Review by Choice Review
The ambition, scope, and caliber of this set establish it immediately as a crucial resource for study in the field. It offers nearly 1,000 entries from more than 500 contributors. Yet what is at least equally valuable here is the exceptional effort that was made to incorporate perspectives from as many countries and cultures as possible, and the thoughtful adoption of alternate entry formats for subjects requiring longer (or otherwise nonstandard) treatment. Examples include an eight-part essay of more than 50 pages on Christianity; four pages each on the Islamic basis for environmental protection and the Sierra Club; and two pages on Buckminster Fuller. Bibliographies (both general and article-specific), cross-references, and indexes are generous. This work serves as a model in several ways. Although it takes a general area of study that at first glance might not appear to be of broad interest, it is certain to draw new readers in through its sheer usability and richness of content. Furthermore, its thoughtful design accommodates scholars with either a cursory interest in a particular subject or a more expansive one. In these and other ways, this work offers considerably more than meets the eye. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. D. R. Stewart Luther Seminary
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
The study of religion and the environment has been variously referred to as ecotheology, cultural ecology, ecological anthropology, or religious environmentalism. Call it what you will, this interdisciplinary field now has an outstanding encyclopedia that impressively reflects the breadth and depth of its global subject matter. Chief editor Taylor (religion & nature, Univ. of Florida) has assembled 518 international and multicultural contributors to produce more than 1000 entries that range widely and thoughtfully over the intersection of human cultures, spiritual beliefs, and ecological concerns. The great majority of entries are scholarly, peer-reviewed pieces, often written by highly distinguished leaders in the field, that cover people, places, and organizations as well as concepts. A significantly smaller number are identified as Scholarly Perspective or Practitioner entries. In Scholarly Perspective entries, prominent writers offer personal reflections on diverse topics (e.g., "Abortion," "The Sacred and the Modern World"); Practitioner entries are reflections by people actively engaged in a particular ecospiritual activity ("Depth Ecology," "What Would Jesus Drive?"). Together, these types of entries give this work a sense of intimacy and nuance important in a field with both scholarly and personal dimensions. Extensive cross-referencing allows the reader to pursue particular threads in great depth. Bottom Line On the study of ecotheology, other existing encyclopedias of religion or ecology cannot substitute for this excellent title, the first of its kind. It will no doubt remain an essential reference source on the subject for many years to come. Highly recommended for public, academic, and special libraries.-Nadine Cohen-Baker, Student Learning Ctr., Univ. of Georgia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.