Religion/Spirituality - Science

Counter Mapping
By: Adam Loften and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, syndicated from
Daily Good
July 2018
Key Words: maps, prayers, A:shiwi (Zuni), endangered language, Grand Canyon, natural environment, art
A:shiwi (the Zuni’s name for themselves, meaning “humans”) elders, artists, and religious leaders are collaborating to re-map their lands, highlighting that which makes them culturally important instead of only considering the modern technological approach to mapmaking with a birds-eye view. Traditional prayers are incorporated into the maps in a visual representation and the community hopes that these will encourage young people to learn the language and meaning behind the prayers.

Why Native Americans Do Not Separate Religion from Science: Scientific endeavors are very important to Native Americans and why we supported the March for Science
By: Rosalyn R. LaPier
Indian Country Today
May 9, 2017
Key words: Sacred ecology, ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology
While the relationship between Western science and traditional knowledge has been contentious at times, this article explains that, despite that contention, the validity of traditional knowledge and indigenous science is slowly coming to be acknowledged among the Western scientific community. Indigenous science is an alternative paradigm that can complement and validate Western science, and that offers a different way of addressing environmental and ecological issues.

The Importance of Belief Systems in Traditional Ecological Knowledge Initiatives
By: Nicholas J. Reo
The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 2(4):8
Key words: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, resource management, beliefs, values, ethics
Resource managers are increasingly engaging with tribes and first nations and looking for methods to incorporate their perspectives, priorities and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) into public land and resource management. Many initiatives that engage tribes and their TEK holders only seek tribal input, such as biological data, that is most easily integrated into existing management structures. Increasing attention on tribal belief systems would provide a more holistic understanding that could benefit TEK-related initiatives.

Mongolian Buddhists Protecting Nature: A Handbook on Faiths, Environment and Development
By: Urantsatsral Chimedsengee, Amber Cripps, Victoria Finlay, Guido Verboom, Ven Munkhbaatar Batchuluun, Ven Da Lama Byambajav Khunkhur
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation
ISBN: 978-99929-962-1-8
Key words: Buddhism, Mongolia, environmental protection
Since 1990, Mongolia has seen a massive increase in the number of groups working in the environmental sector. There are groups helping to reduce pollution, address deforestation, bring in eco-tourism, save species and achieve many other things. However, surprisingly few of them have established direct relationships with one of the most historical, sizeable, and influential sectors of Mongolian society: the Buddhist sangha. This handbook was written in an attempt to address this.

Science and Religion in the Face of the Environmental Crisis
By: Holmes Rolston III
Chapter 17 in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology. Gottlieb, ed. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, pg. 376-397.
Key words: Science, religion, conservation, environmental justice, conscience
Both science and religion are challenged by the environmental crisis, both to reevaluate the natural world and to reevaluate their dialogue with each other. This article examines issues surrounding value in nature; the connections between science, conscience, and conservation; Eastern and indigenous faiths; nature and human nature; ecology as a science and its joining with human ecology, where the religious dimension is more evident; environmental justice; and humans are moral agents.

The Sacred and the Scientific: Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Siberan River Conservation
By: Kheryn Klubnikin, Cynthia Annett, Maria Cherkasova, Michail Shishin, & Irina Fotieva
Ecological Applications, 10(5):1296-1306
Key words: Altai Republic, conservation, Russia, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, pastoralist
The Katun River originates in the steppe of the Altai Mountains in Siberia. One of the major headwaters of the Ob River, the Katun is considered central to the culture of the indigenous Altaians. During the era of perestroika, a hydroelectric dam was to be built on the Katun. The large dam, a vestige of the earlier Soviet plan for the Project of the Century, would have devastated significant agricultural, ecological, recreational, and cultural resources. The Katun dam project united indigenous people, well-known Siberian writers, and scientists in protest, which became so heated that it engaged the international community, with lasting effects on Russian society.

Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity
By: Darrell Addison Posey and Oxford Centre for the Environment, Ethics and Society (editors)
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Intermediate Technology Publications
Key words: biocultural diversity, linguistic diversity, conservation, spirituality, connection, rights, ethics
This text weaves connections between spirituality, biocultural and linguistic diversity. Nature is seen by many Indigenous people as related with spirituality and its preservation thus connected with human vitality. Chapters explore linguistic diversity (Maffi), holistic medicinal systems (Bodeker), intellectual property rights (Dutfield), applications of TEK for conservation (Sukkerveer), agriculture and management of soil health (Plenderleith), and various environments including forests (Laird), mountains (Bernbaum), and marine (Chambers).

Last updated: June 17, 2019