Contribution to Book
Grounding Religion: A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology, 3rd Edition
Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon, Kevin O'Brien
This chapter suggests that one way of addressing race within the paradigm of ecology and religion is through the lens of religious naturalism, which conceptualizes human beings as material, relational processes, encouraging us to question our values, behaviors, and resource uses as we conceive and enact our constitutive relationality with each other and with the more-than-human worlds.
It first examines an influential model of binary thinking that has helped shape the presence of white supremacy in the United States and also discusses key issues related to what some environmental historians and activists call the racialization of nature. The chapter also explores the invisibility and marginalization of African Americans and other peoples of color in mainstream environmental discourse.
Following this, it introduces religious naturalism as an alternative model of conceiving nature, illustrating how religious naturalism reconfigures our relation to land, to other animals and natural processes, and, indeed, to ourselves. Supported by insights from biology and ecological studies, religious naturalism provides a viable model of ethical engagement with myriad nature. As a religious worldview, it both contributes to environmental justice efforts and helps bring diverse groups together to understand our common goal in both enriching human–human relationships, and transforming human and more-than human connections.
White, Carol Wayne, "Race" (2023). Faculty Contributions to Books. 294.