Integral Ecologies

School of Consciousness and Transformation PARP 6278 3.00

Ever since it began (approximately 150 years ago), ecology has been the site of an ongoing emergence of new social movements and schools of thought, which have transformed not only laws and policies but also hearts and minds. Ecology is much more than simply the scientific study of relationships between organisms and environmental conditions. Today, there is a great abundance and diversity of ecologies, ranging from scientific to spiritual, personal to political, activist to academic, urban to wild, local to global, theoretical to practical, and everything in between. It is the task of integral approaches to ecology to engage and coordinate that multiplicity of ecologies, facilitating integration where there is fragmentation (e.g., academics ignoring activists, restoration ecologists ignoring religious worldviews, policymakers ignoring climate science, etc.). Integral approaches to ecology open possibilities for building alliances between different (and even contradictory) ecological perspectives so that they can enhance one another and facilitate comprehensive responses to ecological issues. In recent decades, many integral ecologies have emerged in response to the need for a big picture—a cosmological and spiritual context within which multiple ways of ecological knowing can ground a common vision and shared values for a peaceful, sustainable, and just Earth community. Along these lines, the cultural historian Thomas Berry spoke of the “integral ecologist as spiritual guide” for our current historical moment. This course is an exploration of the variety of integral ecologies, including Berry’s integral approach, which is rooted in the new cosmology, as well as approaches coming from complexity theory, liberation theology, postmodern and contemporary philosophy, ecofeminism, engaged Buddhism, and our own collaborative efforts to develop ideas and methods for becoming integral ecologists, becoming guides for our emerging Earth community. Priority to PCC and ESR students

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