Printer Friendly

People of place, ethics of earth: indigenous nations, interfaith dialogue, and environmental sustainability.


The debate over the reality of global climate change is over, but the debate over how to motivate the changes in human behavior necessary to ensure environmental sustainability is just beginning. With more than four-fifths of the global population identifying as a member of a religious group, (1) religions have an opportunity and an obligation to help guide the world toward sustainability. This work has already begun, with researchers working on easing (perceived or real) conflicts between science and religion, and interfaith activism on climate issues is beginning to attract attention. (2)

Because sustainability is a global issue, interfaith efforts seem best designed to address it. In a religiously plural world, no one religion is capable of moving public thought and action on its own, especially if religions with opposing views impede the progress. Furthermore, because the acceptance of sustainable lifestyles requires innovative measures that will work in a wide variety of social and cultural settings, the work of framing a vision of a sustainable planet and the policies for attaining it belong to those who are comfortable with religious, cultural, and ideological pluralism. Battles between religions, cultures, and ideologies impede the work that needs to be done. Nor can science alone substitute for interfaith work, because modern science is a source of objective knowledge and a seedbed of technological innovation, but it is not a source for holistic design, nor is it a source of the inspiration and ethical convictions that motivate human lifestyle decisions. Vision and motivation come not from science but from art and religion.

Religious dialogue has expanded from ecumenism (inter- and intra-Christian work) to interreligious, intercultural, and interideological forms of dialogue. However, as expansive as the terrain of dialogue has become, in its religious aspects, it has focused almost exclusively on what are called the "world religions." (3) There has been little attention paid to tribal/aboriginal/indigenous (4) religions. (5) However, with the emergence of environmental sustainability as a problem that global citizens need to solve together (because we all share one planet with its interconnected waters, atmosphere, and food chains), it behooves us to take another look at the ecologically relevant ideas and practices of tribal cultures.

Secular activists and researchers, too, are often guilty of neglecting indigenous voices on sustainability issues. For example, a recent cultural history of what it means to live simply includes only one non-Western figure (Gandhi), and even he was Western-educated. There are no chapters on Native Americans or other indigenous groups. (6)

My purpose is to encourage indigenous representation in ecumenical and interfaith dialogues that address sustainability issues. By way of introducing indigenous thought to those unfamiliar with it, I offer here a short introduction to three topics relevant to environmental sustainability: (1) The Cosmos: The indigenous view of creation challenges but also complements both modern scientific and Western religious cosmologies. (2) Native Science: In the past two decades, some Native American scholars have married a traditional understanding of the natural world with quantum physics, resulting in a relational, creative, inclusive, and ethical view of the environment. (3) Animals: Indigenous people eat meat, but they also view animals as relatives, teachers, and heroes.

Before proceeding to these topics, I will first discuss how and why indigenous peoples are unique, for it is their uniqueness that makes it difficult for them to enter into some of the common ways of framing sustainability issues. Indigenous nations differ in important ways from nation-states, and indigenous religions also differ in important ways from world religions. This needs to be understood before a mutually intelligible dialogue can proceed.

I. Why Are Indigenous Peoples "Different"?

A. Place-Bound

Every tribal religion is unique, as is every tribal culture. This uniqueness arises, in part, because of their deep connection to the physical and biological elements of their environment. Both their theoretical and their practical structures are designed to maintain a localized but concentrated web of relationships. These cultures are place-bound. While this "unique-because-place-bound" quality makes it hard to generalize about the specifics of beliefs, values, and practices, it also makes it possible to generalize about at least one characteristic: Each is connected to a particular geographic location. "World religions" are "world" precisely because they have grown and spread beyond the boundaries of their point of origin. They can persist independently of any particular physical geography or biogeography. Because their spiritual, cultural, and physical survival is tied to a particular location, tribal peoples should be an important component of any attempt to put interreligious and ecumenical dialogue in the service of promoting the philosophical and behavioral changes necessary for environmental sustainability. However, there are significant barriers to their inclusion.

B. History of Oppression by "World Religions"

The world religions grew by expanding their horizontal networks through conquest, trade, and missions. In this process, a religious bond was created that superseded family, tribal, and national bonds. This religious bond overshadowed these more localized loyalties and became an important component of the identity of the majority of the world's population. In this process, world religions have often been conquerors, even destroyers, of place-bound loyalties. Tribal religions, which expressed and transmitted these place-bound loyalties, were a hindrance to the expansion of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Many times, representatives of these large religions collaborated with government officials to suppress or even attempt to eradicate tribal rituals and ways of life. (7) Indigenous traditionalists, (8) who are attempting to rebuild native practices after centuries of oppression, are understandably wary of interreligious or intercultural events organized or dominated by the large world religions.

C. Lack of Congruence with Nation-State Form of Government

In addition to religious expansion, political expansion has often posed a threat to tribal people. Though attempts to eradicate or assimilate indigenous cultures existed both before and after the period of European expansion, it was the spread of the European nation-state form of government that engendered the attempts at cultural and national obliteration so vividly remembered by tribal peoples today. It is the lack of congruity between a nation-state form of government and the cultures of tribal peoples that makes their situation separate and distinct from that of other oppressed peoples. Even liberation theologies, which have done so much to help other economically and socially oppressed communities, fail to address the unique situation of tribal communities. To understand this better, we need to recall post-World War II history.

After that war, the world split into two competing spheres of influence: that of the United States of America, and that of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was common to speak of the developed countries aligned with the U.S.A. as the First World. The communist states, led by the U.S.S.R., were referred to as the "Second World." The rest of the world was the "Third World." Because most Third World countries were poor, the term "Third World" also came to have economic connotations. Notice that the terms "First World," "Second World," and "Third World" all refer to states. The term "Fourth World" was coined later, in the early 1970's, to refer to nations living within the borders of states (or across state boundaries) who maintain their own distinct society and governance. These people are "nations," but not "states." Today, the terms "indigenous peoples," "sovereign tribes," "aborigines," and "First Nations" are applied to the peoples who are the "Fourth World nations" in the terminology stemming from this post-World War II history.

D. Difference between Liberation Theologies and Fourth World Theologies

Although many Fourth World nations share in the poverty and associated maladies of the Third World, their situation differs in fundamental ways from that of developing nations. George Tinker (9) has been a key figure in defining these differences, beginning with his keynote address at the 1992 Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians. (10) Tinker compared the liberation theology of Gustavo Gutierrez with the Fourth World Native American theology that he was proposing. Tinker agreed with Gutierrez's assertion that the focus of the church should not be on the nonbeliever but, rather, on the "nonperson" (meaning the person who is poor, exploited, and treated as if she or he were less than human). However, liberation theology's analysis of the poor in terms of social and economic class structures is not helpful to Native Americans for whom categorization according to class structures is an alien concept. Native Americans insist on being recognized as nations whose poverty is rooted in the loss of their traditional relationship to their land. They desire national sovereignty, not control of the means of production.

According to Tinker, while it is true that "capitalist economic structures ... have reduced Native American peoples to non-personhood[,] ... to put the means of production into the hands of the poor eventually makes the poor exploiters of indigenous peoples and their natural resources." (11) Traditional indigenous economies do not engage in production in the modern economic sense, but they require a healthy environment (soil, plants, and animals) to maintain their traditional way of life. While we cannot claim that indigenous peoples have a perfect record with respect to the environment, it is clear that the rate of environmental destruction has multiplied under modern means of production. While it is admittedly done in the hope of providing a better life for all people, putting modern means of production into ever more hands leads to ever greater exploitation of the environment and those whose spiritual, cultural, and physical lives depend upon it most immediately.

E. Spatial rather than Temporal Orientation

Another difference between liberation theology and Fourth World theology arises from the fact that liberation theology is rooted in Western analyses, which are temporally rather than spatially oriented. Tinker describes the Western intellectual tradition as being "rooted in ... temporal metaphors and thought processes." (12) Hence, progress, history, development, evolution and process become key notions that invade all academic discourse in the West, from science and economics to philosophy and theology." (13)

These temporal metaphors and thought processes cannot provide adequate analytic or hermeneutic tools for understanding indigenous philosophies. Gutierrez's The Power of the Poor in History (14) proclaims God's self-revelation in history. Tinker countered that, for Native Americans, God is revealed "in creation, in space or place and not in time." (15) A spatially focused spirituality allows for cultural discreteness that reflects the variety in spatial locations, but a temporally based spirituality finds fulfillment in a future bliss toward which all must aspire, a singular point of convergence. Whether in secular or religious guise, temporal paradigms do not allow for radically different goals and ways of being, but such radical pluralism is a strength that indigenous people have to offer in the service of environmental protection. Just as natural environments differ, so must the cultures designed to live in harmony with them.

