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Catholicism and Conservation: The Potential of Sacred Natural Sites for Biodiversity Management in Central Italy


Frascaroli, Fabrizio (2013). Catholicism and Conservation: The Potential of Sacred Natural Sites for Biodiversity Management in Central Italy. Human Ecology, 41(4):587-601.

Abstract

The connection between religion, nature and conservation has become a prominent topic among scholars and conservation practitioners. Numerous studies have shown that spiritual beliefs have contributed to preserving important biodiversity in sacred areas around the world. In Western contexts, however, that link has been underexplored, perhaps due to a common view of Christianity as anti-naturalistic. Here, I rely on a literature review and first-hand observations to identify patterns and trends characterizing Catholic sacred sites in Central Italy. I show that a high proportion of the sites are located in natural areas, and that some types of sites and strands of Catholicism are associated with natural settings more frequently than others. Further, these natural sacred sites often display ecological features that highlight their important conservation role. Greater awareness and consideration of local spiritual heritages are recommended to guarantee more effective and integrated management of the sites

Abstract

The connection between religion, nature and conservation has become a prominent topic among scholars and conservation practitioners. Numerous studies have shown that spiritual beliefs have contributed to preserving important biodiversity in sacred areas around the world. In Western contexts, however, that link has been underexplored, perhaps due to a common view of Christianity as anti-naturalistic. Here, I rely on a literature review and first-hand observations to identify patterns and trends characterizing Catholic sacred sites in Central Italy. I show that a high proportion of the sites are located in natural areas, and that some types of sites and strands of Catholicism are associated with natural settings more frequently than others. Further, these natural sacred sites often display ecological features that highlight their important conservation role. Greater awareness and consideration of local spiritual heritages are recommended to guarantee more effective and integrated management of the sites

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Ecology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Anthropology
Physical Sciences > Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:1 August 2013
Deposited On:04 Jul 2019 15:10
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:54
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0300-7839
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-013-9598-4

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