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The Agrarian Vision

Author: Paul B. Thompson
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813125871
Size: 14.61 MB
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As industry and technology proliferate in modern society, sustainability has jumped to the forefront of contemporary political and environmental discussions. The balance between progress and the earth's ability to provide for its inhabitants grows increasingly precarious as we attempt to achieve sustainable development. In The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics, Paul B. Thompson articulates a new agrarian philosophy, emphasizing the vital role of agrarianism in modern agricultural practices. Thompson, a highly regarded voice in environmental philosophy, unites concepts of agrarian philosophy, political theory, and environmental ethics to illustrate the importance of creating and maintaining environmentally conscious communities. Thompson describes the evolution of agrarian values in America, following the path blazed by Thomas Jefferson, John Steinbeck, and Wendell Berry. Providing a pragmatic approach to ecological responsibility and commitment, The Agrarian Vision is a significant, compelling argument for the practice of a reconfigured and expanded agrarianism in our efforts to support modern industrialized culture while also preserving the natural world.

The Spirit Of The Soil

Author: Paul B. Thompson
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317196872
Size: 54.92 MB
Format: PDF
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In this second edition of The Spirit of the Soil: Agriculture and Environmental Ethics, Paul B. Thompson reviews four worldviews that shape competing visions for agriculture. Productionists have sought increasing yields—to make two seeds grow where only one grew before—while traditional visions of good farming have stressed stewardship. These traditional visions have been challenged by two more worldviews: a call for a total cost accounting for farming and an advocacy for a holistic perspective. Thompson argues that an environmentally defensible systems approach must draw upon all four worldviews, recognizing their flaws and synthesizing their strengths in a new vision of sustainable agriculture. This classic 1995 study has been thoroughly revised and significantly expanded in its second edition with up-to-date examples of agriculture’s impact on the environment. These include extensive discussions of new pesticides and the effects of animal agriculture on climate and other areas of the environment. In addition, a new final chapter discusses sustainability, which has become a dominant idea within environmental studies and agrarian political philosophy.

Restored To Earth

Author: Gretel Van Wieren
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1589016831
Size: 38.80 MB
Format: PDF
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Ecological restoration integrates the science and art of repairing ecosystems damaged by human activities. Despite relatively little attention from environmental ethicists, restoration projects continue to gain significance, drawing on citizen volunteers and large amounts of public funds, providing an important model of responding to ecological crisis. Projects range from the massive, multi-billion dollar Kissimmee River project; restoring 25,000 acres of Everglades' wetlands; to the $30 million effort to restore selected wetlands in industrial Brownfield sites in Chicago's south side Lake Calumet area; to the reintroduction of tall grass prairie ecosystems in various communities in the Midwest. Restored to Earth provides the first comprehensive examination of the religious and ethical dimensions and significance of contemporary restoration practice, an ethical framework that advances the field of environmental ethics in a more positive, action-oriented, experience-based direction. Van Wieren brings together insights and examples from restoration ecology, environmental ethics, religious studies, and conservation and Christian thought, as well as her own personal experiences in ecological restoration, to propose a new restoration ethic grounded in the concrete, hands-on experience of humans working as partners with the land.

Religious Agrarianism And The Return Of Place

Author: Todd LeVasseur
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438467745
Size: 19.61 MB
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Examines religious communities as advocates of environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture practices. Writing at the interface of religion and nature theory, US religious history, and environmental ethics, Todd LeVasseur presents the case for the emergence of a nascent “religious agrarianism” within certain subsets of Judaism and Christianity in the United States. Adherents of this movement, who share an environmental concern about the modern industrial food economy and a religiously grounded commitment to the values of locality, health, and justice, are creating new models for sustainable agrarian lifeways and practices. LeVasseur explores this greening of US religion through an extensive engagement with the scholarly literature on lived religion, network theory, and grounded theory, as well as through ethnographic case studies of two intentional communities at the vanguard of this movement: Koinonia Farm, an ecumenical Christian lay monastic community, and Hazon, a progressive Jewish environmental group. “The blend of empirical sociology and philosophical/religious ethics is impressive. I found the book not only interesting but valuable for my own scholarship.” — Paul B. Thompson, author of The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics

