Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Spiritual Ecology

  • Leslie E. SponselEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_9295-6

We can hear it in water, in wood, and even in stone.

We are earth of this earth, and we are bone of its bone.

This is a prayer I sing, for we have forgotten this and so

The earth is perishing

(Barbara Deming in John Seed, 1988, Thinking Like a Mountain).

Spiritual ecology is a major shift from religions that ignore nature into a growing sense that we participate in nature, realizing and feeling that we do not stand against nature, but are part of it. We do not have dominion over nature, but we depend on it – for air, water, earth, food, and the entire system of life given by whatever force created all its wonders. It is spiritual when we think at the ontological level, seeing ultimate reality as the ground of being that underlies all existence, and is far grander than our systems of thought. It is psychological when we feel that reality, “thinking like a mountain,” feeling the awesome wonder in 150 billion galaxies, the majesty of the blue oceans, the delicate balance of life systems,...


World Religion Sacred Site Spirit Possession Deep Ecology Promote Energy Efficiency 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Hawai’iHonoluluUSA