Becoming Animal

An Earthly Cosmology

Author: David Abram

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307379310

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 6321

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David Abram’s first book, The Spell of the Sensuous has become a classic of environmental literature. Now he returns with a startling exploration of our human entanglement with the rest of nature. As the climate veers toward catastrophe, the innumerable losses cascading through the biosphere make vividly evident the need for a metamorphosis in our relation to the living land. For too long we’ve ignored the wild intelligence of our bodies, taking our primary truths from technologies that hold the living world at a distance. Abram’s writing subverts this distance, drawing readers ever closer to their animal senses in order to explore, from within, the elemental kinship between the human body and the breathing Earth. The shape-shifting of ravens, the erotic nature of gravity, the eloquence of thunder, the pleasures of being edible: all have their place in this book.

Becoming Animal

An Earthly Cosmology

Author: David Abram

Publisher: Pantheon

ISBN: 0375421718

Category: Social Science

Page: 313

View: 4269

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The award-winning author of The Spell of the Sensuous presents a cautionary assessment of human involvement in the natural world that celebrates nature's sensuous qualities while revealing how consciousness is a ubiquitous part of the biosphere.

The Distressed Body

Rethinking Illness, Imprisonment, and Healing

Author: Drew Leder

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022639610X

Category: Medical

Page: 287

View: 7164

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Returning to some of the issues in his now classic book The Absent Body published by this Press in 1990, philosopher and physician Drew Leder turns his attention in his new book to distressed bodies the experience of illness and pain, and a variety of medical responses thereto; the experience of being imprisoned in our age of mass incarceration; and also the mis-treatment of animal bodies, as in modern factory farms. Yet this book is not just about suffering, but the healing of suffering. Each chapter takes up a single topic -- be it the experience of pain, the use of pills in medicine, organ transplantation, or factory farming employing interpretive tools appropriate to the issue. At the same time, the book clarifies for the reader how each chapter connects to and builds upon previous material. After a general Introduction, the book s first section is called Illness and Treatment: Phenomenological Investigations. It uses phenomenological methods, largely, though not exclusively, to examine what is it to be ill or in pain, and how modern medicine does and could -- respond. This leads us into Section Two of the book, Medicine and Bioethics: Hermeneutical Reflections. In this section, Leder uses tools explicitly and implicitly drawn from figures like Heidegger and Gadamer. Up to now the focus has been on the ill body and its treatment by the medical system. But this is far from the only sort of distressed body. In Section Three, Discarded and Recovered Bodies Leder reveals striking parallels between the lifeworlds of animals and prisoners. This stunning collection of essays showcases Leder s powerful and imaginative intellect."

Being Animal

Beasts and Boundaries in Nature Ethics

Author: Anna Peterson

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231534264

Category: Nature

Page: 240

View: 1938

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For most people, animals are the most significant aspects of the nonhuman world. They symbolize nature in our imaginations, in popular media and culture, and in campaigns to preserve wilderness, yet scholars habitually treat animals and the environment as mutually exclusive objects of concern. Conducting the first examination of animals' place in popular and scholarly thinking about nature, Anna L. Peterson builds a nature ethic that conceives of nonhuman animals as active subjects who are simultaneously parts of both nature and human society. Peterson explores the tensions between humans and animals, nature and culture, animals and nature, and domesticity and wildness. She uses our intimate connections with companion animals to examine nature more broadly. Companion animals are liminal creatures straddling the boundary between human society and wilderness, revealing much about the mutually constitutive relationships binding humans and nature together. Through her paradigm-shifting reflections, Peterson disrupts the artificial boundaries between two seemingly distinct categories, underscoring their fluid and continuous character.

The Blue Sapphire of the Mind

Notes for a Contemplative Ecology

Author: Douglas E. Christie

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199986649

Category: Religion

Page: 488

View: 8262

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"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? To understand the work of seeing things as an utterly involving moral and spiritual act? Such questions have long occupied the center of contemplative spiritual traditions. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that, at the most basic level, it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritual values. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis, and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings. These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet.

The Meaning and Practice of Faith

Author: Diarmuid O'Murchu

Publisher: Orbis Books

ISBN: 1608334562

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 3691

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A practical guide for adults who are more interested in being and doing the truth than in doctrinal statements about the truth.

