Religious and Environmental Values: Discovering the Landscape
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Environment and Natural Resources Honors Theses; 2019
Religion has had a contested identity within the environmental movement. Some have argued that religion has had an historically problematic environmental influence, and may still be of limited utility to the solution of environmental problems. Others, and a growing literature and movement of faith-based environmentalism, would argue that religion may have a unique and essential role to play in solving environmental problems, a role that has often been underestimated. Various studies have attempted to describe the influence of religion on the environment, but the variety and ongoing evolution of religious communities and their influence makes any questions about the relations between religion and the environment dynamic. Furthermore, many studies of enviromental attitudes and behavior have either ignored or misunderstood the potential influence of religious views and values on environmental attitudes, behaviors, and policy preferences. Some scholars continue to question whether some religious views might be problematic, or rely on metrics for environmental values (like the New Ecological Paradigm) that may be biased toward rewarding liberal/progressive environmental views while failing to acknowledge environmental values that conservatives might hold. Based on preliminary findings of a study that discovered that re-wording and re-framing of traditional environmental value metrics (Ard, Hitzhusen 2016) rendered any difference in environmental values between liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, as insignificant, this study seeks to explore what values may operate the religious and environmental landscape that might activate latent environmental values in the American religious community.
Academic Major: Environmental Policy and Decision Making
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