Examining evidence of how a culture values nature, particularly its spiritual value

Cooper, Nigel (2018) Examining evidence of how a culture values nature, particularly its spiritual value. In: Sustainability and the Humanities. Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 239-266. ISBN 978-3-319-95335-9

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95336-6_14


What did nature ever do for us? So much more than the direct economic benefit of food and fuel. The major enterprise of valuing ecosystem services is aiming to provide robust arguments for environmental sustainability. Work in the arts and humanities can contribute to this. One output of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-On was “Shared, plural and cultural values: A handbook for decision-makers” (Kenter et al., 2014b), which included the disciplines of the Humanities in an overview of methods, specifically the interpretive technique of desk-based cultural history study. Few such valuation studies have so far been published. This paper reports preliminary results from inspecting three ‘cultural productions’: English village signs, street names and brief ‘stories’ about trees. Each of these will be examined for evidence of non-economic valuation of nature and, specifically, a spiritual or religious understanding of nature. The paper reports some preliminary findings, and will reflect on the methodological challenges involved. This will be of benefit to others (including students doing projects) wishing to analyse evidence produced by a culture of its approach to nature, evidence which may support arguments for sustainability.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Cultural ecosystem services, critical discourse analysis, spiritual value, nature, village signs, Charter for Trees
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Rev Canon Nigel Cooper
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2017 16:32
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:56
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702540

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