Restored to Earth
Christianity, Environmental Ethics, and Ecological Restoration
Publication Year: 2013
Ecological restoration integrates the science and art of repairing ecosystems damaged by human activities. Despite relatively little attention from environmental ethicists, restoration projects continue to gain significance, drawing on citizen volunteers and large amounts of public funds, providing an important model of responding to ecological crisis. Projects range from the massive, multi-billion dollar Kissimmee River project; restoring 25,000 acres of Everglades' wetlands; to the $30 million effort to restore selected wetlands in industrial Brownfield sites in Chicago's south side Lake Calumet area; to the reintroduction of tall grass prairie ecosystems in various communities in the Midwest.
Restored to Earth provides the first comprehensive examination of the religious and ethical dimensions and significance of contemporary restoration practice, an ethical framework that advances the field of environmental ethics in a more positive, action-oriented, experience-based direction. Van Wieren brings together insights and examples from restoration ecology, environmental ethics, religious studies, and conservation and Christian thought, as well as her own personal experiences in ecological restoration, to propose a new restoration ethic grounded in the concrete, hands-on experience of humans working as partners with the land.
Published by: Georgetown University Press
Download PDF (135.3 KB)
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (73.0 KB)
Download PDF (74.3 KB)
Download PDF (81.2 KB)
Recently, over dinner, a colleague and friend of mine expressed frustration about a keynote address that we had both just attended by a prominent ecological theolo-gian. My friend was lamenting what he perceived as an overly negative, crisis-ori-ented, and dour message that ran through the talk, as well as through contemporary environmental ethics in general. He wondered if mourning the environmental cri-...
Introduction: From Wounded Land and Spirit to Healing Land and Spirit: The Significance of Ecological Restoration for Environmental Ethics
Download PDF (170.2 KB)
We care for the land because it is good for the souls of all God’s Environmentalists have long linked the modern environmental crisis with a cri-sis of the human spirit—of consciousness, the personal heart, or soul. Some thirty years ago essayist and poet Wendell Berry called the ecological crisis a crisis of character.1 More recently, ecological theologian Mark I. Wallace writes that the global environmental crisis “is a matter of the heart, not the head . . . we no ...
PART I: RESTORING EARTH
CHAPTER 1: “Let There Be a Tree”: A Field Guide to Types of Ecological Restoration
Download PDF (138.3 KB)
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but Defining ecological restoration is not an easy task given that meanings are numerous and diverse, often varying dramatically from ecosystem to eco-system and culture to culture. As a vernacular practice, perspectives on restora-tion shift according to the types of ecosystems (forest, grassland, wetland, river), degradations (deforestation, erosion, toxification, species loss), and repairs (bio-...
CHAPTER 2: For the Sake of the Wild Others: Restoration Meanings for Nature
Download PDF (165.4 KB)
Defining what is and what counts as nature has been one of the main preoc-cupations of contemporary environmental ethicists. Depending on the phi-losopher one converses with, all biological life (Arne Naess), trees (Christopher Stone), sentient animals (Peter Singer), whole ecosystems ( J. Baird Callicott and Holmes Rolston), and even larger bioregions (Peter Berg) count as part of nature and have value that makes certain moral claims on humans.1 Religious environ-...
CHAPTER 3: Restoration of the Personal Heart: Toward a Spirituality of Environmental Action
Download PDF (169.7 KB)
I believe quite sincerely that in these difficult times we need It is a warm, late May day in Vermont and I am sitting around the kitchen table of Marty Illick, director of the Lewis Creek Association (LCA), eating a lunch of squash soup, tomatoes, and apples, all from Illick’s backyard garden. The LCA is a community-based organization that formed two decades ago in order to orga-nize and educate residents regarding the restoration, protection, and care of the ...
CHAPTER 4: Regenerating Communities of Place: Public Restoration Values
Download PDF (167.1 KB)
...focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise Key ecological, spiritual, and moral dimensions and implications of restora-tion practice and experience have begun to be sketched in previous chapters. Beyond these, however, there are communal and social aspects in restoration practice that need to be explored. Restoration, as we have seen, is a group activity, often involving a cadre of practitioners—restoration ecologists, landscape architects, ...
PART II: RESTORED TO EARTH
CHAPTER 5: Ecological Symbolic Action: Restoration as Sacramental Practice
Download PDF (153.0 KB)
...cause us to evolve spiritually, that will restore to us a feeling In the previous chapter we explored some of the ways in which ecological res-toration practice could serve as a context for developing vernacular communal values in relation to particular places. Further, we saw how some communities use restoration activities as a way to strengthen social connections between people and ecological connections with natural systems. In this chapter I examine how ...
CHAPTER 6: Re-Storying Earth, Re-Storied to Earth
Download PDF (113.7 KB)
It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we fit into it, is no longer effective. Yet we have not learned In his classic book, The Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry proposed that we are entering a new phase in human history: the ecological age. This age, differ-ent from previous historical eras such as sixteenth-century scientific discovery or eighteenth-century industrial expansion, would be marked by a “vision of a planet ...
Download PDF (90.1 KB)
Download PDF (511.2 KB)
Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013