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That All May Flourish

Comparative Religious Environmental Ethics

Edited by Laura Hartman

Publication Date - 29 June 2018

ISBN: 9780190456023

328 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Can humans flourish without destroying the earth? In this book, experts on many of the world's major and minor religious traditions address the question of human and earth flourishing. Each chapter considers specific religious ideas and specific environmental harms. Chapters are paired and the authors work in dialogue with one another. Taken together, the chapters reveal that the question of flourishing is deceptively simple. Most would agree that humans should flourish without destroying the earth. But not all humans have equal opportunities to flourish. Additionally, on a basic physical level any human flourishing must, of necessity, cause some harm. These considerations of the price and distribution of flourishing raise unique questions about the status of humans and nature. This book represents a step toward reconciliation: that people and their ecosystems may live in peace, that people from different religious worldviews may engage in productive dialogue; in short, that all may flourish.


  • Contains perspectives that go beyond "major" world religions
  • Interreligious dialogue embedded in the book
  • Contains jointly written dialogue piece reflecting on each other's chapters

About the Author(s)

Laura M. Hartman blends her passions for religion and the environment in her work on consumption, climate engineering, ecological restoration, feminism, virtue, and other topics. She is author of The Christian Consumer: Living Faithfully in a Fragile World and editor of That All May Flourish: Comparative Religious Environmental Ethics.


"[That All May Flourish] provides much to advancing interreligious, cross-cultural inquiry into better understanding the ways that human flourishing and ecological well-being are enmeshed." -- Michael VanZandt Collins, Boston College, Religious Studies Reviews

"This is a great text that challenges the dominant language of stewardship and the Anthropocene and offers the metaphor of flourishing instead. It will be a great supplemental text for courses on comparative religion, environmental ethics, and religion and nature. I appreciate that it includes both comparative approaches, but also a topic-centered approach. Furthermore, the case studies that many of the authors use to anchor their work will be valuable in the classroom!" -- Whitney A. Bauman, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture

"With accessible chapters covering a range of academic disciplines and religious traditions, this book should be studied by scholars and educated lay readers of environmental ethics. Theologians and philosophers will find wisdom from the "flourishing" approach to environmental ethics, not only in their own traditions but in other religious traditions as well. Students will find the brief dialogue chapters an easy entry into key questions." -- Harold Coward, Theological Studies

"Overall, though, this book is challenging and impressive in scope, and it is far more successful than most edited volumes at creating insight and interest across its different discussions. The editor and the contributors are to be commended on their collective work on this project." -- Anne Mocko, Concordia College, Reading Religion

"Written from a process of learned exchange across traditions, this book hosts a focused dialogue on something that matters for every living thing: what it means to flourish. Curated with originality and carefully written, this volume will be especially useful for teaching in courses on religion, on environmental studies, and on cultural dialogue." --Willis Jenkins, Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director of the Institute for Practical Ethics at the University of Virginia

"Laura Hartman has done something extraordinary: she produced a volume on comparative religious ethics whose organization replicates the type of productive dialogue at the core of this enterprise. When you add that the chapters are written in an accessible and engaging style, and this is the first comparative religious ethics collection that focuses on the non-human world, it is a must read for all ethicists."--Elizabeth Bucar, author of Pious Fashion: How Muslim Women Dress

"In this fascinating, timely, and suggestive collection, the contributors extend the concept of 'flourishing' beyond human-centered virtue ethics to the wider world of ecology and environmental ethics. As a work of comparative religious ethics, it exemplifies a novel and welcome approach to cross-cultural analysis: the chapters each combine specialist attention to particular cases in context, with ongoing constructive dialogue around important aspects of human, animal, and environmental flourishing." --Aaron Stalnaker, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University

Table of Contents

    Table of Contents
    List of Contributors

    Introduction by Laura M. Hartman

    Part 1: Flourishing and Its Costs

    Chapter 1: Buddha, Aristotle, and Science: Rediscovering Purpose and the Value of Flourishing in Nature by Colette Sciberras
    Chapter 2: Eating: Glimpsing God's Infinite Goodness by Nelson Reveley
    Chapter 3: Dialogue: Sciberras and Reveley

    Part 2: Animals and Care
    Chapter 4: Daoism, Natural Life, and Human Flourishing by David E. Cooper
    Chapter 5: All God's Creatures are Communities Like You (Qur'an 6:38): Precedents for Eco-halal Meat in Muslim Traditions by Sarah E. Robinson-Bertoni
    Chapter 6: Dialogue: Cooper and Robinson-Bertoni

    Part 3: Climate and Culture
    Chapter 7: Yoga Bodies and Bodies of Water: Solutions for Climate Change in India? By Christopher Miller
    Chapter 8: Understanding a 'Broken World': Islam, Ritual, and Climate Change in Mali, West Africa by Dianna Bell
    Chapter 9: Dialogue: Miller and Bell

    Part 4: Texts and Traditions
    Chapter 10: Intertextually Modified Organisms: Genetic Engineering, Jewish Ethics, and Rabbinic Text by Rebecca J. Epstein-Levi
    Chapter 11: Flourishing in Crisis: Environmental Issues in the Catholic Social Teachings by Jennifer Phillips
    Chapter 12: Dialogue: Epstein-Levi and Phillips

    Part 5: Communities and Human Agency
    Chapter 13: Flourishing in Nature Religion by Chris Klassen
    Chapter 14: Interfaith Environmentalism and Uneven Opportunities to Flourish by Amanda Baugh
    Chapter 15: Dialogue: Klassen and Baugh

    Part 6: Respect and Relationality
    Chapter 16: Developing a Mengzian Environmental Ethic by Cheryl Cottine
    Chapter 17: Relationality, Reciprocity and Flourishing in an African Landscape by Michael Hannis and Sian Sullivan
    Chapter 18: Dialogue: Cottine, Hannis, and Sullivan

    Conclusion by Laura M. Hartman

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