6 Pages


Enabling an Environmental Culture

This chapter introduces various ways in which the encounter with nature may engender and support an environmental culture, by which it mean beliefs, values, habits and practices supportive of a kind of human livelihood that is attentive to the flourishing and character of the natural environment in which we are embedded. It summarizes by the idea that awareness of non-human nature can inform human culture in important ways, and that culture need not be thought of as in opposition to nature, even if many human activities do degrade nature. The chapter proposes to use the term 'institution' in the broader, sociological sense in order to make reference to practices, relationships, or organizations in society governed by either formal and explicit, or informal and merely implicit, rules or guidelines that direct the aims and behaviors of people. It explores in greater depth the question how we might reconfigure our cultural imaginary so as to give the natural environment an appropriate place.