Symbolic and Social Connections

con mpora,Y
feminist Ph/losophers
pART 4
0 rJA’fJO
poM1 ..
Ecotemmtsm repre- would say that feminism is th .
scoFEMUilISM di 1 ecology move- sion of deep ecology. . . . e primary expreswaAf
is f the ra ca 1 ” v l h h the union o called “deep eco ogy, b iet, at ~ug many feminists may mak
sents what has been “ecology” emerges al connection between dominati ea ver-
111ent, or . The word al . d d . . on of Wom
and ir•.e inirus• rnI, ·cal sc1. en ce of natur environa-l athni ommat. ton. of nature ‘ the d eve 1o pment enf
t.r on 1 the b10 ogt It examt· nes how theset hn atur b s c. onnecdt ion m a broad historical . o 1
, social ec
mental s~_teJUS.nction to sustain a heal y ‘:e n?m1cM, an cu di~ral analysis is only just begi~-
c00101un1oes fu th become disrupted, causmg mng. ost stu es of ecofeminism su h ·
of life an d I1 0w ey d animal life. Human in- essays m. nu.-ea1 i· n g t he Wounds: Th’e Pcr as. the
death t•o tl~ies opblV~Ito u.asn ly one of the main causes Ecofeminism., are brief and evocative , rathomeri ste h aonf
rervenoo~ . · Thus ecology emerged as a comprehensive ….
of such disru~non.nomic and biological study in Fuller exploration of ecofeminism probably
corn bined s•o c1oeco· · how human use o f na- goes b eyond the expertise of one person. It the late sixties to examme . .
rure . . pollution of soil, air, and water, needs a cooperation of a team that brings to- dis causmtiogn of the natural . systems o f p 1a nts ge the r his ton.a ns o f cu l ture, natural scientists
aanndd aenSitmruaCls , th reatenm· g .t he. balsfe d of. ldif e on and_ social economists who would all share a con:
which the human commumty 1tse epe~ s. . . . cern for the interconnection of domination of
Deep ecology t’1lces this study of soc1~ ecol- women and exploitation of nature. It needs viogy
another step. It examines the symboli~, psy- sionaries to imagine how to construct a new sochological,
and ethical patterns of destructive re- cioeconomic system and a new cultural conlations
of humans with nature and how to sdousness that would support relations of
replace this with a life-affirming, culture. . . . mutuality, rather than competitive power. For
Feminism also is a _complex movement with this, one needs poets, artists, and liturgists, as
many layers. It can be ·defined as only a move- well as revolutionary organizers, to incarnate
ment within the liberal democratic societies for more life-giving relationships in our cultural
the full inclusion of women in political rights consciousness and social system.
and economic access to employment. It can be Such a range of expertise _certainly goes bedefined
more radically in a socialist and libera- yond my own competence. Although I am intertion
tra~tion a~ a transformation of the patr1ar- ested in continuing to gain working acquain.
c hal. socmeconomic system. ‘ in which male <lorn- tance with the natural and social sciences, my
ma~on of women is the foundation of all primary work lies in the area of history of cul-
~ctoeconomic hierarchies . . .. Feminism can be ture. Wh~t I plan to do in this essayist~ trace
ed in terms of culture and conscious- some symbolic connections of dominatio~ of
nthiess,alcha_rt ing the symbolic, psycholog1·cal and women and d onu.n ati. on o f nat ure m· Mediter- e c conn · ‘ will
d ecttons of domination · of women ranean and Western European culture. 1
tarn male monop li · · thi d 0 llin ° zatton of resources and con- then explore briefly the alternative e c an sis co g power · Thi s third 1e vel of feminist analy- culture that might be envisioned, i· f we are to
nnects closely with d eep ecology. Some overcome tl).ese patterns of domm· an· on an d de-
Rho semary R di-: a :,ord Ruether. “E ,J:: • • •
t. e Domination o+:”u · coJ eminism: Symbolic and Social Connections of the Oppression of Women and
‘J 1.”ature · » In Eco£e nu·r u·s m an d the Sacred, ed. Carol. J Adams. New York: Continuum, 19 93 •
ROSEMARY RADFORD l<UH/-IW (cofcrnlnh.m 379
•olcncc to women anJ to the natural help n f the male Cod ‘ •r nd i., h ,\IH \ cu_1 o ve r tl111 1· 11
• ‘VC VI as her Mnstcr. . . . ‘

\loM· · ·. · ,, of nawrc found in Hebrew Sl.’.rip –
…-1 v1C\ 1 ,c veral culwral layers. But the overall
(lire 11as sc. to sec the natura l wor Id , together
J rcnuCn cY isa n society, as somet l1 .m g created,
,11· cl 1 h1J111 d controlled b y G o d , a God .i maged
t,,,pcd, a.natriarchal ruling class. The patriarchal
11tcr ~,e :.
