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A Greener FaithReligious Environmentalism and Our Planet's Future$
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Roger S. Gottlieb

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195176483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195176483.001.0001

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Environmentalism as Spirituality

Environmentalism as Spirituality

(p.147) Chapter 5 Environmentalism as Spirituality
A Greener Faith

Roger S. Gottlieb

Oxford University Press

This chapter proves that environmentalism bears remarkable and crucially important affinities with religion and has, at least a “spiritual” dimension, compared to other progressive political movements of the past two centuries. Environmentalists do not confine themselves to private gestures, no matter how meaningful. They are environmentalists not just because of what they feel, or do in their personal lives, but also because of what they manifest in the realm of public action. The spiritual dimension of environmentalism offers us a fresh choice in solving the crisis. No society can function without some comprehensive framework of values. Every time we apply (or fail to apply) the Endangered Species Act, or choose between energy efficiency and more oil drilling (no matter where, or with what effects), we are expressing a sense of what is important to us, how we ought to live, and what we regard with reverence.

Keywords:   environmentalism, spiritual dimension, progressive political movements, values, reverence

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