Deep ecology, a valuation of the ecosystem or the whole system of life that does not necessarily involve a god, serves as the focal point of the 13 religious essays featured in this collection. As the editors point out, deep ecology suggests a moral, political, and spiritual stance that challenges religions to respond, out of their specific traditions, to the complex phenomenon of environmental philosophy, religious cosmology, and public policy. Barnhill (intercultural and religious studies, Guilford Coll.) and Gottlieb (philosophy, Worcester Polytechnic Inst.) excel at assembling disparate voices from a variety of world traditions, from Hinduism and Confucianism to Christian ecofeminism and New Age spirituality, and they present their concerns in a straightforward manner. Some contributors struggle openly with deep ecology's issues, some find harmony, and others embrace ecocentrism over religion, hoping to locate a sense of the divine in the process. Overall, this is a satisfying discussion that showcases the complexities of thoughtful human engagement with our natural environment. Sandra Collins, Duquesne Univ. Lib., PA
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Marxism and Ethics is a comprehensive and highly readable introduction to the rich and complex history of Marxist ethical theory as it has evolved over the last century and a half. Paul Blackledge argues that Marx s ethics of freedom underpin his revolutionary critique of capitalism. Marx s conception of agency, he argues, is best understood through the lens of Hegel s synthesis of Kantian and Aristotelian ethical concepts. Marx s rejection of moralism is not, as suggested in crude materialist readings of his work, a dismissal of the free, purposive, subjective dimension of action. Freedom, for Marx, is both the essence and the goal of the socialist movement against alienation, and freedom s concrete modern form is the movement for real democracy against the capitalist separation of economics and politics. At the same time, Marxism and Ethics is also a distinctive contribution to, and critique of, contemporary political philosophy, one that fashions a powerful synthesis of the strongest elements of the Marxist tradition. Drawing on Alasdair MacIntyre s early contributions to British New Left debates on socialist humanism, Blackledge develops an alternative ethical theory for the Marxist tradition, one that avoids the inadequacies of approaches framed by Kant on the one hand and utilitarianism on the other."