rrusted wim being the steward and
111alc 15cr of nawre, but under God, who remains
caret~ te creator and Lord. This also means
i•ts uJ0111a re rema1. ns par tl y an uncontrollable
cl1at n:t can confront human society in dercal111.
droughts and storms. These experi-
…. ,cove Sllv f nature mat transcend human control,
cn .c es. o desrruction to human work , are seen as
b~.1~g dgment against human sin and unfaimfduivln1enses
JUto God (s ee Isai. ah 24).
G d acts in me droughts and the storms to
0 human work to naught, to punish humans
bnil~ but also to call humans ( that is, Israel)
for sm,
k to faithfulness to God. When Israel learns
abc dience to God, nature m. turn will b ecome
0b e_
and fruitful, a source of reliable blessings,
raetmhegr than unreliable dest.r ucti. on. N ature remains
ultimately in God’s hands, and only secondarily,
and through becoming servants of
God in male hands. Yet the symbolization of
God’ as a patriarchal male and Israel as wife, son,
and servant of God, creates a basic analogy of
woman and nature. God is the ultimate patriarchal
Lord, under whom the human patriarchal
lord rules over women, children, slaves,
and land. ‘
When we tu rn l o <.;reek 11hilo-.. 1 . 1
. ,. b ip \11:., myth
t 1c 111 1<. ct-wee n mo ther and matte • _1 • • ‘
. . [)I . . I . . r ,., mauc cx
p ICt t . ato,. 111 HS cr, cauon myth , th e. .1 .1 . mcu1u ,
speaks of ~nm~I~, unforme~I ma~tcr a<; the receptacle
and nurse .. . . He 11nag111es a disembodied
male mind as divine architect, or Demiurgos
shaping this matter into the cosmos by fashion:
ing it after the intellectual blueprint of the Eternal
Ideas. These Eternal Ideas exist in an immaterial,
transcendent world of Mind, separate
from and above me material stuff that he is fashioning
into the visible cosmos .
The World Soul is also created by the Demiurgos,
by mixing together dynamics of antithetical
relations (the Same and the Other). This
world soul is infused into the body of the cosmos
in order to make it move in harmonic motion.
The remnants of this world soul are divided into
bits, to create the souls of humans. These souls
are first placed in the stars, so that human souls
will gain knowledge of the Eternal Ideas. Then
the souls are sown in the bodies of humans on
earth. The task of the soul is to govern the unruly
passions that arise from the body.
If the soul succeeds in this task, it will return
at death to its native star and there live a life of
leisured contemplation. If not, the soul will be
reincarnated into the body of a woman or an animal.
It will then have to work its way back into
The image of God as single, male, and transcendent,
prior to nature, also shifts the symbolic
relation of male consciousness to material life.
Marduk was a young male god who was produced
out of a process of theogony and cosmogony.
He conquers and shapes the cosmos
o~t of rhe body of an older Goddess that existed
Tpnho r to him se lf, W’lt hin whi.c h he himself stands.
the form of an (elite) male and finally escape
from bodily reincarnation altogether, to return
to its original disincarnate form in the starry
realm above …. Plato takes for granted an ontological
hierarchy of being, the immaterial intellectual
world over material cosmos, and,
within this ontological hierarchy, the descending
hierarchy of male, female, and animal.
