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finished migration, tidied menus

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kidwellj 1 year ago
parent
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  1. 38
      Makefile
  2. 66
      content/faq_ug_diss/index.md
  3. 67
      content/home/news.md
  4. 68
      content/home/publications_featured.md
  5. 68
      content/home/publications_recent.md
  6. 69
      content/home/talks_recent.md
  7. 69
      content/home/talks_upcoming.md
  8. 35
      content/post/20200204_speculative-fiction.md
  9. 31
      content/post/20200305_iapaper.md
  10. 33
      content/post/20200501_iablog.md
  11. 11
      content/post/climate_march_talk.md
  12. 56
      content/post/fridaypoem.md
  13. 21
      content/post/interwebs.md
  14. 23
      content/post/merchants.md
  15. 13
      content/post/new_site.md
  16. 9
      content/post/peer_review_reddit.md
  17. 9
      content/post/schmemann_on_dying.md
  18. 9
      content/post/surprising_turn.md
  19. 37
      content/post/voting.md
  20. 6
      content/project/design_ethics/index.md
  21. 41
      content/project/extinction_religion/index.md
  22. 6
      content/project/theology_economics/index.md
  23. 69
      content/publication/2020_contemplating_extinction/index.md
  24. 22
      content/publication/2020_mapping_env_politics/cite.bib
  25. 70
      content/publication/2020_mapping_env_politics/index.md
  26. 65
      content/summary_env_writing/index.md
  27. BIN
      static/pdf/TimeToAct-Kidwell.pdf
  28. BIN
      static/slides/presentation_2018_environmentalvalues.pptx

38
Makefile

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### Build and deploy https://jeremykidwell.info
### If you want to use this file as-is, then you
### need to change the variables below to your
### own SSH user, document root, etc.
### However, you will most likely also want to
### customize the various steps (e.g. the css target)
### so that it matches the details of your own
### setup.
###
### Apart from hugo, you will also need rsync to deploy
### the site, and the java-based yuicompressor to
### minify the CSS, should you keep that step.
SSH_USER = jeremyki@jeremykidwell.info
STAGING_USER =
DOCUMENT_ROOT = /home/jeremyki/public_html
STAGING_ROOT = ~/gits/jeremykidwell.info
PUBLIC_DIR = public/
HUGO_EXECUTABLE = /usr/local/bin/hugo
staging: site
rsync -crzve 'ssh -p 22' $(PUBLIC_DIR) $(STAGING_USER):$(STAGING_ROOT)
server: /usr/local/bin/hugo server -ws .
rsync: rsync -crzve 'ssh -p 22' $(PUBLIC_DIR) $(SSH_USER):$(DOCUMENT_ROOT)
site: css .FORCE
$(HUGO_EXECUTABLE)
find $(PUBLIC_DIR) -type d -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 755
find $(PUBLIC_DIR) -type f -print0 | xargs -0 chmod 644
clean: rm -rf public/
.FORCE:

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---
author: jeremy
date: "2018-03-27"
title: Undergraduate Dissertation FAQ
---
One of the joys of my work is to supervise bright and highly motivated undergraduates on a year-long dissertation project. This post will serve as a periodically updated guide to working with me as a supervisor on a UG dissertation at UOB.
Last updated:
Undergraduate Dissertation FAQ
1. When is the thesis due?
You should become very familiar with the handbook for the Dissertation course. It has all the details you need regarding deadlines.
2. How do supervisions work?
We meet once a month, for a total of 7 meetings (the first is for planning and subsequent meetings are to discuss progress). For each of the subsequent six supervisions, I'll expect you to send me some form of written work that we can use as the basis for our discussion *no less than 3 working days in advance of our meeting*. I prefer to schedule out the whole year's worth of meetings in advance so we can both plan towards these deadlines as writing milestones. You should also bear in mind that supervisors are not allowed to review written work in the final month of your dissertation period, though in light of what I note below, this shouldn't be an issue as hopefully by this time you'll be an independent writer!
3. What kind of supervisor am I?
Of all the work you'll complete during your degree programme, the dissertation is the piece of work which you have the most ownership over. On the basis of this, I approach supervisions as a kind of coaching - I will be ready to answer any questions you have that have arisen during your research and writing, whether about writing mechanics, the research process, or about your topic more specifically. I will also raise probing questions for you, drawing on examples from written work I have been able to review in order to highlight problems or issues more broadly for you as a writer. I will not provide a proofreading service (you should recruit a good friend or two to help with this), so you should always bear in mind that mark-up and feedback is not comprehensive, that is, you shouldn't expect that anything I haven't written on is perfect and shouldn't be revised. I expect you to take notes from our discussions and then review your work to find all the areas where my feedback may be relevant.
4. How do I format my bibliography? Citations? Title Page? Table of contents...
We have a flexible policy regarding citation style, so it's up to you to choose the one that you are most familiar with and then apply that style consistently throughout your dissertation. Please note - I will not serve as a reference for specific aspects of formatting. This is one of the aspects of independent research you should master early on in your research journey (if you haven't already). Each major referencing style has a style guide which covers all the intricacies of formatting as well as other aspects including table of contents formatting, headings, and really anything you could possibly imagine. Given how frequently you may have questions about this, you should purchase a paperback copy of the style guide which will tell you how to format references, number pages, write a table of contents etc. If you don't already have a preference, I'd suggest you go with Chicago Style (a.k.a. Turabian) as it is generally favoured by Theology, Religious Studies, History, and Philosophy. Chicago has both short and long form versions. As above, you can pick one, but if it's up to me, I'd prefer the notes and bibliography format, where you provide longer form versions of citations in footnotes and repeat them in your bibliography. There is an online version of this style guide here: [http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html]
5. How many books should I read for a dissertation?
There is no straight-forward way to answer this question, as every dissertation question is quite unique. I tend to favour a style of research that begins by hoovering up as much information as possible, reading a large pile of scholarly materials very quickly so as to get a sense of the breadth of opinion on your topic. Once you have reached an intuitive point of "saturation," you can circle back around to materials that you know to be seminal or particularly relevant to your research and read them more closely so that you can engage with the author's arguments in your own writing. This style of reading is summarised in a now very old book by Mortimer Adler called "How to Read a Book" (1940, revised edition in 1972), which has been come to be called the [Structure-proposition-evaluation method](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_(process)#Methods_of_reading) of reading. I recommend you read Adler's book (quickly!), but you can also find a quick summary here: (https://fourminutebooks.com/how-to-read-a-book-summary/). PS, don't write in library books. PPS, don't bother with Adler's recommended reading list.
So to circle back around to the original question... some rough unqualified estimates: (1) In the hoovering stage, you shouldn't read fewer than a dozen books and 3 dozen journal articles. (2) In the critical reading stage, you can focus in on a half dozen books and a dozen articles. But this is really just a rule of thumb - we'll work out a proper ratio in supervision.
6. Which books / articles should I read for my dissertation?
7. How can I measure my progress?
I like to think about scheduling this writing project by working backwards from the final deadline. So, assuming that your final draft is due for submission in March and that we can't discuss your writing any further at that stage, you should (3) plan to have a penultimate rough draft completed by the start of February. It's important to give yourself a month for revising, as your project will have matured significantly and you'll need time to rework and rewrite earlier materials, possibly quite radically. This means that (2) Dec-Jan should involve some serious writing, potentially 8-12k words. To varying degrees, (1) you should think of the first 2 months of dissertation work (Sep/Oct-Nov) as exploratory. You will be focussing much of your time on reading and taking notes, writing literature survey, book precis, and outlines of your project, and thinking through your methodology. If you prefer to take the writing more slowly, or work in a more compartmentalised way, i.e. researching for and writing each chapter at a time, we can do that too, so you'd finish a chapter each month starting in October, and then have February for revising. The downside of this approach is that you may need to rewrite one or more of those early chapters as your thinking develops and matures over the length of the project. Some people also like to do preliminary research over the preceding Spring and Summer - this is a good idea if you want to take the writing more slowly and work over your ideas, and also if you need to do data collection for your project.
Ultimately, it is up to you to choose a schedule for your project, so think hard about your personality and how you've worked best on long projects (not even necessarily writing ones) in the past.
8. How do I find books and articles for my dissertation?
In this age of social media and digital archives, you'll be working primarily with search engines. However, it's important to do "smart searching" which relates both to what key words and phrases you search for as well as how you use the technology. Finding the right "key words" and phrases is an art, and one which you will get better at with time. So you should practice running phrases and words through searches to see what comes up. I recommend working with Google Scholar to begin with, and then you can work with more tailored tools, like the University library findit@bham search engine.
Here's an example of how I use this tool to run a literature search. A good search in google scholar should return less than 100 items. So, for example, "just war" returns over 4 million items. This is the definition of a terrible search. One search trick which will help significantly here is to treat just war as a phrase, so put it in double quotation marks for the search engine. The difference here is that you won't just get every item which is about "just" or "war" but only those things which are about `"just war"`. Big difference - now you've got just under 100k items, which means that it's getting a bit better, but still unusuable. It's good to work with contemporary literature to begin with, so try limiting the search to items written in the last decade. Just click on "custom range" on the sidebar and type in 2008 to the first box and click search. Now we're down to 19k items. Getting better. Another way to identify important articles is to notice how many times they are cited. If something has been cited more than 100 times, that is, quoted in another book or article, that's a good rule of thumb for something being generally applicable. So you might want to scan quickly for items with high citation counts before refining your list further.
A few other ideas for reducing your searchers to manageable lengths:
You can add some more keywords as well alongside "just war". So if, for example, we add "land mines" to the search (make sure this is also in double quotes as a phrase!) we're down to just 580 results. You can get through a list this long in an hour if you're just scanning the summaries and titles. So this is something you can work with.
You might also think about limiting your search to items that have your key words only in the title. To do this in google scholar, just add the word intitle: before your search, so it looks like this:
`intitle:"just war"`
Throughout this process, you should be noting down things that seem possibly relevant to your research. Now rinse and repeat - start a new search with a different starting point. You get the idea.
9. How can I tell what mark my dissertation will get?
This is a hard question. My primary interest in the dissertation process, to the frustration of some supervisees is generally oriented around the quality of the work. This can lead to a range of very different outcomes depending on how mature your thinking is on a given topic and how much time you've invested along the way. So I'm going to tell you quite honestly if I don't think you're working up to your own standards, but I can't set a benchmark mid-way through your project. In almost every case, your thinking will mature and develop on your topic right up to the point of submission, so quite a lot hinges on leaving time for and investing in final revision of your thesis. Until we get to the final product, I can only assess how a given chapter or intellectual exploration is doing, and there's no way of knowing how this will predict the whole product. If you really want to get some kind of benchmark for your writing, you can review the bank of assessed work on canvas to see some samples of other dissertations. However, at this point in your scholarly career, I'd suggest that you intrinsically are the best measure of your progress. You will know how much effort has led in past writing to certain outcomes, and should be able to judge your work on the thesis against these past outcomes. If you're anxious about the mark, my primary advice to you is to pace yourself. Make sure that you have time at the end to revise well, and make sure that you devote time at the beginning to adequately researching your topic. A good thesis is a blend of eloquence and scholarly knowledge.
10. Anything else?
I expect we'll work through all kinds of other items in supervision and am excited to see how your project is developing!

