash 2001). While social networks facilitate and promote the formation of the moral imagination in particular directions, individual agents within these networks c onstantly make inferences about the practices and values that are and ought to be associated with these networks and are thus the primary vectors of social transmission. Groups within networks are socially and politically efficacious to the extent that their constituents frame the material and emotional experiences of their lives with a co llective pool of interpretive schemata, which enable individuals to locate, perceive, identify, and label occu rrences within their life space a nd the world at large (Benford and Snow 2000: 614).353 Extending this idea, the sociologis ts Robert Benford and David Snow 353 Here Benford and Snow quote Erving Goffman (1974), who they credit with the idea of framing within social movement theory.

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273 suggest that movement participants construct collective action frames that motivate and legitimate particular activities. According to sociologists who investigate such frames, social group participation is a form of active meaning construction through the en largement of personal id entity facilitated by a perceived correspondence between in dividual and collective identities.354 Benford and Snow also suggest, however, that insufficient attention has been given to the processes through which movement participation and ident ity are linked. Their work on fr ame alignment processes, they believe, helps to elucidate the link. It is importa nt to recognize that of ten such collective action frames are contested in the public sphere, w ith the aim of both side s of the debate to shapeideological landscapes and societal practices (Stern and Dietz 1999: 82). But ultimately, as Paul Stern and Thom as Dietz contend, the base fo r general movement support lies in a conjunction of values, beliefs, and persona l normsfeelings of pers onal obligation that are linked to ones self-expect ations (1999: 83). Stern and Dietz s point is that if participants accept the basic values of a particular movement (endorse their collective action frames), believe that one or more of these values are threatened, and perceive that there are social or political avenues through which personal act ion can help to minimize the damage to or restore those values, they are more likely to engage in practi ces to that end. Their findings support arguments for frame alignment and identity transformation, but suggest that lumpi ng together the diverse values endorsed by activist and non-activist ( but supportive) members of various social movements is unhelpful.355 In short, they suggest that expl icit renderings of the values that 354 Benford and Snow quote Gamson that participation in social movements frequently involves enlargement of personal identity for participation and offers fulfillm ent and realization of the self (2000: 631). 355 For example, Stern and Deitz suggest that the relati onships between the values and behaviors of those who actively engage in pro-environmental behavior are significantly different than those same relationships among those who verbally support environmental advocacy, but do not them selves engage in such behaviors. They suggest that these individuals likely have significantly different sets of values and social opportunities for enacting those values.

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274 particular groups or movements endorse are cruc ial to discerning their mobilization strategies and their political aims (1999: 91). Just as networks should not be imagin ed as possessing agency, however, such collective action frames do not exist autonomously, but depe nd upon individual agents (for further discussion see Chapter 3, pp. 54-57). Re call that Vasquez cautioned against imagining networks themselves as the primary agents of social transmission, though networks do act as boundary markers that enable place-making activiti es and identity construction (2008: 168-169). Networked perceptual frameworks are constantly c ontested at the individual level as agents make inferences and interpret experiences with their adapti ng cognitive tools (Ben ford and Snow 2000: 614). Individual agents are particul arly important for the spread of sustainability-related values. As Luther Gerlach noted, leaders of SPIN movements are particular ly active in networking with participants from different groups.356 It is these leaders who build personal relationships with participants in othe r groups, acting as traveling evangelists who carry information, practices, and motivational metaphors across th e network (Gerlach 2002: 296).357 It is the basic beliefs and core values of social movements, which I ha ve here referred to as religious, which are transmitted across these networks. The point here is that the l eaders of the particular organiza tions analyzed in this project are intentionally facilitating frame alignment processes through precisely the sort of charismatic interpersonal evangelization proposed by Gerlach above. More recent studies by environmental 356 Gerlach argued that the polycentr ism that characterizes SPIN moveme nts does not imply that there are no leaders, but rather that there are typically many leaders. Such leaders tend to be more charismatic than bureaucratic, and focus more on inspiration than political systematization (2002: 294). 357 For Gerlach, many leaders of SPIN movements are more accurately understood as its evangelists.those who evangelize across the movement as a whole.evangelists are those who zealously spread the ideology of any movement, promoting its ideas, reinforcing the beliefs of participants (Gerlach 2002 : 296). The italics appeared in Gerlachs original text.

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275 policy experts have focused on similar social phenomena, referring to in tentional blending of discreet knowledge domains: nove l analogies in sustainability ar e those that align two partial domains of knowledge across one of these break points to form a third domain of knowledge, called the blend (Hukkinen 2008: 65). Sustainability, according to Janne Hukkinen, necessitates the promotion of soci ally robust knowledge (rather th an knowledge that is merely scientifically reliable) for positive policy outcom es. Socially robust knowledge further requires experts capable of promoting cognitive blending of norms from constituencies that are situated differently socially and economically. For my purposes here, frame alignment and cognitive blending processes are functionally equivalent since they both lead to the translation of values across different communities of accountability.358 The spread of these blended values within and across particular groups can be viral, as Joel Hunter indicated in Chapte r 7. Namely they can spread fr om evangelizers to those who are in some way primed to receive their messages, whether because of shared values or practices, preexisting sympathies with particular aims, personal relationsh ips, or social or physical conditions. These theories have resonances w ith cognitive anthropolog ical theories which understand the transmission of cultura l facts as parallel to the tr ansmission of pathogens within populations. Integrating these theoretical models may provide a way to get better data about how values and practices are enacted and sp read through social movements. 358 Hukkinens area of research is on traditional reindeer management regi mes among the indigenous peoples of Finland and their interaction with national resource manageme nt programs. Hukkinen is interested in the ways in which these disparate groups eff ectively speak to (and argue with) each other. His work resonates with this project in several ways. For example, he finds that both storytelling (2008: 70-75) and the inclusion of individuals who worked together despite personal disagreements (2008: 126) helped to ensure successful integration of government and traditional interests.

