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Humans, Nature and God: Exploring Images of Their Interrelationships in Victoria, Canada

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This study explores visions of nature among five populations in Victoria, a small city in British Columbia, Canada: Christians, Muslims, Native Americans, Buddhists, and secularists. Each group was asked to express their view of the human relationships with nature based upon four approaches: mastery over nature, stewardship in regard to the creation, a partner, or a participant in the processes of nature. The first model, in which humans wield hierarchical power and mastery over nature, was rejected by all groups. Christians and Muslims adhered to the stewardship image of the human/nature relationship, while Buddhists and Native Americans considered themselves to be participants in nature. The secularists made combinations of the approaches to exemplify their view. Twenty-seven individuals participated in extensive interviews as part of this study, which also included a small scale written survey of fifty-three persons.

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Sustainable Management of Resources, Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Computing Science, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands; 2: Department of Philosophy and Science studies, Faculty of Science, Mathematics and Computing Science, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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