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Amanda Joelle Baugh
California State University, Northridge (Northridge, CA 91330-0001)
Rethinking Religious Environmentalism

Research and writing leading to a book about the environmental values of Latinx Catholics in Los Angeles and the history of American environmentalism.

This project examines the environmental values of Latinx Catholics in order to decenter dominant narratives of religious environmentalism. Through ethnographic research among Latinx churchgoing Catholics in Los Angeles, I have uncovered an ethic of living lightly on the earth that is grounded in an immanent, relational worldview in which God is present in the material, and the human-nature boundary is porous. I call this ethic nepantla environmentalism. I argue that the study of religion and environment in the United States has been limited by the categories that environmentalists have used, instead of critically examining those categories for who and what they are excluding. Focusing on the ecological values of Latinx Catholics expands the definition of environmentalism by recognizing that there are different ways of conceiving of and engaging in eco-friendly activities. In other words, there are different ways of being a religious environmentalist.

Project fields:
Religion, General

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2021 – 8/31/2022