Quick Note: Anne Hill Explores Dark Green Religion

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  September 16, 2010 — 8 Comments

Back at the beginning of this year I mentioned a new book by Bron Taylor, a specialist in environmental and social ethics at the University of Florida, called “Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future”. The book posits that the future of religion may be nature religion, as he pointed out in an interview with Religion Dispatches.

“…traditional religions with their beliefs in non-material divine beings are in decline. The desire for a spiritually meaningful understanding of the cosmos, however, did not wither away, and new forms of spirituality have been filling the cultural niches previously occupied by conventional religions. I argue that the forms I document in Dark Green Religion are much more likely to survive than longstanding religions, which involved beliefs in invisible, non-material beings. This is because most contemporary nature spiritualities are sensory (based on what we perceive with our senses, sometimes enhanced by clever gadgets), and thus sensible. They also tend to promote ecologically adaptive behaviors, which enhances the survival prospects of their carriers, and thus their own long-term survival prospects.”

Author, radio host, and Huffington Post blogger Anne Hill, intrigued by the concepts and themes in the book, recently decided to interview Taylor for her Dream Talk Radio program and podcast.

“I always appreciate a chance to refine my thinking in areas where I have a lot of strong opinions, and the confluence of spirituality, nature, and politics is one such place. Reading Bron Taylor’s excellent new book, Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future, has given me that chance. I read most of this book while in British Columbia, teaching a group of 90+ people at a Reclaiming camp, the theme of which included “listening to the land, to sense the coming shift.” In spite of my misgivings about the theme, I thoroughly enjoyed the camp and the friends I was teaching with, and in our planning process we had several lively discussions that helped me refine even further my thoughts on the issues raised in Dark Green Religion. As soon as I got back from all that travel I interviewed Bron on Dream Talk Radio, so I pretty much unloaded onto him all the thoughts I’d had throughout the previous week. Whether you have read the book or not, I would love to hear your comments about our discussion, so without further ado here is the podcast.”

What results is an interesting conversation regarding nature, divinity, politics, spirituality, apocalypse thinking, and how different movements and groups have adopted “dark green religion”. You can download the entire interview, here. I encourage you to check out the interview and comment about the program at Anne Hill’s blog. You may also want to check out the Facebook page for Taylor’s book.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com NorseAlchemist

    Ah, but what is the take on the Reconstruction religions like Asatru, Hellenism, Khemetics, etc.

  • http://www.robinartisson.com Robin Artisson

    Cha-ching! Said it perfectly.

  • http://www.robinartisson.com Robin Artisson

    I don't see anything concrete about buzzes, woods, spiders, or the act of saving spiders.

    • Baurch Dreamstalker

      Perhaps you could offer an example of what you do think of as concrete.

  • Baurch Dreamstalker

    "based on what we perceive with our senses, sometimes enhanced by clever gadgets"

    Umm… and clever substances…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001820054006 Meical AbAwen

    I'm a bit confused myself. The preface of the book appears to be wildly misinformed and dismissive of nature religions. I suppose that perception will clear up once I read the entire book. Still… read this from the preface:

    " Dark green religion is like a phantom. It is unnamed and has no institutions officially devoted to its promotion; no single sacred text that its devotees can plant in hotel rooms in hopes of reaping a future harvest of souls; no identified religious hierarchy or charismatic figure responsible for spreading the faith, ministering to the faithful, or practicing its rituals.

    Yet with alertness and the right lenses, the apparition appears.

    It can be found in the minds and hearts of individuals who invent and are drawn to organizations that express its central convictions and moral commitments. It has charismatic figures and bureaucratic hierarchies devoted to its globalization. It is reinforced and spread through artistic forms that often resemble, and are sometimes explicitly designed, as religious rituals. It seeks to destroy forms of religiosity incompatible with its own moral and spiritual perceptions. It is considered dangerous by some, while others see it as offering salvation."

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    Bron Taylor is a slightly up-market version of folks like Rajan Zed and James Arthur Ray.

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com NorseAlchemist

    Harry! My dear boy!