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content/post/20200204_speculative-fiction.md

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title: "Speculative Fiction"
subtitle: ""
summary: ""
authors: []
tags: []
categories: []
date: 2020-02-04T22:14:57+01:00
lastmod: 2020-02-04T22:14:57+01:00
featured: false
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In case anyone here likes speculative fiction- here's a piece I wrote for an AHRC project on Crafting the Commons...
(https://commoners.craftspace.co.uk/research-network/a-technophilic-allegory-for-commons-stories/)

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content/post/20200305_iapaper.md

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---
# Documentation: https://sourcethemes.com/academic/docs/managing-content/
title: "Mapping Religious Environmental Politics article, just out in IA Journal"
subtitle: ""
summary: "Out today in the journal International Affairs, my article on Mapping Religious Environmental Politics."
authors: []
tags: []
categories: []
date: 2020-03-05T22:11:54+01:00
lastmod: 2020-03-05T22:11:54+01:00
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Out today in the journal International Affairs, my article on Mapping Religious Environmental Politics. The model + analysis there is especially for folks in public policy seeking to better engage with religious groups on environmental policy (https://academic.oup.com/ia/article/96/2/343/5775739). With special thx to my colleague Katherine Brown for editing!

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content/post/20200501_iablog.md

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---
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title: "International Affairs Blog, 'Understanding religious environmentalism'"
subtitle: ""
summary: ""
authors: []
tags: []
categories: []
date: 2020-05-01T22:07:21+01:00
lastmod: 2020-05-01T22:07:21+01:00
featured: false
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If you're looking for some post-earth-day reading, just up on the International Affairs blog, an interview I did a few weeks ago on "Understanding religious environmentalism" (which covers some high points from recent journal article in IA)
(https://medium.com/international-affairs-blog/interview-understanding-religious-environmentalism-102310641f8b)

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---
author: Jeremy Kidwell
date: "2014-09-30"
title: Address to the People’s Climate March
---
I devoted some time these past six weeks to helping organise a <a href="http://peoplesclimate.org/" target="_blank">people's climate march</a> in Edinburgh. Given our research focus on how Christians and faith communities mobilise for action around climate change and other related ecological issues, this probably doesn't come as a surprise. What did surprise many people, myself included, was the extent of the march (pictures <a href="https://www.flickr.com/groups/2747585@N23/pool" target="_blank">here</a>) that occurred last Sunday (21 Sep 2014). We had hoped for 200-300 and by most estimates, we had nearly 3000 people marching through the streets of Edinburgh committing themselves to action and calling on our nation's leaders here in Scotland to address climate change in substantial ways. I gave a short speech to those gathered before we set off to march, and I offer the text of my speech here:
[![march-photo](images/climate_march.jpg "My address")]
It’s great to see so many of you here! I’m really excited to see such a huge crowd here today – and our march and gathering here is a big part of an even bigger gathering that is going on today across the world. People’s Climate Marches are happening in over 1500 cities today, with over 2 million people marching. The UN meets this week for a global summit on climate change. This is the first of three summits, and we’re going to be marching in Edinburgh and across the world at all of them. We are here today because we all know that we have a problem. The consequences of climate change are now impossible to ignore, as human activity has pushed the atmospheric concentration of CO2 way past the danger zone of 350 parts per million. Atmosphere may be invisible, but climate change is not. Boats are sailing through the arctic in the summer now, and our weather has become chaotic and dangerous, as so many people in Britain experienced with flooding last year, and that was just a preview - island nations which have been subjected to a relentless barrage of superstorms - have begged the rest of the world to join them in taking action to avoid catastrophic climate change. Though we often talk about the big problems surrounding climate change, it isn't just about big things, though the loss of public health and safety is a key concern. As our climate changes we grieve the loss of familiar and small things as well; birds, butterflies and frogs are disappearing at an alarming rate. My son Noah loves frogs, and as I see the world through his eyes with wonderment each day, I think, we have to stop this madness. We have to address climate change for his future. You see, I'm here today, not because of fear, but because of love. That great commandment to love your neighbour as yourself compels me to stop climate change for Noah's future, for all the people who live in vulnerable areas, for the beautiful creatures and landscapes which are a gift entrusted to all of us. I'm here today because of love. So why haven't we solved climate change? It isn't invisble, and as Aaron will share with you in a few moments, we've known about it for decades. Our civilization has accomplished many astonishing things: we've eradicated polio and written the magna carta. But there are lobbyists who are working hard on behalf of fossil fuel companies to obstruct change because they stand to lose a lot of money. So even though our best scientists have helped heighten our awareness of climate change and our most skilled diplomats and policy makers are about to meet in the UN, this march, and all the other marches across the world are absolutely crucial. This march today demonstrates the strengthening of a movement, here in Edinburgh and across the world as we all join in marching to show our concern and solidarity on this issue. This movement is one which will provide us with a new opportunity to show our best side: to show our innovation on clean energy, to reclaim the beauty and joy of living simply, to remember the fun that comes when a whole city comes together. That is what we are starting here today, and this isn't the end - we're going to have a bigger march in nine months in December before the UN Climate Change conference in Lima, and even bigger again before the conference in Paris in 2015. We are all here today because we know that we are the solution to the problem of climate change. Marching today is just the start, as we will go home to organise and mobilise: join a group, start a group, speak to our neighbours, write letters, start a book club, write to and visit our MP’s, etc etc etc. Our standing here together shows our commitment to building a new society and it is a privilege for me to stand here with you today as we march through the centre of our Nation’s capitol.

