A Theology for Ecomodernism
What Is the Nature We Seek to Save?
1. George P. Marsh, Man and Nature; or Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action (New York: Scribner, 1864), available at: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/consrvbib:@FIELD(NUMBER(vg07)). See, for example, Richard Gallagher and Betsy Carpenter, eds. “Human-Dominated Ecosystems.” Special issue, Science 277, no. 5325 (1997).
2. William Cronon, “The trouble with wilderness: or, getting back to the wrong nature.” Environmental History (1996): 7–28.
3. See, for example, Fred Pearce, The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2015).
4. Charles C. Mann, 1491 (New York: Knopf Doubleday, 2006).
5. David Western, “Human-modified ecosystems and future evolution,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98, no. 10 (2001): 5458–5465.
6. Emma Marris, Rambunctious garden: saving nature in a post-wild world. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2013. Erle C. Ellis and Navin Ramankutty, “Putting people in the map: anthropogenic biomes of the world.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 6, no. 8 (2008): 439–447.
7. Mark Davis, et al., “Don’t judge species on their origins,” Nature 474, no. 7350 (2011), 153–154.
8. Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, “The Death of Environmentalism,” The Breakthrough, 2004, available at: http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/the_death_of_environmentalism.
9. John Asafu Adjaye, et al., An Ecomodernist Manifesto, April 14, 2015, available at: http://www.ecomodernism.org/.
10. Bill McKibben, The End of Nature (New York: Anchor, 1989), 65.
11. Henry D. Thoreau, “January 5, 1856,” in The Journal: 1837-1861, Volume 20, available at: http://thoreau.library.ucsb.edu/writings_journals.html.
12. William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (New York: Random House, 1994). First published 1902 by Longmans, Green & Co. Quotations at pp. 61, 552.
13. Bill McKibben, “Climate Change and the Unraveling of Creation,” The Christian Century, December 1999, available at: http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2011-07/climate-change-and-unraveling-creation.
14. Willis Jenkins, Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). Quotation at p. 9.
15. Thomas R. Dunlap, “Environmentalism, a Secular Faith,” Environmental Values 15, no. 3 (2006): 321–330. Quotation at p. 325.
16. Max Oelschlaeger, Caring for Creation: An Ecumenical Approach to the Environmental Crisis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996).
17. John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra, Vol. 2 of The Writings of John Muir (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916), available at: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32540/32540-h/32540-h.htm.
18. Frederick Turner, Spirit of Place: The Making of an American Landscape (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1989). Quotation at p. 12.
19. John T. McNeill, ed. Calvin: Institutes of the Christian religion (Westminster John Knox Press, 1960.) Book I, Section 5.1. For discussion see Susan E. Schreiner, The theater of his glory: nature and the natural order in the thought of John Calvin (Labyrinth Press, 1991).
20. Raymond Williams, “Ideas of Nature,” in Culture and Materialism: Selected Essays (London: Verso, 2005). Quotation at pp. 69–70.
21. Robert H. Nelson, “Calvinism Without God: American Environmentalism as Implicit Calvinism,” Implicit Religion 17, no. 3 (2014): 249–273. Quotation at p. 250.
22. H. Paul Santmire, Nature Reborn: The Ecological and Cosmic Promise of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000).
23. Robert H. Nelson. Op. cit.
24. Anton C. Pegis, Basic Writings of Thomas Aquinas: Volume 1 (New York: Hackett Publishing Company, 1997), p. 459.
25. According to H. Paul Santmire, Augustine holds that “most creatures –– excepting humankind and some angels –– have not fallen. The world of nature, then, can have its own proper history with God as part of the milieu of creation history, without reference to election and the redemption history of the City of God….” H. Paul Santmire, The Travail of Nature (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000), 71–72.
26. Augustine, The City of God, trans. John Healey (New York: Dutton, 1931), 11.22.
27. John Cobb and Herman Daly, For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future (Boston: Beacon, 1989), 384.
28. William Cronon, “The trouble with wilderness: or, getting back to the wrong nature.” Environmental History (1996): 7–28. Quotation at pp. 15–16.
29. Lampe, Geoffrey William Hugo, “The New Testament Doctrine of Ktisis.” Scottish Journal of Theology 17, no. 04 (1964): 449–462.
30. See discussion of the “consensus view” described by Santmire below.
31. Harry Hahne, The Corruption and Redemption of Creation: Nature in Romans 8.19-22 and Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (New York: Bloomsbury, 2006).
32. Lynn White, Jr., “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” Science 155, no. 3767 (1967): 1203–1207.
33. Lauren Kearns, “The Context of Eco-theology,” in The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology, ed. Gareth Jones (New York: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 270.
34. G. A. De Leo and S. Levin, 1997. “The Multifaceted Aspects of Ecosystem Integrity.” Conservation Ecology, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 3. At http://www.consecol.org/vol1/iss1/art3/.
35. Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Volume 1 (Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 1-5), ed. Jaroslav Pelikan. (St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1958), 20.
36. Nicole Roskos, “Christian Theology and the Fall,” in Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, Volume I: A-J, ed. Bron Taylor (London: Continuum, 2005), 312.
37. Calvin B. DeWitt, A Sustainable Earth: Religion and Ecology in the Western Hemisphere (Mancelona, MI: Au Sable Institute, 1997); Dieter T. Hessel and Radford Ruether, eds. Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000).
