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Interpreting NatureThe Emerging Field of Environmental Hermeneutics$
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Forrest Clingerman, Brian Treanor, Martin Drenthen, and David Utsler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254255

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254255.001.0001

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New Nature Narratives

New Nature Narratives

Landscape Hermeneutics and Environmental Ethics

(p.225) Chapter 11 New Nature Narratives
Interpreting Nature

Martin Drenthen

Fordham University Press

In this essay, the author provides building blocks for a reconciliation of the ethical care for heritage protection and nature restoration ethics. It introduces a hermeneutic landscape philosophy that takes landscapes as palimpsests, multi-layered “texts” in need of interpretation, and place identities as built upon certain readings of the landscape. From a hermeneutical perspective, both approaches appear to complement each other: renaturing presents a valuable correction to the anthropocentrism of many European rural cultures, whereas heritage protectionists rightly point to the value of narratives for Old World identities. The author concludes with a short reflection on how such a hermeneutical environmental ethic can be helpful in dealing with environmental conflicts.

Keywords:   narrative, environmental ethics, ecological restoration, landscape heritage, legible landscapes, palimpsest, rewilding, philosophical hermeneutics

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