A Reenchanted World by James William Gibson
The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature

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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.


About James William Gibson

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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 winner of multiple awards, including a Guggenheim, Gibson is a professor of sociology at California State University, Long Beach. He lives in Los Angeles.
Published April 14, 2009 by Metropolitan Books. 320 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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From moving to open national forests to timber harvesting and oil and gas drilling, to refusing to classify new endangered species and protect their dwindling habitats, the author notes that the Bush administration’s “all-out attack on the nation’s public lands and environmental laws was unpreced...

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