The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (ERN) has won awards and praise from the premier reviewers of academic reference works. Choice "highly recommended" the ERN and named it an "Outstanding Academic Title of 2005:"
"The ambition, scope, and caliber of this set establish it immediately as a crucial resource for study in the field. It offers nearly 1,000 entries from more than 500 contributors. Yet what is at least equally valuable here is the exceptional effort that was made to incorporate perspectives from as many countries and cultures as possible, and the thoughtful adoption of alternate entry formats for subjects requiring longer (or otherwise nonstandard) treatment. Examples include an eight-part essay of more than 50 pages on Christianity; four pages each on the Islamic basis for environmental protection and the Sierra Club; and two pages on Buckminster Fuller. Bibliographies (both general and article-specific), cross-references, and indexes are generous. This work serves as a model in several ways. Although it takes a general area of study that at first glance might not appear to be of broad interest, it is certain to draw new readers in through its sheer usability and richness of content. Furthermore, its thoughtful design accommodates scholars with either a cursory interest in a particular subject or a more expansive one. In these and other ways, this work offers considerably more than meets the eye. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."
D. R. Stewart, Luther Seminary, in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (Issue: 2005 November)
The American Library Association’s Reference User Services Association named the ERN an "Outstanding Reference Source," which was one of only 12 such awards given. (For more information see the ALA list of awards
.) The original review was "starred/highly recommended."
"The study of religion and the environment has been variously referred to as ecotheology, cultural ecology, ecological anthropology, or religious environmentalism. Call it what you will, this interdisciplinary field now has an outstanding encyclopedia that impressively reflects the breadth and depth of its global subject matter. Chief editor Taylor (religion & nature, Univ. of Florida) has assembled 518 international and multicultural contributors to produce more than 1000 entries that range widely and thoughtfully over the intersection of human cultures, spiritual beliefs, and ecological concerns. The great majority of entries are scholarly, peer-reviewed pieces, often written by highly distinguished leaders in the field, that cover people, places, and organizations as well as concepts. A significantly smaller number are identified as Scholarly Perspective or Practitioner entries. In Scholarly Perspective entries, prominent writers offer personal reflections on diverse topics (e.g., "Abortion," "The Sacred and the Modern World"); Practitioner entries are reflections by people actively engaged in a particular ecospiritual activity ("Depth Ecology," "What Would Jesus Drive?"). Together, these types of entries give this work a sense of intimacy and nuance important in a field with both scholarly and personal dimensions. Extensive cross-referencing allows the reader to pursue particular threads in great depth. Bottom Line On the study of ecotheology, other existing encyclopedias of religion or ecology cannot substitute for this excellent title, the first of its kind. It will no doubt remain an essential reference source on the subject for many years to come. Highly recommended for public, academic, and special libraries."
Nadine Cohen-Baker, Univ. of Georgia,
in Library Journal (August 2005).
The ERN also received another starred review in the American Reference Books Annual, another premier reviewer of reference works.
"To say that this is an indispensable reference work is an understatement. Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (ERN) is an impressive two-volume collation of esoteric material dealing with the rich interpenetration of religion and ecology. This expansive collection is akin to the perfect present; until you see it, you could never imagine how much you wanted it.
This is an astonishingly useful reference book for multiple disciplines including religion, philosophy, history, interdisciplinary studies, and ecology. . . The ERN’s length allows not only for longer articles than one might find in comparable titles, but far more classificatory detail . . .
There are many beautiful, serendipitous links that lead in thought-provoking paths [and] provide for an almost online experience, replete with deeply embedded hyperlinks.
Superbly edited and carefully crafted, the ERN is essential."
Stephen J. Shaw’s review in the
American Reference Books Annual 2006.