In the Greco-Roman era, a sense of pessimism
about the possibility of blessing and well-being
within the bodily, historical world deepened in
Eastern Mediterranean culture, expressing itself
in apocalypticism and gnosticism. In apocalypticism,
God is seen as intervening in history to destroy
the present sinful and finite world of human
society and nature and to create a new
c e Hebrew God exists above and prior to the
hoi smos ‘ sha pm. g i. t out of a chaos that is under
thse cmoanlt rol · Ge neSi.s 2 gi.v es us a parallel view of
source ef not as the child of woman, but as the
o woman. She arises out of him, with the
feminist phf Josophers
PART4 cl 380 cl ·n and dea 1.
th freed fir om bo 1 s1. chart tl 1e
heaven ernar rnysti~al phi1os~thphd1raes wal of the
gnosOCIS ‘ f WI In alvation by w~y o . and its return
path to s the body and its p~ss1o~s d above tl1e
soul frorn ·at realm outside o an
an irnrnacen vt?is 1’ ble cosmo. s. . . . •c. y was sl 1 ape d by both t.h e 1H· e- Early Chnsnant . . including their a ienbraic
and Greek rrad1non~, . and gnosticism.
aced forms m. ap oca.l yp. nc.1 sm rruggled aga.i nst
Secon d -cenLt· .n…r ,v Ch.n snathru tyH esb raic vi.e w o f nagnosticism,
reaffirming e d creation. The seccure
and body as ~o~’s go;eologian Irenaeus
ond-centurY Chnsnan . . d to b nostic anttcosnusm an
sought. to comalat . and Hebraic creationsyntl1es1ze
apoc ypnc1sm d .
ali He imaged the whole cosmos as a bo ymg
fc s;· of the Word and Spirit of God, as the
s~;ramental embodiment of the i_nvisible_ God.
Sin arises through a human demal of this relation
to God. But salvific grace, dispensed_ p~ogressively
through the Hebrew and ~hnsttan
revelations allows humanity to heal its relation
to God. The. cosmos, in turn, grows into being
a blessed and immortalized manifestation of
the divine Word and Spirit, which is its ground of
being ….
However, Greek and Latin Christianity, increasingly
influenced by Neoplatonism, found
this materialism distasteful. They deeply imbibed
the platonic eschatology of the escape of the soul
from the body and its return to a transcendent
world outside the earth. The earth and the body
must be left behind· in order to ascend to another,
heavenly world of disembodied life. Even
though the Hebrew idea of resurrection of the
body was retained, increasingly this notion was
envisioned as a vehicle of immortal light for the
soul,_ not the material body, in all its distasteful
physical processes, which they saw as the very
essence ~f sin as mortal corruptibility.
The view of women in this ascetic Christian
:~:~::s~:ou~dly ~mbivalent. A part of asfreed
fr b ty .im~gined women becoming
om su ordinatio fr d b
ity in salvation n, ee oth for equalpreaching
and :a:~ act as age~ts of Christian
g. But this freedom was
reJ· ecting her sexuality and
d n woman . .
base O
d cu•v e ro le and becoming symbolically repro u 1 •c Christian “good news” to
al The c asst .
m me ·a n as equa1 to man in Chnst .w as rooted in
wo . . t view of female sexuality and reproa
mis.o gyrust he essence ofth e sm· ful , morta1 , cor- ducuon as
ruptible life. • • · . .
ost male ascetic Chnsttans, even ascetic
or m d h li
woman, Who had rejecte er sexua ty and red
ctive role, was too dangerously sexual. Aspro.
uw omen were m. creas.m gl y d epn.v ed o f their cmeitntco r roles in public mi.r u.s try, sue h as d eaconess,
d locked away in convents, where obedience
an God was to be expressed in total obedience to
:ale ecclesiastical authority. Sexual woman,
drawing male seminal power into herself, her
womb swelling with new life, became the very
essence of sin, corruptibility, and death, from
which the male ascetic fled. Eternal life was disembodied
male soul, freed from all material underpinnings
in the mortal bodily life, represented
by woman and nature.
Medieval Latin Christianity was also deeply
ambivalent about its view of nature. One side of
medieval thought retained something of Irenaeus
‘s sacramental cosmos, which becomes the
icon of God through feeding on the redemptive
power of Christ in the sacraments of bread and
wine. The redeemed cosmos as resurrected
body, united with God, is possible only by freeing
the body of its sexuality and mortality. Mary,
the virgin , Mother of Christ, assumed into
heaven to reign by the side of her son, was the
representative of this redeemed body of the cosmos,
the resurrected body of the Church … •
But the dark side of Medieval thought saw nature
as possessed by demonic powers that draw
us down to sin and death through sexual temptation.
