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Religion and Resistance in AppalachiaFaith and the Fight Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining$
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Joseph D. Witt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168128

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168128.001.0001

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Defending Mother Earth

Defending Mother Earth

Biocentrism and Nature-Venerating Spiritualities

Chapter:
(p.145) 4 Defending Mother Earth
Source:
Religion and Resistance in Appalachia
Author(s):

Joseph D. Witt

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813168128.003.0005

This chapter examines a third thread of religious resistance to mountaintop removal, a set of perspectives broadly listed under the category of nature-venerating spiritualities. Most basically, these forms of religious responses posit some sort of intrinsic, spiritual value in natural ecosystems. They often share similarities with biocentric arguments, particularly those associated with Deep Ecology and radical environmental movements. Nature-venerating spiritualities take many forms in the Appalachian movement, including the many types of dark green religion as described by Bron Taylor. Nature-venerating spiritualities are also expressed through a vernacular nature religion, or a localized expression of care for place based out of experience and work in Appalachia. The chapter describes several points where nature-venerating spiritualities entered the anti-mountaintop removal movement.

Keywords:   Dark Green Religion, Biocentrism, Vernacular Nature Religion, Radical Environmentalism, Deep Ecology

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