Evangelical Christians and the Environment: “Christians for the Mountains” and the Appalachian Movement against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Prior research has described evangelical Protestants as hostile toward environmentalism, but this traditional stance, however deeply rooted, is being challenged from within by the Creation Care movement. We analyze an important current example of evangelical environmentalism, an organization known as “Christians for the Mountains” (CFTM) that opposes the highly destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) in Appalachia. We focus on Christians for the Mountains in relation to larger national movements such as the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). We use attitude interviews, participant observation, discourse analysis, and Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative action to examine how both movements are attempting to overcome the opposition toward environmentalism within evangelical Christianity.

Evangelical Christians and the Environment: “Christians for the Mountains” and the Appalachian Movement against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Sections

References

AlfredR. 2002. “Group Meets in Mined Area: Asks God to Stop Mining Practice.” http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/local/4713050.htm.

BallR. 1968. “A Poverty Case: The Analgesic Subculture of the Southern Appalachians.” American Sociological Review 33: 88595.

BanerjeeN. 2006. “Taking on a Coal Mining Practice as a Matter of Faith.” Http: www.nytimes.com/2006/10/28/US/28mountains.html.

———. 2008. “Southern Baptists Back a Shift on Climate Change.” Http: ///www.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/us/10baptist.html.

BeanB. 2008. “Faith Can Move Mountains.” http://shoppersnewsnow.com/news/012808HallsA.pdf.p.4

BenfordR.SnowD.. 2000. “Framing Processes and Social Movements.” Annual Review of Sociology 26: 61139.

BillingsD. 1990. “Religion as Opposition: A Gramscian Analysis.” American Journal of Sociology 96: 131.

———. 2006. “Appalachian Studies and the Sociology of Appalachia” in BryantC.PeckD. (eds) Handbook of 21st Century Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage: 39096 543-45.

BlackfordL. 2006a. “Appalachian Churches Joining Fight on Mining: Members Giving Tours of Mountaintop Removal Sites.” Lexington Herald-Leader Sunday November 19 2006 A-12.

———. 2006b. “Evangelical Spreads Green Message.” Lexington Herald-Leader Sunday November 19 A-1 A-12.

BoydH. 1999. “Christianity and the Environment in the American Public.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 38 (1): 3644.

The Boston Globe. 2007. “Editorial: Coal Miner's Nation.” August 23 2007.

BreslauK. 2007. “How Green is My God?Newsweek Web Exclusive. Available at http://www.newsweek.com/id/45240/output/print.

BrosiG.HardtJ.. “The Long Struggle.” in JohanssenK.MasonB. and Taylor-HallM. (eds) Missing Mountains: We Went to the Mountaintop but It Wasn’t There. Nicholasville: Wind Publications: 13251.

BurnsS. 2007. Bringing Down the Mountains: The Impact of Mountaintop Removal on Southern West Virginia Communities. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

CallahanR. 2009. Work and Faith in the Kentucky Coal Fields. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

DonnellyJ.Coal's Ascent Is Igniting a Debate: West Virginians Split over Cost, Benefits.” Boston Globe at www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/12/26coals_assent.

DuerR. 2008. “God is Green: Richard Cizik on the Intersection of Evangelicalism and Environmentalism.” Harvard Political Review Onlinehttp://hprsite.squarespace.com/god-is-green-012008/.

EckbergD.BlockerT.. 1989. “Varieties of Religious Involvement and Environmental Concerns: Testing the Lynn White Thesis.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 28 (4): 50917.

EmersonM.SmithC.. 2000. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race. New York: Oxford University Press.

Environmental News Service International Daily Newswire. 2009. “Climate Scientist James Hansen Arrested in Mountaintop Removal Protest.” http://www.ens.newswire.com/ens/jun2009/2009-06-23-01.asp.

EriksonK. 1976. Everything in Its Path: Destruction of Community in the Buffalo Creek Flood. New York: Simon and Schuster.

EstepB. 2007. “Interfaith Group Visits Surface Mines: Decries Destruction of Environment.” Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader Thursday May 3 B1 B8.