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276 The Sustainability Virus: Mental Representations Matter Scholarship on fra ming processes and social movement theory is helpful for theorizing social phenomena, but in many cases such theories tend to overemphasize the social construction of reality and underestimate the dependen ce of communities upon the surrounding ecological matrix. In the 1970s, reactions to structuralist tendencies in anthropol ogical literature from scholars such as Dan Sperber illustrated that soci al mores were also related to and influenced by ecological circumstances. In his Malinowski Me morial Lecture in 1985, for example, Sperber dissented from Malinowskis notion of the psychology of emotions, where religion was a projection of psychological needs and disposi tions and human minds were biologically predisposed to be susceptible to certain cultural phenomena.359 As Sperber put it, the human mind is susceptible to cultural repr esentations, in the way the human organism is susceptible to diseases. Of course, diseases are, by defin ition, harmful, whereas cultural representations are not.I see, then, the causal explanation of cultural facts as necessarily embedded in a kind of epidemiology of representations (1985: 74, italics in original). Cultural things, then, are distributions of [mental] representations in a human population, ecological patterns of psychological things (1985: 73, italics mine). Understanding particular cultures, or social movements in this case, de pends upon noting which representations appear to be the most catching and thus most persistent over time (Sperber 1994: 54). The idea that epiphenomenal cultural norms can be reliably transmitted directly to persons within populations is mistaken, according to empirical research by anthropologists such as Sperber and Scott Atran. As Atran and his co llaborators put it, One alternative to normative accounts of cultural formation, transmission, and evolution is cultural epidemiology, which assumes that socially learned information is acqu ired chiefly through inference rather than 359 This lecture was published as Anthropology and Psychology: Towards an Epidemiology of Representations, in Man 20 (1) in 1985. Sperbers intention was to fill in lacunae in both anthropology and psychology of religion.

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277 imitation (Atran et al. 2002: 435, emphasis added) Because of this, unlike pathogens transmitted from one susceptible agent to anothe r, cultural representations are transformed each time they are transmitted (Sperber 1985: 75) since inference depends on the neural pathways that process sensory information (and like fingerprint s or snowflakes, no two neural nets are the same). Here Atran and his collaborators are directly ch allenging meme theory, since it depends upon the transference of cultural forms between ge nerations through imitation and ritualization. Indeed, some forms of religious ritual are passed down through practice and imitation, but in such cases it has not been demonstrated that such performance is subject to natural selection. For meme theory to have explanatory power it must find structural similarities among cultural forms between generations to demonstrate that these cult ural forms are units of natural selection. To date, no such empirical evidence has surfaced.360 Group adaptationists al so generally disagree with those who have advanced meme theories sin ce meme theorists believe that religion itself is not adaptive, but rather parasi tical on other adapted features of human cognition and behavior (see for example D.S. Wilson 2002: 53). The main problem with meme theory, in my view, is that it postulates an additional level of explanatio n (a cultural unit subject to natural selection) when simpler, more materialist models account fo r and predict the same range of phenomena. In short, although meme theory is intuitively appealing, there has been no empirical work to support such intuitions. Some, however, have suggested ways in which meme theory might be put to empirical tests (see for example Matt Gerss es say Memes vs. God: Dennett and Dawkins Take on Religion [2009]). 360 There is extensive literature debating the merit of memes. See for example Susan Blackmores The Meme Machine (1999), Kate Distins The Selfish Meme: A Critical Reassessment (2004), and Daniel Dennetts Breaking the Spell (2006: 341-357). Blackmore and Dennett generally defend the idea, while Distin attempts to provide a sympathetic criticism.

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278 While the importance of individual percepti on and cognition implies that there may be some uniquely private (at least for the time being) kernel in the chain of information processing which transcends investigators tools (Saler 1999), this does not mean that such phenomena are not investigable at all.361 What it means is that the most productive analytical approach is to trace the material manifestations and public de ployments of such infe rences (Peterson 2006). The inferences made by individuals within part icular movements, and then performed in the public sphere should be the subjects of st udy. As Atran and his co-authors put it, Peoples mental representations interact with other peoples me ntal representations to the extent that those representations can be physically transmitted in a public medium .These public representations, in turn, are sequenced and channeled by ecologi cal features of the external environment (including the social environment) that constrain psychophysical interactions between indivi duals (Atran, Medin and Ross 2005: 751, emphasis added). Beginning with philosophical a nd social scientific explanat ions of social movements offered in Chapter 3 and in this chapter, and moving toward psychological and cognitive explanations of social transmission within some sub-populations here, an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for what mo tivates participation in some so cial movements emerges. The analysis has moved from large-scale social movement theory, to network theory (used in both environmental sciences and religi ous studies), noted how particular nodes (agents) engage in collective action framing and cognitive blending to solidify or challenge existing powerscapes, and looked at the cognitive and subjective sour ces of cultural transm ission. This moral anthropology of a nested individual362 is non-reductive: it suggests that cultural phenomena are, as Sperber put it, ecological patterns of psychological thi ngs, not merely subjective psychological facts. This model does not assume however, that culture and the networks that 361 Nor does this imply that such tools will not develop in the near future. At present, however, there is an epistemological gap that has not yet been overcome. 362 The nested individual is the agent who assimilates information from the nested communities of accountability to which they belong, and then acts upon this information in the world.

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279 comprise it are epiphenomenal or autonomous, w ith their own energy and capable of imposing particular values onto the minds of citizens. 363 In this, the theoretical framework offered here accords with what Anna Peterson has called a chastened constructivism, admitting that socially constructed understandings of humans and thei r habitats impact belie fs and practices, but emphasizing that embodied beings also face biol ogical and ecological constraints (2001: 209212). To generate qualitative data illuminating what strategies for promoting sustainability seem to have the most significant effects, I bega n with this theoretical framework and attempted to map the relationships between leaders in different sectors of sustainability movements, noting instances of overlap in thei r general approach and the mo tivational themes, metaphors and strategies used. What this da ta cannot accurately discern is cau sation. It cannot prove that one informant caught a particular strain of the su stainability virus (a particular metaphor, for example) directly from another. However, if the theoretical framework discussed above has explanatory power, close personal and professional relationships among leaders of groups are important synapses for the exchange of ideas and practices within larger networks of movements and groups. The high level acto rs interviewed here are atte mpting to promote a shift in anthropological understandings by highlighting biological, ecol ogical, and even spiritual interdependence, and through risky engagement w ith foreign individuals and groups, open to an honest discussion of values. They often use bi ophilic or cosmophilic imagery, or use biological 363 Atran and his collaborators suggest that structuralism, in the form espoused by Claude Levi-Strauss, Mary Douglas and Edmund Leach erred by suggesting that cultu ral forms were somehow auto nomous and separate from individuals and behaviors. Counter-currents in anthropology typified by Marvin Harris materialist approach, were overly-reductive, wav[ing] away the superstructure or id eology of cultural forms as nonmaterial or epiphenomenal by-products of underlying material causes (ecological, economic, or genetic). We hold that ideas are just as material as behaviors and are indispensably constitutive of the causal chains that produce cultural regularities (quote from footnote Atran et al. 2005: 748). I am generally in accord with Atran et al. here. For further elaboration, see the work of Michael Cole (1998; 2007), whom Atran et al. draw upon for their psychological models.