Ents Elves And Eriador

Author: Matthew T. Dickerson
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813138388
Size: 27.65 MB
Format: PDF
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Many readers drawn into the heroic tales of J. R. R. Tolkien's imaginary world of Middle-earth have given little conscious thought to the importance of the land itself in his stories or to the vital roles played by the flora and fauna of that land. As a result, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion are rarely considered to be works of environmental literature or mentioned together with such authors as John Muir, Rachel Carson, or Aldo Leopold. Tolkien's works do not express an activist agenda; instead, his environmentalism is expressed in the form of literary fiction. Nonetheless, Tolkien's vision of nature is as passionate and has had as profound an influence on his readers as that of many contemporary environmental writers. The burgeoning field of agrarianism provides new insights into Tolkien's view of the natural world and environmental responsibility. In Ents, Elves, and Eriador, Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans show how Tolkien anticipated some of the tenets of modern environmentalism in the imagined world of Middle-earth and the races with which it is peopled. The philosophical foundations that define Tolkien's environmentalism, as well as the practical outworking of these philosophies, are found throughout his work. Agrarianism is evident in the pastoral lifestyle and sustainable agriculture of the Hobbits, as they harmoniously cultivate the land for food and goods. The Elves practice aesthetic, sustainable horticulture as they shape their forest environs into an elaborate garden. To complete Tolkien's vision, the Ents of Fangorn Forest represent what Dickerson and Evans label feraculture, which seeks to preserve wilderness in its natural form. Unlike the Entwives, who are described as cultivating food in tame gardens, the Ents risk eventual extinction for their beliefs. These ecological philosophies reflect an aspect of Christian stewardship rooted in Tolkien's Catholic faith. Dickerson and Evans define it as "stewardship of the kind modeled by Gandalf," a stewardship that nurtures the land rather than exploiting its life-sustaining capacities to the point of exhaustion. Gandalfian stewardship is at odds with the forces of greed exemplified by Sauron and Saruman, who, with their lust for power, ruin the land they inhabit, serving as a dire warning of what comes to pass when stewardly care is corrupted or ignored. Dickerson and Evans examine Tolkien's major works as well as his lesser-known stories and essays, comparing his writing to that of the most important naturalists of the past century. A vital contribution to environmental literature and an essential addition to Tolkien scholarship, Ents, Elves, and Eriador offers both Tolkien fans and environmentalists an understanding of Middle-earth that has profound implications for environmental stewardship in the present and the future of our own world.

Early Ecotheology And Joseph Sittler

Author: Panu Pihkala
Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster
ISBN: 3643908377
Size: 44.52 MB
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When did Christians begin to address environmental questions? What can be learned from these pioneering thinkers? This study reveals that between 1910 and 1954 many theologians called for responsibility towards nature. The focal point is the work of Joseph Sittler (1904-1987), an American Lutheran and ecumenical theologian. The role of these early ecotheologians is discussed in relation to environmental history and education. The findings show that ecotheology was not as strongly separated from other environmentalism as it was after the 1960s. (Series: Studies in Religion and the Environment / Studien zur Religion und Umwelt, Vol. 12) [Subject: Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, Ecotheology, Joseph Sittler]

Food Justice In Us And Global Contexts

Author: Ian Werkheiser
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319571745
Size: 48.92 MB
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This book offers fresh perspectives on issues of food justice. The chapters emerged from a series of annual workshops on food justice held at Michigan State University between 2013 and 2015, which brought together a wide variety of interested people to learn from and work with each other. Food justice can be studied from such diverse perspectives as philosophy, anthropology, economics, gender and sexuality studies, geography, history, literary criticism, philosophy and sociology as well as the human dimensions of agricultural and environmental sciences. As such, interdisciplinary workshops are a much-needed vehicle to improve our understanding of the subject, which is at the center of a vibrant and growing discourse not only among academics from a wide range of disciplines but also among policy makers and community activists. The book includes their perspectives, offering a wide range of approaches to and conceptions of food justice in a variety of contexts. This invaluable work requires readers to cross boundaries and be open to new ideas based on different assumptions.

Building A Healthy Economy From The Bottom Up

Author: Anthony Flaccavento
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813167361
Size: 35.93 MB
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The global economy has witnessed important changes in recent years. In the United States, enterprising communities have transitioned from tobacco farming to growing organic produce, from extractive fishing to vertical farming, from nonrenewable energy consumption to the implementation of solar cooperatives -- and have transformed from impoverished neighborhoods into green development zones. Yet these promising achievements remain a small part of the total economy and are largely ignored by policy makers, pundits, and economists. In Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up: Harnessing Real World Experience for Transformative Change, Anthony Flaccavento introduces readers to the innovators who are creating thriving, locally based economies and provides a road map for others who are interested in doing the same. He demonstrates that, despite the success of local initiatives like farmers' markets and clean energy cooperatives, true and lasting change of this type stalls without the appropriate discussion and implementation of public policies that define their lasting impact. He shows how active citizens can spur essential changes, generate community capital, increase civic dialogue, and foster sustainability efforts. Flaccavento skillfully combines economic analysis and public policy recommendations with practical solutions. His call to collective action will appeal to scholars, entrepreneurs, policymakers, community activists, environmentalists, and all citizens passionate about the health of their communities.

Religion And Sustainable Agriculture

Author: Todd LeVasseur
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 081316799X
Size: 72.70 MB
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Distinct practices of eating are at the heart of many of the world's faith traditions -- from the Christian Eucharist to Muslim customs of fasting during Ramadan to the vegetarianism and asceticism practiced by some followers of Hinduism and Buddhism. What we eat, how we eat, and whom we eat with can express our core values and religious devotion more clearly than verbal piety. In this wide-ranging collection, eminent scholars, theologians, activists, and lay farmers illuminate how religious beliefs influence and are influenced by the values and practices of sustainable agriculture. Together, they analyze a multitude of agricultural practices for their contributions to healthy, ethical living and environmental justice. Throughout, the contributors address current critical issues, including global trade agreements, indigenous rights to land and seed, and the effects of postcolonialism on farming and industry. Covering indigenous, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish perspectives, this groundbreaking volume makes a significant contribution to the study of ethics and agriculture.

Grounded Vision

Author: William H. Major
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
ISBN: 0817317341
Size: 16.98 MB
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Attempts to merge academic criticism with the work of agrarian writers to highlight issues of which both can be part of the dialogue, including sustainable agriculture and slow-food movements.