Otherness of Nature Essay

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The Quest for Integral Ecology Sam Mickey, Adam Robbert, Laura Reddick1 Abstract: Integral ecology is an emerging paradigm in ecological theory and practice, with multiple and varied integral approaches to ecology having been proposed in recent decades. A common aim of integral ecologies is to cross boundaries between disciplines (humanities, social sciences, and biophysical sciences) in efforts to develop comprehensive understandings of and responses to the intertwining of nature, culture, and consciousness in ecological issues. This article presents an exploration of the different approaches that have been taken in articulating an integral ecology. Along with a historical overview of the notion of integral ecology, we present an exposition of some of the philosophical and religious visions that are shared by the diversity of integral ecologies. Keywords: ecology, integral ecology, religion and ecology, speculative philosophy, Thomas Berry. “The quest today is increasingly for an integral ecology” (Boff and Elizondo, 1995, p. ix). That quest is our topic in what follows. Although Boff and Elizondo were among the first to use the phrase “integral ecology” in 1995, the quest for an integral ecology is not entirely new. It is an increasingly pressing quest today, but the quest itself has a very long and complex itinerary, with routes extending to the earliest attempts of human beings to understand and respond to the relations and patterns between the myriad beings that they encounter alongside them in the world. The quest for an integral ecology is at work, at least implicitly, in the control of fire, the invention of cooking, cave painting, the cultivation of plants, and the domestication of animals. All of these activities required humans to develop a sense of relationships (e.g., between wood, Sam Mickey, Ph.D. teaches in the Theology and Religious Studies

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