ENVI 291
Religion and the American Environmental Imagination
Last Offered Spring 2018
Division II
Cross-listed SOC 291 / ENVI 291 / REL 291
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

This course examines the relationship between religious and environmental thought in modern America. Exploring a broad range of practices and beliefs, we will examine the religious (and anti-religious) roots of contemporary environmental discourse. Rather than survey the environmental teachings of organized religious groups, our focus throughout will be on ambiguous, eclectic, and fascinating traditions of “eco-spirituality” and popular “nature religion.” Where do these traditions come from? What is their relationship to science, to secularism, to politics, and to the search for environmental justice? Starting with the Transcendentalist movement of the 19th century, we will trace a roughly chronological line to the present, taking long detours into several modern religious trends and movements, including the revitalization and contestation of Native American religions, Wicca and neo-pagan ecofeminism, and evangelical Creation Care. Focusing on the writings of activists and radicals from a variety of religious backgrounds, our overarching question throughout the semester is one of the most critical we face in modern environmental thought: what is the relationship between spirituality and the just, sustainable society?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 12
Class#: 3993
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: a 15- to 18-page research paper and several shorter writing assignments
Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Environmental Studies majors and concentrators
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
SOC 291 Division II ENVI 291 Division II REL 291 Division II
Attributes: AMST Space and Place Electives
ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives

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