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content/post/fridaypoem.md

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---
author: "jeremy"
date: "2016-02-08"
title: A poem for your friday
---
"The Heaven of Animals" by James L. Dickey
Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.
Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.
To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.
For some of these,
It could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,
More deadly than they can believe.
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey
May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward: to walk
Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain
At the cycle’s center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.

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content/post/interwebs.md

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---
title: "The Interwebs"
date: 2016-03-31T13:57:35+01:00
author: "jeremy"
---
Note: *Crossposted on [Tools of the Trade](https://blog.bham.ac.uk/tools-of-the-trade/2016/03/31/the-interwebs/)*
Usually we tend to think of the WWW as a tool for research, and I'll dive into some of the ways that I make use of specific tools to search and mine the web for resources into a later post, but today I wanted to share a bit about how the web can serve as a subject for research. Web social science is the next big thing, with regular sessions now appearing at many major academic society conferences. If you want to get the big overview, I'd recommend you start with Robert Ackland's recent book, <em><a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781849204828" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age</a></em>. Ackland's book is a terrific resource, covering both qualitative and quantitative modes of research and he covers a large range of tools from online surveys and focus groups, web content gathering and analysis, social media network analysis (which I'll discuss in a future post), and online experimentation. For an author who is quite technical the book covers a very helpful range of ethical considerations, surveys a range of contemporary methodological literature, and he presents the domain of research involved in each of these which would be accessible to a readership that hasn't done this kind of work before. A few years ago when I began doing web social science and social network analysis, I found Acklands book to be a terrific catalyst into the wider field of web studies.<!--more-->
I've been gathering websites for a few research purposes. Connecting back to my interest in geocoding - many of the groups I'm studying have publicly available data on member group locations. A quick web scrape, and a more lengthy bit of data cleaning yields a table of site names, with address, coordinates, and often a web address. I'll go into this a bit more in my next post so you can try you hand at creating a geocoded database.
There is also a huge amount of data available for documentary-style analysis sitting out on the internet. Many groups post their newsletters in web-only format, or will archive PDF versions of their print materials and this provides a really useful way to get at historical work of a particular group - in my case environmental community groups and churches. Now in some cases, you may find that a website has disappeared or has been hijacked by malevolent forces. Fear not if this happens to you (I've found both to be the case in my own relatively recent work), just hop on over to the [Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive](https://archive.org) and look up a historic version of your page. This is a ridiculously useful tool, and will also allow you to view a historic development of a webpage including content changes at regular (usually bi-annual) intervals.
Finally the web can offer a terrific data set for "big data" explorations. Now here there are a few ethical implications I should highlight as they aren't immediately obvious if you haven't hosted a web site of your own before. There are a range of tools that can "crawl" websites that is, download *en masse* a large batch of pages. Basically, this is a software tool that will download a web page you specify and then analyse that page for any URL information - the program then goes on to download whatever data happens to on that page, and so on. You can usually specify "link depth" to restrict how many times the program will follow a link to another page as this can get very big very fast. On that last detail is where the ethical problems can arise. Many web hosts provide a metered service, so if you generate a huge volume of traffic for some small charity you may inadvertently crash their website (if the server is small), use up their monthly quota, or increase the amount they pay on their hosting invoice. Any of these situations are best avoided, and some web crawling software has begun to build in time and bandwidth limitations to prevent researchers (and search engines) from zapping small web properties with a massive web crawl. So with that in mind, let me note a few tools that are already adapted for academic use:
Tthe University of Amsterdam developed a software application called Issue Crawler. He is also author of [Information Politics on the Web](https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/information-politics-web) (University of MIT Press, 2005). Issue crawler is meant to crawl what Rogers calls <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issue_networks">issue networks</a> on the web - since I'm interested in environmental issue networks, I find his work pretty compelling and useful. You can read more about issuecrawler on <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Rogers" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rogers' wikipedia page</a>.
I've already mentioned Robert Ackland and his book above, but it's important to note that he is the creator of another tool for web crawling, called VOSON which is hosted through <a href="http://uberlink.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">uberlink.com</a>. VOSON is cool in that you provide a list of seed links and then the tool slowly accumulates all the web pages that match your list, storing them on their server. In some cases they'll have already crawled a website and so can aggregate user requests and reduce the load on web clients. VOSON and Issue Crawler both cost money to use, so you'll want to write them into your next big grant. But there are a few other options if you want to run some of your own crawling, albeit on a more modest scale (and off peak hours!). I use a German software application called <a href="http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/devonthink/overview.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">devonthink</a> to parse through large batches of text, including PDF files and web sites (which the application can archive). It is a very powerful tool with algorithmic searching which can intelligently sift through lots of data and help you find connections you might not have been expecting. Of course, you can also go to the command line and use CURL or Wget. Konrad Lawson breaks down the procedure for web scraping using the command line <a href="http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/download-a-sequential-range-of-urls-with-curl/41055" target="_blank" rel="noopener">over at the ProfHacker blog</a>. There is much more to be said on this topic, and a ton of other tools I'll continue to introduce on this blog, but that's a good introduction for now, I think.
Have you used websites in your research? I'd love to hear more in the comments about what you've found useful and what has proven a distraction!

