Environmental Millennialism

Robin Globus and Bron Taylor

in The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780195301052
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Environmental Millennialism

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This article offers a description of the phenomenon of environmental millennialism. Environmentalism synthesises hard science and religion to formulate millennial themes. Although relevant ecological awareness dawned only in the middle of the twentieth century, man's mastery and manipulation over and of nature, have been inspiring Romantics with apocalyptic millennial visions ever since the nineteenth century. George Perkins Marsh's Man and Nature traces the decline of the Roman Empire to indiscreet use of natural resources and predicted a similar fate at the hands of the Americans. The Romantics asserted hubris and arrogance as the roots of environmental degradation. In a postmodern era, new age environmentalism reflects both pessimism and hope in the environmental degradation induced by imminent catastrophe, and a makes a call to reverse the process. Its ultimate conclusions are indeterminate yet versatile. Environmentalism is activist in nature and secular in approach and critique.

Keywords: environmentalism; environmental millennialism; ecological awareness; Roman Empire; pessimism; environmental degradation

Article.  8584 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Religion and Science ; Religious Studies

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