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Imagining Ecotopia

Berry, Evan; Proctor, James
Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture

We dedicate this series of articles to Jim Kopp, gentle bear of a man and utopian scholar, who patiently introduced us to the immense related literature and keygures in Oregon’s history. Though Jim did not live to see the fruits of our collective labors, his inuence shines throughout these writings. We also acknowledgenancial support via the John Templeton Foundation. Though only occasionally labeled as such, ecotopias feature abundantly in contemporary environmental discourse. Popularlms, such as Avatar and 2012, address the desire for a more perfect union between the human and the nonhuman, and do so by imaginatively depicting what such a union might look like. Abiding and ephemeral gatherings of people across the United States (and globally as well) attempt to synco- pate the communitarian impulse with ecological well-being. This dynamic—the deployment of ecological ideals as tools of social and economic organization—is widely cited by journalists working to * The publication of this and a number of future issues of the JSRNC focusing on religion, nature, and science are being facilitated by a grant from the Metanexus Institute, with additional support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Ofce of Research, and the Departments of Anthropology and Religion, at the Uni- versity of Florida. The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, and the editors of this journal, gratefully acknowledge this support—Bron Taylor, JSRNC Editor-in-Chief.