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content/post/merchants.md

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---
title: "Merchants in the Kingdom?"
date: 2014-05-15T13:50:36+01:00
author: "jeremy"
---
Crossposted from [KLICE Comment](http://tyndalehouse.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/r/91EF42EAF02E701E2540EF23F30FEDED)
Over the course of several years of doctoral research, I've been reading the Christian Scriptures closely to see what we might responsibly say about the relationship between our everyday work and the New Creation. Along the way, I was struck by a strange prohibition that ends the book of Zechariah: 'and there shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day' (14:21, NRSV). On my first reading, I thought it strange that merchants might be singled out for exclusion from God's holy kingdom. However, as I have reflected on this text and read more widely in the prophets, I've come to see a startling, if forgotten biblical critique of a danger that lies in business. Let me begin by providing a bit of context before I note how this may be relevant to our contemporary context.
The closing chapter of Zechariah offers an 'apocalyptic' description of the age to come. There, the writer describes the new kingdom as a sort of impenetrable bulwark in the midst of violent conflict and collapsing political order. In the midst of this, Zechariah 14 describes a pilgrimage of the nations who come to offer worship to the King, by bringing their wealth to the Lord of Hosts (similar to Isaiah 60, from which Adam Smith derived his title 'The Wealth of Nations'). One of the theological trajectories of Zechariah is the democratisation of holiness. To this end, Zechariah uses a remarkably mundane lexicon, noting how horse's bells and cooking pots (related to predominant ancient forms of work: warfare and subsistence) become 'Holy to the Lord' (vs. 20–21). Then comes that strange final verse, 'and there shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day'.
The Hebrew word kena'ani, which the NRSV renders as 'traders', is a possible reference to 'canaanites'. Some interpreters have suggested that this is meant to carry forward the 'dissolution of boundaries' as Carol Meyers puts it, which is a major theme in Zechariah. The thinking goes: rather than Israel becoming like Canaan, the reverse will be the case, Canaan will be culturally absorbed into Israel, and this will serve as a sign of the triumph of God's holiness in this kingdom. However, this interpretation of Zechariah neglects a wider critique of merchant-activity which one finds with surprising regularity in the Old Testament. We find more obvious hints at this in Hosea 12:7 which warns of 'a trader (canaanite), in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress'. As Ralph Smith notes, fraudulent scales 'became symbolic in OT literature of unscrupulous dealings' (and we find condemnations of such fraud in Deut. 25:13, Prov. 11:1, 20:23, and Micah 6:11).
The text of Zephaniah 1:11 parallels Zechariah in offering a wholesale dismissal of merchants. Here the problem is not related merely to dishonest merchants (as in Hosea), but rather 'all who weigh silver are wiped out' (JPS). We can only assume that, in the age of these prophets, the activity of merchant middle-men had gained such a reputation that the term for 'merchant' or even the more generic designation of 'canaanite', could be used to connote deceptive business activity without clarification. The honest merchant was an exception to the rule.
While it may be tempting to argue that our contemporary situation is categorically different, I think this misses the way in which certain forms of business carry a latent moral risk – they can carry a predisposition towards dishonesty which is embedded in their very structure. I think that the conditions under which the dishonest ancient merchant profited are not so different from the present: they capitalised on knowledge asymmetry from an established position. Seen in this way, we may appreciate how manipulating scales is similar to many contemporary covert business activities which seek to manipulate the representation of value and exploit the trust of unwitting customers. Just as ancient customers questioned whether merchants added value to the goods which they sold, today's Christians have good reason to question similar tactics used by modern firms.
Some of my American friends like to poke fun at this ambiguity by referring to the posh eco-grocer, Whole Foods, as 'Whole Paycheck', but expensive groceries are hardly the worst instance of mark-up without value. A far more troubling example lies in the reliance of so many contemporary firms on massive marketing budgets. It is hard to justify as moral behaviour the manipulation of customers to believe that a product will provide intangibles such as status or sex appeal. Perhaps the worst recent practice has been the tendency towards 'greenwashing', where manufacturers leave the contents of their products unchanged but change product labelling to emphasise meaningless descriptors such as 'all-natural' or add terms like 'eco' or 'green' to a product's name.
One insufficient response to the problem I've posed is the Amazon or Walmart solution, where a retailer cuts profit margins to such a bare level that one must deal in massive volume to make any profit at all. Yet this avenue does not escape the merchant's quandary, as these retailers fail to bring value, and instead they obscure the immoral business practices (such as outsourcing labour and exporting externalities) which are latent in the goods they sell. In my discussions with various local makers where I live in Edinburgh, they always note how difficult it is to survive in the midst of such proactively distorted consumer expectations.
Described in this way, I worry that much of our business emulates the merchant activity which Zechariah proudly expects a holy God to destroy. The recent turn towards amateur craft and locally-made well-crafted goods is encouraging, but very fragile. These prophets, and indeed many people in the ancient world, noted that, as the maker of all good things, God cares about truthfulness in the way we represent value in business. There has never been a more urgent need for Christian leaders to provide a counter-cultural example of honesty in business, and I would argue that such action is explicitly commanded by Christian scripture.

13
content/post/new_site.md

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---
title: "New Website"
date: 2017-06-28T10:20:12+01:00
author: "jeremy"
---
I've put together a new website. For anyone who has been following my presence on the internet, this change shouldn't come as a big surprise as I've periodically migrated my web presence from a static html site (1994) to movable type (2002) to wordpress (2004) to joomla (for about 15 minutes), to drupal (2010) and then back to wordpress again. What is perhaps a bit different this time is that this migration marks something of a homecoming as I've officially abandoned the Content Management System where I've been dwelling digitally for a little over a decade. When things first got started with Movable Type and Wordpress, the idea of a CMS was convenient and quaint. People still used america online and geocities for hosting, so layout and design weren't really a concern. Databases were pretty basic in their deployment, and hacking was still a pastime of hobbyists and not yet salaried professionals. Things have changed, in some cases for the better - with new emphases on making the web accessible for persons with different abilities, aesthetics through user experience design, and the frameworks and database architectures available for client and server side web development have simply exploded. There is a great deal of good here.
However, it would be an understatement to say that digital media and capitalism have not developed a stable or equal relationship. The uptake of the web by corporations and venture-capital funded startups have created an astonishing level of new technologies, energy and noise. We now have digital-born media and marketing firms that are capitalised at sums nearing trillions of USD. Apple is currently hovering over $700billion. Google is at $655bn. Facebook, $430bn. I could go on - but you get the point. These are sums that exceed the GDP of many nations, and so the stakes here and the amount of power that can be mobilised is nearly unfathomable. And these firms have developed an uneasy relationship with the common good, representing themselves as contributing philanthropists and humanitarians, but conducting their business in ways that subvert the very intentions that were embedded in the design and architectures of the internet. Google's pervasive footprint offers a wide suite of so-called "free" services which provide the backbone for their bread and butter business as a marketing firm. Their mobilisation of user activity and identity as a product has paved the way for an array of truly sinister subversions of local and national politics. Facebook too has proven very bad at balancing their desire to develop a product with the need for user protection, privacy, and protection of the common good. But even more than these problems of privacy and exploitation, I fear the hegemony that these firms have begun to covet and protect. Stacy Mitchell covers the [strange disappearance of the word "Monopoly"](https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/word-monopoly-antitrust/530169/) in political discourse in recent decades in her article in the Atlantic earlier this month.
There is much more to be covered here which I'll explore in future blog posts, but what I want to underline is that my own transition to blogging in markdown and producing a static website is underpinned by a desire to return to the original (and what I take to be) philosophically astute aims of the internet. There are several promising conversations starting up around different corners of the internet that take things back in this direction. My own web host [Reclaim Hosting](http://reclaimhosting.com) is part of the own your own domain movement pioneered in universities. Until big providers are willing to provide an honest accounting of their products, and even offer paid services which don't track and sell their users data. So, for example, I don't run google analytics, but use a self-hosted instance of [Piwik](http://piwik.org) to keep track of what people enjoy reading here. I boycott Facebook unless I have to access content there that is inaccessible. For more ideas about how to divest from centralised services, check out the github repository on the [alternative-internet](https://github.com/redecentralize/alternative-internet). There are very exciting developments in federated technologies - that is services which can be distributed transparently across multiple providers, so [Mastadon](https://mastodon.social/about) (now more than 1m users) offers an alternative to Twitter and [Matrix/Riot](https://matrix.org) an alternative to Slack. In both cases, these services produce the same features as the centralised commercial service but anyone can add a server of their own which can interconnect with the existing mesh of services. This turn towards federated services has been given new energy by the success of blockchain services and bitcoin currencies (or clones) which depend on similar kinds of federated technologies. So much of the basic fabric of the internet works in this way and these massive service providers are essentially free-riders attempting to remanufacture infrastructure towards centralisation and technological walled gardens for profit. And I'm not alone in feeling this way - at the [Decentralised Web Summit](https://www.decentralizedweb.net) (written up in [Wired magazine here](https://www.wired.com/2016/06/inventors-internet-trying-build-truly-permanent-web/)) a year ago in San Francisco a raft of industry leaders met to discuss how architecture, protocols, and implementations can better serve a distributed and more robust internet. And as the (surprisingly banal) [Amazon S3 outage](https://www.wired.com/2017/02/happens-one-site-hosts-entire-internet/) earlier this year indicated, diversity and distribution is increasingly important to the success of the internet.
I feel strongly about these things because they map onto political realities and in an age when our domestic politics are suffering such atrophy we need to re-politicise our daily lives to involve cooperative problem solving and a robust (if pluralistic) conception of the commons. I'll look forward to chatting more about all this in due course.

