Spiritual ecology is a complex. diverse, and dynamic arena at the interfaces of religions and spiritualities on the one hand and on the other environments, ecologies, and environmentalisms with intellectual, spiritual, and practical components.
“… the universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.” - Thomas Berry, Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as a Sacred Community, 2006, p.17.
“This is a subject that should have been documented long ago–this wise and careful book fills an important gap, and does it with real power.”
- Bill McKibben, author Eaarth
“This book is a tour de force. No one has attempted to bring together such a wide range of people and movements under the rubric of Spiritual Ecology. The result is deeply engaging for scholars and activists alike. Sponsel has given us a gem.”
-Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion and Ecology,Yale University
“Sponsel, a noted scholar of ecological anthropology, traces a broad, ecumenical “religion of nature” from deep roots in the past to modern advanced thinkers. He argues persuasively that we would not have an environmental crisis today if we treated the earth with respect and reverence. The book offers a fascinating tour through the spiritual landscape, and its extensive notes give readers a rich guide to further reading and reflection.”
- Donald Worster, author of A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir (2008)
“Spiritual Ecology is essential reading today, when most of the world seems swept up by the economic dimensions of the environment. Providing a welcome antidote to the current materialistic approach, Leslie Sponsel’s keen reminder of the spiritual component of nature is both timely and a reminder that the most effective reasons for conservation come from the heart, not from the wallet.”
- Jeffrey A. McNeely, Senior Science Advisor, InternationalUnion for Conservation of Nature
“Leslie Sponsel’s new book is an excellent guide to spiritual ecology. It is much more: it is an evocation of spiritual ecology—its forms, its dynamic development, and its promise for the contemporary world. Dr. Sponsel, a leading authority on this field, provides a historical overview of the development of ecological and environmental visions in religion from earliest times to the present. He surveys major religions, and, in particular detail, modern writers who have developed new philosophical understandings of religion-environment relationships. This book serves both as a wonderful introduction to the field and an inspiring essay on the basic tenets, values, and goals of spiritual ecology.”
- Eugene N. Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California Riverside
“I am delighted with this inspiring panoramic introduction to the remarkable people who have personally contributed to the on-going “quiet revolution” that will help solve our contemporary problems of conflict, poverty, and environmental degradation. This source book could only have been produced by an anthropologist with firsthand experience with life in the tribal world and in the ancient great civilization cultural traditions of South andSoutheast Asia. This is an absolute treasure trove of cross-cultural ideas and sources for beliefs and practices that respond constructively to global environmental problems and related social justice issues. I immediately went to the library and the Internet to learn even more about particular organizations and people. As an anthropologist who has been concerned with indigenous people and the environment for many years, I am especially pleased with how sensitively Sponsel treats the “ecologically noble savage” issue, and the well-deserved importance he gives to animist beliefs generally.”
- John H. Bodley,Washington State University