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Evangelical Christians and the Environment: “Christians for the Mountains” and the Appalachian Movement against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

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Prior research has described evangelical Protestants as hostile toward environmentalism, but this traditional stance, however deeply rooted, is being challenged from within by the Creation Care movement. We analyze an important current example of evangelical environmentalism, an organization known as “Christians for the Mountains” (CFTM) that opposes the highly destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) in Appalachia. We focus on Christians for the Mountains in relation to larger national movements such as the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). We use attitude interviews, participant observation, discourse analysis, and Jurgen Habermas's theory of communicative action to examine how both movements are attempting to overcome the opposition toward environmentalism within evangelical Christianity.


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