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Religion in the Age of the Anthropocene

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Though responses to the Anthropocene have largely come from the natural and social sciences, religious responses to the Anthropocene have also been gaining momentum and many scholars have been calling for a religious response to complement scientific responses to climate change. Yet because Genesis 1:28 does indeed tell human beings to 'subdue the earth' monotheistic religions have often been understood as complicit in the human exceptionalism that is thought to have created the conditions for the Anthropocene. In distinction to such Biblical traditions, indigenous animistic cultures have typically respected all forms of life as 'persons' and such traditions have thus become a source of inspiration for ecological movements. After discussing contemporary Christian efforts to integrate the natural sciences and the environment into their responses to the Anthropocene, this article will turn to animism and seek to evaluate the risks and benefits that could ensue from a postmodern form of animism that could provide a necessary postsecular response to the Anthropocene.
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Keywords: Anthropocene; animism; climate change; human exceptionalism; relationality; religion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2021

This article was made available online on November 26, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Religion in the Age of the Anthropocene".

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2020) of 2.518. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.313.
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