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280 and cultural diversity as cognitive tools to facilitate such affectively grounded engagement (see Hukkinen 2008 for more on cognitive tools for sustainabi lity). To the extent that this imagery is religious, those who strategically deploy it in the public sphere are players in spiritual games.364 Spiritual games directly ch allenge some assumptions of traditional economic game theory, including the notion that humans are th e only moral agents playing the game, calling attention to noneconomic values that are central to deliberation about what it is that ought to be sustained. A rough summary of the data will help to make clearer the spiritual games played by these actor networks, and how the economies of id eas and significations they perpetuate support sustainability movements. Finding Religion in Social Movements The term sustainability and its cognate sustainable development are not derived specifically from religious terminology and do not necessarily by themselves carry spiritual overtones. It is precisely this fact that ma kes the definitions of religion employed by some religion and nature scholars and an thropologists helpful for explori ng the religious dimensions of sustainability advocacy and discourse. I c hose to exercise definitions relying on family resemblances fuzzy sets of attributes that are lo osely related, though they do not share an essential substance or feature. As Benson Sale r put it, To the extentthat we study elements that we regard as especially typical of re ligion in less typical se ttings, we attend to a religious dimension in human life that reaches out beyond religion (2004: 230). Religion scholars should 364 Atran et al. used this phrase to describe the use of lan guage that implies the intentionality and agency of so-called resources, calling into question their standing as unconscious objects to be utilized for human ends (2002: 438439).

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281 be interested in attending to this religious dimension wherever they find it, even (and perhaps especially) if it occurs outside the boundaries of what is consid ered typically religious. Social movements such as sustainability can be productively analyzed with a set of lenses that recognizes the spiritual or metaphysical assumptions that underlie the public expression of values and much political decision making. If sustaina bility is a strategy of cultural adaptation to the dynamic interplay between ecolo gical and social systems that is often tied to religious or spiritual narratives that describe how to fulfill wh at is probably an innate human desire to live meaningfully, then sustainability is necessarily normative, and inex tricably tied to core values, beliefs, and practices. General Summary of Results The prim ary data for the study included twenty targeted interviews w ith high level actors from various sustainability-related movements, as well as more informal interviews with at least two dozen other sustainability a dvocates by telephone, email, or in conference or event settings. I found that among my primary targets, nearly al l respondents attributed their engagement in sustainability-related work ei ther to concern for human rights and equity, or profound experiences with or in nature. In the end, 62% of respondents cited experiences in nature as their primary motivation for their work, while 37% cited th eir awareness of social justice issues. Even higher proportions of my informants either communicated primarily through stories or narratives, or explicitly addressed the im portance of narratives for disseminating new ethical ideals and behaviors (71%), while 88% endorse d the tactical use of religious or spiritual language to form strategic partnerships, and leverage policy decisions. One of the most powerful effects that emerged from the data was the strong connectivity of the network of actors despite the political, ideological and ge ographical boundaries separating them. In other words, although the informants were chosen from diffe rent categories they

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282 demonstrated direct and indirect influences on each other acr oss these boundaries, lending at least some additional support to the idea that metaphors and motivational tropes are exchanged rather freely across sub-populations. Finally, the importance of the term sustainability to the work of these constituencies varied. Among evangelical Christian organizations, th e term was typically used in conversation casually to describe taking a long-term pers pective (a sustainable building, a sustainable program, etc.), or as shorthand for general cultural goals. Most saw creation care as a specifically evangelical movement that shared some ideas and long-term goals with the larger movement toward sustainability, but these res pondents still advocated independence from larger social movements. Among interfaith groups, the term sustainability was somewhat more frequently used, but the primary vehicles of motivational language and imagery remained explicitly religious narratives drawn from specific extant religious beliefs and practices. For these informants sustainability was a term referring to overlap ping and interdependent ecological and social concerns. Among secular groups, reaction was mixed. For Natural Capitalism Solutions, sustainability is more than a slogan or a motto. It is a set of consequences that derive from making decisions based on information that integrat es financial, social and ecological costs and benefits with a groups mission and values. The term acts as the future horizon toward which human, ecological and economic systems are head ed. For NWEI, sustainability is also generally accepted as a personal and cultural goal (NWEI 2007: 10).365 While cautious of the term, NWEI still accepts sustainability as a wi dely used policy goal. Brian Campbell provided 365 The first pages of the Choices for Sustainable Living module, however, make it clear that there are a variety of definitions of sustainability used to support widely divergent sets of practices.

