A new perspective on religions and the environment emerges from this collection. The authors, a diverse group of indigenous and non-native scholars and environmental activists, address compelling and urgent questions facing indigenous communities as they struggle with threats to their own sovereignty, increased market and media globalization, and the conservation of endangered bioregions. Drawing attention to the pressures threatening indigenous peoples and ways of life, this volume describes modes of resistance and regeneration by which communities maintain a spiritual balance with larger cosmological forces while creatively accommodating current environmental, social, economic, and political changes.
Contributors to the present volume offer myriad examples that demonstrate ways in which the ancient cosmologies of indigenous traditions are understood as a totality of belief, imagination, and sustainable practices describing a community's relationship to the land. There are in indigenous lifeways no sheltered and isolating constructs that separate religion from nature. Some essays explore the implications of this intimate knowing of one's place for policy makers and activists of the world. Several writers pose liberative" ecological strategies grounded in indigenous epistemologies. Recommended."
- L. De Danaan, Choice
"Confronting readers with the awful human and ecological costs borne by indigenous peoples in an age of globalization, this book also celebrates ecological ethnicities and their creative forms of resistance. If you live on this planet, you need to read this book. If you love this planet, you will want to."
- Joel Martin, University of California, Riverside
"The pressures on indigenous lands and traditions and the commodification of indigenous lands by corporate and government powers are important issues addressed in this volume. The book contains excellent discussions of the continuing exploitation of indigenous peoples in terms of environmental racism as exemplified by the proposed disposal of nuclear wastes on indigenous reservations. It covers ecological, religious, and political issues in a striking way. Brilliant and exemplary!"
- David Kinsley, McMaster University
"The articles found in this volume are articulate in laying out the underlying contestations that are threatening the very existence of indigenous people the world over. They reveal how deep and difficult the struggle for a sustainable way of life is among indigenous peoples of the world. The exploitation of resources, the denial of the legitimacy of indigenous religious worldviews, political marginalization, and the struggle of indigenous peoples to find their voice and cooperative empowerment are all themes central to this volume."
- Lee Irwin, College of Charleston
Preface Lawrence F. Sullivan
Series Foreword Mary Evelyn Tucker and John A. Grim
Introduction John A. Grim
Prologue Richard Nelson
Maps of Indigenous Peoples
- Intellectual Property Rights and the Sacred Balance: Some Spiritual Consequences from the Commercialization of Traditional Resources Darrell Addison Posey
- Contextualizing the Environmental Struggle Tom Greaves
- In the Eye of the Storm: Tribal Peoples of India Pradip Prabhu
- Shoot the Horse to Get the Rider: Religion and Forest Politics in Bentian Borneo Stephanie Fried
- Nature and Culture: Problematic Concepts for Native Americans Jack D. Forbes
- Local Knowledges, Global Claims: On the Significance of Indigenous Ecologies in Sarawak, East Malaysia J. Peter Brosius
- Is Indigenous Spiritual Ecology Just a New Fad? Reflections on the Historical and Spiritual Ecology of Hawai'i Leslie E. Sponsel
- The Road to Heaven: Jakaltek Maya Beliefs, Religion, and the Ecology Victor D. Montejo
- Tapu, Mana, Mauri, Hau, Wairua: A Maori Philosophy of Vitalism and Cosmos Manuka Henare
- The Sacred Egg: Worldview, Ecology, and Development in West Africa Ogbu U. Kalu
- Melanesian Religion, Ecology, and Modernization in Papua New Guinea Simeon B. Namunu
- Interface between Traditional Religion and Ecology among the Igorots Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
- Religion, Ritual, and Agriculture among the Present-Day Nahua of Mesoamerica Javier Galicia Silva
- The Life and Bounty of the Mesoamerican Sacred Mountain Maria Elena Bernal-Garcia
- Calabash Trees and Cacti in the Indigenous Ritual Selection of Environments for Settlement in Colonial Mesoamerica Angel Julian Garcia Zambrano
- Warao Spiritual Ecology Werner Wilbert
Resistance and Regeneration
- Hunting, Nature, and Metaphor: Political and Discursive Strategies in James Bay Cree Resistance and Autonomy Harvey A. Feit
- Sovereignty and Swaraj: Adivasi Encounters with Modernity and Majority Smitu Kothari
- Respecting the Land: Religion, Reconciliation, and Romance--An Australian Story Diane Bell
- Kumarangk: The Survival of a Battered People Tom Trevorrow and Ellen Trevorrow
- Contemporary Native American Responses to Environmental Threats in Indian Country Tirso A. Gonzales and Melissa K. Nelson
- A Guest on the Table: Ecology from the Yup'ik Eskimo Point of View Ann Fienup-Riordan
- Learning from Ecological Ethnicities: Toward a Plural Political Ecology of Knowledge Pramod Parajuli
- Changing Habits, Changing Habitats: Melanesian Environmental Knowledge Mary N. MacDonald
- Indigenous Education and Ecology: Perspectives of an American Indian Educator Gregory Cajete
- Andean Cosmovision and the Nurturing of Biodiversity Julio Valladolid and Frederique Apffel-Marglin
Notes on Contributors
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John A. Grim is Senior Lecturer, Yale Divinity School.