Women, particularly old crones wi~ s~gging
breasts and bellies, still perversely retauung
their sexual appetites, are the vehicles of ~e demonic
power of nature. They are the witches
who sell their souls to the Devil in a satanic parody
of the Christian sacraments. • • · tifi
The Calvinist Reformation and the Scien c
Revolution in England in the late sixteenth and
. f.cofem/11/srr, 38 I
,!lree pth ,cne nturies represetn· t key rurning:r more animi, 1 natunl .·
c.J•’ rs 1.1 1 the vvesttle rn Mco n_d c’e pt Io nature . In these ten.a 1 and spiritua-l •l e 111l: ,cncc ‘ whi ~.1’ uni•f ied ma –
o1Il rriove ,nents, d1e l ed ieva s. tru.g gle between transcendent intel,l ec,ts nuI\ tu ,a , 1n. c1 dualism or
acraP ental an t 1e emomc views o f nature was seculari. zed . l t wasa n11<t dI ead m attc. r. Nan,rc
dle 5 Calv1·11ism dismembered tl1•” Mcdi’ev:-1 · · ‘ l>r\v,. r ti,
cast. . . ” struggle between (_’\ · 0
“‘ c ,ccnc o l a
i,::is r al sense of nature. For Calvm1sm na- • ‘ mS
rai11e11t ·d Tl • ‘. • vme and demonic spirits awn.d thde . Dev·i \ . Pioth J, .
sac totally deprave . 1ere was no residue Cartesian dualism anLI N. ewe rte :•vcn out of it. In
re was · ‘t that could · on,an phys’1cc · b rtl . presence 111 1 suStam a natu- comes matter in motion d-. d ff .” It cf
divine 1 tion to God S · k I d’ 1 ‘ ca Slu mnv1n11 c b o wledge or re a . avmg now – tent y, according to mathcmat’1c I I o ) era!
)(n0fGod descends from on hig_h, beyond na- a bl e to a new male el.i te of scientistas waw· sh know. –
edge~ the revealed Word available only in I f • ” · · it no hfc
or sou o 1ts own, nature could be sa~ 1 .
ttJf~, e as preached by the Reformers. priated by this male elite and infinir~/ cxproscnPturC,
alvl•nist reformers were notable in their d Y reconrl
structe to augment its wealth and power.
. ono1c lastic hoso· u ty t~ward v1. su al art. St am. e d In Western society, the application of science
1c rarues and carvmgs were smashed, and to technological control over nature march d
gl ass h5 r ches ‘s tripped o fall vi·s i’ ble i· magery. Only side by side with colonialism. From the sixteenet h
:~ cdi~embodied Worthd,
~escending from the to the twentieth centuries, Western Europeans
reacher to the ear of e 1stefne~, ~ogether with would appropriate the lands of the Americas
. could be bearers o divme presence. • Asia, and Africa, and reduce their human popu~
111ust1hci,n g one could see, touch , taste, or smell was lations to servitude. The wealth accrued by this
No rworthy as bearer of the divine. Even the vast expropriation of land and labor would fuel
~s d and wine were no longer the physical em- new levels of technological revolution, trans-
/~ment of Christ, but intellectual reminders of forming material resources into new forms of en- ;e message about Christ’s salvific act enacted in ergy and mechanical work, control of disease, inthe
past. creasing speed of communication and travel.
Calvinism dismantled the sacramental world Western elites grew increasingly optimistic,
of Medieval Christianity, but it maintained and imagining that this technological way of life
reinforced its demonic universe. The fallen would gradually conquer all problems of mateworld,
especially physical nature and other hu- rial scarcity and even push back the limits of human
groups outside of the control of the Calvin- man mortality. The Christian dream of immortal
ist church, lay in the grip of the Devil. All who blessedness, freed from finite limits, was transwere
labeled pagan, whether Catholics or Indi- lated into scientific technological terms ….
ans and Africans, were the playground of de- In a short three-quarters of a century, this
monic powers. But, even within the Calvinist dream of infinite progress -has been turned into
church, women were the gateway of the Devil. If a nightmare. The medical conquest of disease,
women were completely obedient to their fa- lessening infant mortality and doubling the life
thers, husbands, ministers, and magistrates, they span of the affluent, insufficiently matched by
might be redeemed as goodwives. But in any in- birth limitation, especially among the poor, has
dependence of women lurked heresy and witch- created a population explosion that is rapidly
cr~ft. Among Protestants, Calvinists were the outrunning the food supply. Every year 10 milprunary
witch-hunters. . . . lion children die of malnutrition. The gap be-
diflTi he Sc t..e nn’ fi c Revolution at first moved in a tween rich and poor, between the we althy el it es
er efrr ent direco·o n, exorc1. z.m g the d emonic pow- o fth em. d ustn.a l.1 ze d sector and the 1. mpoven. sh e d
ofs d i o.m natu re m. order to reclaim it as an icon masses, especially in the colonized continents
in th Vlne reason manifest in natural law …. But of Latin America, Asia, and Africa, grows ever
e seventee n th and e.i ghteenth centuries, the’ wider ….
