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date: 25 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

‘Nature,’ as cultural historian Raymond Williams asserted, is one of the most complex words in the English language. Just as its meanings have varied considerably over time, relations between religion belief/practice and the natural world have varied historically, geographically, and across multiple cultural contexts. ‘Nature’ and ‘religion’ have been co-articulated in different ways, and different interests and issues have been at stake in these changing constructions. Tropes of nature and the natural occur across a range of contexts: in Western study of non-Western religions, distinctions between ‘transcendent’ and ‘immanent’ cosmologies, and scholarly discourses of ‘religion and ecology,’ ‘nature religion,’ and debates over the ‘Lynn White thesis’; and in a series of popular religio-environmental developments including concepts and practices of Creation Care, eco-kosher livelihoods, sacred groves, the Green Pilgrims Cities network, the Earth Charter, and eco-paganism.

Keywords: religion and ecology, nature religion, religious environmentalism, Creation Care, green pilgrimage

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