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Sacred MountainsA Christian Ethical Approach to Mountaintop Removal$
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Andrew R. H. Thompson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813165998

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813165998.001.0001

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Loving the Mountains

Loving the Mountains

Conclusions, Challenges, and Ways Forward

(p.127) 6 Loving the Mountains
Sacred Mountains

Andrew R. H. Thompson

University Press of Kentucky

This concluding chapter places the process of critical examination and transformation of imaginations in the larger context of the moral life of the church. This process is a central feature of a pattern for theocentric moral action: a set of concrete practices intended to enact and sustain the theocentric imaginations described throughout the book. The author responds to the criticism that this approach leads only to resignation and undermines any possibility of a strong prophetic challenge. He does this, first, by arguing that this criticism misunderstands key features of Niebuhr’s position and represents the absolutizing of the relative against which he warns, and second, by calling for careful and active attention to the places of Appalachia—that is, by really loving the mountains. He argues that viewing MTR as representative of a new geological epoch—the anthropocene—may be the strongest theocentric challenge to the practice. Finally, he offers some specific guidelines for an ethical response to MTR.

Keywords:   mountaintop removal, Iris Murdoch, theocentrism, reclamation, hegemony, anthropocene, church

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