Article

The Role of Religions in Activism

Laurel Kearns

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199566600.003.0028

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

The Role of Religions in Activism

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Although scientists present facts, in relation to climate change, often depressing and alarming ones, it is religious traditions and leaders that can motivate people to change and can offer hope in the face of such facts. As this article illustrates, religious leaders and organizations can make a difference by mobilizing followers and framing the issue in moral terms; however, they can also stymie action on climate change through their vigorous rejection of the science or opposition to the implied economics. Focusing on the case of United States, this article states that one cannot examine political action/inaction on climate change without understanding the role of religious groups. This article explores the myriad ways that religious groups are taking the story told by the mounting scientific consensus on the reality of climate change, and grounding it in the moral and ethical imperative of their faith traditions.

Keywords: role of religion; climate skeptics; religious imperative; religious group; political action

Article.  7622 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Behaviour

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