Clouds have been objects of delight and fascination throughout human history, their fleeting magnificence and endless variety having inspired scientists and daydreamers alike. Described by Aristophanes as “the patron goddesses of idle men,” clouds and the ever-changing patterns they create have long symbolized the restlessness and unpredictability of nature, and yet they are also the source of life-giving rains. In this book, Richard Hamblyn examines clouds in their cultural, historic, and scientific contexts, exploring their prevalence in our skies as well as in our literature, art, and music. As Hamblyn shows, clouds function not only as a crucial means of circulating water around the globe but also as a finely tuned thermostat regulating the planet’s temperature. He discusses the many different kinds of clouds, from high, scattered cirrus clouds to the plump thought-bubbles of cumulus clouds, even exploring man-made clouds and clouds on other planets. He also shows how clouds have featured as meaningful symbols in human culture, whether as ominous portents of coming calamities or as ethereal figures giving shape to the heavens, whether in Wordsworth’s poetry or today’s tech speak. Comprehensive yet compact, cogent and beautifully illustrated, this is the ultimate guidebook to those shapeshifters of the sky.
Folktales in India have been told, heard, read and celebrated for many centuries. In breaking new ground, Indian folktales have been reread and examined in the light of the Mother Earth discourse as it manifests in the lifeworlds of women, nature and language. The book introduces ecofeminist criticism and situates it within an innovative folktale typology to connect women and environment through folklore. The book proposes an innovative paradigm inspired by the beehive to analyze motifs, relationships, concerns, worldviews and consciousness of indigenous women and men who live close to nature as well as other socially marginalized groups. In the current global context fraught with challenges for ecology and hopes for sustainable development, this book with its interdisciplinary approach will interest scholars and researchers of literature, environmental studies, gender studies and cultural anthropology.
Comprehensive and cross-referenced, this informative volume is a rich introduction to the world of nature as experienced by ancient peoples around the globe. 51 halftones.
Nature and Identity in Cross-Cultural Perspective presents 20 essays which explore diverse cultural interpretations of the earth's surface. Contrasted with each other and with the potentially cosmopolitan culture of science, these detailed studies of ways in which different cultures conceptualise nature appear in the context of global environmental change. Understanding across cultural lines has never been more important. This book shows how individual cultures see their own histories as offering protection for nature, while often viewing others as lacking such ethical restraints. Through such writing a discourse of understanding and common action becomes possible. The authors come from the places they discuss, and offer passionate as well as scholarly visions of nature within their cultural homes. Audience: This volume is of interest to academics and professionals working in the fields of cultural geography, environmental history, environmental studies, history of environmental ideas, environmental education, landscape and literature, nature and culture. It can be used for courses in the above-mentioned areas and seminars in comparative literature. It can also be used as a complimentary text to provide cultural context to literary readings, and for seminars on cultural aspects of the environment.
Religion is one of the most universal and most studied human phenomena, yet there exists no widely shared definition for it. This ambitious study provides and defends such a definition.
Nature Across Cultures: Views of Nature and the Environment in Non-Western Cultures consists of about 25 essays dealing with the environmental knowledge and beliefs of cultures outside of the United States and Europe. In addition to articles surveying Islamic, Chinese, Native American, Aboriginal Australian, Indian, Thai, and Andean views of nature and the environment, among others, the book includes essays on Environmentalism and Images of the Other, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Worldviews and Ecology, Rethinking the Western/non-Western Divide, and Landscape, Nature, and Culture. The essays address the connections between nature and culture and relate the environmental practices to the cultures which produced them. Each essay contains an extensive bibliography. Because the geographic range is global, the book fills a gap in both environmental history and in cultural studies. It should find a place on the bookshelves of advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars, as well as in libraries serving those groups.
While the historical development of symbolic power has benefitted humanity enormously, there is an insidious and seldom recognised price that goes beyond environmental degradation and cultural disintegration. With insights from both social and natural sciences, this book explores the changing character of subjectivity in contemporary life.
For at least two millennia before the advent of the Spaniards in 1519, there was a flourishing civilization in central Mexico. During that long span of time a cultural evolution took place which saw a high development of the arts and literature, the formulation of complex religious doctrines, systems of education, and diverse political and social organization. The rich documentation concerning these people, commonly called Aztecs, includes, in addition to a few codices written before the Conquest, thousands of folios in the Nahuatl or Aztec language written by natives after the Conquest. Adapting the Latin alphabet, which they had been taught by the missionary friars, to their native tongue, they recorded poems, chronicles, and traditions. The fundamental concepts of ancient Mexico presented and examined in this book have been taken from more than ninety original Aztec documents. They concern the origin of the universe and of life, conjectures on the mystery of God, the possibility of comprehending things beyond the realm of experience, life after death, and the meaning of education, history, and art. The philosophy of the Nahuatl wise men, which probably stemmed from the ancient doctrines and traditions of the Teotihuacans and Toltecs, quite often reveals profound intuition and in some instances is remarkably “modern.” This English edition is not a direct translation of the original Spanish, but an adaptation and rewriting of the text for the English-speaking reader.
Leading feminist scholars and activists as well as new voices introduce and explore themes central to contemporary ecofeminism. Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth first offers an historical, grounding overview that situates ecofeminist theory and activism and provides a timeline for important publications and events. This is followed by contributions from leading theorists and activists on how our emotions and embodiment can and must inform our relationships with the more than human world. In the final section, the contributors explore the complexities of appreciating difference and the possibilities of living less violently. Throughout the book, the authors engage with intersections of gender and gender non-conformity, race, sexuality, disability, and species. The result is a new up-to-date resource for students and teachers of animal studies, environmental studies, feminist/gender studies, and practical ethics.
Hartmut Böhme’s study of fetishism spans all the way from Christian image magic in the Middle Ages to fetishistic practices in fashion, advertising, sport and popular culture today. In it he provides a thorough exploration of religion, magic, idolatry, sexuality and consumption, charting the mental, scientific and artistic processes through which fetishism became a central category in European culture’s account of itself.
The influence of millenarian thinking upon Cromwell's England is well-known. The cultural and intellectual conceptions of the role of millenarian ideas in the `long' 18th century when, so the `official' story goes, the religious sceptics and deists of Enlightened England effectively tarred such religious radicalism as `enthusiasm' has been less well examined. This volume endeavors to revise this `official' story and to trace the influence of millenarian ideas in the science, politics, and everyday life of England and America in the 17th and 18th centuries.
When the earthquake that struck the Solomon Islands in 2013 produced tsunami waves that damaged the country’s infrastructure, it was one in a recent string of reminders of the devastating effects these ferocious waves can have. From the 2011 tsunami in Japan to the giant waves that killed people near the Indian Ocean in 2004, these destructive events can utterly overwhelm an area not just with water but economic, social, and political devastations. But as Richard Hamblyn demonstrates in this cultural, historical, and scientific engagement with these spectacular natural phenomena, tsunamis remain misunderstood—their triggers, from undersea earthquakes to nuclear weapons testing, have only begun to be studied scientifically in the last fifty years. Tsunami explores how these treacherous sea-surges happen, what makes them so powerful, and what can be done to safeguard vulnerable coastlines. Hamblyn details their cultural significance in tsunami-prone places such as Japan, Hawaii, and Chile, while also considering their importance in the more seismically stable West, where their appearances are limited to popular culture and blockbuster films. From the legend of Atlantis to the present day, this book casts new light on these deadly waves.
Now in paperback: the runaway British bestseller that has cloudspotters everywhere looking up. Where do clouds come from? Why do they look the way they do? And why have they captured the imagination of timeless artists, Romantic poets, and every kid who's ever held a crayon? Veteran journalist and lifelong sky watcher Gavin Pretor-Pinney reveals everything there is to know about clouds, from history and science to art and pop culture. Cumulus, nimbostratus, and the dramatic and surfable Morning Glory cloud are just a few of the varieties explored in this smart, witty, and eclectic tour through the skies. Illustrated with striking photographs (including a new section in full-color) and line drawings featuring everything from classical paintings to lava lamps, The Cloudspotter's Guide will have enthusiasts, weather watchers, and the just plain curious floating on cloud nine.
Uprisings for the Earth delves into a new kinship with nature while acknowledging the treasures of urban life and the unique stake each person has in resolving critical and timely challenges. While avoiding doomsday scenarios, Lake offers a frank inquiry into a variety of causes leading to our current global peril while also providing a deep well of hope and profound insight. She weaves together history, ecology, culture, governance, women's leadership and the arts to map out an integrated approach to working in partnership with nature while creating a more just and sustainable future. Her wisdom, lyrical style, and thorough research frame chapters such as ?Around the Fire: From Global Warming to a Renewed Hearth”, ?Anthem to Water”, ?Democracy Ancient and Modern” and ?Honor the Women.” Lake takes us along wild rivers as she explores water conservation and the mysteries of water science; sits us around a fire along with great minds of past and present to contemplate the climate crisis; and takes us to several continents where we navigate deeper into history of culture and land. Consider this book required reading for its inspiration, innovation and hope for the Earth and future generations.
Something is wrong with our agriculture and food systems. Despite great progress in increasing productivity in the last century, hundreds of millions of people remain hungry and malnourished. Can nothing be done or is it time for the expansion of another
Cosmic Commons explores terrestrial-extraterrestrial intelligent life Contact. It uses a thought experiment to consider the ecological-economic-ethical-ecclesial impacts of Contact, analyzing incidents around the world described by credible witnesses (two of whom are interviewed for the book), including Roswell and the Hudson River Valley. It discusses government and academic efforts to use ridicule and coercion to suppress Contact investigations, supports a scientific method to research ETI reports in a field that should excite scientists, and calls on academics to publicly disclose their Contact experiences. It traces Earth ecological and economic injustices to the European Enlightenment and the Discovery Doctrine by which European nations rationalized invasion of distant continents, genocide, and seizure of the territories and natural goods of native peoples. It advocates a change in humans' Earth conduct to avoid replicating in space the policies and practices that wrought economic injustice and ecological devastation on Earth, provides an innovative cosmosociological praxis ethics theory and practice toward that end, and develops a Cosmic Charter, based on UN documents, to guide humankind in space and in ETI encounters. Permeated by a profound sense of the sacred, Cosmic Commons explores a positive relationship between religion and science as humankind ventures into space.
This work addresses scientism and relativism, two false philosophies that divorce science from culture in general and from tradition in particular. It helps break the isolation of science from the rest of culture by promoting popular science and reasonable history of science. It provides examples of the value of science to culture, discussions of items of the general culture, practical strategies and tools, and case studies. It is for practising professionals, political scientists and science policy students and administrators.
In medias res -- Understanding media -- Of cetaceans and ships; or, the moorings of our being -- The fire sermon -- Lights in the firmament: sky media I (Chronos) -- The times and the seasons: sky media II (Kairos) -- The face and the book (inscription media) -- God and Google -- Conclusion: the sabbath of meaning -- Appendix: nonsimultaneity in cetacean communication.