9
content/post/peer_review_reddit.md

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---
title: "Peer review and reddit?"
date: 2017-02-10T13:54:58+01:00
author: "jeremy"
---
Crossposted from my [Tools of the Trade blog](https://blog.bham.ac.uk/tools-of-the-trade/2017/02/10/peer-review-and-reddit/)
There’s a terrific interview this week on the Inquiring Minds podcast with Nate Allen, one of the lead moderators for the r/Science subreddit. Colleagues will be especially interested in their discussion of the r/Science AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) events they run which host sciences who have recently published results for an interactive, carefully moderated and pretty high-level conversation with the 15 million + users on that forum. [Check it out here](https://art19.com/shows/inquiring-minds/episodes/3992f5e7-b17a-4319-b5c7-979719ed4572)

9
content/post/schmemann_on_dying.md

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---
author: "jeremy"
date: "2014-05-20"
title: Fr Schmemann on Dying
---
This morning during Matins I had a “jolt of happiness,” of fullness of life, and at the same time the thought: I will have to die! But in such a fleeting breath of happiness, time usually “gathers” itself. In an instant, not only are all such breaths of happiness remembered but they are present and alive— that Holy Saturday in Paris when I was a young man—and many such “breaks.” It seems to me that eternity might be not the stopping of time, but precisely its resurrection and gathering. The fragmentation of time, its division, is the fall of eternity. Maybe the words of Christ are about time when He said: “... not to destroy anything but will raise it all on the last day.” The thirst for solitude, peace, freedom, is thirst for the liberation of time from cumbersome dead bodies, from hustle; thirst for the transformation of time into what it should be—the receptacle, the chalice of eternity. Liturgy is the conversion of time, its filling with eternity. There are two irreconcilable types of spirituality: one that strives to liberate man from time (Buddhism, Hinduism, Nirvana, etc.); the other that strives to liberate time. In genuine eternity, all is alive. The limit and the fullness: the whole of time, the whole of life is in each moment. But there is also the perpetual problem: What about the evil moments? Evil time? The terrible fear before dying of the drowning man, of the man falling from the tenth floor about to be crushed on the pavement? What about the tears of an abused child?
From The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann 1973—1983, p. 78. Cited in Gallaher, Chalice of eternity: an Orthodox theology of time, St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 57:1, 5-35 (2013).

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content/post/surprising_turn.md

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---
author: "jeremy"
date: "2014-09-06"
title: When a surprising turn occurs
---
"It is pertinent to see that in a world of becoming this or that force-field can go through a long period of relative equilibrium, or even gradual progression as defined by standards extrapolated from that equilibrium. Much of social thought and political theory takes such periods as the base from which to define time and progress themselves, making the practitioners all the more disoriented when a surprising turn occurs, that is, when a period of intense disequilibrium issues in a new plateau that scrambles the old sense of progress and regress in this or that way. There may be long chrono-periods of relative stabilization in several zones that matter to human participants, but during a time of accelerated disequilibrium the ethico-politics of judgment through extrapolation from the recent past to the medium or distant future becomes rattled or breaks down. It is now time to modify old extrapolations of possibility and desirability. During such periods Kantian and neoKantian ideas of the universal are retrospectively shown to have been filled with more material from a historically specific mode of common sense than their carriers had imagined. The Augustinian-Kantian sense that human beings are unique agents in the world, while the rest of the world must be comprehended through non-agentic patterns of causality, may turn out to be one of them. To the extent this idea takes hold, established notions of the human science and morality become ripe candidates for reconstitution."
WE Connolly, A World of Becoming (Duke UP, 2010), 150.

