Author

Jade Mermini

Date of Award

2016

First Advisor

Chris Coggins

Second Advisor

Monshin Paul Naamon

Third Advisor

Nancy Bonvillain

Abstract

Rusted Links: A Spiritually Ecological Critique of Modern Society and Its Relationship to Land is an analysis of post-industrial societies and their relationships to their citizens, their land, and the holy qualities of Mother Earth. Spiritual ecology is a response to the ecological crisis of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is the lens through which the critiques of this work manifest. Explorations regarding the use of language, conceptions of time, practices of land use, dietary habits, and the commodification of people, places, and their cultures, has revealed that modern societies have developed fractured, unsustainable, and violent relationships with the Earth. The communities ofGaiaYoga Gardens in Pahoa, Hawaii and Taxia village ofNanjing county in Fujian, China provide alternative examples of sustainable, holistic living. This work suggests that broken relationships can be mended by shifting a focus away from material value to the spiritual value of the planet. xi

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