Environmental scientist and writer Haydn Washington argues that we will not solve the environmental crisis unless we change our worldview and ethics, and to do so we must rejuvenate our sense of wonder at nature.
This book focuses on humanity's relation with nature, and the sense of wonder and belonging common to indigenous cultures and children everywhere. Drawing on events in the author's own four decades working to protect wild places, and the current literature on wonder, it examines what a sense of wonder is, what it has been called in different cultures, and our high points of wonder at nature. It also looks at the 'Great Divide' in worldview between anthropocentrism and ecocentrism, and considers the problem of anthropocentric theory in academia, arguing that the focus should instead be on harmony with nature. The book concludes with an examination of why wonder has become buried in Western society and considers ways in which it can be revived, including rituals and education. It also considers how wonder helps humanity to become 'whole'. The final chapter presents the road back to wonder and how wonder towards nature can be restored in Western society.
This book will be of great interest to environmental scientists, conservation biologists, environmental philosophers and ecological ethicists, as well as environmentalists, educators, eco-psychologists, and students looking at sustainability, deep ecology, and environmental philosophy and ethics.