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content/post/voting.md

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---
title: "Voting and Civic Participation, a response to Wayne Grudem"
date: 2016-11-07T10:20:12+01:00
author: ["jeremy", "Matthew Arbo"]
---
Note: Crossposted from [Mere Orthodoxy](https://mereorthodoxy.com/voting-civic-participation-response-wayne-grudem/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed) and [In All Things](http://inallthings.org/on-voting-and-civic-participation/)
This has been a strange and bewildering year for American politics, and for certain segments of the American church. [Some commenters] (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/19/opinion/campaign-stops/the-religious-rights-trump-schism.html) have felt confident to call the church’s reaction to the general election a “schism” in the religious right—quite strong language. The candidacy of Donald Trump has been inordinately mystifying for many of us, Christians included, but “schism” is far too vague a diagnosis in attempting to capture the state of this discourse, just as “religious right” is a rather unimpressive sociological descriptor. We would like to suggest that this and a great many other takes on “evangelical politics,” reflects a troubling confusion about the nature of Christian political citizenship that has finally been drawn from the background into the foreground of political discourse. This confusion is on clear display in Wayne Grudem’s 19 Oct piece [“If You Don’t Like Either Candidate, Then Vote for Trump’s Policies.”] (http://townhall.com/columnists/waynegrudem/2016/10/19/if-you-dont-like-either-candidate-then-vote-for-trumps-policies-n2234187)
In Grudem’s narration, the situation is one in which voters must make a decision between two unsavory options. He doesn’t especially like either candidate, but nevertheless recommends that Christians consider voting for Trump’s policy proposals, though he at the same time admits that he doesn’t agree with Trump “on everything.” He then highlights Trump’s proposal to “immediately deport all undocumented immigrants” as one example of disagreement. In many ways, the narrative of Grudem's argument is matched by Justin DePlato in his iAt post, ["Voting for Donald Trump"] (http://inallthings.org/voting-for-donald-trump/)
This disagreement comes with a proviso, though; Grudem stipulates that we can look away in this instance because “[Trump] could never get it [his deportation proposal] through Congress, and he has backed away from that and now only talks about deporting those convicted of crimes and those who have overstayed their visas.” If we judge the cogency of a Trump policy by its overall probably of passing through congress, then there isn’t going to be much left of the Trump platform. This is, after all, the candidate who rose to prominence by promising to build a wall and have another sovereign nation pay for it. But an idiosyncratic argument is only one issue among a wider array of problems with Grudem’s proposal.
On a more fundamental level, at the heart of this vote-for-the-policy-but-not-for-the-man approach lies a highly reduced account of Christian political participation to *voting*, a related reduction of theological judgment to utilitarian tactics, and an untenable bifurcation between a candidate and his policies.
Let us begin with the matter of voting. It is important to note at the outset that voting is a crucial and important part of democracy. We celebrate the many crucial advances that have been won against injustice around voter equality and note the many ways in which this fight is still ongoing. However, in Grudem’s presentation, the Christian citizen’s electoral duty is imprecisely portrayed and over-prescribed. In this view, the candidate we choose will be radically determinative on issues of concern. But politics can be a much wider domain and we would like to point towards an alternate theological account of civic participation, particularly in its electoral expression, which adheres more closely to the traditional logic of Christian discipleship.
When we vote we are casting a ballot in favor of the candidate whom we believe will do the best job of governing. The restrictive character of voting itself disallows voting in protest or opposition. To undertake this particular activity—voting—the Christian must be convinced that the ballot is cast as *an obedient response to the command of God in discipleship*. The Christian seeks to discern the word God has for them and to act upon it faithfully. One participates willingly in democratic elections *as a disciple* or not at all. This might mean that the Christian abstains from voting or votes for an alternate candidate who they believe (again, in good conscience) will best carry out the office. Yes, God works through material affairs themselves to inform the Christian of whom a candidate is and what is at stake in voting for them, but God's revelatory providence is by no means restricted to the empirical and obvious.
Politics is about far more than electing a president. It is also, one may hope, a rich tapestry of interwoven institutions, traditions, processes, representatives, jurisdictions, and practices. But it is precisely the complexity of politics—and the Church’s place within it—that undermines the whole of Grudem’s argument. For, if we acknowledge that politics is about more than just a presidential election, we must appreciate how our involvement in politics—our political citizenship—is about so much more than a single vote.
It is also about our votes for other offices, like judges, city councilors, school board reps, sheriffs, and state legislators. It is about matters that may not even involve voting at all, like our willingness to pray, to notice and stand up for the vulnerable (as Jesus put so powerfully in his parable of the good samaritan), it is about our commitment to a range of social structures including churches and schools. It is about our individual vocations. To cast the current election as if it is only about this single vote, which has produced such troubling theatre, is a deception in which we prefer not to participate. This view also, ironically, contradicts the vision of Jeremiah 29 which is a message given to a nation in exile. Verse 7 is preceded by examples of what seeking the good of the city looks like – these are long-term tasks which do not reduce well to a four year election cycle: conducting work, building houses, committing to reside in a place and raise families there.
Turning to the matter of political judgment, we are also deeply troubled by Grudem’s (and indeed DePlato's) suggestion that Christians take a consequentialist approach to voting. He feels it would be un-evangelical of him to vote for Secretary Clinton because of her “ultraliberal” policies. On the face of things, Grudem’s presentation indicates a sort of culture-wars ideology which reflexively divides the world into binaries: Republican / Democrat; liberal / conservative; etc. But this kind of view simply does not reflect the kind of careful reflection that we should be able to expect from someone who puts themselves forward as a public Christian intellectual. From this ideologically determined space, Grudem goes on to parse out his consequentialist logic: given his identification of Clinton as “enemy” he can only vote either for Trump or for a third-party candidate, and tactical speculation leads Grudem to conclude that his voting options are really only two: Vote Trump or help Clinton get elected.
Nevermind that there are policy proposals by Clinton which could be easily identified as “Christian,” or even politically conservative, Grudem’s conclusion here does not follow. Even if one were to approach voting in the calculated way Grudem prefers, his individual vote does not have the causal efficacy that he thinks it does. Grudem’s concluding question makes it particularly clear that he is commending a utilitarian approach. He asks, “which vote is likely to bring about the best results for our nation?” Of course, Christian moral reasoning is deliberative and anticipatory. It is imperative that we have the moral imagination to contemplate potential futures we may or may not act within.
Grudem’s question, however, functions as a guiding *moral rule*. The Christian’s vote should be world-improving. Ironically, Grudem appeals to Jeremiah 29:7, to “seek the good of the city,” as grounds for his claim. Only it is not at all clear to us why Grudem thinks that Trump represents such an overt good. To what noble attribute or comprehensive policy statement can one point to support the suggestion that Trump will “for the most part govern in the way he promises to do, bringing good to the nation in many areas?” Since the vamping up of the election primaries early last year Trump has added a fresh entry each week to the catalogue of incendiary, vindictive, and even wicked remarks. We doubt very seriously that Trump is capable of articulating what governing for the good of the city would even look like.
Following on from this concern is our final point relating to the matter of relating person and policy. Grudem argues that one can vote for policies without necessarily voting for the person who advocates them. This distinction between the person and policies resembles the untidy but expedient distinction Luther wished to draw between person and office. One may be forced to do violence as *Prince* without thereby implicating himself personally. The claim has its charms, but as many within the Christian tradition have pointed out, it is theologically mistaken. A ruler’s discipleship is not temporarily suspended simply because the social order they’re required to govern is discomfiting with the Word of God. Likewise, neither can a distinction be drawn consistently between Trump and his policies, since policies do not arise ex nihilo, but are in this case propounded and advocated by Trump himself. When you enter the ballot box next month it is not his policies that you will find listed beside other party candidates, but his name. And, again, underlining this tendency towards idiosyncrasy, by his article’s end Grudem has in different places stated that its Trump he’s voting for, not just his policies.
In the end, Grudem has a misshapen conception of conscience. His response to the first type of objection he typically receives when trying to argue this case with well-meaning Christians is illustrative. Many tell Grudem that their “conscience won’t allow a vote for Trump.” He’ll hear nothing of it. How could a Christian’s conscience allow them to help Clinton get elected, since withholding a vote increases her chances? Shouldn’t one’s conscience be troubled by the inevitable harms she’ll bring to our nation, he asks? Grudem’s breathless dismissal of sincere appeals to individual conscience is perplexing and in the end he simply does not offer an alternative. Conscience is surgically removed from political judgment to allow for a more forensically pure utilitarian calculus. Apparently the only way to vote in good conscience is to share the same level of disapprobation toward Clinton as Grudem.
We wish here to affirm those Christians who, like us, cannot comprehend either themselves or a fellow believer casting a vote for Donald Trump. There are ample Christian reasons not only for withholding your vote from him, but even for actively opposing his candidacy. Perhaps you also question the evangelical heritage sometimes evoked by certain apologists for Trump. Is it possible, we ask, to live and announce the good news in Jesus Christ and at the same time publicize one’s support for a candidate who openly and brashly advocates viewpoints in direct contradiction to the gospel and who boasts of exploiting others for fame, pleasure or financial gain? Can someone, out of intense anxiety (whether justified or not) about what a Clinton presidency might bring, justify acting to help appoint a man whose campaign is a great public purveyor of insidious vitriol?
Such questions press into deeper theological concerns, and reflection upon these concerns may be of help to the Church during this time of travail and questioning. As one political theologian recently suggested, “When believers find themselves confronted with an order that, implicitly or explicitly, offers itself as the sufficient and necessary condition of human welfare, they will recognize the Beast” (*Desire of the Nations*, 272). And we’d like to suggest the “order” O’Donovan mentions can also be a person, who claims alone to possess the unique power of making a nation “great” again. For this reason and those above, we reject both Donald Trump and any argument that somehow a Christian responsibility is to vote for him this November. We invite Grudem and others who are persuaded by his argument to consider a wider view of Christian civic participation that is not reduced to vesting unwarranted hope in the promises of a charlatan to do in the future what his own character in the present seems to wholly contravene.

