Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 13, No 4 (2019)

Rebels against the Anthropocene? Ideology, Spirituality, Popular Culture, and Human Domination of the World within the Disney Empire

Bron Taylor
Issued Date: 29 Apr 2020


There is no scientific consensus whether a new epoch labeled the Anthropocene should be declared and, if so, when it started. Yet the basic idea can be helpful and provocatively stated: The Anthropocene is that period in Earth’s history traceable to when Homo sapiens began subjugating and expropriating for its own use the world’s organisms and ecosystems. Given this understanding it may be possible to illuminate how ‘religion’ and ‘popular culture’ are entangled with these anthropogenic processes. The creative productions and commercial enterprises launched by Walt Disney and his corporation, reflect, express, and promote diverse understandings of the human domination of the world and those peoples often understood to have beneficent, spiritual relations with nature. Analyzing understandings, contentions, and trends that are found under Disney’s umbrella shows how it reflects and promotes diverse cultural understandings, including religious ones, about the proper relationships between human beings and their various environments. Such analysis also shows that significant changes are unfolding and that some of Disney’s creatives are among a growing chorus of rebels against the Anthropocene.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.39044


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