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The Least of My Brethren: Mining, Indigenous Peoples, and the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Political ecology shows how environmental issues can be reframed towards addressing the problems of the socially vulnerable. The environmental identity and social movement thesis of political ecology asserts that environmental issues can generate cross-class and inter-ethnic linkages in an effort to blunt powerful forces. Liberation ecology, a variant of political ecology combined with a counter hegemonic discourse, provides another dimension of political ecology. In the Philippines, mining on indigenous lands has generated opposition from indigenous peoples. By examining how the Roman Catholic Church has aided indigenous peoples in their opposition to mining, examples of the environmental identity and social movement thesis of political ecology and liberation ecology can be gleaned. Liberation theology, an impetus to the church’s commitment to the poor, may be the consummate counter hegemonic discourse.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N-1N4


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