Green History of Religion

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* Book: Anand Veeraraj. The Green History of Religion.



Dave McLeod:

His book sought to show the root causes for the rise of, what Karl Jaspers calls, the “Axial Age.” His research showed planet-wide climatic and environmental changes were occurring during the millennia preceding the rise of the axial age.

"Our findings showed that from about 12,000 BCE, the planet went through a warming trend causing extreme climate changes all across the globe. It disrupted primal societies and their ways of life and successively displaced ancient pastoral and agrarian communities. The warming trend intensified rapidly quickening the rise and fall of ancient civilizations at the core centers. The tumultuous social and ecological ethos of the pre-axial times became conducive for the formation of world-denying motifs that became the bedrock of all post-axial religions and philosophies. This, in a nutshell, is the thesis of Green History of Religion."

Veeraraj wrote the book as his PhD thesis at Claremont College (devoted to Whiteheadian process theology, founded by John Cobb).


Michael Dowd:

"Professor John B. Cobb, Jr's uncharacteristically over-the-top Amazon review of this book deserves to be read in full (see here). He begins, "This is truly a ground-breaking book!" I couldn't agree more. This book is essential for understanding the climatological, historical, and environmental factors that inexorably led the world's 'great faiths' (axial religions) to share a common distain for nature and sense of "cosmic homelessness."


More information

Michael Dowd offers audio recordings of the book, as well as of the summary essay: "Transforming Axial Paradigms in Seizing an Ecological Civilization"