KEYNOTE PRESENTATION Connecting with Creation

The Convergence of Nature, Religion, Science and Culture

Authors

  • Stephen R. Kellert

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.v1i1.25

Keywords:

religion, nature, culture

Abstract

This paper argues for the existence of a universal and genetically-encoded human yearning to connect and unite with nature or, writ large, creation. In human society, this yearning is often revealed through the vehicles of science and religion. This is a weak genetic tendency, however, that through the human genius of culture and free will produces widely different versions of science and religion. Nevertheless, this yearning being an expression of biology and the product of human evolution is ultimately bound by its functional and adaptive expression. This perspective implies that not all individual and cultural constructions of science and religion are equally legitimate, some proving dysfunctional and destructive over time. This perspective also advances an ethic for the care and conservation of nature based on a broad understanding of human self-interest.

References

Dubos, R. 1980 Wooing of the Earth (London: Althone Press).

Kellert, S. 1997 Kinship to Mastery: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development (Washington, DC: Island Press).

2002 ‘Values, Ethics, and Spiritual Relations to Nature’, in S. Kellert and T. Farnham (eds.), The Good in Nature and Humanity: Connecting Science, Religion and Spirituality with the Natural World (Washington, DC: Island Press): 49-64.

2005 Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human–Nature Connection (Washington, DC: Island Press).

Kellert, S., and E.O. Wilson 1993 The Biophilia Hypothesis (Washington, DC: Island Press).

Rolston, H. 2005 ‘Environmental Virtue Ethics: Half the Truth but Dangerous as a Whole’, in R. Sandler and P. Cafaro (eds.), Environmental Virtue Ethics (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield): 61-78.

Steinbeck, J. 1941 Log from the Sea of Cortez (Mamaroneck, NY: Appel).

Wilson, E.O. 1984 Biophilia: the Human Bond with Other Species (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).

1993 ‘Biophilia and the Conservation Ethic’, in Kellert and Wilson 1993: 31-41.

Published

2007-04-20

How to Cite

Kellert, S. R. (2007). KEYNOTE PRESENTATION Connecting with Creation: The Convergence of Nature, Religion, Science and Culture. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 1(1), 25–37. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.v1i1.25