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title: "The Ethics of Design"
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---
# Documentation: https://sourcethemes.com/academic/docs/managing-content/
title: "Contemplating Extinction"
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%% This BibTeX bibliography file was created using BibDesk.
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%% Created for jeremy at 2020-05-03 21:42:29 +0100
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Doi = {10.1093/ia/iiz255},
Journal = {International Affairs},
Month = {March},
Number = {2},
Pages = {343--363},
Title = {Mapping the Field of Religious Environmental Politics},
Volume = {96},
Year = {2020}}

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---
# Documentation: https://sourcethemes.com/academic/docs/managing-content/
title: "Mapping the Field of Religious Environmental Politics"
authors: ["jeremy"]
date: 2020-03-01
doi: "10.1093/ia/iiz255"
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abstract: "Until fairly recently, consideration of religion has been marginal or even non-existent in the scholarly discourse about environmental politics. Renewed attention to the intersection of these fields has been encouraged by a recent widening in discussions of ‘environmental values’ to include the role of religious institutions and personal belief in forming spiritual environmental values and renewed attention to the place of ethics and religious institutions in global environmental politics. Following a range of historic declarations by religious leaders, the recent encyclical by Pope Francis signalled a new level of integration between Catholic concerns for social and environmental justice. Yet, much of the continued engagement by large environmental NGOs and governments has continued to ignore the complex interrelation of local, intermediate and transnational religious political ecology. In this article, which is based on data gathered during five years of fieldwork, primarily with British Christian REMOs (religious environmental movement organizations), I probe the complexities of political engagement with religious environmentalism which arise from the many different organizational iterations these groups may take. On the basis of such investigation I suggest that effective high-level engagement with REMO groups will be greatly enhanced by a nuanced understanding of the many different shapes that these groups can take, the various scales at which these groups organize, and the unique inflection that political action and group identity can take in a religious context."
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summary: "I probe the complexities of political engagement with religious environmentalism which arise from the many different organizational iterations these groups may take."
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---
author: jeremy
date: "2019-02-19"
title: Catch-up Christian environmentalism and public policy
---
For the past two years, I've been synthesising and presenting my research into Christian environmentalism at a variety of fora. This has finally coalesced in a series of publications recently, so it seemed like a good time to gather some of these strands together in case anyone might be interested in the big picture and how all these bits fit together. It's worth noting that quite a lot of this work is still coming together, so there are several publications in draft and which I've presented which won't be out for a while yet officially. I'll also highlight a few features that are still WIP.
### First, the publications and a bit of summary:
- Christopher D. Ives, Jeremy H. Kidwell, [“Religion and social values for sustainability”](https://jeremykidwell.info/publications/2019_religion_social_values/) in *Sustainability Science*, vol. n, iss. n, Feb 2019.
*You should read the whole study (link above!) but here's a quick summary that might be helpful if you're not familiar with the scholarly field we're interacting with:*
I've been delighted to take up a new research collaboration with Christopher D. Ives who has a tremendous level of experience within environmental sciences, particularly environmental management, but also an awareness of human geography. Chris and I are trying to identify what features are unique about religious environmentalism – particularly Christian environmentalism with which we're both most familiar – and then communicate that to a broader policy-focussed (and secular) scholarly audience across environmental and political science and probably also environmental economics. There is a lot of very important translation work that needs to be done - in many cases, neither policymakers, social scientists or Christians at the grassroots themselves have a clear sense of how their work is unique in comparison to other kinds of environmental movements. In this article, we survey the field of environmental values, where economists and environmental scientists have been attempting for several decades now, to crystallise how we might ascribe value to the natural world. You can see this in the development of an [ecosystem services](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem_services) model which crystallised in 2006 in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. This kind of model has proven very helpful in public policy circles in affirming the hidden and potentially quantifiable value of seemingly extravagant measures such as ecosystem conservation. However, it ends up being, in practice, quite difficult to make all the intangible aspects into tangible and quantifiable measurements. Environmental scientists are well aware of this and have been working to develop ever more sophisticated versions of value models, resulting in a recent boom in "cultural values" and "social values" and by extension, we argue, explicitly religious values. A blunt way to put this is that "theology matters" and "churches matter" when it comes to caring for the earth. We highlight a few specific ways this is the case in our article, particularly in providing persons and communities with a matrix for the upholding of altruistic values, which seems to be increasingly difficult in the contemporary public sphere, so all the more important when we can find places where this is the case. However, as I've already suggested, it's not just a matter of distilling all the components of theological understanding into a simplistic model. As we argue, "values are embedded" and not easily extracted from their contexts. Further, the mobilisation of Christian belief is also complex. Popular stereotypes suggest that when Christian leaders put out a public statement (whether this is the Pope or Billy Graham) their people just fall into line obediently. We take the example of Pope Francis' recent encyclical Laudato Sí to highlight ways that top-down dissemination doesn't always work in predictable ways, particularly in Christian church hierarchies. Finally, we highlight ways that theological worldviews are complex and layered. Our identities as people of faith draw on a number of different sources. We argue that if researchers are to engage with people of faith in a meaningful way, their methods will need to work on such a level which can capture the full web of values within a worldview and represent the significance of theology in the midst of it.
- Jeremy H. Kidwell, Franklin Ginn, Michael Northcott, Elizabeth Bomberg and Alice Hague, [“Christian climate care: Slow change, modesty and eco-theo-citizenship”](https://jeremykidwell.info/publications/2018_geo/) in Geo, vol. 5, iss. 2, Sep 2018.
This article is the first major output from a massive study, which involved interviews with ministers, lay-leaders, and activists at 44 different Eco-Congregation churches across the UK, documentary analysis of hundreds of Eco-Congregation applications, and much more which we'll be sharing in other research outputs in the next few years. It's the first study of this scope of Christian environmentalism in the UK. In the broader scholarly study of environmentalism, one key question relates to how action and values relate to one another. That is, do we have a value and then act on it OR is it through ongoing actions that our values are formed and reinforced? We agree with a host of geographers and sociologists who essentially suggest that this is a paradoxical question which has no answer. Actions and values reinforce one another across the life of an individual person (and community) and it is impossible to ultimately sort out which of these two started everything off for a particular person. This is a salient concern for the study of Christian environmentalism, as policymakers are ultimately very curious to know whether being part of a church community (=practices?) or holding some kind of theological belief (=value?) have some sort of measurable impact on whether you will make changes to your lifestyle etc. in response to a problem like climate change. It's also worth noting, that social psychologists have observed that the relationship between holding a value and acting upon that value-orientation is complex as well. Many people hold values (sometimes defending them quite fiercely) without taking actions which enshrine those values. Given all these paradoxes, we wanted to see if we could provide a more faithful representation of what is going on in Eco-Congregations in Scotland, and perhaps find a description which might map onto Christian environmentalism more broadly.
What we ultimately argue is that Christian belief and Christian community stand in both resonance and tension with wider environmental identities. We call this Eco-Theo-Citizenship, in order to highlight the way that people in Eco-Congregations might participate in climate change mitigation to (1) just be a good citizen (like recycling) or (2) because of their theological formation (shown in concern for justice or stewardship). But these two overlap with one another in a kind of reinforcing spiral, so as I've already noted above, they are hard to disentangle. This also works on the level of community, whether a person is thinking of their local church or the worldwide confederation of Christian believers. Christians are often negotiating their identity as a global (good) citizen, but also holding onto a set of values which are "not of this world". This is a tension, we think, which is being negotiated in an ongoing way by Christian eco-communities.