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283 one of the most complex answers about the use of sustainability, and admitted that its use was widespread in NGOs dedicated to both conservati on and development. However, such usages tend to be highly inconsistent, l eading Campbell to believe that in many cases, it served more as an abstract conceptual motivator than a concrete idea (interview 29 July 2008). Discussion of Results First I will highlight some of the common elem ents between these re ligious, interfaith, and secular groups. Second, I will discuss the useful ness of sustainability to my respondents, and speculate about some possible fu tures for the use of the term sustainability in national and international political discourse. I found that the frequency of use and the general importance of the term sustainability increas e along a continuum from religi ous to secular groups, and from grassroots to inte rnational groups. For the most part the informants do not sh are common value sets, a nd by highlighting the commonalities between themes discussed by particul ar actors within these organizations I do not intend to carelessly imply that these commonaliti es are a foundation for a global ethics or a common prescriptive lifestyle (ind eed, most of my informants w ould agree that this would be highly problematic). Rather, I intend to highl ight these commonalities because they help to unpack some of novel contribu tions of this study. Getting out Profound experiences with or in nature were the most frequently cited catalysts for sustainability advocacy. Recall Bingham s epiphany (from Chapter 8) that as she listened to the heartbeat of the Earth, she percei ved that it was alive. Bingham emphasized that her ability to listen to the earth had helped her to love it (and after al l, you protect what you love!). Deb McNamara of NWEI told me that you have to learn how to listen [to nature]if you dont have that relationship with the natural world, I dont know how I can expect so meone to make choices

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284 that have the natural world in mind if theyve never established that connection (interview17 September 2008). Similarly, Cal DeWitt recalle d countless childhood hours spent with snakes, lizards, and other smaller animals, Raymond Ra ndall referred to the Colorado mountains where he grew up, and others cited summer or week end camping trips as formative for their moral sensibilities. As some sustaina bility advocates noted in inform al conversation, the importance of getting out signals a general agreemen t with Richard Louvs well-known Last Child in the Woods (2005), which made the case that experience with and in nature is necessary for a healthy, well-adjusted and environmen tally responsible culture.366 Other informants suggested that empathetic engagement with other people or communities was the most important ingredient for their own moral imaginations. Getting outside ones own perspec tive, attempting to comprehend (not endorse) the deep values and core beliefs of others means that such engagement is, as John Smith put it, on the basis of trust, and lets explore what youre about not telling you what youre about And thats the keyto faith, and recognizing how faith works (interview 29 May 2008). Sustainability, much like faith, requires some amount of trust and vulnerability on the part of i ndividual players, what I have referred to as an ethics of empathetic negotiati on. As Hunter Lovins recalled of her heated discussion with a Pakistani represen tative at a United Nations event, lack of trust (which in many cases is deserved) sullies th e heterarchic relationships th at lay the groundwork for easy technology transfer, positive standard of livi ng increases, and shared fulfillment across the significant political and economic boundaries that determine access to resources. Whether getting out of doors or getting out of ones own skin, such encounters with nature or with the core values of others is important for priming individuals to receive 366 This books arguments bear a strong resemblance to human ecologist Paul Shepards Nature and Madness (1982), which Louv does not cite.

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285 messages related to sustainability. All of my in formants cited either the importance of profound experiences in nature, or a deep concern for the well-being of others (whether other humans, other species, or the entire world or cosmos) as generative of a concern for long-term species survivability, and as a personal motiv ator for their professional lives. Digging deeper into the usefulness of sustainability From the beginning I have argued that sustainability is a heuristic term used to throw light on particular sets of individual or community values. I used the te rm in this study to refer to a manner of engaging ethnic, cultural or ethical others that promotes decision making with an eye to long-term resilience, a nd ties these decisions to ideas about wh at constitutes a fulfilling life. I have found the term useful for analysis because it refers to a set of ideas about how humans engage each other with an eye to broader ecological systems. But more should be said about the usefulness of the term to my informants and their work. Sustainability among secular groups: Among respondents from the secular world, sustainability was envisioned as an amorphous id ea. For instance, Fred Kirschenmann of the Leopold Center is an expert on sustainable agriculture and desc ribed his work primarily through stories about successful agricultural schemes (in te rms of biodiversity in crease, productivity and profitability, and self-sufficiency). For him, sustainability was not a reliable policy goal, but rather a prescriptionlike just icean evolving conceptit doesnt lend itself to definition. Its a journey, and there are always surprises along the way! (interview 24 December 2007; see also Hukkinen 2008: 4). Community organizer Judy Skog told me sh e imagines sustainability in more personal terms, that its mostly about personal choices, and helpin g others see how they can do it [live more sustainably], but acknowledged that there are as many definitions as there are people (interview 3 January 2008).

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286 Ben Campbell of CI suggested that the use of sustainability as a big-picture goal for the international community had been eclipsed by climate change a new threat which was performing the cultural function formerly occupi ed by sustainability: providing a conceptual field within which a host of complexly interconnected issues (social, political, economic, and ecological) could be talked about together, and planned for collectiv ely. Campbell told me that the question of sustaina bility is a hugely open to interpre tation subject.You use sustainability in a U.S. context, its radically different than you would use it from, lets say, in Latin American, African, any developing country co ntext, where natural resources play a much greater role in livelihoods (interview 29 July 2008). According to Campbell, however, global anxiety about climate change has created a c onvergence of concern for social and economic development and ecological sustainability, prompting many conservati on organizations that ha ve historically been reticent to engage faith communitie s to seek out novel partnerships.367 Sustainability among interfaith groups: The respondents and literature from the two interfaith groups tended to use sust ainability as a modifier for part icular practices or goals, to highlight the long-term perspective inherent in particular faith narratives or to tie together common elements between different faith perspec tives. However, in the two cases analyzed here, the term sustainability was not the focal point of activism. For IPL, climate change (not sustainability, much as Palmer and Campbell indicated) functioned as a description of interconnected global so cio-politico-ecologic-eco nomic problems. For ARC, great emphasis was placed on honoring and invigorating existi ng religious narratives, in which case 367 Campbell mused about how slow secular conservation organizations have been to warm to the possibility of potentially powerful partnerships with religious groups. He noted that Worldvision [a Christian NGO] is a $2.1 billion a year organization, with 34,000 employees working in over 100 countries. By that comparison, CIone of the Big Three conservation organizations[with] about 1,000 employees in 40 countriesis a minor player (interview 29 July 2008).

