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Religion and Sustainable Agriculture: World Spiritual Traditions and Food Ethics

edited by Todd LeVasseur, Pramod Parajuli, and Norman Wirzba foreword by Vandana Shiva

Availablecloth$70.00x 978-0-8131-6797-8
Culture of the Land
394 pages  Pubdate: 10/21/2016  6 x 9  16 b&w photos, 8 maps, 7 figures

Publicity Inquiries: Mack McCormick

Distinct practices of eating are at the heart of many of the world’s faith traditions—from the Christian Eucharist to Muslim customs of fasting during Ramadan to the vegetarianism and asceticism practiced by some followers of Hinduism and Buddhism. What we eat, how we eat, and whom we eat with can express our core values and religious devotion more clearly than verbal piety.

In this wide-ranging collection, eminent scholars, theologians, activists, and lay farmers illuminate how religious beliefs influence and are influenced by the values and practices of sustainable agriculture. Together, they analyze a multitude of agricultural practices for their contributions to healthy, ethical living and environmental justice. Throughout, the contributors address current critical issues, including global trade agreements, indigenous rights to land and seed, and the effects of postcolonialism on farming and industry. Covering indigenous, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish perspectives, this groundbreaking volume makes a significant contribution to the study of ethics and agriculture.

Todd LeVasseur is visiting assistant professor in the religious studies department and director of environmental studies at the College of Charleston.

Pramod Parajuli
currently serves as associate faculty for the PhD program in sustainability education at Prescott College, and has published on the themes of political ecology, religion and ecology, sustainability education, and learning gardens.

Norman Wirzba
is professor of theology, ecology, and rural life at Duke Divinity School and research professor in the Nicholas School for the Environment at Duke. He is the author or editor of several books, including The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land and Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating.

Religion and Sustainable Agriculture does an excellent job of pulling back the curtain on the variety, vibrancy, and commitment of the many individuals and groups who are grappling with how to make producing food an act of faith, and not merely an economic or an agricultural activity. -- Susie Weldon, coauthor of Faith in Food: Changing the World One Meal at a Time

Religion and Sustainable Agriculture [. . .] succeeds as an enlightening treatise on ethical agriculture. As Pramod Parajuli eloquently argues in the book’s conclusion, blending spirituality back into food production will enable greater community and environmental health around the globe. -- Foreword Reviews

The unique and vibrant operationalizations of sustainable agriculture are brought to light in Religion and Sustainable Agriculture. This book provides a typology of sustainable cultivation in the spirit of worship across the globe in multiple temporal and cultural settings. The publication takes the reader around the world and back again, traveling from the continental United States to Guatemala, Peru, Malawi, Hawaii, Nepal, India, Thailand, Israel, El Salvador, Egypt, and Europe.

[The book is] written for a wide audience with a compelling foreword, lively introduction, and an all-encompassing conclusion sandwiching fifteen chapters, all with authors that tell a distinct tale regarding spiritual traditions and the food system. -- Agriculture and Human Values