Faiths in Green addresses the complex and fraught relationship between religious identity and environmental concern in the United States, particularly how that relationship has changed over time. Examining the effects of religious upbringing, belonging, and disaffiliation on environmental concern across multiple religious groups over several decades, the author shows where, when, how, and why religious groups and their memberships have responded constructively to environmental change over time. The author also visits the effects of gender, social class, race, and politics on both religion and environmental concern in the U.S. Faiths in Green offers an in-depth and accessible guide to understanding the at-times incongruous relationship between religious beliefs and motivations, as well as ways to follow cultural shifts that both drive and are driven by religious persons and institutions. In examining how religious and cultural factors are linked to environmental concern over time, Faiths in Green demonstrates the importance of morality and worldviews in confronting global hazards of unprecedented scale.
Lukas Szrot is assistant professor of sociology at Bemidji State University.
Chapter 1: Sacred Places in a Risk Society
Chapter 2: Religion and Change over Time
Chapter 3: Religious Upbringing, Disaffiliation, Environmental Concern
Chapter 4: Religion and Environmental Concern, Intergenerationally
Chapter 5: Bringing Religion In: Gender, Class, Race, and Politics
Conclusion: Prospects and Possibilities
In Faiths in Green Lukas Szrot explores deeper implications of environmental-change-as-metamorphosis. His explorations of human morality in the emergence of environmental awareness are as wickedly insightful as the problems are wickedly complex. He moves the how and when of human religious behaviors like chess pieces illuminating the game of religious environmentalism. Read this at the risk of encountering a lucid vision of human-Earth relations.
Szrot uses data from the General Social Survey to measure changes in support for environmental stewardship and conservation across age cohorts of the religiously affiliated US population since the 1970s. He applies the concepts of habitus and reflexivity to explain the interplay of religion with environmental concern, pointing to individual socialization and institutional adaptation as influencing factors and taking into account the potential impact of political party loyalty as well as race, class, and gender. Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty.
Lukas Szrot’s book provides an interesting take on the influence religion has on environmental concerns and how it spurs change within U.S. politics. This book contributes to the growing literature on environmental studies, politics, and religion and could be useful for those teaching and studying the intersections of conservation, environmentalism, religion, and stewardship.