A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature

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Macmillan, Apr 14, 2009 - Nature - 320 pages
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A surprising and enlightening investigation of how modern society is making nature sacred once again

For more than two centuries, Western cultures, as they became ever more industrialized, increasingly regarded the natural world as little more than a collection of useful raw resources. The folklore of powerful forest spirits and mountain demons was displaced by the practicalities of logging and strip-mining; the traditional rituals of hunting ceremonies gave way to the indiscriminate butchering of animals for meat markets. In the famous lament of Max Weber, our surroundings became "disenchanted," with nature's magic swept away by secularization and rationalization.

But now, as acclaimed sociologist James William Gibson reveals in this insightful study, the culture of enchantment is making an astonishing comeback. From Greenpeace eco-warriors to evangelical Christians preaching "creation care" and geneticists who speak of human-animal kinship, Gibson finds a remarkably broad yearning for a spiritual reconnection to nature. As we grapple with increasingly dire environmental disasters, he points to this cultural shift as the last utopian dream—the final hope for protecting the world that all of us must live in.


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A reenchanted world: the quest for a new kinship with nature

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Since the industrial era, our connection with the environment has been one of utilitarianism and capitalist interests. Recently, however, the greening of our culture has been moving from society's ... Read full review

Review: A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature

User Review  - Maggie Jaicomo - Goodreads

this book was full of good insight and fascinating facts. however, it was a bit blocky and at times slow reading due to the fact that it is basically a big research paper. Read full review


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About the author (2009)

James William Gibson is the author of Warrior Dreams: Paramilitary Culture in Post-Vietnam America and The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam. A frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times and the winner of multiple awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gibson is a professor of sociology at California State University, Long Beach. He lives in Los Angeles.

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