Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future
In this innovative and deeply felt work, Bron Taylor examines the evolution of "green religions" in North America and beyond: spiritual practices that hold nature as sacred and have in many cases replaced traditional religions. Examining a wide range of individuals and groups—environmentalists, surfers, artists, writers, filmmakers, politicians, and scientists—Taylor addresses a central theoretical question: How can environmentally oriented, spiritually motivated individuals and movements be understood as religious when many of them reject religious and supernatural worldviews? The "dark" of the title further expands this idea by emphasizing the depth of believers' passion and also suggesting a potential shadow side: besides uplifting and inspiring, such religion might mislead, deceive, or in some cases precipitate violence. This book provides a fascinating global tour of the green religious phenomenon, enabling readers to evaluate its worldwide emergence and to assess its role in a critically important religious revolution.
The Book and this Website:
To meet the publisher’s space constraints the manuscript (and especially its notes) had to be dramatically reduced. As promised in the book, the missing materials are provided here as supplementary materials, as are further examples through video, music, slideshows, and internet links. These resources illuminate the phenomena and provide a visceral feel for it in ways that words alone cannot. Perspectives written for the popular press and interviews with diverse media provide additional information about Bron Taylor's views about what he discovered in his global inquiry into nature spirituality.
Readers may also be interesting in joining the discussion at Facebook's Dark Green Religion fan site.
Begin Reading 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.