In Week 3, we want to consider religious ecology and views of nature in the West. So in this first section, let's consider animism in the Indigenous traditions in the Mediterranean region and the way they lead us towards the emergence of the monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and then movement in the West towards Medieval scholastics. And we're using the word "purpose" to signify that, and the Reformation with the term "ambivalence." In this consideration, then, of animism in the Mediterranean region, we're trying to focus on the mythology of the divine beings. For example, in the Greek world and the pantheism where Zeus is the creator deity, and there's a pantheon of other beings which indicate the sense of the sacred infused in the natural world. So the images that we consider in the mythology very closely connected to a sacred groves, connected to sacred mountains, connected to those dimensions in the bioregions, such as waterfalls. These are sacred beings, sacred persons with will and intention. So the animistic traditions in the Mediterranean tradition, and as we will find in many other parts of the world, but just focusing on this contribution of the Indigenous traditions in the Mediterranean region, thinking about the oral traditions in which traditional environmental knowledge was being transmitted in narrative forms. And these narrative forms, then, also transmitted the integrity and the identity of peoples. And it's this encounter with the mythologies and the mythos of the narrative traditions, the encounter with an increasing attention to logical thought. So, in the Greek world, the pre- Socratic philosophers begin to focus on the single principle to talk about the nature of the world. So we have this interesting tension that emerges in the Mediterranean world between the narrative myths, the mythic traditions, and the capacity of thought to be expressed in coherent and organized logical expression. So this tension we see emerging in the Greek world, in terms of the philosophic expression where Aristotle gives us one of the first clear writings on logical thought and investigation of that. And it leads to the suppression of the animistic traditions. These forms, then, these views of nature that are embedded in mythos and logos, they continue in the Western traditions and are not lost. One will be dominant at any given expression. And we see then in the monotheistic traditions of Judaism and Christianity and Islam, where the divine begins to absorb the sense of the sacred in the natural world into a divine above the natural world, and this sense of a Creator God, whose design is imparted into the world, becomes fixed. And we see this transcendent deity, then, whose design is fixed in the natural world, also imparts the scriptural tradition. So we have the literate tradition emphasizing the logos strand again, this logical analysis, where historical modes of thinking, logical discussions of historical change, become a primary way of knowing. So this tension emerging and creative tension, at parts, between oral modes of knowing and linear, logical, historical modes of knowing. One clear example of this are the scriptures themselves, and in Judaism, the Torah scroll becomes a focus itself of the sacred experience. Within Christianity, the Gospels, and within Islam, Quran. Also, they have this sense of the scriptural linear logical mode. Tnterestingly enough, all three of these, the Torah scroll, the Gospels themselves, or New Testament, and the Quran, were imaged at times in the tradition as being created before creation itself. So the oral tradition is given its own emphasis as sacred within each of these three traditions. In relationship to the civil governance, we find these traditions often associating themselves very closely with the political governance. So, we see in Christianity by the 4th century when it becomes the state religion under Constantine here, this imaging of the relationship with the religious and civil powers and the natural world embedded in the structure, the symbolic structures, that we see in this picture of Constantine and Sylvester the First. Moving then into these medieval period or the Middle Ages, and we see the emphasis on purpose in the world, especially a great chain of being. And this image, as complex as it is, gives us a sense of the hierarchies that were seen in this period in the natural world, from the earth dimensions at the bottom, all the way through created reality, up to the transcendent divine. So this sense of medieval scholasticism and the emergence of thought about a great chain of being and a theological cosmology in which the divine is situated both at the top and sometimes within the created reality itself, we have these incredible thinkers, synthetic thinkers who draw together these cosmological perspectives, and Thomas of Aquinas is a very clear expression of this. And we see him imaged here again with the teaching magistra of the church. He holds the structure in one hand, and also the linear, logical Gospels in the other hand. The sense of the cosmos, the reality is moving between the mythos and the logos, the oral and the written traditions. Interestingly enough mapping provides us with another approach for understanding this theological cosmology. This is a TO map. You can see the O in the outer circle, the cosmos, the cosmos pictured as the wholeness of the circle, actually, the T, inside of the circle, are the rivers flowing out of Eden. So this is a very mythic-oriented map with Jerusalem in the center. The emphasis here is not on particular observation, but rather the mythic character of this theological cosmology. With the Renaissance, then, we have a very interesting development, the increasing return to the Classical text. There's a sense that something was imparted in the Classical Period that needs to be recovered. And interestingly enough when such statues as this Laocoon were discovered and as they began to dig it out of the ground, the passion and vitality of Classical art stood in stark contrast to the very fixed and static images that we see in much of the Medieval world. So this skepticism that emerges in the Renaissance period with regard to this received scholastic tradition, is not only in terms of art, but also in terms of biological investigation. The Renaissance begins to question, say, the logic of Aristotle and also the biology that Aristotle had communicated. And again, we find in mapping a very interesting development that confirms the same attention to particularity. Now, in this map again, very complex, looking back, but if you look closely, you can see the continents on either side, and in the middle the coastline is being mapped, the particular places on the coastline, rather than just a mythic map. The logical character of analysis, empirical analysis, is asserting itself. So into the Reformation period. These tensions between the mythic narrative and the logical linear analysis, especially in scriptures, especially in written form. This tension is played out in terms of the relationship of humans to the natural world, they, the sense of nature as God's creation, and yet if the human has fallen, has nature fallen also? So the Reformation both affirms this tension and the uncertainty that's underlying it and the, some of the major personalities in the Reformation give their own particular understanding of this tension. For example, John Calvin, in the statement up above, he affirms the natural world and he brings us to, in the last sentence, this emphasis upon the whole workmanship of the universe. The sense of the divine workmanship. Interestingly enough, then, the scriptures are accompanied by the workmanship in the world itself as revealing the divine. So there's a very scholastic notion, and Calvin affirms the sense of the natural world as imparting a revelation to the human. But along with that in the bottom quote, you see his emphasis again upon the falleness of the human and the care and attention that needs to be taken if we see simply a human-centered focused. Martin Luther, another major personality in the Reformation period, gives us a strong affirmation in the top quote with the sense that it's not books alone, it's not scripture alone, but every leaf in the springtime is a way to understand what has been written by the divine, by the Lord. Notice also his emphasis upon resurrection. What's interesting here too, is in the Reformation, we feel this resurrection emphasis moving away from creation, moving away from cosmology and the individual. This bottom quote, the emphasis upon the fear of what is within me rather than what comes from without. The natural world affirmed and the sense of the interior of the human, that's where the redemption focus emerges in this Reformation period.