Open Access (free)
Identity, environment, and deity

Controversial poet Ronald Stuart Thomas was considered to be one of the leading writers of the twentieth century. This book, in three parts, interprets the development of a major theme over Thomas's twenty-seven volumes, probing particular themes and poems with a meticulous insight. The themes of identity, environment, and deity treated reflect the major preoccupations of his life and work. The book presents a comprehensive examination of these major themes as they occur across Thomas's substantial oeuvre, while providing an expanded frame within which the considerable complexity of Thomas's work can be explored. It suggests that such poetic explorations and revelations of identity provide the prima materia of the poetry and form an underlying foundation to Thomas's poetry viewed as a single body of work. Thomas's treatment of the natural world, in particular the theology of nature mysticism vital to much of his work, is then discussed. The book also looks closely at Thomas's increasing preoccupation with science. It explores his philosophical concern with a scientific register for poetry, his own experimentation with that register, his subtle ambivalence towards applied technology, his ongoing critique of 'the machine', and his view of modern physics. Finally, examining Thomas's 'religious poetry', the book re-focuses on the exact nature of his poetic approach to a 'theology of experience' as reflected in his 'mythic' and 'via negativa' modes. It highlights Thomas's 'reconfiguring' of theology, that is, his insistence on the central validity and importance of individual spiritual experience, both as absence and as presence.

William Burchell’s Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa
Matthew Shum

‘researches’ beyond the natural world or ‘the works of the creation’ to include ‘the investigation of man in an uncivilized state of society’. 9 He adds that this ‘will be found to offer … a picture not altogether undeserving of attention if the writer should be able by words to communicate to others those feelings which he himself experienced, and those impressions which his abode among the natives of Africa has made upon his own mind’. 10 Burchell promises the reader not the standard descriptions of ethnographic customs and manners (although he does in fact offer quite

in Worlding the south
Open Access (free)
Christopher Morgan

exploration of ‘lost’ or ‘wounded’ selves, towards a deepening philosophical acceptance and what he calls ‘turning aside’. Chapter 3 explores Thomas’s treatment of the natural world, in particular the theology of nature mysticism vital to much of his work. I will argue for the importance of the natural world not only as revelatory for Thomas but also as distinctly violent and discompassionate, a paradox central to his understanding and his poetry. Chapters 4 and 5 look closely at Thomas’s increasing preoccupation with science: his long-standing philosophical concern with a

in R. S. Thomas
Louisa Atkinson’s recasting of the Australian landscape
Grace Moore

she spent much more time out of doors, observing plants and animals, than was usual for a middle-class girl. 5 Unlike many of her contemporaries, she strove to capture the extraordinary beauty and difference of New South Wales and Queensland, while at the same time recording the rapidity with which change was being imposed upon the regions. Fascinated by Indigenous culture, Atkinson attempted to promote an understanding of the land’s traditional custodians and to highlight their more nuanced and reciprocal relationships with the natural world, although her racial

in Worlding the south
Open Access (free)
The natural world
Christopher Morgan

chapter3 28/1/05 1:27 pm Page 49 3 ‘Green asylum’: the natural world Introduction William Scammell, in the ‘Introduction’ to his anthology This Green Earth: A Celebration of Nature Poetry (1992), writes that For the earliest men and women, and perhaps for some remote tribes still today, nature was not so much an environment (a word that didn’t get itself invented until the nineteenth century, and grew tall with the advent of Darwinism) as the ground of being. Consequently ideas of appreciating, loving, conserving or exploiting it hardly arose. It was simply

in R. S. Thomas
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

with an ecological slant to it, and ‘Green’ when referring to a political party. The rise of environmentalism and ecologism The term ‘environmentalism’ defines concern for the natural world and its protection from excessive human depredation. It constitutes no clear political or ideological agenda. The term is derived from the Ancient Greek words oikos (‘household’, ‘habitat’) and

in Understanding political ideas and movements
Richard Serjeantson

, almost all of which involve ‘experiments’ in some way (486–7). The purpose of the institution is to produce knowledge (480); the kind of knowledge sought is, without exception, the knowledge of nature. If Francis Bacon is famous for anything, it is for a singular concern with natural science. In a series of works, Bacon lambasted Price_05_Ch5 82 14/10/02, 9:36 am Natural knowledge 83 his contemporaries for their ignorance and complacency about the natural world, and proposed a series of increasingly bold plans to remedy the situation. In his grand encyclopaedia

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
Open Access (free)
An ecocritical examination of the birds of Bergman
Linda Haverty Rugg

and ambient poetics aim to conjure up an embodied world. But Morton goes on to explore the implications and challenges of creating what he calls ‘a copy without an original’—that is, a representation of the natural world which is in fact a constructed aesthetic object, a construction that pretends to some degree to be natural. 7 Ambience in film is of course not truly ambient (that is, outside the margins of the narrative), but it is part of the construction. That this is true is beautifully illustrated in

in Ingmar Bergman
Jonathan Atkin

brought about by the war with the destruction of man wrought by the same conflict. ‘Now the desolation of Nature alone suggests what a desolation there was of man’, he wrote in 1920, ‘The terrible woods are impressionist pictures of the ruined vitals of great regiments, and you can hold a forest in your mind as you would a skull in your hands and say, “This was a forest. This was an army”.’4 This view of the destruction of the natural world being intrinsically linked to the deaths of countless soldiers was duplicated by Lieutenant R.H. Pickering of the Royal Field

in A war of individuals
Open Access (free)
Religion and spirituality in environmental direct action
Bronislaw Szerszynski and Emma Tomalin

from nature. By contrast, activists see themselves as adopting styles of spirituality that stress the interconnectedness of the divine with humanity and the natural world. A female protester at the Buddha Field Festival expressed her doubts about ‘religion’, ‘I could see the same mistakes being made again and again . . . I worship wherever I am even if it is concrete.’ She saw religious traditions as having lost an idea of the sacred, and as relying on hierarchy, exclusion and dishonesty. Just as with Zinnbauer et al.’s (1997) respondents, the ‘personal and

in Changing anarchism