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287 sustainability is a consequence of re-imaging ol d religious narratives an d creatively interpreting them to build peace and resilience today. Martin Palmer of ARC told me that, To a very big extent, sustainable developmen t is a phrase thats of academic interest, primarily. Because I dont hear it being used very much by groups on the ground.For all its inadequacies, and simplicities, it [the idea of sustainable development] did at least put together the tension between sustainability and development, and recognized that it was a tension (interview 27 May 2008). Like Campbell, Palmer believed that the idea of sustainability (and sustainable development) had been eclipsed by other more recent concepts su ch as climate change or the Millennium Development Goals.368 Evangelicals and sustainability: For Raymond Randall, chairperson of Northland Churchs Creation, I Care taskforce, sustainabi lity referred primarily to the business case for sustainability: If you look at climate change, su stainability and creatio n care, the monikers given [to current interconnected crises] by the environmental movement, the business movement, and the church [respectively], the actions take n are largely the same (interview 29 May 2009). Because of their intent to remain morally outs ide the mainstream evangelicals perceive their particular sort of advocacy for sustainability-rel ated goals to be distin ctly different in its motivation from mainstream sustainability, whic h, according to Randall, Hunter, and others is a secular movement that stems in large part from environmentalism and secular humanism.369 As Joel Hunter put it, the phrase creation care came from a desire to separate ourselves, to be 368 He reported, I think sustainable development has been superseded by the Millennium Development Goals, which are in a transition state, half about sustainable de velopment and optimistic, and half, oh no, were going to hell! I do think this [the negative message] drives people away [from engaging in sustainable behaviors] (interview 27 May 2008). 369 Add to it some evangelicals perception that environmenta lism is quasi-religious and often shares affinities with pagan beliefs, and that secular humanism is itself a sort of religion, and it becomes unsurprising that they would not use the term sustainability to describe their manner of combining concern for financial well-being with social justice and ecological integrity. The ev angelical perception that they are so mehow outside of the mainstream culture because of their commitment to Christ, and yet called to exact positive political change through mainstream mechanisms (such as prevailing social and economic structures) begs for more careful investigation.

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288 theologically distinct from secular environmen tal groups, and other religious groups (interview 30 May 2008). Hypotheses for Future Research and the Grow ing Importance of Sustainability If, for the sake of analytical clarity, one classifies sustainability-oriented NGOs on a continuum from explicitly religious on the one end to secular on the other, it becomes clear that the importance of the term sust ainability, and its deployment in more general manifestations increases as one moves from explicitly religious gr oups toward secular organizations. If analysis concentrates instead on the spectrum that runs between grassroots groups and international NGOs, then a similar (and perhaps related) tre nd emerges: frequency of the use of a more generalized understanding of sust ainability increases as one m oves from grassroots toward international level organizations. In summary, th e use and importance of the term sustainability increased as one moved along the continuum from e xplicitly religious (on on e end) to secular (on the other), and from grassr oots to international groups.370 My hypothesis is that as in clusiveness increases (for exam ple in international level groups versus grassroots organizations) there is a greater need for a non-partisan binding agent, an affectively grounded idea or set of me taphors that acts as a common ground for initial conversation. In a significant sense, because it is tied to community and individual values, sustainability sometimes acts as shorthand for a set of value preferences that includes social equity, ecological awareness, and financial well-being. In places where sustainability provides convincing identity markers for people who use the term to reflect particular visions of where society is headed and what values it ought to 370 The importance of the idea of sustainability to the gr assroots organization NWEI may challenge the contention that, in general, grassroots groups are less apt to utilize the term sustainability. They are a secular organization, however, which raises the question of whether the impor tance of sustainability as a cognitive tool in secular organizations is able to overcome a general reticence to deploy such terms to describe local level issues. This is an empirical question.

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289 maximize, it is fulfilling the function of explicitly religious na rrativesa basic companion to human culture. In many cases even secular sustai nability-related NGOs disseminate moral anthropologies, using the rubric of science or social science to frame them within an evolutionary, cosmological hierarc hy, precisely the sort of narrat ive I have described here as religious. The use of the term sustainability was not of central importance to the work of some informants, but because of sustainabilitys wide spread and rapidly increasing use in Western governance structures, higher education institutions, and corporate slogans, I believe that the concern for sustainability as we ll as the use of the term wi ll persist and flourish for the foreseeable future. Although climate change is often us ed as a shorthand way to refer to interconnected social and ecological problems, sustainability is often used as a set of solutions for addressing such interconnected crises. So long, then, as climate change commands public, scientific and governmental atte ntion, and sustainability remain s a malleable an affectivelycharged term that facilitates blending of disparate values, it should persist within various communities and within international political discourse. If I am right, then more careful analyses of what individuals and groups mean when they use the term and more accurate renderings of their professional networks will become increasingly important for generating genuinely open and adaptive democratic processes. Sustainability Scenarios and the Global Resurgence of Religion International relations scholar Scott Thom as has noted that a global resurgence of religion in the past century has emerged both from th e bottom up and from the top down, a parallel development in the developed worl d and in developing countries that is part of a wider, already existing, critique of global modernity, authenticity and development (2005: 44). As alternatives to modernity, authenticity and development, many from the developing and developed world

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290 offer phrases such as sustainability bio-cultural preservation, and sustainable development. Thus, sustainability and its cognat es are genetically related to the global resurgence of religion. According to Thomas, the global resurgence of religi on is often imagined to manifest in various prospects for a new global religion or world theology (2005: 117). In such cases, Thomas offered an alternative view that the brave new wo rld of a global civil so ciety [the global civil religion] is really part of the hegemony of Western modernity (Thomas 2005: 117). Bron Taylor, in contrast, has argued that if such a global religion takes on a green tint, the reverence-for-life values and anti-authorit arian sentiment that surfaces within the environmentalist milieu makes it unlikely that a demo cratic politics based in dark green spiritual sentiment would re-enforce or re-inscribe intolerance or fascis m (1998; 2002; 2009: 195). But does the sustainability milieu, which includes many other constituencies, have such an inherent resistance to the imposition of particular cultu ral viewpoints? I envisi on at least two possible futures for sustainability in national and inte rnational political discou rse and action. Two Possible Sustainability Scenarios Manufacturing sustainability The first possible scenario is that sustaina bility, as a hum an-centered and managementoriented manifestation of an ongoi ng Western cultural project, might continue in some cases to further colonial impulses. Sust ainability has from its incepti on been a human-centered set of movements, owing much to its close association with utilitar ian resource management, business and government sectors and the military industria l complex. World Wars I and II and the Cold War, for example, provided fertile cultural ground for the emergence of new sources of inspiration and experimentation with sustainability-related prac tices (see Chapters 4 through 6 for further discussion). So while sustainability discourse inte grates perceptions and metaphors from alternative and even oppositi onal sub-populations, it is also closely tied to traditional

