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EcospiritReligions and Philosophies for the Earth$
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Laurel Kearns and Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227457

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227457.001.0001

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The Preoriginal Gift—and Our Response to It

The Preoriginal Gift—and Our Response to It

(p.217) The Preoriginal Gift—and Our Response to It

Anne Primavesi

Fordham University Press

In Sacred Gaia (2000) and again in Gaia's Gift (2003), the author explored the concept of “gift” while taking for granted that it involves more than simply an exchange of goods between two people. This chapter spells out, as precisely as possible, what this “more than” refers to. Briefly, it presupposes that gift is essentially a community event constituted by diverse inputs over time from the environments—natural, biological, and social— of giver and receiver. Within this extended framework, such events are best understood as instances of symbolic behavior that mediate and disclose more of the basic and evolving relationships between people and their lifeworlds than can be discerned in the immediate context of the gift itself or in its content. Potentially, the framework extends as far as earth's limits: or, if desired, beyond them to include the birth of our solar system and the life-giving power of the sun.

Keywords:   gift, giving, nature, semantics, ownership, ecological theology

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