Select Page

Nature, Science, and Religion

Intersections Shaping Society and the Environment

Edited by Catherine M. Tucker

This book is about the complicated and provocative ways nature, science, and religion intersect in real settings where people attempt to live in harmony with the physical environment. Scholars of philosophy, religious studies, and science and technology have been at the forefront of critiquing the roles of religion and science in human interactions with the natural world. Meanwhile, researchers in the environmental sciences have encountered disciplinary barriers to examining the possibility that religious beliefs influence social–ecological behaviors and processes simply because the issue resists quantitative assessment. The contributors to this book explore how scientific knowledge and spiritual beliefs are engaged to shape natural resource management, environmental activism, and political processes.

2012. 304 pp., 11 figures, 6 maps, 3 tables, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Andrea Ballestero, Marthinus L. Daneel, Anne Motley Hallum, Adrian J. Ivakhiv, Andrew S. Mathews, Kristen Norget, Joel Robbins, Colleen M. Scanlon Lyons, Scott Schnell, Catherine M. Tucker

Download an excerpt.

“Stellar job of tying together the complex intersections that shape societies and the environment…. The text is also objective, insightful, and long overdue.”
—T. Johnson, Prescott Valley Public Library, Choice, vol. 50, no. 04, December 2012

“This fascinating book admirably succeeds in navigating the complexities of a challenging and conflicted landscape. It refreshingly provides new nuanced understandings grounded in a set of penetrating case studies. These engaged and engaging scholars adeptly illuminate some of the ways that people of religious faith are considering environmental matters while others including environmentalists are considering the relevance of religious faiths for environmental concerns.

This book is most welcome and valuable as a pioneering multidisciplinary contribution to the new intellectual and pragmatic frontier scrutinizing the dynamic interrelationships among religions and ecologies.”
—Leslie E. Sponsel, author of Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution

“The book is a strong contribution to the literature on the general topic of religion and environment.”
—Julie Velasquez Runk, University of Georgia

“The strength of the volume lies in the case studies and on-the-ground field examples of the nuanced and complex relationship between practiced religion and local environmental concerns…. [Nature, Science, and Religion] can add to the emerging collection of in-depth anthropological investigations of environmental conflict and how religious beliefs, values, and practices provide support for citizen action.”
—Stephanie Kaza, University of Vermont


  1. Intersections of Nature, Science, and Religion: An Introduction
    Catherine M. Tucker and Adrian J. Ivakhiv
  2. Suffering, Service, and Justice: Matters of Faith and How Faith Matters to the Environmental Movement in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
    Colleen M. Scanlan Lyons
  3. On Enchanting Science and Disenchanting Nature: Spiritual Warfare in North America and Papua New Guinea
    Joel Robbins
  4. Technologies of the Real: Science, Religion, and State Making in Mexican Forests
    Andrew S. Mathews
  5. Surviving Conservation: La Madre Tierra and Indigenous Moral Ecologies in Oaxaca, Mexico
    Kristin Norget
  6. Syncretism and Conservation: Examining Indigenous Beliefs and Natural Resource Management in Honduras
    Catherine M. Tucker
  7. Do You Understand? Discovering the Power of Religion for Conservation in Guatemalan Mayan Communities
    Anne Motley Hallum
  8. Believing Is Seeing: A Religious Perspective on Mountaineering in the Japanese Alps
    Scott Schnell
  9. The Productivity of Nonreligious Faith: Openness, Pessimism, and Water in Latin America
    Andrea Ballestero
  10. Zimbabwe’s Earthkeepers: When Green Warriors Enter the Valley of Shadows
    Marthinus L. Daneel
  11. Religious (Re-)Turns in the Wake of Global Nature: Toward a Cosmopolitics
    Adrian J. Ivakhiv
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.