The environmental crisis has prompted religious leaders and lay
people to look to their traditions for resources to respond to
environmental degradation. In this book, Mari Joerstad contributes
to this effort by examining an ignored feature of the Hebrew Bible:
its attribution of activity and affect to trees, fields, soil, and
mountains. The Bible presents a social cosmos, in which humans are
one kind of person among many. Using a combination of the tools of
biblical studies and anthropological writings on animism, Joerstad
traces the activity of non-animal nature through the canon. She
shows how biblical writers go beyond sustainable development,
asking us to be good neighbors to mountains and trees, and to be
generous to our fields and vineyards. They envision human
communities that are sources of joy to plants and animals. The
Biblical writers' attention to inhabited spaces is particularly
salient for contemporary environmental ethics in their insistence
that our cities, suburbs, and villages contribute to flourishing
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