Understanding Climate Change through Religious Lifeworlds
Published by: Indiana University Press
How can religion help to understand and contend with the challenges of climate change?
Understanding Climate Change through Religious Lifeworld, edited by David Haberman, presents a unique collection of essays that detail how the effects of human-related climate change are actively reshaping religious ideas and practices, even as religious groups and communities endeavor to bring their traditions to bear on mounting climate challenges.
People of faith from the low-lying islands of the South Pacific to the glacial regions of the Himalayas are influencing how their communities understand earthly problems and develop meaningful responses to them. This collection focuses on a variety of different aspects of this critical interaction, including the role of religion in ongoing debates about climate change, religious sources of environmental knowledge and how this knowledge informs community responses to climate change, and the ways that climate change is in turn driving religious change.
Understanding Climate Change through Religious Lifeworlds offers a transnational view of how religion reconciles the concepts of the global and the local and influences the challenges of climate change.
Introduction: Multiple Perspectives on an Increasingly Uncertain World
1. Climate Change Never Travels Alone
2. Climate Change, Moral Meteorology and Local Measures at Quyllurit'i, a High Andean Shrine
3. Religious Explanations for Coastal Erosion in Narikoso, Fiji
4. "Nature Can Heal Itself"
5. Maya Cosmology and Contesting Climate Change in Mesoamerica
6. Anthropogenic Climate Change, Anxiety, and the Sacred
Loss, Anxiety, and Doubt
7. The Vanishing of Father White Glacier
8. Loss and Recovery in the Himalayas
9. Angry Gods and Raging Rivers
10. Recasting the Sacred
Conclusion: Religion and Climate Change
List of Contributors
These ethnographies each offer a wealth of information on particular religious encounters with a changing climate, and collecting them here makes clear the complexity and importance of comparative work on religion and climate change. Anyone who wants to understand the ways people are making spiritual and moral sense of climate change should read this book.~Kevin J. O'Brien, Pacific Lutheran University, author of The Violence of Climate Change
These ethnographically rich case studies located in the Global South show with sensitivity and insight what it means to worship and believe at the forefront of the climate crisis. Through careful attention to local religious worlds in the Andes, Oceania, the Himalaya and beyond, this ground-breaking book makes clear that other dimensions in addition to science, such as the mythological, ritual, and emotional, must be included in negotiations and initiatives around climate change.~Sarah M. Pike, author of For the Wild: Ritual and Commitment in Radical Eco-Activism
This tour de force surveys the ethnography of the low and the high, specifically, Pacific Islands threatened with submersion and degraded beaches and coral reefs, and the very high glaciers of the Andes and the Himalayas under threat of a total meltdown. With methodological acuity, this august assemblage of anthropologists and religious studies scholars narrate how local inhabitants in ten very different places seek to make sense of a world increasingly troubled by anthropogenic climate change.~Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology, Loyola Marymount University
This informative book moves the field of religion and ecology in significant ways into dialogue with climate studies around the world. What the contributors present here is local knowledge that has global implications for our shared planetary future. Original, readable, and engaging, we trust it will be read widely!~John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Co-directors, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
Religions evolve but can they incorporate scientific understandings of climate change and promote effective responses to it? This volume adds important clues to this and other important questions about the relationships between religions, human behaviors, and environmental systems.~Bron Taylor, author of Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future & editor of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature.
This anthology will be valuable for scholars interested in religion, climate communication, and Indigenous cultures. The book, or selected chapters from it, would be appropriate for upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in anthropology, area studies, environmental studies, and religion.~Cybelle Shattuck - Western Michigan University, H-Environment
Read chapter 6 online for free here.