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291 sources of power and status quo, raising the possibility that the sustai nability narrative may actually work against the ongoing manifestation of dark green religion on the global scaleat least in the short term.371 Within this scenario we might expect an increase in the use of the term sustainability by industrial, government and military actors and a concomitant assessment by these parties that they are the only bodies in a position to be able to engineer sustainability on a societal or cultural scale. In such cases, what sustainability is is manufactured by cultural elites or powers and disseminated through tightly integrated economic and socio-political levers. One of the most telling signals of this scenario would be a continued increase in rh etoric that demands protections for biological and cultural diversity coupled wi th a continuing integration of global economic markets that compromises such preservation. T hus far, removing constr aints on the global flows of capital has reduced biological and cultural diversity, and many doubt th at real bio-cultural preservation can occur in the midst of conti nued economic globalization (Davison 2001; Worster 1993). Cultivating sustainability A second possibility is th at sustainability di scourse may provide an incubation place and smooth transfer point for a gradual increase in the importation of deep green themes into 371 Taylor has suggested that in the very long term it is possible that a terrapolitan earth religion could be grafted onto, and eventually supplant (or make less common) most theistic forms of religion, since such theistic understandings typically have at least some elements that do not resonate with evolutionary theory (2004; 2009: 196-198). Research from demographer James Proctor and religion scholar Evan Berry, however, suggest that even an increase in nature religion may not necessarily cause a decrease in the prevalence of religions grounded in transcendent theism. Their studies have revealed that transcendent sacredness and nonsacredness represent opposing poles on the same underlying psychological factor (for a summary argument see Proctor and Berry 2005 and the suggested further readings). Immanent sacredness, however, is a relatively separate factor: those who believe that nature is inherently sacred thus may or may not (despite possible logical contradictions) ascribe to transcendent sacredness or non-sacredness (2005: 1574). Taylors concept of dark green religion is in many ways parallel to this idea of immanent sacredness, but if Proc tor and Berry are correct then dark green religion may well coexist with transcendently-oriented religious ideation and practice that are decidedly anthropocentric. On the other hand, one might not resonate with immanent sacredness at all, and yet work toward sustainability.

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292 sustainability discourse. If this is the case, we might expect to see an increasing emphasis on shifting perception, worldview, or consciousness as central to sust ainability (some early indications of which I have deta iled here). The may be increas ed attentiveness to the purpose and application of particular technologies, as well as more earnest protections for indigenous peoples and their land tenure and rights to use. One of the most obvious signals that this scenario is manifesting would be some decentra lization of economic activity. Alternatives to current exchange relations are almost always me ntioned as prerequisites for sustainability. Political decentralization is also frequently mentioned. Indeed bior egional and other more localized forms of governance are often suggested as more sustainable political regimes. However, as Kenny and Meadowcroft have argue d, the idea that greater decentralization necessarily leads to greater environmental responsibility is highly questionable both intellectually and practica lly (1999). I suspect, therefore, th at economic decentralization is the more promising and more important piece of th e sustainability puzzle. In such cases, sustainability is a process that develops from the bottom-up, cultivated into a resilient and organic cultural experiment. Only greater epistemological scrutiny and time will tell whether sustainability, as a cultural project, is successful and thus adaptive. But if committed to an evolutionary perspective, then it is necessary to acknowle dge that particular re ligious narratives do not necessarily persist simply because they fit scientific data or bette r integrate evolutionary theory. It is at best debatable whether religion itself is adaptive, alth ough many of the global religions and other traditional forms of religious production extend into the deep past. While new forms of religious production undoubtedly emerge and others die off, t hose that perish may not do so solely on the basis of whether or not they appr oximate an accurate vision of reality. Even if

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293 religious production is part of the complex of ideation and belief that is a factor in natural selection, it is unlikely to be th e lone independent variable that determines fitness within habitats.372 The question is not which re ligiously-tinged stories are correct but which ones work in place. Conclusions and a Look toward the Future I have argued that the rich content of the idea of sustainability is com prised of contributions from a set of loosely connected social movements whose history and strongest contemporary streams cannot be well understood wit hout attending to their re ligious dimensions. Historically, this religious dimension has been an important part of sust ainability discourse. Pragmatically, it has been one of the primary facilitators of communi cation among people with differing value structures. So the first conclusi on to draw is that ther e is a strong religious dimension to nearly all sustainability advocacy, a nd that the mythos derived from the collected stories that sustainability advo cates project into the public sphere is itself religious. Second, the data gathered from my inform ants challenges the contentions of some environmental ethicists that public philosophy sh ould not to include me taphysical speculation and religious commitments (i.e., Light 2002; Norton 2005). On the contrary, in at least some situations broad participation a nd inclusion of core values in public deliberation has generated better outcomes (in terms of in creasing biodiversity, arresting ecological damage, or creating social resilience) (Senge et al. 2008: 225-280; Hukkinen 2008; Willard 2005; Palmer and Finlay 2003; Banathy 1997; Schwartz 1996 [1991]). Ce rtainly the inclusion of such religious 372 See discussion below beginning on p. 289 of this chap ter. There is an extensive literature debating whether religion is in any way adaptive. Darwin was the first to offer a spandrelist explanation for human religiosity after noting that his dog attributed agency to a windblown umbrella (1871 [1981]: 65-69). Others who offer a definition of religion that is not functional in the evolutionary sense include Guthrie (1993), Boyer (2001), Atran (2002) and Dawkins (2006). On the other hand, the most sophisticated approach to explaining religion with a group adaptationist approach is David Sloan Wilsons Darwins Cathedral (2002). For Wilson a religion is a set of socially defined norms that are subject to natural selection, and is thus one of the primary variables determining the survivability of that society.

