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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  Dec 12, 2017
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

RELG 022. Religion and Ecology

(Cross-listed as ENVS 040  )
This course focuses on how different religious traditions have shaped human beings' fundamental outlook on the environment in ancient and modern times. In turn, it examines how various religious worldviews can aid the development of an earth-centered philosophy of life. The thesis of this course is that the environment crisis, at its core, is a spiritual crisis because it is human beings' deep ecocidal dispositions toward nature that are the cause of the earth's continued degradation. Course topics include ecological thought in Western philosophy, theology, and biblical studies; the role of Asian religious thought in forging an ecological worldview; the value of American nature writings for environmental awareness, including both Euro-American and Amerindian literatures; the public policy debates concerning vegetarianism and the antitoxics movement; and the contemporary relevance of ecofeminism, deep ecology, Neopaganism, and wilderness activism. In addition to writing assignments, there will be occasional contemplative practicums, journaling exercises, and a community-based learning component.
1 credit.
Eligible for CBL, ENVS, PEAC
Fall 2017. Kessler. Wallace.
Catalog chapter: Religion  
Department website:

Check the Fall 2017 Schedule of Courses

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses