I’ve long been receptive to the idea that we need a spiritual, or even a religious, movement to address the climate crisis. Of course, I define both “spiritual” and “religious” quite broadly, and am well aware of how both terms have been shaped within histories that are Eurocentric and dominated by monotheistic, Christian, and more recently Protestant assumptions about what constitutes religion (and “spirit”) and what does not. As a (sometime) scholar of religion and spirituality, I avoid those assumptions.
Jem Bendell’s Deep Adaptation movement is, in my view, a spiritual movement. When it gets critiqued on empirical grounds, as it has been recently — and when it gets defended on those same grounds — the spiritual impulse underlying the movement might get lost. Clarifying what that impulse is can be helpful when one is trying to disentangle the arguments between the movement and its critics.
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