Women Healing Earth
Third World Women on Ecology, Feminism and Religion
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Over recent years, Rosemary Radford Ruether has been exploring the environmental crisis, the roles of religion and feminism, and what Third World women have to say about these issues. In this book she brings together illuminating writings by fourteen of them, from Latin America, Asia and Africa, on the meanings and consequences of ecological and theological issues in their own contexts and the implications that they have for women in the First World.
The most important insight that arises when women of the South reflect on ecological themes is that these questions are rooted in life and death matters, not in theory or statistics. As she puts it, 'Deforestation means women walking twice as far each day to gather wood...Pollution means children in shanty towns dying of dehydration from unclean water' Impoverishment of the environment means literal impoverishment for the vast majority of people on our planet.
Some of the writers come from indigenous local cultures and are seeking to reconnect with their own roots. They write both as indigenous people and as those who have been colonized and incorporated into the colonizer's culture and religion. They write on women, religion and nature as people 'crossing worlds' within themselves. Their testimony is deeply moving.
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