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

Daniel T. Spencer

in Ecospirit

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227457
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236626 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

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

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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

Chapter.  6515 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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