Whether in capitalist or socialist guise, temporal proposals for relief from suffering require identification as a corporate manager or employee. In either case, an indigenous person's identity as a member of a particular place and community is overshadowed by the corporate identity of being either a manager or a rank-and-file employee--an abstract economic identity that can be moved about anywhere in a global economic system as opposed to a place-based identity. (16) As Tinker pointed out, this amounts to cultural and spiritual genocide. Communities that identify with a particular piece of land cannot maintain their cultural or spiritual life when they are removed from that piece of land and/or are forced to view their land through the lens of an economic system that strips it of its spiritual meaning. (17) The benefits of a land-based spirituality for interfaith ecological work are obvious, but equally obvious is the distance between current global intellectual trends--political, economic, and religious--and indigenous, land-based spirituality.

I turn next to the three topics that I will use to explain some of the riches available to ecumenical and interfaith groups working on sustainability issues when indigenous perspectives are included. These sections also discuss some differences between the cosmological, scientific, social, and moral imaginations of world religions on the one hand and indigenous religions on the other hand. It is my hope that having a prior understanding of these differences will be beneficial to those who choose to dialogue with indigenous peoples.

II. The Cosmos: The Spatial Orientation of Our Lives

Modern scientific cosmology, rooted as it is in Western thought, is concerned with the origin of the universe in time. The same is true of the modern Western religious notion of creation; it is concerned with a beginning in time. The contemporary debate/dialogue between science and religion is taking place within this Western framework, even when non-Western religions participate. This is due to the dominance of Western ways of thinking. Since the earth is shared by all cultures, discussion about its future should not be limited to Western ways of asking and answering questions. As an alternative way of thinking about the cosmos, let us consider how Native Americans view the world.

Native American thought is rooted in a cosmography (a map of reality), not a cosmogony (theory about the origin of the cosmos). (18) Native philosophy, being predominantly spatially rather than temporally oriented, thinks of creation primarily as all that exists. The universe is organized into directions, not into geologic or historical time periods. Creation is all that is, not something that happened at a certain point in time. All that exists is related--not through temporal continuity but through kinship.

This is not to say that Native Americans posit a static universe composed of unchanging things. Space is flux, and ethics and healing are a matter of maintaining and restoring balance and harmony in the midst of the flux. Native American languages are verb- and process-based, in contrast to noun- and thing-based European languages. (19) But, in traditional Native American thought, time is not a straight line that is going somewhere; it is circular and folds back upon itself. Everything is in transformation, but the goals of that transformation are health and harmony here and now, not the attainment of an ideal state in the far future or at the end of time. Clearly, the Native perspective on creation is valuable for encouraging intentional changes in support of sustainability, without devaluing what came before.

As Native Americans see it, creation is not composed of isolated spheres of existence in which plants are unable to communicate with rocks or animals or humans. The kinship patterns of Native America include all forms of animate and inanimate existence. The environment is not perceived as something inhuman that needs to be brought under human control but as an extended, inclusive set of relationships in which all beings are to be respected and cared for. In the circle of life, no form of life is superior to any other. Life is not connected along an evolutionary path in which some forms of life are higher than others. The circle, which is the symbolic representation of the harmony of these relationships, is not a hierarchical structure. (20)

There is a vertical plane in Native American cosmography, but it does not carry the evaluative connotations of "better" vs. "worse" or "good" vs. "evil." Native American cosmography consists of six directions: east, south, west, north, above, and below. 'Above" is the sky, and "below" is the earth, just as in many other cosmological systems. However, in the Native system, "above" or sky is not considered superior to "below" or earth. According to Tinker, the Sacred Mystery/Creator is unknowable but has manifested itself as a duality of above and below, sky and earth. This is not a dualism of good and evil but complementary manifestations of the same Sacred Mystery. (21) It is the evaluative connotations that we have attached to "above" and "below" that preclude the thought that the spirit and the clay from which the biblical God fashioned ha-Adam (the human being, or "the earthling") might both have been divine.

Because "below" is not the negative or evil side of a moral dualism, it is not a hell, nor is the earth an intermediate realm between the heavens and the hells, as in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is as much a manifestation of Creator as the heavens above us.