FeldmanD.MoseleyL.. 2003. “Faith-based Environmental Initiatives in Appalachia: Connecting Faith, Environmental Concern and Reform.” Worldviews 7(3): 227252.

FisherS. (ed) 1993. Fighting Back in Appalachia: Traditions of Resistance and Change. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

GerrardN. 1978. “Churches of the Stationary Poor in Southern Appalachia” in PhotiadisJ. (ed) Religion in Appalachia. Morgantown: West Virginia University series 79 (2-1): 27184.

GonzalezD. 1994. “Religions Are Putting Faith in Environmentalism.” The New York Times (November 6): A-34.

GoodellJ. 2006. “You Fight for What You’ve Got, Even If It's Only Worth a Dime.” The Oprah Magazine (July): 19296 214-22.

GoodsteinL. 2005. “Evangelicals Open Debate on Widening Policy Questions.” New York Times (March 11): A-16.

———. 2006. “Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative.” New York Times (February 8): A-12.

GreeleyA. 1993. “Religion and Attitudes toward the Environment.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 32 (1): 1928.

GuthJ.GreenJ.KellstedtL. & SmidtC.. 1993.“ Theological Perspectives and Environmentalism among Religious Activists.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 32 (4): 37382.

———. 1995. “Faith and the Environment: Religious Beliefs and Attitudes on Environmental Policy.” American Journal of Political Science 39 (2): 36482.

HabermasJ. 1981. “New Social Movements.” Telos 49: 531.

———. 1984. The Theory of Communicative Action I: Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Boston: Beacon Press.

———. 1987. The Theory of Communicative Action II: Lifeworld and System/A Critique of Functionalist Reason. Boston: Beacon Press.

———. 2006. “Religion in the Public Sphere.” European Journal of Philosophy 14 (1): 125.

HattamJ. 2003. “Dethroning King Coal: A Miner's Daughter Stands up for Appalachia's Mountains.” Sierra Club Magazine (November/December): 2024.

HeldR. 2008. “Revival: Local Evangelical Christians Join Environmentalists in Unlikely Union to Fight Mountaintop Removal Mining in Tennesseehttp://www.metropulse.com/articles/2008.18_99/coverstory.html.

HinsdaleM.LewisH. and WallerS.. 1995. It Comes from the People: Community Development and Local Theology. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

HuffordM. 1998. “Weathering the Storm: Cultural Survival in an Appalachian Valley.” in AyersH.HagerJ.LittleC. (eds) An Appalachian Tragedy. San Franscisco: Sierra Club Books.

JafariSamira. 2007. “Religious Leaders Tour Mountaintop Mining Sites.” Associated Press Release May 2.

JuarezV.GatesD.. 2005. “Green Religion: A Shepard Protects His Own Backyard.” Newsweek August 29: 50.

LaclauE.MouffeC.. 1985. Hegemony & Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London and New York: Verso.

LeonardB. (ed) 1999. Christianity in Appalachia: Profiles in Regional Pluralism. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.

LewisH.ApplebyM.. 2003. Mountain Sisters: From Covent to Community in Appalachia. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

LoebP. 2007. Moving Mountains: How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

McCabeB. 2006. “Tragic Mountains: Local Filmmaker Catherine Pancake Hopes to Bring the Devastation of Mountaintop Removal Mining to a Theatre Near YouBaltimore City Paper (March 29) at http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=11640.

McCauleyD.PorterL.. 2003. Mountain Holiness. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.

McRobertsO. 2003. “‘Worldly’ or ‘Other Worldly’?: Activism in an Urban Religious District” in DillionM. (ed) Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. New York: Cambridge University Press: 41222.

McSpiritS.ScottS.HardestyS. and WelchR.. 2005. “EPA Actions in Post Disaster Martin County, Kentucky: An Analysis of Bureaucratic Slippage and Agency Recreancy.” Journal of Appalachian Studies 11 (1 & 2): 3058.

