Office of the Registrar
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Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
Fax: (603) 646-xxxx
Email: reg@Dartmouth.EDU

New Course Supplement 2016

REL 19.23 Ecology, Ethics and Religion

The biosphere has evolved a level of biodiversity unprecedented in earth history in a period (the last ten thousand years) known as the Holocene in which humans evolved from hunter-gatherers to agrarians and industrialists. Agriculture enabled the development of complex civilizations which had a tendency to press ecological support systems to the point of collapse. The latest of these – industrial capitalism – is now a global civilization and is putting pressure on the planet as a whole to the extent that the evolving and reparative capacities of life on earth are at risk. Despite a groundswell of environmental protest, and regulatory changes, mainstream conservation and climate science has not yet changed the direction of civilization in a more sustainable direction. Some in the conservation movement have joined forces with religious leaders such as Patriarch Bartholomew, and Pope Francis who penned an ‘environmental encyclical’ in 2015, in recognition of the enduring cultural power of religion and of its potential to promote pro-environmental beliefs and behaviors. In this course we will study the book which inspired the formation of the EPA in the United States, a survey of environmental ethics by the ‘founding father’ of the field, a history of ideas perspective on the cultural origins of the environmental crisis and possible faith-based repairs.

Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.