The Ecology of Being: Saving the World for Democracy

This talk begins with recent examples of the stirring reclamation of damaged ecosystems around the world — instilling hope for our future — and ends with the implications of ecology for the conflict between capitalism and democracy. Along the way it explores the many metaphoric meanings of ecology, stemming from its etymological affinity with economics as “responsible household management” (from the Greek word oikos). At its heart is the spiritual renewal promised by American Transcendentalism (stemming from Unitarianism) and a call for submitting to our present inconvenience for the sake of our children’s welfare and that of future generations. Ecology offers the grounds for a new religion, grounded in the wonder and beauty of nature and at once urgent and heart-rendingly relevant to our present human condition.



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