Add this book to the growing list of texts on religious dimensions of environmentalism. In this case, the religious dimension is “environmental virtue,” introduced in the title as a dilemma and shortened to “ecopiety.” This is Sarah McFarland Taylor’s term for “daily, voluntary works of duty and obligation—from recycling drink containers and reducing packaging to taking shorter showers and purchasing green products” (3). The dilemma here is that these acts and their sacralization seem to present an opportunity for constructive individual responses to the “monumental environmental challenges facing us,” when in point of fact they “are not simply inadequate to the task but in some cases are counterproductive in the worst possible ways” (5).

Ecopiety, then, is a cultural problem, a sort of sacred delusion that leads persons to believe they are acting as good stewards of the environment when actually they are perpetuating the very systems driving the ecological...

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