When God Isn’t Green: A World-Wide Journey to Places Where Religious Practice and Environmentalism Collide

Jay Wexler. Beacon, $18 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-8070-0192-9
Boston University law professor Wexler offers a highly entertaining and eye-opening look at situations where freedom of religion and environmental protection clash. From harvesting palms in Guatemala and Mexico for Palm Sunday to the massive burnings of joss in Singapore, Wexler portrays both sides of the debate as sympathetic and deserving of fair treatment. For example, should whaling (when practiced within reason) be allowed for the Inupiat people, for whom the Nalukataq whale hunt not only provides enormous quantities of resources but also serves as a powerful aspect of their religion? Wexler is often lighthearted in tone, but he conveys the gravity of harming either the environment or the vitality and vibrancy of a religious culture with uncritical legal regulation. Though he directs this work mainly toward governments and nongovernment organizations, religious and secular readers alike will find much to enjoy and appreciate in this fascinating travelogue of worldwide religious practice and the legal, economic, and social systems that make environmental protection difficult to enforce. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/11/2016
Release date: 03/15/2016
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