III. Native Science: "An Inclusive and Moral Universe" (22)

When I used Gregory Cajete's "Philosophy of Native Science" in a Religion and Agriculture course, a young man asked why Cajete called what he was describing "science." For those who share his question, let me suggest the following: (1) Search for a definition of science on the web, and you will see that science is as hard to define as religion; (2) consider the answer to that question from the Native Science Academy (23); and (3) remember that we use terms such as "ancient Greek science," "science and technology in ancient China," and "Islamic science" without hesitation. None of these cultures shared all the principles and methods of modern science, but all had some form of study of what we call "the natural world." The same may be said of Native science.

Whereas Western science is based on observation and experimentation, Native science is based on observation and lived experience. The Western scientist will manipulate nature to see what happens if this or that variable is isolated and subjected to specifiable conditions. The Native scientist will watch and detect patterns, similar to the way in which naturalists such as Aldo Leopold learned about the natural world, and also similar to the way in which many contemporary small-scale farmers around the world learn about natural systems.

Western science is objective; its goal is to see what happens "out there, independent of the influence of the knowing subject. Cajete called Native science a kind of phenomenology, meaning that it is based in the knower's experience of the world. Thus, knowing is based on direct experience of and interaction with nature. Western science "abstracts the mind from the human body and the body of the world." (24) Native science is based on the self-in-the-world, at a particular place. Knowledge is based on "participation in the here and now, and emphasizes our role as one of nature's members rather than as striving to be in control of it." (25)

In Western discussions about science and religion, the primary point of interest is evolution. We have already mentioned that indigenous religions do not consider life to be organized along an evolutionary line in which some life forms are higher than others. The primary focus of interest in Native science has been quantum physics and chaos theory, not evolution. This preference is not unexpected, since evolutionary theory is linear, while chaos theory, like the Native cosmos, is nonlinear. Linear theory allows for prediction and control; nonlinear systems do not allow for prediction and control. Since Native interest in understanding the natural world is not focused on prediction and control, this is a not a disadvantage from their perspective. Chaos theory, on the other hand, provides a better foundation for the various forms of artistic expression that characterize Native cultures.

Cajete remarked that quantum physics has "brought Western science closer to understanding nature as Native peoples have always understood it--that is, not simply as a collection of objects, but rather as a dynamic, ever-flowing river of creation inseparable from our own perceptions, the creative center from which we and everything else have come and to which we always return." (26) In chaos theory, everything emerges in an unpredictable manner from the void. This does not mean things have no causes. Rather, it means that creation of any one thing is a balancing act with everything else in the universe, an ever-changing point of harmony. Thus, in chaos theory, as in Native cosmology, "everything is related, everything has an effect, and ... even small things have an influence.... each of us may subtly influence the course of any system, including those that seem to be the most intractable." (27)

Since any part of this creative flux may influence all other segments of the web of life, we are co-creators. And, since every part of the web influences every other part, we are responsible to the entire web. In this way, chaos theory helps to explain the connection between Native science on the one hand and Native arts and ethics on the other hand. This also provides further demonstration of the usefulness of indigenous thought to ecological concerns: In this view, we are responsible for the future of the entire web of being, and we have the creative capacity to influence the cosmos, not by grand achievements but by subtle effects. Because Native science is based on relationships rather than objectivity, ethics is naturally and intimately connected with it.
      Meaning and understanding were the priorities of Native science,
   rather than a need to predict and control. People were interested
   in finding the proper, ethical, and moral paths upon which human
   beings should walk. Meaningful relationship and an understanding of
   one's responsibilities to those entities in nature that people
   depended on were the reasons for a Native science. (28)

In the final section, we will see how Native science helps to explain traditional Native American relationships with animals. The ethics of meat-eating is a contentious issue in discussions of global food systems. For example, is the slaughter of animals for food ethical? Is a vegetarian lifestyle better for the environment? Indigenous religions do not side neatly with either vegetarians or the meat industry on these issues. Even if it were only for that reason, it would be important to bring their perspective into dialogue with the major contenders in this debate.

IV. The Animals: Kin, Teachers, Helpers, and Moral Heroes

As Steven Wise fights for legal personhood status for some nonhumans in the State of New York, (29) it is interesting to note that this battle would be unnecessary in most indigenous cultures. While Descartes thought that animals lack reason and self-awareness, and Western philosophers and scientists have toiled in his tracks ever since, (30) hunter-gatherer societies around the world view animals as fully sentient. In these societies, animals are equal in status to humans; humans do not own animals. Animals are related to humans; they are kin, not property. They are not related genetically (as evolutionary biology would have it), but through the land that they mutually occupy. It is living together that makes them kin, not genetic closeness.

