Bron Taylor is Professor of Religion and Nature at the University of Florida. He is editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature and editor of Ecological Resistance Movements: The Global Emergence of Radical and Popular Environmentalism. In this ambitious and intellectually exciting work, Taylor explores the origins, growth, and dynamics of "dark green religion" in which "nature is sacred, has intrinsic value, and is therefore due reverent care." He then identifies and discuses four types of dark green religion: 1) Spiritual Animism, 2) Naturalistic Animism, 3) Gaian Spirituality, and 4) Gaian Naturalism.
In a trenchant review of Dark Green Religion in North America, he spends quite a bit of time with Henry David Thoreau whose philosophy and relationship to the natural world entailed eight central themes, including an appreciation for the simple, natural, and undomesticated (free) life and the wisdom of nature. Taylor also comments on the perceptions and writings of naturalist John Burroughs and John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club.
The variety of Dark Green Religion is revealed in the author's treatment of radical environmentalism the writings of Edward Abbey, the animistic spirituality of David Abram, and the impact of Paul Watson's Greenpeace whose members are willing to break laws to defend nature; surfing spirituality which melds balance, water, wind, connection, communion, and healing; a survey of green documentaries and films including Pocahontas and Happy Feet; a potpourri section about dark green religion in the arts, sciences, and letters; and a chapter showing how this phenomenon has escaped its countercultural origins and become a contender with a global outreach. Even more resource, including a review of the dark green religious film Avatar, are available in the supplementary materials section of Bron's website.
This is an important book in which Bron Taylor makes a convincing case for dark green religion as sensuous, sensible, and sustainable. Marching under a banner of environmental ethics, these pioneers have a rich and deep vision of a sacred world where kinship and interdependence are both honored and enacted. Taylor predicts the continued growth of dark green religion within a global context as more and more people realize the need for "a harbinger of hope."