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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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Restoring Earth, Restored to Earth: Toward an Ethic for Reinhabiting Place

Restoring Earth, Restored to Earth: Toward an Ethic for Reinhabiting Place

Chapter:
(p.415) Restoring Earth, Restored to Earth: Toward an Ethic for Reinhabiting Place
Source:
Ecospirit
Author(s):

Daniel T. Spencer

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823227457.003.0021

Ecological restoration has grown rapidly in the past twenty years as a science, a philosophy, and an ethic. As a philosophically grounded ethic, restoration sees nature and humanity as fundamentally united and seeks for ecologically sustainable ways that human communities can participate actively in nature. Some environmentalists, however, are cautious, even skeptical, about having restoration become the basis of an environmental ethic, seeing it as simply the latest justification for ongoing human intervention in natural systems, rather than learning to adapt our communities to the constraints of ecological systems. This chapter explores some of the dimensions of sustainable community that these local efforts at ecological restoration exemplify, and argues that they illustrate a particularly promising component of an ethic of sustainability rooted in place. It begins with some preliminary remarks about epistemology, and then turns to an examination of ecological restoration itself—what it is and some of the philosophical issues and debates it has fostered. It then considers ecotheology, and offers some comments about the possibilities of “restoration” as a Christian theological metaphor that can be reworked within.

Keywords:   ecological restoration, ecological theology, environmental ethics, ecotheology

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