I t rt1//0SOPhefS
~,npOfd,Y .
>Aflf4 con . I Revolution
.)91 r. ‘Ii. Jndusrr1J based on
. an d P U tting too little back to resto re a 111<a:1~1r1ct,a 1.1 1 t1 1 e life system. that supports us . 11d
·knri c m d to recogmzc our utter depend I been •
. . \Vcsccrn s~ ·usrkc, It 1as ,ral, metal ic,
TJ11s i/t on 1111 f ·rs agm:uln I the ex-
/,ccn bu . I c /.111l • • . ·d throug 1
We nee . . en
I rcat life-producing matrix of the
o. n nde g to learn to rei· ntegrate our hu P anc
111 or er . an sys t
h,1s . ,•01-cr of r I a, ropnatc . ous people.
rhc r.1~ er.ii 11·c,1/r/J • I pof the ind1g~n the West,
and ,nlll fr/11: labor k o enrich .
p/oir:irion o h,1s flowed _bac :hile the laboring
This we:ilrh . local elites, , This system
omc tor d rew poorer. f the ll’irh s f these fan s g ploitation o
people ol tnucnce, based ofcn exthe benefit of the
f globa
3 th any or d
o and labor of e m tion of energy an
k/awn,d wi· m its high consduemd pt o . elude the poor 111
was… e , cannot b.e extphaen b as1.s of life of the planet
•mout destroymg ym· g the air, water, w1 Ji rally destro .
aintsde lfs.o iWl eu paoren wt~ c h human and planetary life
depend. the unjust monopoly on
In _order to pres~; the growing protests of
material rthesource;d became more and more milthe
poor, e wor . th lion’s 1. tar1. ze d . Most nations have been usmg e share of their state budgets ieo, r weapon s’ both t.o
gmwd agam. st one another and to conftrtohl their
own poor. Weapons also become one o e_ major
exports of wealthy natio1_1s to ~oor nations.
Poor nations grow increasmgly mdebted to
ealthy nations while buying weapons to repress twhe ir own impoverished masses. Popu1 a tt.o n explosion,
exhaustion of natural resources, pollution,
and state violence are the four horsemen of
the new global apocalypse.
The critical question of both justice and survival
is how to pull back from this disastrous
course and remake our relations with one another
and with the earth ….
rems f Production, consumption, and · o . he ecological patterns 6y w h1′ ch natur Wast c
m.t o t life. This mi. ght b egm. b . e sus. tams h •Y rev1suaJizino h
. c t e re 1a tJ.o n of mind ‘ or . uman m.t e 1gence , t Mind or consc10usness ts not sollletoh ·n a. ture. 1ng th t originates in some transcendent World
sidae ofn ature, but 1. s the p 1a ce w h er_e nature iotsuetl.f
b Omes conscious. We need to think of hun-.
. -~ consciousness not as separattng us as a higher
species from the rest of nature, but rather as a
gift to enable us to learn how to harmonize our
needs with the natural system around us, of
which we are a dependent part.
Such a reintegration of human consciousness
and nature must reshape the concept of God, instead
of modeling God after alienated male consciousness,
outside of and ruling over nature.
God, in ecofeminist spirituality, is the immanent
source of life that sustains the whole planetary
community. God is neither male nor anthropomorphic.
God is the font from which the variety
of plants and animals well up in each new generation,
the matrix that sustains their life-giving interdependency
with one another ….
There are many elements that need to go into
an ecofeminist ethic and culture for a just and
sustainable planet. One element is to reshape our
dualistic concept of reality as split between soulless
matter and transcendent male consciousness.
We need to discover our actual reality as latecomers
to the planet. The world . of nature
plants, and animals existed billions of years be~
fore we came on the scene. Nature does not need
us to rul~ over it, but runs itself very well, even
better, without humans. We are the Parasites on
the food chain of life, consuming more and
In ecofeminist culture and ethic, mutual interdependency
replaces the hierarchies of domination
as the model of relationship between men
and women, between human groups, and between
humans and other beings. All racist, sexist,
classist, cultural, and anthropocentric assumptions
of the superiority of whites over
blacks males over females managers over work- ‘ ‘
ers, humans over animals and plants, must be
discarded. In a real sense, the so-called superior
pole in each relation is actually the more dependent
side of the relationship.