We go on to suggest that if one were to take this model seriously, then it is possible to observe some consistent features about the types of environmentalism being expressed by people in Eco-Congregations. For the sake of this very brief article we shared two features which we imagined might be particularly relevant to the public policy community (there are many more!):
1. "Eco-Congregations tend to focus on *process and structure* as much as environmental *actions*" (p.12). It can be easy to see this as a problem, i.e. that an Eco-Congregation group might get terribly bogged down in committee politics on relatively small issues. And we met many Christians who indicated that they felt a bit self-conscious about how slowly their work got on. However, looking to wider anthropological studies of activist groups, we note that a focus on process is actually the underpinning foundation for stable and meaningful community, which then provides the basis for long-term and potentially transformative action. In this era of individualism and anomie, such an orientation on the small community can be quite countercultural and potentially serve to reinforce community resilience and cohesion. There's also a point we didn't have space to explore fully here that (we think) the most meaningful division among Eco-Congregation groups is not by denomination, but between those churches which are structured (Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic, and other mainline protestant groups) and those which are not (Baptist chuches, evanglical churches, quakers and unitarians). In this case, churches with beurocracies are functionally similar to those which have hierarchies. Taking on these two as separate frames is likely a good choice for high-level organisations trying to engage with Eco-Congregations/Churches in a meaningful way.
2. Environmentally active Christians are generally modest about their achievements and unlikely to champion their successes. They often see other secular groups as more efficacious even when they aren't. In an age when community level groups are often supported through grant funding, this can have a particular impact on their ability to secure resources, or to have the ambition to take on big projects. Similarly, when churches do support a big project, they often hand it off to the wider community for long-term stewardship. We found examples of dozens of large scale eco-projects which were discretely built-up by an Eco-Congregation group. There is a related impact on public perceptions of Christian environmentalism. Christians do often have a visible focus on eco-projects related to their buildings (new boilers, energy production, windows, lighting, etc.) and leave their wider community-facing achievements unclaimed. There's another strand of research here which remains implicit in this article, but which I'll be taking up in later work. This is, that Christians involved in Eco-Congregations are also often involved in a whole range of other community groups: from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Green Party to Scout Groups, Fair Trade and Transition Towns. What does it mean for us to attribute their work done "while in church" to their Eco-Congregation, and the work they do whilst working alongside others in secular groups to "secular workers"? I'll be suggesting that there is a whole layer of Christian environmentalism which lies hidden away and that we need to appreciate the way in which a Christian community may serve as beacon or incubator for a wider range of environmental work and concern.
- Jeremy H. Kidwell and Michael Northcott, [“Temporality and Christian Environmental Activism”](https://jeremykidwell.info/publications/2018_temporality_activism/) in Greening of Religion: Hope in the Eye of the Storm, ed. Jonathan Leader, Cherry Hill Seminary Press, 2018, pp. 167-175.
In this article, we take up a question, first raised by Michael Northcott when he and I began working on our Ancestral Time project, as to whether the unique theologically formed understanding of time held by Christians might underwrite unique reactions to environmental challenges like climate change. There are a range of possible examples – the notion of the communion of saints and Christian eschatology to give two possible options – and we could see ways that these ideas provided unique theological options, but we wanted to know whether a Christian theology of time made a difference for Christian environmentalism among the general Christian (environmentally concerned) public. The short answer is "no". In general, we found it quite difficult to get any of our respondents to talk about time. In some cases respondents conveyed the same kind of "short-term emergency" thinking that is often present in secular environmental conversations. Others were (conversely) unconcerned with the passage of time, and noteably skeptical about human ability to predict the future in any way. In both of these two groupings, it was difficult to ascertain whether there was anything specifically theological about their response. There was little theological language used, even when asked through follow-up questions. What we concluded was that the general focus of our respondents was on climate change as a *human* problem, and a reluctance to leave the human frame in order to think about the distant future in any concrete way. I note in our article some ways that this maps onto the anthropology of time. The take-away for policymakers is that when seeking to find resonance with Christians on environmental issues, it is important to use temporal framings which map onto ordinary human lay-experience of those issues.
It's worth noting that my take-away from this study has also been that time is a terribly neglected concept in environmental philosophy and everyday Christian environmentalism. I'm working on a scholarly monograph which will take up this inquiry in the form of Christian moral and political philosophy: *Ecological Reconciliation and Time Reckoning* over the next 18 months. Stay tuned for more from me on how time *does* and *should* matter for the way we frame these issues.
### Also relevant are:
- An unpublished piece of data science research I have in preparation: ["Mapping Environmental Action"](http://mapenvcom.jeremykidwell.info/mapping_draft.html).
There's a ton of data science goodies in here for anyone who works with R of GIS data ([click here for a complete set of reproducible code and data on github](https://github.com/kidwellj/mapping_environmental_action)). I unpack how Eco-Congregations measure against several secular environmental groups in Scotland by location against key demographics. Notably, how they are concentrated in the various administrative regions of Scotland, how they are related to indices of multiple deprivation, and the urban/rural scale, and whether these groups are different in terms of their proximity to various kinds of wilderness and environmental conservation areas. Pretty charts, maps, and graphs galore!
- A forthcoming article presented for the International Studies Association,
[Religion in Global Environmental Politics: Structuring Religious Environmentalism](https://jeremykidwell.info/presentations/201903_isa/)
- Jeremy H. Kidwell, [“The historical roots of the ecological crisis”](https://jeremykidwell.info/publications/2018_oxford_handbook_crisis/) in OUP Handbook of Ecology and Bible, 2019
Here I take on the (in)famous article by Lynn White which suggests that Christianity is to blame for the environmental crisis (as it was in the 1960s) and look more broadly at the concept of "crisis" as it has been constructed. I argue that there are problematic framings of both "crisis" and "religion" at the heart of this debate and urge scholarls to look towards some more sophisticated framings of both concepts in engaging with climate change. Note: *You might sense a resonance here with my arguments above regarding how Christians react to apocalyptic framings of environmental problems...*
### I've presented in several fora:
- [Presentation on "Mobilising the Churches Around the Environment"](https://jeremykidwell.info/files/presentations/presentation-20190225-mobilising_churches.html) to a group of UK NGO executives and faith leaders (Feb 2019)
- ["“Mapping” Religious Communities in the UK: Borders, Boundaries and Big Data"](https://jeremykidwell.info/presentations/201809-basr/) to the British Association for the Study of Religion (Sep 2018)
For the curious, it's worth noting that, as I've been doing geospatial data science relating to Eco-Congregations and Eco-Churches, I've been shocked at the quality of data available on churches in the UK. I flesh out some of these problems in this presentation.
- ["The Scottish Communities Report"](https://jeremykidwell.info/files/presentations/presentation_20180605_sccs/presentation_20180605_sccs.html#1) to the Stop Climate Chaos (Climate Coalition) board of directors. (Jun 2018)
In this presentation, I distill some of my findings summarised above for a consortium of Scottish NGO and public policy groups (the English equivalent is the "Climate Coalition"). I was on the board for several years and this presentation came towards the end of my tenure as the board was trying to refine a focus on local communities as part of their work.
- ["Slow energy policy in a time of global emergencies"](https://jeremykidwell.info/presentations/201801_cambridge_energy/) to the Energy@Cambridge research initiative at Cambridge University (Jan 2018)
For this Cambridge paper, I provide a summary of some of our findings regarding Eco-Congregations above. As an enticement for the economists present for this presentation, I also did some additional analysis on how awards within the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund map onto Eco-Congregations [(small repo with reproducible code here)](https://github.com/kidwellj/ccf_wordcloud) for R code I developed which can produce a word cloud representing key words included in text of these grant descriptions.
- ["Analysing the Development Trust Association Scotland footprint"](https://github.com/kidwellj/dtas_analysis) to the Development Trust association board of directors meeting (May 2018)
This work, which feeds into the Mapping Environmental Action study above, tested out the presence of DTAS groups against a variety of other kinds of feature in Scotland, particularly grocery shops and pubs. Click above for reproducible R code (though apologies that some of the underlying data is embargoed by Ordnance Survey, alas).

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static/pdf/TimeToAct-Kidwell.pdf

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static/slides/presentation_2018_environmentalvalues.pptx

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