Call for Chapters
Flourishing: Comparative Religious Environmental Ethics
An edited volume in environmental ethics. Laura M. Hartman, editor.
The working title is clunky, but it communicates the essence of my vision here: “Comparative Religious” means I want viewpoints from a variety of religious traditions present in one book. I am specifically inviting scholars from Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Neo-Paganism, and Indigenous traditions, but other religious perspectives are welcome. “Environmental ethics” means I want chapters addressing what is right and wrong about specific environmental issues. The bridge concept, vital for environmental ethics and applicable (I hope) to every religious perspective, is flourishing and its related concepts (health, wholeness, growth, happiness, virtue, peace, self-cultivation, development, holistic well-being, excellence, fruitfulness, liberation, self-realization, thriving, and interconnectedness).
The animating questions, then, are these: What are the proper conditions, habits, attitudes, and practices that lead to human flourishing? Additionally, however, what is earth (or nature, or non-human) flourishing and what is the human role in cultivating or allowing it? Finally, what should happen when human and earth flourishing (seem to) conflict?
Desired chapters would be:
* 5,000-7,000 words long.
* Discussing the topic of flourishing or related topics, as related to environmental issues, from one or more religious perspectives.
* Including at least one good case study or concrete example that demonstrates what the concepts look like in practice.
* Written in English, and in language that is readable by other scholars who are not specialists.
I hope that authors would also be willing to engage in follow-up dialogue (probably via e-mail, but possibly in person if I can get funding for it), which would result in some shorter “bridge” essays between certain chapters. (E.g., the scholar of Hinduism and the scholar of neo-Paganism both discuss the role of trees and plant imagery in the concept of flourishing, tying in insights from both of their chapters.)
Publisher and Impact: I have strong interest from Oxford University Press (and I’ve also heard positive interest from Bloomsbury Academic, if Oxford falls through), so I am hopeful that finding a willing publisher won’t be a big problem. I feel confident that this book will have an impact. I have yet to find another volume that offers a scholarly, balanced collection featuring multiple religious perspectives on environmental ethics, so such a book is needed. I’m thinking of it primarily in scholarly terms but I wouldn’t be surprised if such a collection proved popular for classrooms as well.
Timeline: Abstracts (300 words) due 25 September 2014 [if that’s a problem, write to indicate interest and we might negotiate an extension]. Selected authors will be notified by 1 November 2014. Chapters due September of 2015. Dialogue pieces will happen during the 2015-2016 school year. Questions? Contact Laura Hartman at firstname.lastname@example.org, 309-794-7345.
More info is also available here.