But it is not enough simply to humbly acknowledge
dependency. The pattern of male-female,
racial, and class interdependency itself h~
to be reconstructed socially, creating more eqwtable
sharing in the work and the fruits of work,
v~,h.A….., making one · side of the rclat1·o n t h c .,tiler d and impovenshed base for the f P • £rate power
i1bJll17 aJth 0 f the other.
d we …,
.v· refl.. of m.a le-female relations ‘ this 1..,. ,cans,
111. l)’ allowing wo~en more access to pub-
110t si~e, but conv~rttng males to an equal
Ii’ c~ ~he rasks of child nurture and household
e tJl v• l . . c.
:iJ A.,ce. A revo utton m 1emale roles into
J!.l;”1’1~t:eJ!el. …w. ork worI d , wt’ tho ut a corresponding
tll’ .
in male roles, leaves the basic pattern
re’i oJllO.,O.., .chal exp 10 1. tat1. on o f women untouched
atJ’l.:a> . • o P are simply overworked m a new way ex-
<vvtT• oJldlen t o do both a m al e workday, at low ‘p ay
P,e rea l the unpat’ d work o f women that sustains’
a11d so
failWfhY< rl<if e.m ust be a conv~rsion of men to the
of women, along with the conversion of
wor th th S
consciousness to e ear . uch converm.
‘s will reshape the symb ol ic v.m. on of salvas.
1 00 [nstead o f sa lv an. on sough t e1′ the r m. the disoIoIInJ.,
odied soul or the u· nmorta li zed b ody, in a
~ght ro heaven or to the end of history, salvation
should be seen as continual conversion to the
center, 10 the concrete basis by which we sustain
our relation to nature and to one another. In
,very day and every new generation, we need to
remake our relation with one another, finding
anew the tr11e nexns of relationality that sustains,
rather than exploits and destroys, life ….
Finally, ecofeminist culture must reshape our
basic sense of self in relation to the life cycle. The
sustaining of an organic community of plant and
animal life is a continual cycle of growth and dis-
. J8J
m” ntc· gIr ation . The \ l\?CSt cm fhuht f .. ig i t fro m the di si1, t I:’ r< ,m mortahtv ,
c·Ic , t·r om acceptin g outr:g raI ti•o n c; ,< l c c,f the life ,c ,’
ccss. By pretendin g ti ‘)C vc,; ,\5 pan <Jf thJt nr;
lat we can i r ‘ sc ves , souls and bod’i ec.,, we arcm r·n o rtah t <: ourour
garbage and poll · •mmorta\i zin11
uting the cart\ I r;,
retai rn to recycle our garb ag.e a’) fert1\wn: ro rder t< ‘
I e, as matter for new artif:a cts, we need too r new
oHu r selfhood as participati·n g .m t I1 e same pnac cept
umans also are finite organisms cent . ,cfc.s’>.
· . . , crs o cxbe
nke n· ce m a life cycle that must d1′ s.m tcgrate
ac mto the nexus of life and arise again .
forms. m new
Thes~ conversions, from alienated, hicrarchi-
~al dualism to life-sustaining mutuality, will radically
change the patterns of patriarchal culture
Ba~ic concepts, such as God, soul-body, and sa1:
vatton will be reconceived in ways that may bring
us much closer to the ethical values of love justice,
and care for the earth. These values’ have
been proclaimed by patriarchal religion, yet contradicted
by patriarchal symbolic and social patterns
of relationship. _
These tentative explorations of symbolic
changes must be matched by a new social practice
that can incarnate these conversions in new
social and technological ways of organizing human
life in relation to one another and to nature.
This will require a new sense of urgency about
the untenability of present patterns of life and
compa5sionate solidarity with those who are its
Study Questions 1. What are the moral pr!ndples in Ruether’s ecofeminist ethics? In what ways-is a conversion
of consciousness morally imperative? ls it possible to deliberately undertake such
2. aW thaysk m? ust we view all things as interconnected? How do our conceptions change with
this view? Why would we still have to retain the concept of God?
3. Do we have a moral obligation to the earth? On what grounds?

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