MontrieC. 2003. To Save the Land and People: A History of Opposition to Surface Coal Mining in America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

MoyersB. 2006. “Is God Green?Public Affairs Television transcript available at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/print/isgodgreen: 118.

OliverP.JohnstonH.. 2000. “What a Good Idea! Ideological Frames in Social Movement Research.” Mobilization: An International Journal 4 (1): 3754.

PaulsonA. 2006. “In Coal Country, Heat Rises over Latest Method of Mining.” Christian Science Monitor (January 3) http://search.csmonitor.com/search_content/0103/o02s01-ussc.html.

PulliamS. 2008. “Richard Cizik Resigns from the National Association of Evangelicals.” Christianity Today Magazine December 14 at www.christinitytoday.com/ct/2008/decemberweb-only/150-42.0.html.

ReeceE. 2006. Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness/ Radical Strip Mining and the Devastation of Appalachia. New York: Riverhead Books.

RobertsD. 2006. “Go Tell It on the Mountain: Allen Johnson Rallies Christians to Fight against Mountaintop-Removal Miningwww.grist/org/cgi-bin/printthis.pl?uri=news/maindish/2006/11/07/Johnson/index November 27.

SessionsJ. 1999. “The Commission on Religion in Appalachia: Empowering the People.” in LeonardB. (ed) Christianity in Appalachia. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press: 16574.

ShogrenE. 2004. “Critics Battle Mountaintop Mining” Lexington Herald- Leader January 19 A-4.

ShaynersonM. 2008. Coal River: How a Few Brace Americans Took on a Powerful Company—and the Federal Government—to Save the Land They Love. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux.

SimmonsJ. 2009. “Evangelical Environmentalism: Oxymoron or Opportunity?Worldviews 13 (1): 4071.

SleethM. 2007. Serve God Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

SmithC. 1998. American Evangelicalism: Embattled and Thriving. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

SnyderH. 2005. “Salvation Means Creation Healed.” Unpublished paper presented at The Kingdom ConferenceBaltimoreMaryland.

SolomonD. 2005. “Earthly Evangelist: Questions for Richard CizikThe New York Times Magazine (April 3): 17.

SteinbergM. 1998. “Tilting the Frame: Considerations on Collective Action Framing from a Discursive TurnTheory and Society 27 (6): 845872.

SwidlerA. 2001. Talk of Love: How Culture Matters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

TuckwillerT. 2002. “What's Behind the Floods?Charleston Gazette Sunday May 12.

VuM. 2007a. “Evangelicals’ Global Warming Stance Disturbs Some Christian Leaders.” (March 6) Http://www.christianpost.com/pages/03062007.

———. 2007b. “Green Evangelicals: Creation Care is Gospel in Action.” (October 13) at http://www.christianpost.com/pages/print.htm?aid=29693.

WardK.Jr. 2009. “Obama's Mountaintop Removal Plan: What They’re Saying.” At http: blogs.wvgatette.com/coaltattoo/2009/06/11.

WarrickJ. 2004. “Appalachia is Paying Price for White House Rule ChangeWashington Post Tuesday August 17 A01.

WellerJ. 1965. Yesterday's People: Life in Contemporary Appalachia. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.

WhiteD.BalowJ.. 2007. “Rivers Flood across W. Va.: Southern Counties Hit Hardest, but Devastation WideCharleston Gazette April 16 2007.

WilliamsR. 2003. “Religious Social Movements in the Public Sphere: Organization, Ideology, and Activism.” in DillionM. (ed) Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. New York: Cambridge University Press: 31530.

WoodR. 2003. “Religion, Faith-Based Community Organizing, and the Struggle for Justice.” in DillionM. (ed) Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. New York: Cambridge University Press: 38599.

21)

Christians for the Mountains 2006“The Mountain Mourning Collection” DVD available through www.patchworkfilms.com.

28)

Christians for the Mountains 2006“The Mountain Mourning Collection” DVD available through www.patchworkfilms.com.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 19 19 11
Full Text Views 8 8 8
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0