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The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History$
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Paul Harvey and Edward Blum

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231140201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231140201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Religion and the Environment

Religion and the Environment

(p.280) 14. Religion and the Environment
The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History

Lynn Ross-Bryant

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the role played by the “environment” in shaping American religion and culture. It organizes the story of religion and the environment in the study of religions in the United States around two foci, which often overlap and which build on the current trend in the study of religion of acknowledging the importance of “place”—an element largely ignored by “word”-oriented religions—and scholars. It begins with a review of studies emphasizing the “Americanness” of the environment and the role that “nature” has played in Americans' cultural and religious identity. It then considers studies that result from religions responding to the environmental movement, which generally yields a more global perspective and puts religious studies scholars in dialogue with scientists, environmental historians, and political scientists. It also explores how the lines between scholarship and advocacy should or should not be drawn, since most scholars working in the area of environmentalism and religion want to discuss solutions to our “environmental crisis”.

Keywords:   American religion, American culture, place, Americanness, nature, religious identity, environmental movement, environmentalism, environmental crisis

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