Branches of the Deep Ecology Tree: Nature Religion: Reuniting religion and nature

Nature religionists perceive nature as both sacred and interconnected. By “sacred”, we mean that nature has intrinsic value apart from its utility as a resource for human beings. By “interconnected”, we mean that our very being is determined by our ecology, by the material and cultural environment which we share with all other living beings. We are immersed in a web of life which is our true community. [Read more...]

Branches of the Deep Ecology Tree: Ecofeminism: Reuniting the masculine and nature

Ecofeminism is a part of the broader feminist spirituality movement, which emerged with “second-wave feminism” in the late 1960s and early 1970s, as some consciousness-raising groups developed into feminist spirituality groups. What ecofeminism adds to this discussion is the idea that the oppression of women and the abuse of the environment are related phenomena, both arising from patriarchal power structures of hierarchy and domination. [Read more...]

Branches of the Deep Ecology Tree: Ecopsychology: Reuniting mind and nature

Much of modern psychology assumes a divide between inner reality (mind) and outer reality (nature). The central problem of ecopsychology is to overcome this divide. The human mind does not stand wholly apart from the natural world, but is deeply rooted in and intertwined with it. Ecopsychology sees the human psyche as a phenomenon of nature, an aspect of the larger “psyche” of nature or “soul of the world” (anima mundi). By ignoring this relationship between the mind and nature, modern psychology helps to perpetuate the Western industrial world’s destructive state of estrangement from its Earth home, which has disastrous consequences for both our psyches and for the environment. Ecopsychologists maintain that the pursuit of mental and emotional well-being, on the one hand, and environmental health, on the other, are closely intertwined tasks — indeed, they are inseparable. [Read more...]

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Neo-Pagans, “The Dirt Worshippers”

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The history of Neo-Paganism is part of a larger history of nature religion in the West, beginning with the American Transcendentalists, conservationists like John Muir, and early environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson, all of whom appreciated a religious dimension to our relationship with the environment. [Read more...]

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Rachel Carson, “A cry in the wilderness that changed the world”

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Rachel Carson: “We still haven’t become mature enough to think of ourselves as only a very tiny part of a vast and incredible universe. Now I truly believe that we in this generation must come to terms with nature, and I think we’re challenged, as mankind has never been challenged before, to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature but of ourselves.” [Read more...]

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Aldo Leopold, “Thinking Like a Mountain”

“The land is one organism. … The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio,” wrote Aldo Leopold, “but rather the complexity of the land organism.” [Read more...]


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