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In Adam Boreel (1602-1665): A Collegiant’s Attempt to Reform Christianity, Francesco Quatrini offers a reassessment of the life and thought of Adam Boreel, a leading member of the Dutch nonconformist Collegiant movement. Usually regarded as a less important member of this religious group, Boreel is described as a forerunner whose ideas influenced later Collegiants.

Drawing on both archival and published sources, Francesco Quatrini provides the first modern biography of Boreel as well as a critical analysis of his writings. He corrects misconceptions about Boreel, who appears here as an intriguing figure who drew his views from several different sources. In this way, Francesco Quatrini revealed that Boreel was a major leader in the era’s intellectual discourse.
Editor: Bruce R. Pass
On Theology: Herman Bavinck's Academic Orations presents four previously untranslated works by Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). These works offer important insights into Bavinck’s conceptualisation of the discipline of theology, its place in the modern university, and the relation in which theology stands to religion. In the introductory essay, Bruce R. Pass draws attention to the way these speeches shed light on the development of Bavinck’s thought across his tenure at the Kampen Theological School and the Free University of Amsterdam as well as the complex relationship in which Bavinck’s thought stands to that of Friedrich Schleiermacher.
Author: Ole Bruun

Abstract

Despite years of international criticism and domestic policy making, China still plays a key role in illegal wildlife trafficking. Although the country has begun a transition from the mindless exploitation of nature towards an envisioned Ecological Civilisation, basic tenets in traditional medicine and popular cosmology continue to have highly adverse ecological consequences, both at home and abroad. Evaluating recent trends in international wildlife trade, Chinese policy making, and popular cosmology in China, this article aims to throw light on why wildlife substances continue to play such important role in the modern society, as well as to reflect on the preconditions for broader value change. The article goes on to argue that in order to get a better understanding on how nature and wildlife are viewed in a Chinese context, one is compelled to reflect not only on the impact of popular cosmology but also of authoritarian governance on conservation.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
Author: James W. Waters

Abstract

Eco-feminist Val Plumwood has argued that as heirs of rationalism, the developed world has created an ecological crisis that is truly a crisis of reason. Of primary concern is the “rationalist hyper-separation of human identity from nature,” which has caused a great epistemological schism between ethics and ecology. Assuming the ecological crisis is, as Plumwood argues, an epistemological crisis enflamed by the human/non-human, ethical/ecological divisions that take place in modern forms of rationalism, this essay argues that certain western interpretations of Christian divinity—particularly the notion of divinity purported by Thomas Aquinas—have historically supported hegemonic forms of rationalism and human supremacy. After showing that certain Thomist formulations of the divine have buttressed the anthropocentric elements of modern rationalism, I venture a reading of Christian divinity that is radically relational in character. This reading of the divine highlights the inseparability of the human and non-human, and begins doing so by emphasizing the intimate connection between human and non-human animality. Such a re-framing of divinity, I argue, could help bridge the human/non-human, ethical/ecological divides, complicate anthropocentric logic, and mitigate the vast eco-epistemological crisis of our day.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
Author: Mark Graham

Abstract

This article criticizes the so-called “stewardship paradigm,” which forms the theological basis for Catholic environmentalism, and argues that Thomas Berry’s cosmology provides a more theologically palatable platform for developing Catholic environmentalism. The substantive ethical shift emerging from Berry’s cosmology is the displacement of human well-being as the proximate norm for human behavior in favor of promoting biodiversity on planet Earth. In other words, biodiversity is the primary ethical good, and human well-being is secondary.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

This paper explores the cultural context and ecological implications of two menstrual festivals in northeastern India: Rajaparba in Orissa and Ambuvaci in Kamakhya, Assam. We argue that these festivals are extremely fruitful sites to explore questions of women and power in religious communities where the Goddess is a central focus as well as their ecological implications for an integral worldview. These festivals, usually held at the beginning of the monsoon when the Hindu Goddess menstruates, are times when the earth is regenerated, when the body of the Goddess is regenerated, and when women and communities are regenerated in various ways. Participants report that pilgrimages to these festivals are indeed transformative and have positive impacts on their lives. As a result, we critique feminist arguments that claim that Hinduism is the basis for women’s social disempowerment, and as a result, the only meaningful social change must occur on a secular basis. We also use these festivals to critique contemporary feminist developmentalist ideologies.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology