ENVS 006. First-Year Seminar: Visions of the End: Hope and Despair in the Last Days
(Cross-listed as RELG 006C )
For millennia, speculation about the end of the world has fired the political and religious imagination of Western cultures. Today, arguably, the most potent threat to planetary well-being is the unchecked advance of the fossil fuels extraction industry. This course will study the range of reactions to this threat inside and outside of the academy, including sustainability politics, on the one hand, and the religious-environmental movement, on the other.
Many environmentalists argue we are living at "the end of nature" or the time of the "6th great extinction," while many religious believers, doomsday "preppers" and others, some sympathetic to fossil fuels-apocalypticism, and some not, also assert we are living into the end of the world as we know it.
Questions will be asked about the history and role of the extractive industries in climate change; how the emerging field of environmental studies can shape productive moral and political responses to this change; and the hope, and the anxieties, of new environmental spiritualities (with special reference to Christian, Amerindian, and Pagan worldviews) to challenge neoliberal economics and engender a living passion for the health of human societies in harmony with the wider natural world.
Eligible for ENVS
Spring 2018. Wallace.
Catalog chapter: Environmental Studies
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/environmental-studies
Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses
Check the Fall 2018 Schedule of Courses