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294 commitments in the public sphere would require practice and nuance, particularly in a country that guarantees that no religion can be endorsed by the state or rece ive preferential treatment. But if core values are not allowed in the public sp here, it is unfair for public philosophers to expect that the public policies th ey advocate will satisfy the di verse needs of an increasingly complex citizenry over the long term (for discus sion of environmental philosophy as an applied public philosophy see Light and de-Sha lit 2002; Light 2001; Light 2002). Third, it is clear that social movements are adaptable to varying degrees. As many evolutionary psychologists and cogn itive anthropologists have argued, religion may not be adaptivethat is, its pervasiveness and persiste nce in human culture does not prove that it promotes survival (for a good synopsis of those who interpret religion as adaptive and those who reject such understandings see Bulbulia 2004 or Dawkins 2006: 161-207). However, the religious dimension of certain social movements may be one of the features of mass movements that acts as a unit of selection, for it is clea r that even ostensibly secular sustainability movements utilize religious imagery and ideas to do political wor k. Certain social representations that have religious dimensions, such as sustainability, may act as units of cultural selection without reducing selec tion specifically to religion itse lf. We might expect that sustainability, as a movement specifically orient ed toward helping humans survive in habitats over time, will have a better than average chance of persistence. If sustainability indeed grows into a long-term cultural project, it is probable that some of the religi ous imagery, language, and metaphor tied to it will be some of the most successful spiritual tropes over time. This raises questions about the place of studi es that seek to find evidence of environmental consciousness within existing religions, for there is no plausi ble sense in which relig ion as a whole (or any group-level distribution of beliefs ) is a group-level adaptation, lik e a bee-hive (Atran 2005: 55).

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295 Green religions may be helpful starting places for motivating adherents to begin thinking differently about individual be haviors, but green religions themselves are not the answers to adapting to ecological and social problems. Finally, this project provides some qualitative data that uncovers some of the connections between particular leaders of sustainability-related NGOs and the pathways through which they transmit information. One of the limitations of th is study is that it explores small networks. However, the informants are well-connected i ndividuals and they (and in most cases their organizations) are able to access the power node s of global financial, development, and governance networks. The small network analyzed he re is related to seve ral other networks of varying scales, and analysis of these could help provide a better picture of how sustainability networks operate and what strategies generate long-term success. Ultimately I agree with Atran and his co-a uthors when they state that cultural differences in mental models and associated valu es play an important ro le in creating intergroup conflict and, therefore, may hold the key to ad dressing these conflicts (Atran, Medin and Ross 2005: 744). These values and the practices that he lp to encourage their persistence in culture require greater scrutiny if interg roup conflict is to be minimized. We should not be surprised to find sustainability, which is a contemporary term for the now global preoccupation with species persistence, clothed in religious language. For religious language has historically been used to influence imagination, promote specific behavior s within particular social groups, ensure survival, negotiate peace, make war, and use and distribute resources. I suspect that as sustainability grows into the focus for global gov ernance and development efforts as resource shortages, wars, and unexpected environmental disasters cause unprecedented destruction in an increasingly crowded world, it wi ll be ever more important to attend to the religious dimension

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296 of sustainability; if for no other reason, then to promote a more empathetic engagement with cultural, ethnic, and ethical others for the purpose of reducing suffering and increasing quality of life. The interdisciplinary theo retical models and the approach employed here have only begun to explore the myriad ways that sustainability is used, and for what ends. Where the religious dimension of sustainability shapes public disc ourse, focuses community desire and creates and sustains new forms of exchange it behaves in the public sphere as a political religion.

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297 APPENDIX A LIST OF QUESTIONS The following rom an numerals comprise the six general categories where values and ethics appear to be particularly important in the sustainability movement. CATEGORIES: I. Sustainability vs. Sus tainable Development II. Prescriptions for Achieving Sustainability III. Central Normative Content of Sustainability IV. Personal Motivations V. Effectiveness VI. Religious and Spiritual Themes I. Sustainability vs. Sus tainable Development a) What is sustainability, or sustainable development? (W here do these ideas come from? Historically, culturally, geographica lly, what are its tributaries?) b) Do you see any difference between the two terms? c) What do you understand them to mean? d) When did you first hear the term SD or Su stainability? II. Prescriptions for Achieving Sustainability a) Do different stakeholders have differing prescriptions for how to achieve sustainability? b) What are the priorities of these different stakeholders (i.e., energy efficiency, voluntary simplicity, systems thinking, green building, ur ban planning, social equity, etc.)? c) Who are the experts whose advi ce we should follow to chart the most sustainable course (are they scientists, economists, poets, etc.)? d) What fields of study or profe ssions are most crucial to achieving a sustainable culture (economics, politics, science, education, etc.)? III. Central Normative Content of Sustainability a) Have these central va lues changed over time? b) If so, how? d) Have the religious themes in sustainabil ity discourse influenced these changing values? d) Do you other ideas about why these values have changed? IV. Personal Motivations a) What were your own primary motiva tions for getting into such work? b) To what in your own life to you trace th e emergence of an awareness of whatever principles you take to be central to the quest for sustainability? c) Some people think their religious or spiritual beliefs are im portant to their nature-related values and practices. Do you? d) What is your specific niche in the movement? V. Effectiveness a) In your opinion, how effective have sustainab ility initiatives been at promoting sustainable outcomes?

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298 b) Do you think this will change in the future? VI. Religious and Spiritual Themes a) Are you aware of any religious or spiritual themes in sustai nability discourse? If so, characterize them. b) Has this tendency to evoke religious or sp iritual themes changed (i ncreased or decreased) over time? Do you think these trends will continue? c) Do you consider yourse lf to be religious?