Humans turn into animals and vice versa in many myths. We may conclude that a barrier between human and nonhuman animals is believed to be permeable, if it exists at all.

Animals (and other parts of the natural world) often serve as links between the Great Mystery and humans. In Native America, many tribes believe that the non human world reflects the qualities of the Great Spirit. Visions and other communications from the sacred realm usually involve animals or some other natural form. Since these communications are believed to come from the Great Spirit, it is not surprising that animals are often regarded as teachers. They play the role of revealed scriptures in religions such as Judaism, which calls its scriptures "instruction." (31) Each animal has unique characteristics that contribute to our understanding of the world.

Nonhuman animals are believed to have sacred attributes, knowledge, and powers that can be transmitted to humans. They preceded humans in the order of creation and therefore are due the respect given to age. Indeed, there are many stories in which animals actually assist in the creation of the world and many others in which they assist humans, similar to the manner in which angels or Buddhist bodhisattvas are believed to help people. Therefore, animals are to be respected and emulated. (32)

The evocative title of Joel Martin's history of Native American religion admirably captures the Native idea of how humans are related to the natural world: The Land Looks after Us. (33) How different from a worldview that perceives the natural world as a threatening environment that needs to be tamed! How different, too, from a scientific-technological worldview that sees the natural environment as literally inanimate (lacking life, thought, or soul) and, therefore, not of interest for its own sake but simply as a canvas for human action. The indigenous view of creation is even more robust than the view implied by the Western religious idea of stewardship. In the latter, humans take care of creation. In the Native view, Creation, filled with the Spirit of Creator, takes care of us.

Animals, like the land itself, are active agents, not simply passive objects to be acted upon by humans. They willingly give themselves as food to those humans who respect and thank them for their sacrifice. For the Lakota, the buffalo is the embodiment of the kind of sacrificial life enacted in the Sun Dance. It is not a victim of human cunning, pitted against its size and strength. It is as much a hero as the warrior who lays down one's life so that others may live. In this and many other ways, animals are believed to be wiser than humans. They serve as teachers and helpers of those humans who sincerely want to learn and practice their wisdom. They are teachers of both skills (for example, healing and survival) and virtue (for example, a sacrificial life).

V. Resources

A. Persons

It is imperative that the world, including the world religions, receive the wisdom of Native American and other indigenous nations as we struggle to preserve the planet and its life forms. The values embedded in the Western notion of "progress" enrich the world, but they also sustain extractive economies. It is time to emphasize values that will sustain the earth and its resources. Indigenous peoples are an especially rich source of such values. If you live near a reservation or a traditional homeland of an indigenous nation, you are blessed, but what if you do not? In that case, you may be wondering how to find a tribal elder to invite to your dialogue group. Check speakers' bureaus hosted by state humanities councils, by chambers of commerce, and by institutions of higher education. Pay special attention to tribal colleges and universities (TCU's); there is a state-by-state list of TCU's on the web page of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. (34)

B. Print Resources

Joseph Epes Brown with Emily Cousins, Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions (Oxford, U.K., and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Gregory Cajete, Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence (Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers, 1999).

Joel W. Martin, The Land Looks after Us: A History of Native American Religion (Oxford, U.K., and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, 2001).

Melissa K. Nelson, ed., Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future (Rochester, VT: Bear & Co., 2008).

Anne Waters, ed., American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays (Malden, MA, and Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell Publishing, 2004).

C. Online Resources

Dan Moonhawk Alford, "God Is Not a Noun in Native America: Worldview Thought Experiment' (1994); available at

Roger Boyd, "The Indigenous and Modern Relationship between People and Animals" (published by Humanity's Test, January 17, 2014); available at stories/2014-01-17/the-indigenous-and-modern-relationship-between-people-and-animals.

The Native Science Academy; see emy.html.

Rose von Thater-Braan, "The Six Directions: A Pattern for Understanding Native American Educational Values, Diversity, and the Need for Cognitive Pluralism," for the SECME Summer Institute Plenary Session, July 10, 2001, at the University of Arizona, Tucson; available at %2004.pdf.

* I would like to thank Dr Charles Woodard, Distinguished Professor of English at South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, for his comments on a draft of this essay. He has worked extensively with Lakota, Dakota, and other Native American students, authors, elders, and public speakers.

