The Lost Gospel of the Earth: A Call for Renewing Nature, Spirit, and Politics

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9780871568885: The Lost Gospel of the Earth: A Call for Renewing Nature, Spirit, and Politics
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From Tom Hayden - a 1960s radical and longtime progressive California legislator - here is an impassioned plea for reclaiming our spiritual bond with the earth. Hayden argues that the basis of our present environmental crisis was laid long ago, when tribal systems of belief were replaced by formal religions. Nature-based mysticism gave way to human-centered theologies that desanctified the earth and taught people to see themselves as dominant over nature. If we want to heal the destructive divide that exists between the human spirit and the natural world, we must retrieve the "lost gospel of the earth" by which people live in kinship with a sacred natural world.
Hayden finds that Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism have defaulted on the environmental crisis, but believes that their earlier currents of native mysticism can be restored and applied to the present. Technical fixes and economic incentives will not cure our pathological addiction to making progress at the expense of the earth.
Hayden blends personal spirituality with concrete political vision into a new politics that is grounded in environmental economics with a moral core. This new "politics of the spirit," drawing on the tradition of participatory democracy as well as the theories of ecotheology, calls for nothing less than the transformation of our entire political culture.

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Drawing upon the work of John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, St. Francis of Assisi, and even the Dalai Lama and Pope John Paul II, activist Tom Hayden writes that religion is the answer to today's environmental crisis. Though he berates many religions for perpetuating man's dominance of earth, he cites a growing awareness of the sanctity of all creation. He calls for the unification of increasing numbers of eco-spiritualists and a revamping of traditional religious doctrines--including the Ten Commandments--to include guidelines for taking care of the earth and to acknowledge the dependency of our own lives on its healthful existence.

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a founder of SDS, member of the Chicago Seven, and longtime progressive California legislator--presents an impassioned plea for reclaiming our spiritual bond with the Earth. Hayden makes a persuasive case for retrieving that older world view by taking a fresh look at the core traditions and early teachings of Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism.

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9780977197248: The Lost Gospel of the Earth: A Call for Renewing Nature, Spirit and Politics: Revised and Updated

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