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299 APPENDIX B LIST OF INTERVIEWS Jim Ball, telephone interview, EEN, Washington, DC (10 September 2008) Sally Bingham, interview, Interfaith Power and Light, San Francisco, CA (8 July 2008) Ben Campbell, telephone interview, Conservation International, Washington, DC (29 July 2008) D.D., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (8 November 2005) Daniella Dennenberg, telephone interview, NWEI, Portland, OR (17 October 2008) Calvin DeWitt, interview, Deja Br ew, Gainesville, FL (8 April 2008) D. H., University of Florida, Ga inesville, FL (15 November 2005) Joel Hunter, interview, Northla nd Church, Longwood, FL (31 May 2008) Nancy Johnston, telephone interview, NatCap Solutions, Steamboat, CO (6 August 2008) Fazlun Khalid, interview, IFEES, Bals aal Heath, Birmingham, UK (29 May 2008) Fred Kirschenmann, telephone interview, Le opold Center, Ames, IA (24 December 2007) Hunter Lovins, telephone inte rview, NatCap Solutions, St eamboat, CO (6 August 2008) Alexei Laushkin, telephone intervie w, EEN, Washington, DC (13 May 2008) A.K., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (9 November 2005) Deborah McNamara, telephone interview, NWEI, Portland, OR (17 September 2008) Bryan Norton, telephone interview, Georgia Tech, GA (3 January 2008) A.N., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (15 November 2005) N.P., Commerce Building, Gainesville, FL (1 December 2005) Martin Palmer, interview, Church Farm Cottage, Bath, UK (27 May 2008) Raymond Randall, interview, Northla nd Church, Longwood, FL (30 March 2008) J.S., Commerce Building, Gainesville, FL (2 November 2005) Judy Skog, telephone interview, Madison, WI (31 January 2008) John Smith, interview, pub, Liverpool, UK (29 May 2008) Bill Bradlee, telephone interview, Interf aith Power and Light, CA (October 2008) Julie Van Domelen, telephone interview, Loveland, CO (November 2007) Mary Evelyn Tucker, telephone interview, Yale University, CT (12 March 2009) Conferences and events for informal inte rviews and participant observation: Let There Be Light, Creation Care Conference, sponsored by Northland Church and the EEN, Longwood, FL (21 February 2008) Serve to Preserve: Florida Summit on Climate Ch ange, sponsored by Governor Charlie Christ, Miami, FL (24-25 July 2008) Working Together for Sustaina bility On Campus and Beyond, AASHE Conference, Raleigh, NC (9-11 November 2008)

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300 LIST OF REFERENCES Anielski, Mark. The Economics of Happiness G abriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2007. Appadurai, Arjun. 2003. Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy, in Jana Braziel and Anita Mannur (eds.) Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 23-48. Armstrong, Karen. 2007. The Great Transformation: The Be ginning of Our Religious Traditions. New York: Anchor Books. Asad,Talal. 1993. Genealogies of Religion: Disciplines and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Atran, Scott, Douglas L. Medin and Norbert O. Ross. 2005. The Cultural Mind: Environmental Decision Making and Cultural Modeling Within and Across Populations. Psychological Review Vol. 112, No. 4: 744-776. Atran, Scott, Douglas Medin, Norbert Ross, E lizabeth Lynch, Valentina Vapnarsky, Edilberto Ucan Ek, John Coley, Christopher Timura, and Michael Baran. 2002. Folkecology, Cultural Epidemiology, and the Spirit of the Commons: A Garden Experiment in the Maya Lowlands, 1991-2001. Current Anthropology Vol. 43, No. 3 (June): 421-450. Baker, Susan. 2006. Sustainable Development. London: Routledge. Banathy, Bela H. 1997. Designing Social Systems in a Changing World: A Journey to Create our Future. Systemist 19 (3): 187-216). Barnhill, David Landis. 2002. A n Interwoven World: Gary Snyders Cultural Ecosystem. Worldviews (6) 2: 111-144. Barr, Julianna. 2004. A Diplomacy of Gender: Ritu als of First Contact in the Land of Tejas in The William and Mary Quarterly (61) 3: 393-434. Bekoff, Mark. The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow and Empathy--and Why they Matter. Novato: New World Library, 2007. Bellah, Robert. 1970. Beyond Belief: Essays on Re ligion in a Post-Traditional World. New York: Harper and Row. Benford, Robert D., and David A. Snow. 2000. F raming Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment. Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 26: 611-639. Benthall, Johnathan. 2008. Returning to Religion: Why a Se cular Age is Haunted by Faith. London: I.B. Tauris.

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301 Benthall, Johnathan. 2006. Archeology a nd Anthropology as Religiod Movements. Anthropology Today 22, (5): 1-2. Berkes, Fikret,Carl Folk e and Johan Colding. 1998. Linking Social and Ecological Systems: Management Practices and Social M echanisms for Building Resilience Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Berkes, Fikret. 2008 [1999]. Sacred Ecology [2nd ed.]. New York: Routledge. Berkes, Fikret. 1999. Sacred ecology : Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis. Berry, Evan. 2009. Nature Religion and the Prob lem of Authenticity, presented at the Inherited Land Colloquium Florida International University (28 February 2009). Berry, Thomas Mary. 1988. The Dream of the Earth San Francisco, Calif.: Sierra Club Books. Bohm, David. 2002 (1980). Wholeness and the Implicate Order London: Routledge. Bookchin, Murray. 1987. Social Ec ology versus Deep Ecology. Green Perspectives 4-5. Borg, Marcus. 1994. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. New York: Harper Collins. Boyer, Pascal. 2001. Religion Explained: The Evoluti onary Origins of Religious Thought. New York: Basic Books. Brower, David and Steve Chappel. 1995. Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run New York: Harper Collins. Bruhenn, Herbert. 1997. "Ecological Appr oaches to the Study of Religion." Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 9, (2): 111-26. Buck, Susan J. 2004. No Tragedy of the Commons in Ken Conca and Geoffrey D. Dabelko (eds.) Green Planet Blues Boulder: Westview Press. Bulbulia, Joseph. 2004. The Cognitive and Evolutionary Psychology of Religion. Biology and Philosophy. 19: 655-686. Callicott, J. Baird. 1994. Earth's Insights: A Multicultural Survey of Ecological Ethics from the Mediterranean Basin to the Australian Outback Berkeley: University of California Press. Campbell, Colin. 2002. The Cult, the Cultic Milieu and Secularization in Jeffrey Kaplan and Helene Loow (eds.) The Cultic Milieu: Oppositional Subcultures in an Age of Globalization Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira, pp. 12-25.

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320 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Lucas F. Johnston holds an undergraduate de gree in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley) focusing on environmental ethics and philosophy of scien ce. Most recently, Mr. Johnston completed the Graduate Environmental Ethics Program at the University of Ge orgia, focusing on environmental dispute resolution. Mr. Johnston is currently the Associate Director of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture and the Assistant / Managing Editor for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture