The Politics of “Wilderness”

Frédérique Apffel-Marglin

in Subversive Spiritualities

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199793853
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919246 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

The Politics of “Wilderness”

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Chapter 2 begins by re-visiting the modernist nature/culture dualism. This is done at first empirically by examining the category of “wilderness” especially through the creation of nature preserves. The notion that there are large tracts of the world that are untouched by humans is critically assessed and the more recent discoveries showing us that what was previously considered wilderness is in fact anthropogenic is reviewed. This chapter also begins a genealogy of how the non-human landscape became a material “nature” in dualistic opposition to the agency and culture of humans, a genealogy continued in chapter 3. In chapter 2, the world of the Renaissance occult philosophers is evoked. This chapter argues that the many movements to which they belonged all partook of a non-dualist worldview called “hylozoism”.

Keywords: wilderness; nature preserves; anthropogeny; Renaissance; occult philosophy; hylozoism

Chapter.  5870 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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