38. H. Paul Santmire, The Travail of Nature (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000), 175–76. Italics in original.
39. William French, “With radical amazement: ecology and the recovery of creation,” in David Albertson and Cabell King, eds. Without Nature? A New Condition for Theology, 54–79 (New York: Fordham University Press, 2009). Quotation at p. 62.
40. Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation, trans. Canidad Inda and John Eagleson (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1973), 174.
41. William French, “With radical amazement: ecology and the recovery of creation.” Op. cit. Quotation at p. 62.
42. Nicole Roskos, “Christian Theology and the Fall,” in Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, Volume I: A-J, ed. Bron Taylor (London: Continuum, 2005), 312.
43. Laurel Kearns, “Noah’s ark goes to Washington: a profile of evangelical environmentalism,” Social Compass 44, no. 3 (1997): 349–366.
44. Richard H. Grove, Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600–1860 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
45. William Cronon, op. cit. 15–16.
46. Thomas R. Dunlap, “Environmentalism, a Secular Faith,” Environmental Values 15, no. 3 (2006): 321–330. Quotation at p. 324.
47. According to this view, man and evolution (natural selection) are the two “global controllers” of the living world. Artificial selection is therefore unnatural. “Natural selection is the prototypical example of the autonomous process… Artificial selection is not; it is not autonomous because it relies on a global controller.” Simon A. Levin, 1998, “Ecosystems and the biosphere as complex adaptive systems.” Ecosystems 1, no. 5: 431–436. Quotation at p. 432.
48. E. P. Odum described “a basic conflict between the strategies of man and of nature.” E. P. Odum, 1969, “The strategy of ecosystem development science.” Science (New Series) 164 (3877) (Apr. 18), 262–270. Quotation at p. 266.
49. Paul Robbins and Sarah A. Moore, “Ecological Anxiety Disorder: Diagnosing the Politics of the Anthropocene,” Cultural Geographies 20, no. 1 (2013), 3–19.
50. Ibid., p. 4.
51. Thomas Dunlap, “Environmentalism: A Secular Faith.” Environmental Values, Vol. 15, No. 3, Perspectives on Environmental Values: The Princeton Workshop (August 2006), 321–330. Quotation at p. 322.
52. Cabell King, “In the World: Henri Lefebvre and the Liturgical Production of Natural Space,” in Without Nature? eds. David Albertson and Cabell King (New York: Fordham University Press, 2010), 85.
53. Thomas R. Dunlap, “Environmentalism, a Secular Faith,” Environmental Values 15, no. 3 (2006): 321–330. Quotation at p. 322.
54. Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Bob Lalasz, “Conservation in the Anthropocene,” Breakthrough Journal 2 (2011): 26–36.
55. John Stuart Mill, Nature, The Utility of Religion, and Theism (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1874). Mill’s “Essay on Nature” is available at: https://archive.org/details/a592828200milluoft. Quotation at p. 5 of the standard 1874 edition.
56. In the 1874 edition, p. 7.
57. The conclusion to the Critique of Practical Reason (1788).
58. Peter Kareiva, et al., eds. Natural Capital: Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
59. For criticisms of the “ecosystem services” approach, see, e.g., Mark Sagoff, “On the Value of Natural Ecosystems: The Catskills Parable,” Politics and the Life Sciences 22, no. 1 (2002), 16–21; Mark Sagoff, “The Quantification and Valuation of Ecosystem Services,” Ecological Economics 70, no. 3 (2011): 497–502.
60. Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Bob Lalasz, “Conservation in the Anthropocene,” Breakthrough Journal 2 (2011): 26–36.
61. Friedrich A. Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” American Economic Review, XXXV, no. 4 (1945), 519–530.
63. Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier, “Conservation for the People,” Scientific American 297, no. 4 (2007), 50–57.
64. Michelle Marvier and Peter Kareiva, “The evidence and values underlying ‘new conservation,’” Trends in Ecology and Evolution 29, no. 3 (2014): 131–132.
65. “That which is related to general human inclination and needs has a market price… But that which constitutes… an end in itself does not have a mere relative worth, i.e., a price, but an intrinsic worth, i.e., a dignity.” Immanuel Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, trans. Lewis White Beck, ed. Robert Paul Wolff (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1959), 53. Emphasis in original.
66. Alan Gussow, A Sense of Place (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997), 27.
67. Clifford Geertz, “Afterword,” in Senses of Place, eds. Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press,1996), 261.
68. Geertz, 260.
69. Willis Jenkins, Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 49.
70. Steven Vogel, Against Nature: The Concept of Nature in Critical Theory (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996). Quotation at p. 189.
71. Rosemary Radford Reuther, New Woman, New Earth (New York: Seabury Press, 1975), 83.
72. Helen MacDonald, in her recent book H is for Hawk (Grove Press 2015), comments that the goshawk, once plentiful in Great Britain, had gone extinct there in the late 19th century owing to hunting pressure and habitat loss. In the 1960s and '70s, a group of falconers successfully reintroduced several pairs from the continent. MacDonald has written (p. 8), "Today their descendents number around four hundred and fifty pairs.... There existence gives the lie to the thought that the wild is always something untouched by human hearts and hands. The wild can be human work."