Backpacking with the Saints

Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual Practice

Author: Belden C. Lane

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199394172

Category: Religion

Page: 256

View: 6539

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Carrying only basic camping equipment and a collection of the world's great spiritual writings, Belden C. Lane embarks on solitary spiritual treks through the Ozarks and across the American Southwest. For companions, he has only such teachers as Rumi, John of the Cross, Hildegard of Bingen, Dag Hammarskjöld, and Thomas Merton, and as he walks, he engages their writings with the natural wonders he encounters--Bell Mountain Wilderness with Søren Kierkegaard, Moonshine Hollow with Thich Nhat Hanh--demonstrating how being alone in the wild opens a rare view onto one's interior landscape, and how the saints' writings reveal the divine in nature. The discipline of backpacking, Lane shows, is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Just as the wilderness offered revelations to the early Desert Christians, backpacking hones crucial spiritual skills: paying attention, traveling light, practicing silence, and exercising wonder. Lane engages the practice not only with a wide range of spiritual writings--Celtic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi Muslim--but with the fascination of other lovers of the backcountry, from John Muir and Ed Abbey to Bill Plotkin and Cheryl Strayed. In this intimate and down-to-earth narrative, backpacking is shown to be a spiritual practice that allows the discovery of God amidst the beauty and unexpected terrors of nature. Adoration, Lane suggests, is the most appropriate human response to what we cannot explain, but have nonetheless learned to love. An enchanting narrative for Christians of all denominations, Backpacking with the Saints is an inspiring exploration of how solitude, simplicity, and mindfulness are illuminated and encouraged by the discipline of backcountry wandering, and of how the wilderness itself becomes a way of knowing-an ecology of the soul.

What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming

Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action

Author: Per Espen Stoknes

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585834

Category: Political Science

Page: 248

View: 9959

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Today, about 98 percent of scientists affirm that climate change is human made, and about 2 percent still question it. Despite that overwhelming majority, though, about half the population of rich countries, like ours, choose to believe the 2 percent. And, paradoxically, this large camp of deniers grows even larger as more and more alarming proof of climate change has cropped up over the last decades. This disconnect has both climate scientists and activists scratching their heads, growing anxious, and responding, usually, by repeating more facts to "win" the argument. But, the more climate facts pile up, the greater the resistance to them grows, and the harder it becomes to enact measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare communities for the inevitable change ahead. Is humanity up to the task? It is a catch-22 that starts, says psychologist and climate expert Per Espen Stoknes, from an inadequate understanding of the way most humans think, act, and live in the world around them. With dozens of examples, he shows how to retell the story of climate change and apply communication strategies more fit for the task.

Our Daily Breath - paperback

Author: Gaye Abbott

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 1105497879

Category: Self-Help

Page: 106

View: 2990

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A road-map to living an in-spired life and a step-by-step manual that invites us to align ourselves with the rhythms of the natural world - and then shows us how. Open to the beauty and substance of the breath as a vehicle for awareness and as a tool for a vibrant life. Use the focus for each week of the year to more fully inhabit each inhale, pause and exhale!

Religion and Ecology

Developing a Planetary Ethic

Author: Whitney A. Bauman

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231537107

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 5618

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Moving beyond identity politics while continuing to respect diverse entities and concerns, Whitney A. Bauman builds a planetary politics that better responds to the realities of a pluralistic world. Calling attention to the historical, political, and ecological influences shaping our understanding of nature, religion, humanity, and identity, Bauman collapses the boundaries separating male from female, biology from machine, human from more than human, and religion from science, encouraging readers to embrace hybridity and the inherent fluctuations of an open, evolving global community. As he outlines his planetary ethic, Bauman concurrently develops an environmental ethic of movement that relies not on place but on the daily connections we make across the planet. He shows how both identity politics and environmental ethics fail to realize planetary politics and action, limited as they are by foundational modes of thought that create entire worlds out of their own logic. Introducing a postfoundational vision not rooted in the formal principles of "nature" or "God" and not based in the idea of human exceptionalism, Bauman draws on cutting-edge insights from queer, poststructural, and deconstructive theory and makes a major contribution to the study of religion, science, politics, and ecology.