(1) Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project, available at 2012/ 12/18/global-religious-landscape-exec/.

(2) "Religious Communities Are Concerned about the Climate,'" Deutsche Welle, September 30, 2014; available at 92.

(3) The term world religions" is deeply embedded in textbooks and professional literature, but it is problematic because many religions with a smaller number of adherents also have a worldwide presence.

(4) These three terms are used interchangeably in the literature, and I will follow that practice in this article.

(5) The Journal of Ecumenical Studies published its first article on Native Americans in its Summer, 2014, issue. [It did publish reviews of books on the topic as early as 1972 and as recently as 2012, and it has listed articles from other journals by George Tinker, e.g., as early as 1992. Eds.]

(6) The book to which I refer is Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod, eds., Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future (Melbourne: Simplicity Institute Publishing, 2014).

(7) Persecution of tribal religions continues today. See

(8) I use the term "traditionalist" here because not all persons with indigenous blood and not all persons who live on reservations are knowledgeable about the traditions of their tribe. Ecumenical or interfaith groups seeking to include an indigenous perspective should seek out a tribal elder, a graduate of a tribal college or university, or someone else who is knowledgeable about the tribe's history and traditional lifestyle. Also, be aware that some (but not all) converts to a world religion believe their religious identity is incompatible with the traditional tribal worldview.

(9) Tinker is a Lutheran minister, a member of the Osage Nation, and the Clifford Baldridge Professor of American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions at the Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado.

(10) This address was published as "Spirituality, Native American Personhood, Sovereignty, and Solidarity," chap. 9 in James Treat, ed., Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada (New York: Routledge Press, 1996), pp. 115-131.

(11) Ibid., p. 118.

(12) Ibid., p. 121.

(13) Ibid.

(14) Gustavo Gutierrez, The Power of the Poor in History: Selected Writings, tr Robert R Barr (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1983).

(15) Tinker, "Spirituality," p. 119.

(16) To understand a little about the practical import of this, one need only consider the increasing frequency with which family members are geographically separated in the interest of earning money. This is the case for nonminority families as well as minority families.

(17) See Tinker, "Spirituality," p. 126.

(18) Cultures usually have both a map of reality and a theory about the origin of all that exists, so it is important not to turn this into a mutually exclusive contrast. Nonetheless, one way of thinking predominates, and that has important ramifications for the entire intellectual tapestry of each culture.

(19) See the 1994 speech by Dan Moonhawk Alford, "God Is Not a Noun in Native America"; available at

(20) This understanding of creation is not entirely unlike the view of creation in Genesis 1. Commenting on the opening chapter of the Bible, Ellen F. Davis, the Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC, wrote that "already in the first chapter of the Priestly work, one can discern that the form of human life is fundamentally ecological-- understanding 'ecology,' with Aldo Leopold, as 'the science of relationships'" (Ellen F. Davis, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible [Cambridge, U.K., and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009], p. 56); emphasis in original. The reference is to Aldo Leopold, "Natural History, in Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. 210.

(21) See Tinker, "Spirituality," p. 122.

(22) This phrase is from an essay by Gregory Cajete, "Philosophy of Native Science," chap. 5 in Anne Waters, ed., American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays (Malden, MA, and Oxford U K Blackwell Publishing, 2004), p. 55.

(23) See (scroll down the right hand column to the section titled "Is Native Science Science?").

(24) Cajete, "Philosophy of Native Science," p. 46.

(25) Ibid., p. 47.

(26) Ibid., p. 48.

(27) Ibid., p. 49.

(28) Ibid., p. 52.

(29) Brandon Keim, "New York State Court Hears Landmark Chimp Personhood Case," October 9, 2014; available at

(30) "For an online history of Western philosophical treatments of the question of animal mind and reasoning, see the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy at (revised April 11, 2014).

(31) Joseph Epes Brown with Emily Cousins, Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions (Oxford, U.K., and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 93.

(32) See ibid., p. 94.

(33) Joel W. Martin, The Land Looks after Us: A History of Native American Religion (Oxford, U.K., and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, 2001).

(34) See
COPYRIGHT 2015 Journal of Ecumenical Studies
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Bahr, Ann Marie B.
Publication:Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2015
Previous Article:The enlightenment of Zen Buddhism and the Hesychastic vision of the divine light.
Next Article:Lectionary selections and ecological concerns: a contribution to dialogue.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters