Broadening Care, Discerning Worth: The Environmental Contributions of Minimalist Religious Naturalis

by Jerome A. Stone

Jerome A. Stone is Professor of Philosophy at William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL 60067. He is the author of The Minimalist Vision of Transcendence (SUNY, 1992) and is co-editing a reader of the Chicago School Theologians.

The following article appeared in Process Studies, pp. 194-203, Vol. 22, Number 4, Winter, 1993. Process Studies is published quarterly by the Center for Process Studies, 1325 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. Used by permission. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


Dr. Stone calls us to face the worsening eco-crisis with new paradigms of thinking in all areas, in order to show the environmental relevance of a minimalist religious naturalism.

The purpose of this article is to show the environmental relevance of religious naturalism, in particular a minimalist version with a strong component of radical empiricism.

Aldo Leopold and J. Baird Callicott, among others, speak of the need to extend our moral concern to the land or the environmental community and to develop a land aesthetic. Religious naturalism, in conjunction with the theory and practice of appreciative awareness such as outlined by Bernard Meland, can contribute to the fulfilling of both of these needs. In addition, a minimalist religious naturalism with a pluralistic emphasis and a prophetic principle can provide a helpful sense of the plurality of values and a critical readiness to undergo paradigm shifts, both of which are needed in facing our ever-growing eco-crisis.


The purpose of this section is to elaborate a form of religious naturalism based on a minimalist notion of transcendence.

Religious naturalism may be defined as the affirmation that there are one or more aspects of the world to which religious responses are appropriate. In Dewey’s terms, there is a religious quality to experience. In language which I prefer, "divine" or "sacred" refers to the surpassing or minimally transcendent character of some events.

Negatively, religious naturalism would not locate this quality in a being or process called God, with ontologically or axiologically supreme character, which is what both traditional and revised theisms appear to do. There seems to be no God, Soul, or heaven to explain, ground, or give meaning to this world.

I often refer to the divine quality which some events seem to have as "transcendent" or "divine." In order to communicate with some people I will occasionally call it "God," although this is not speaking with precision as a naturalist.

The term "minimalist" religious naturalism gets its name from stressing the value of minimal assertions in religion. The surpassing or transcendent character of certain events can provide resources of healing and criticism. The secular viewpoint tends to obscure this character and renders us insensitive to such events. The maximal views of divinity of theism, on the other hand, expose this character to the acids of disbelief and makes an appropriation of their resources more difficult. Minimalist naturalism is an attempt to illuminate the relatively transcendent character of these resources without making excessive and counterproductive statements.1

The question of the existence of God is far from settled. If there is no God, is there anything left to believe in? It is the writer’s contention that there is an alternative to the dichotomy between traditional (or revised) theism and secular humanism.

On the one hand is the traditional assertion of the full ontological status of God. On the other hand is skeptical disbelief. In between, largely unnoticed, there is room for a tentative affirmation of a minimal degree of transcendence. If a strong assertion is hard to defend, then perhaps a more cautious and more restrained model will be better able to answer the doubts of our age while providing some of the support and prophetic criticism which the traditions have offered.

An implication of minimalism is the notion that the divine may best be conceived of as a collection of natural forces or ideals. This idea was clearly stated by Shailer Mathews, by the early Bernard Meland, and by Dewey in his exchange with Wieman. To quote Mathews:

For God is our conception, born of social experience, of the personality-evolving and personally responsive elements of our cosmic environment with which we are organically related (GIG 226).2

To specify the divine character of events, we may note that the divine is often portrayed in two aspects, as real and as ideal. These two aspects were expressed by Rudolph Otto when he referred to the numinous as both fascinans and tremendum. In Christianity these aspects are often called gospel and law. Ireanaeus referred to the "two hands of God." It is important to affirm both aspects of the divine, because naturalists often think of religion as the pursuit of ideals, overlooking the point that it is also a response to realities.

Thus we may continue our process of approximating an appropriate working definition. The "divine" aspect of events refers to surpassing realities and ideals, to relatively transcendent resources and challenges. More precisely, it refers to the surpassingly creative quality of processes, which quality we occasionally perceive, and also to the continually surpassing lure of ideals, which we occasionally acknowledge. In language I have used elsewhere, "the divine" refers to the situationally transcendent creative character of some processes and to the continually transcendent lure of some ideals. In short, the divine aspect of events, what I call "the transcendent," is their surpassing resources and challenge.

We may speak of the real and the ideal aspects of the transcendent or the divine. The real aspect of the transcendent, defined minimally, is the collection of all unexpected and uncontrollable processes in the universe insofar as they are productive of good. These processes can be called "transcendent resources."

Defined minimally, this real aspect or reality is a collection. It might be a unity or a unified system, but we don’t have enough evidence to assert that. There is some degree of unity, of course, because the universe hangs together somewhat. But we cannot assert that this collection has any more unity than the generic property of being supportive of good.

Some of these processes may be destructive of human good depending on the amount or situation. That is why these forces can be called the transcendent in its real aspect only insofar as they are creative of good.

The ideal aspect of transcendence, defined minimally, is the set of ideals insofar as they challenge us. There are a number of these which people often recognize. The following are four examples. There is the challenge to universalize respect and care. This is the challenge to learn that all humans are members of one family, that all are our sisters and brothers. But it is also the challenge that we have moral obligations which extend even beyond the human community to other living things and their habitats. Then there is the challenge to deepen love. This is the challenge which comes to us to love more fully. There is always more giving and listening, more care and forgiving and support that another person elicits from us. In the third place we have the challenge to seek adequate information and understanding. We all know that we don’t have all the answers. When this is genuinely recognized we accept the challenge to improve our knowledge. Finally there is the challenge to develop strength and sensitivity of character. This is the challenge to develop our human potential to newer levels.

All of these represent continuing challenges to us. They are ever elusive, ever challenging ideals which beckon us on to new attainments. Indeed, these challenges are transformations of our established ways, even potentially revolutionary. We often are not satisfied in our pursuit of meaning and worth, but yet find the quest worthwhile. This continuing challenge of ideals is the ideal aspect of the transcendent.

The ideal aspect of transcendence makes all of our projects questionable, all causes penultimate, all plans debatable. Ideal transcendence gives us the power of negative thinking.

Is the transcendent "God"? A simple "yes" or "no" answer will not suffice. On the one hand, this is a long way from most traditional (and revised) beliefs about God. On the other hand, the transcendent can function in a person’s life, much like the traditional God, as a real resource for living and a continual challenge for growth.

My answer to this question is that whether or not you choose to call the transcendent (as defined minimally) by the traditional name of God is a matter of personal choice and context. It is close enough to the traditional concept that you can extend the concept of God to cover the minimal transcendent.

It helps me to understand and relate to people who are religious to translate their word "God" by my word "the transcendent," although I am aware always that it is not a perfect translation. If using the word "God" offends a person, I am willing not to use it when talking to her. When I need to be more precise, I use the term "transcendent" or "minimal transcendent" to refer to the set of relatively transcendent realities and challenges.

All of this calls for an attitude of openness, of willingness to grow and even to be radically changed. What makes this a religious form of naturalism is not the use of quasi-traditional language like "the divine," or even possibly honorific capital letters. This is a religious form of naturalism in that it calls for and seeks to nurture openness to relatively transcendent or surpassing resources of growth, healing, and transformation, and to the continuing lure of penultimate but greater values. All of us, religious and non-religious people, are subject to the temptation to close ourselves off from superior resources and challenges.

I wish now to explore the ramifications of this minimalist religious naturalism for environmental living. The basic moral principle of this naturalism is that we should be critically committed to challenging ideals and critically open to transcendent resources.


The first half of our basic moral principle is that we should adopt and nurture an orientation of critical commitment to challenging ideals. It is a short step from this to the imperative that we should widen our loyalty and care to include the whole human community and beyond to include the universal community and, as far as possible, its members. This will be a recovery, on a naturalistic basis, of the prophetic principle.

In human life we can sometimes see a movement toward reference to the universal community. The societies by which we are judged are often self-transcending, and sometimes the process of self-transcendence does not stop until the total community of being is reached. This process of transcendence is some- times noticeable in our political life, for the transcendent reference groups in a democracy can be widened until they include humanity as a whole and beyond that the total community of being. The imperative is to adopt and nurture the movement toward universal intent, to critically commit ourselves to this process of transcendence.

Much of this is an appropriation, on naturalist grounds, of H. Richard Niebuhr’s radical monotheism and its roots in George Herbert Mead. Josiah Royce, and Jonathan Edwards.3 Radical monotheism, as Niebuhr conceives it, accepts the value of whatever exists. The cause for which it lives is both the principle of being and the realm of being. Niebuhr sees analogies to this in certain areas of our secular life, including our political life in a democracy. I appropriate this, without the principle of being and radical monotheism, in my minimalist naturalism through the notion of critical commitment to ideal transcendence and consequent care for the total community of being.

In developing the notion of a generalized other, George Herbert Mead hinted at the notion of a higher reference group.

The only way in which we can react against the disapproval of the entire community is by setting up a higher sort of community which in a certain sense out-votes the one we find. A person may reach a point of going against the whole world with the voice of reason. . . . But to do so he has to speak with the voice of reason to himself. He has to comprehend the voices of the past and of the future. (MSS 167-68)

Josiah Royce developed a notion of transcending limited loyalties through his notion of loyalty to loyalty. Royce moved from loyalty to a cause to loyalty which loves loyalty, including the loyalty of the stranger and the enemy, and from thence to loyalty to the brotherhood of all loyal persons. Although this community is not realized empirically, to it in ideal all persons belong. The fact that it is not realized empirically means that it transcends any particular community.

Drawing on Mead and Royce, H. Richard Niebuhr discovers a struggle between universal and partial intent in democracy. The patriot is loyal to his country, not just as a community, but as a community plus that to which the co-patriots refer.

A democratic patriot in the United States, for instance, will carry on his dialogue with current companions, but as one who is also in relation to what his companions refer to -- representatives of the community such as Washingtons, Jeffersons, Madisons, Lincolns, etc.... But now the transcendent reference group… represent[s] not the community only but what the community stands for.

In Spain… the national-state. . .was believed in as the servant of the true Catholic religion. The United States and France came into being in their modern form as devoted exponents of democracy and the rights of men. Germany sought its unity as well as its power as the exponent of culture. . . .

In all these nations the loyalty of citizens has therefore had a double direction: on the one hand it has been claimed by the transcendent end, on the other, by the nation itself as representative of the cause. (RS 85, RMWC 66-7)

In Niebuhr’s analysis the history of our political life is the history of a struggle between a partial loyalty, that is, loyalty to the nation as one among other nations, and a universal loyalty to which the nation refers. He illustrates the mingling of these two loyalties by reference to the dual roots of our democratic ideals. One root of religious freedom, for example, is the need to compromise between conflicting religious groups. This loyalty of partial intent struggles with a loyalty of universal intent which recognizes that religious faith takes precedence over all other loyalties, that obligations to the universal commonwealth take precedence over all duties to the state. These two loyalties are illustrated in the Macintosh case. In his dissent Chief Justice Hughes asserted that: "In the forum of conscience, duty to a moral power higher than the state has always been maintained." Justice Sutherland, for the majority, countered that "government must go forward upon the assumption . . . that unqualified allegiance to the nation. . . [is] not inconsistent with the will of God."4 Another example of the struggle between partial and universal loyalty is found in the belief in the equality of all persons. Sometimes it expresses a universal belief that all people have worth because of their relation to a common source of value. But sometimes it is based on a nationalistic faith which does not accord equality to those who are not citizens.

The importance of Niebuhr here is his articulation of an obligation to universalize loyalty, an obligation which, if followed to the end, would result in loyalty to the universal community. This universal loyalty is appropriated within our religious naturalism by the notion of ideal transcendence which involves the lure of loyalty to the universal community.

It seems as if for Niebuhr the drive toward universality stops at the human community. But this is largely because he is discussing our political life. He is quite clear that the universal community to which we owe loyalty is the community of all beings. In this he explicitly draws upon Jonathan Edwards, for whom "True Virtue most essentially consists in benevolence to Being in general" (NTV 3). For Edwards this benevolence is primarily love of God as the greatest and best of beings, but it is also a love for all beings, except for those which are enemies of Being in general. Thus benevolence to a person or private system is a private affection and not benevolence to being in general, unless subordinate to a love of God and benevolence to being in general. Such a private affection is a partial loyalty and can set up enmity against the total system of being.

Minimalist naturalism does not speak of the Lord of the community of beings. However, it does speak in naturalistic terms of care for the universal community of all beings, although ontological reticence requires that this notion be treated as a regulative idea imaginatively entertained.

Aldo Leopold and J. Baird Callicott project the possibility and the desirability of extending the realm of moral consideration beyond the human community to include not only warm-blooded creatures, not only animals who can feel pain, but all living things and their systems and habitats (SCA 237-39, IDLE 76-94). Minimalist religious naturalism does not by itself decide whether species, communities, and systems can be objects of moral consideration, although its rootage in process-relational thinking would affirm this. Further, the practice of appreciative perception is likely to show us that appreciation and discernment of worth need not be limited by a nominalism which gives moral consideration only to individuals, unusual as the idea may seem.

By itself no religious naturalism can solve all specific environmental dilemmas nor shed light on all questions of environmental ontology. But its concern for an appreciative empiricism and its recognition of the continuing lure of challenging ideals does provide a general direction toward widening the sphere of moral consideration and toward including groups, networks, systems, and webs of relationships in this sphere. What religious naturalism can also do is to combine the abstraction of "the community of all being" with a particular affection for very specific ponds, crane marshes, and calypso borealis and draba flowers and other things and places on this Turtle Island. One of my students reported that she learned to love nature by watching, studying, and photographing one polar bear for hours at a time over several weeks. We need to bring the thinness of essays on nature back to the thickness of essays on Walden grounded in woodchucks, hoeing beans, and thawing sandbanks.

Loyalty to the universal community involves a lifestyle of care for others, of respect, defense, and nurture. It will be an orientation ready to accept intrinsic worth and merit, and to learn from all creatures in the universal community of being. It will be an orientation ready to protect or preserve, to nurture or restore any being and its web. This is an open-ended and indefinite responsibility to protect and nurture.

Even though this minimalist naturalism radically reconstructs its Christian roots, these roots must be acknowledged. However, despite these roots, the imperative of universal care is offered with tentativeness for consideration to anyone. It should be capable of appropriation by people of other traditions. Indeed, there are points of convergence as well as dissonance between this imperative and similar imperatives found in other traditions. In addition, a responsible autonomous reflection upon these traditions is to be encouraged as a way of achieving creative fidelity and conversation in the course of appropriating aspects of these traditions.5


The second half of this moral principle is openness to the real aspect of transcendence. This involves receptivity, including at times a disciplined and active awareness, to the creative or divine qualities emerging in a situation. This receptivity to surpassing qualities is a discernment of worth, an appreciative awareness.

A common approach has been to create a dichotomy between judgments of fact and judgments of value, exiling value judgments to the realm of the arbitrary and subjective. Focusing on the discernment of worth helps avoid the trap of subjectivism. Events and objects do have various types of worth. These are, to a large extent, objective characteristics of these events and objects. True, they are not as objective as some measurements. However, when we refer to something as evil, boring, or gross, this is not usually misleading or inaccurate. There is room for error, individual preference, and cultural difference. Such room does not make these judgments arbitrary nor merely subjective, however.

The term "worth" focuses attention on the objective pole of the transaction between appreciator and appreciated, that is, to the contribution that the worthy object makes to the appreciation of the subject which recognizes its worth. Or else the term draws attention to the worth which the object has to a community of appreciation in terms of which the appreciation of the subject can be apprised. The term "worth" also helps encourage an attitude of openness, the opposite to an attitude of manipulation and control. Finally the term "worth" suggests that the significance of the valuable object may be more than can be presently discerned or than can be presently expressed in language. The term "worth" has a heuristic note, encouraging further openness to and exploration of the worthy object.

When a person seriously makes an appraisal of value, she is underwriting the judgment with her personal commitment. Thus judgments of value have a personal component, as do all judgments. But such commitment is not subjective in the sense of arbitrary or private.6

Aldo Leopold, J. Baird Callicott, and Eugene Hargrove are correct. We desperately need a land aesthetic (SCA 280-95. IDLE 239-48, FEE 79-94). Indeed, we need a water and a sky aesthetic. We need to learn to love, not Nature in general, but a particular Walden pond, or crane marsh, or sand country, Big Thicket, or tall grass prairie. We need to see lovingly both the big cat and the lichen and mold. Karen Warren develops a notion of "loving perception," pointing out that we need to approach even so-called lifeless rocks, not to conquer, but to touch (EE 134-38). John Rodman points out that logical arguments will not persuade anyone who looks at nature and sees objects and mere resources. "When perception is sufficiently changed, respectful types of conduct seem natural"’ (ES 167).

How can we learn to love the good earth if we grow up with malls, parking lots, industrial campuses, and plastic plants? We need to develop the perceptual component in our education if we are to raise people who will want to preserve and restore what little of the good earth is left. We need the environmental equivalent of Bernard Meland’s experiments in chapel and classroom at Pomona College with nurturing and disciplining sensitivity to expressions of spiritual outreach (HEHS, ch. VI). We shall need a sense of place. We need poems and new stories. We may even need to dance and learn new rituals as Delores La Chapelle urges (RE 247-50)7

What religious naturalism can bring to this task is both the philosophy and the practice of a really radical empiricism. Along this line I commend to your thoughtful reflection certain key writings of Bernard Meland, pointing out that when he referred to sensitive perception or appreciative awareness he spoke not merely of perception, but of a trained and disciplined perception (MMW 144-57, KW 139-49, HEHS chaps. 1 & 5, ECT 43,73).

Meland is attempting to speak of a way of being open to the fullest complexities and concreteness of a situation, to the penumbras as well as bright focal are as.8

It is very much like allowing one’s visual powers to accommodate themselves to the enveloping darkness until.. one begins to see into the darkness and to detect in it the subtleties of relationships and tendencies which had eluded one (CETL 292)9

This kind of sensitivity includes discipline as well as receptivity, for without ii "the appeal to the appreciative consciousness will result in nothing more than relaxing of intellectual effort." This kind of discernment requires, ideally,

a slow process of nurture in which feeling (empathy), imagination, and critical reflection would be simultaneously quickened and related (HEHS 14).


We have spoken of the power of religious naturalism to extend our moral concern to care for the totality of ecological communities, to help us develop and nurture a land, water, and sky ethic. We have also spoken of the power of religious naturalism, especially drawing upon Bernard Meland, to develop the theory and practice of a sensitive discernment, the key component in a land, water, and sky aesthetic. We now turn to the power of the pluralism of religious naturalism, minimalistically conceived, to provide us with a sense of the plurality of values. We turn also to the power of a religious naturalism that emphasizes both the continuing transcendence of challenging ideals and the relative transcendence of surpassing resources to give us the challenge and the empowerment to undergo the drastic paradigm shifts which may be needed as we face our exponentially worsening ecological crisis. The drive toward continually transcendent ideals can help us with a critical, reflective readiness to undergo such paradigm shifts, and openness toward occasions of real transcendence can help us with the courage to undergo these shifts.

A key corollary of the metaphysical reticence of this minimalism is the recognition that there is no guaranteed harmony of ends. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. To be sure, there is often some compatibility between some ends. You can often eat a small piece of cake and diet sensibly. But there is no ontological or eschatological realm where all values are compossibile. Choices and trade-offs are often necessary. You may have to sacrifice some goats to save the palilla.10 Or you may have to jeopardize a few jobs in the already declining timber industry of the Northwest (already devastated by our inane trading policy with Japan) to save an old-growth forest. This recognition of the incompatibility of many values helps to achieve a critical stance toward all ideals. To recognize such incompatibilities provides a sense of critical detachment and a willingness to be corrected. Otherwise you have all the problems which come with those who tout a panacea.

To face the worsening eco-crisis, we will need new paradigms, dominant metaphors, and ruling narratives. We will need new ways of thinking, valuing, and perceiving in economics, political theory, philosophy, liberation praxis, and probably in science. Openness to continually transcendent values is a challenge to the acceptance of present theories, philosophies, and conceptions of the good. This is the prophetic principle in a naturalistic framework. Thus, while it does not automatically accept any radical or novel idea, religious naturalism can help us to be genuinely open to the continuing challenge of the ideal aspects of transcendence, and thus willing to entertain radically new ideas and approaches. As the ecological crisis impels us to undergo profound paradigm shifts, religious naturalism should be able to help supply a readiness to explore trackless places. In addition, openness to occasions of the situationally transcendent, that is, unpredictable and unmanageable resources, can help to provide us the courage to venture into these uncharted places.



CETL -- Bernard E. Meland. "Can Empirical Theology Learn Something from Phenomenology?" The Future of Empirical Theology. Ed. Bernard E. Meland. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969.

ECT -- Bernard E. Meland. Essays in Constructive Theology: A Process Perspective. Ed. Perry Le Fevre. Chicago: Exploration Press, 1988.

EE -- Karen Warren. "The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism." Environmental Ethics, 212 (Summer, 1990).

ES -- John Rodman. "Ecological Sensibility." People, Penguins, and Plastic Trees: Basic Issues in Environmental Ethics. Eds. Donald Van De Veer and Christine Pierce. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1986. Reprinted from: Donald Scherer and Thomas Attig. Ethics and the Environment. Englewood, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1983.

FEE -- Eugene C. Hargrove. Foundations of Environmental Ethics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1989.

GIG -- Shailer Mathews. The Growth of the Idea of God. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1931.

HEHS -- Bernard E. Meland. Higher Education and the Human Spirit. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1953. Reprinted by the Seminary Cooperative Bookstore, 1965.

IDLE -- J. Baird Callicott. In Defense of the Land Ethic: Essays in Environmental Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989.

KW -- Bernard E. Meland. ‘Kinsmen of the Wild: Religious Moods in Modern American Poetry." Sewanee Review 12 (1933).

MSS -- George Herbert Mead. Mind, Self and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist. Ed. Charles W. Morris. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1934.

MVT -- Jerome A. Stone. The Minimalist Vision of Transcendence: A Naturalist Philosophy of Religion. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992.

NTV -- Jonathan Edwards. The Nature of True Virtue. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1960.

RE -- Dolores La Chapelle. "Ritual is Essential." Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered. Eds. Bill Devall and George Sessions. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1985. Reprinted from: In Context 5 (Spring, 1984).

RMWC -- H. Richard Niebuhr. Radical Monotheism and Western Culture: With Supplementary Essays. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1960.

RS -- H. Richard Niebuhr. The Responsible Self: An Essay in Christian Moral Philosophy. New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1963.

SCA -- Aldo Leopold. A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation from Round River. Eds. Carolyn Clugston Leopold and Luna Leopold. New York: The Oxford University Press, 1953.



1For a brief elaboration of minimalist religious naturalism together with a critique by Langdon Gilkey, see my article, "The Viability of Religious Naturalism," The American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, Vol. 14, No. 1 (January, 1993). For a fuller treatment and defense of minimalist naturalism, see my MVT, especially chapter one. My critique of revised theisms (Hartshorne, Ogden, Gilkey) is found in chapter five. Readers of this journal will note affinities with the work of Robert Mesle.

2 See also, Bernard E. Meland, "Toward a Valid View of God," Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 24 (1931), 549-557; John Dewey, "A God or The God," The Christian Century, L (Feb. 8, 1933), 193-196; John Dewey, "Dr. Dewey Replies," The Christian Century, L (Mar. 22, 1933), 394-395.

3See MVT, Chapter Three, for a fuller treatment of this.

4U.S. vs. Macintosh, 283 US 605, quoted in Niebuhr, Radical Monotheism. 71n.

5For further elaboration of the appropriation of religious traditions, see MVT. 97-104.

6Dardel Maguire, in his "ethical realism," speaks of the "experience of persons and their environment," of the perception of their valuableness. I have extended this view to the community of all beings. See his The Moral Choke (New York: Winston Press, 1970), 72-73. Douglas Sturm has been using Meland in some fruitful work on a "relational understanding" of experience. See Douglas Sturm, "Human Rights and Political Possibility: A Religious Inquiry," Criterion, Vol. 23, No. I (Winter, 1989). 2-8.

7See her Sacred Land, Sacred Sex, Rapture of the Deep: Concerning Deep Ecology and Celebrating Life (Durango, Co.: Kivaki Press, 1988).

8For a fuller treatment of Meland, see MVT, 121-27.

9See also Nancy Frankenberry, Religion and Radical Empiricism (Albany: State University of New York Press. 1987), 130-133.

10Palilla vs. Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, 47 IF. Supp. 985. For further discussion of this case, see Holmes Ralston, m, Environmental Ethics: Duties to and Values in The Natural World (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988), 264; Christopher D. Stone. Earth and Other Ethics; The Case for Moral Pluralism (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1987), 71-72.