Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 4, No 3 (2010)

Review Essay

Forrest Clingerman
Issued Date: 4 Oct 2010


Roger S. Gottlieb, A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet’s Future (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 288 pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN: 978-0-1951-7648-3.

Roger Gottlieb’s A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet’s Future (2006) and The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology (2006) form an interesting pair. A Greener Faith advocates for a spiritual or ‘religious environmentalism’ grounded in Gottlieb’s own pluralistic ecotheological vision. In contrast, The Oxford Handbook is a multiauthored reference collection that, for the most part, surveys the relationship between longstanding religious traditions and the environmental crisis. Taken together, these books introduce the reader to a wide range of religious environmentalism as well as the current academic study of religion and ecology. Both books are meant to inspire religious
environmentalism among audiences, as they oscillate between descriptive and normative genres. Gottlieb is an excellent guide for this task: As one of the most prolific and provocative contributors in the field, he embodies an eclectic, interdisciplinary spirit, writes with passion and charm, and can also be intensely personal—even brash and unapologetic. In places Gottlieb’s writing even reads like a spiritual manual.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v4i3.220


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