The human impulse to religion--the drive to explain the world, humans, and humans' place in the universe - can be seen to encompass environmentalism as an offshoot of the secular, material faith in human reason and power that dominates modern society. Faith in Nature traces the history of environmentalism--and its moral thrust--from its roots in the Enlightenment and Romanticism through the Progressive Era to the present. Drawing astonishing parallels between religion and environmentalism, the book examines the passion of the movement's adherents and enemies alike, its concern with the moral conduct of daily life, and its attempt to answer fundamental questions about the underlying order of the world and of humanity's place within it.
Thomas Dunlap is among the leading environmental historians and historians of science in the United States. Originally trained as a chemist, he has a rigorous understanding of science and appreciates its vital importance to environmental thought. But he is also a devout Catholic who believes that the insights of religious revelation need not necessarily be at odds with the insights of scientific investigation. This book grew from his own religious journey and his attempts to understand human ethical obligations and spiritual debts to the natural world.
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2005
Thomas Dunlap is professor of history at Texas A&M University. His books include DDT: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy; Nature and the English Diaspora; and Saving America's Wildlife.CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2005
A gracefully written and thoughtful book that traces the moral and spiritual aspects of American environmentalism.
This is a fascinating and provocative study that engages the reader in an alternative way of understanding the meaning and purpose of American environmental movements..This is an insightful interpretive treatment that is not only well written but of considerable depth and substance. .
This is an important book for the times in which we live.
Dunlap has succeeded in opening- or perhaps re-opening- an important debate, and his book will serve as a valuable point of reference as that debate unfolds.