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Humans & Nature: Some Reflections. Conceptions of Nature. Spiritual or religious Source of sustenance Source of knowledge Subject of knowledge At the service of people (so controllable) Dangerous (so beyond control). Multiple understandings of nature can be in play at once

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conceptions of nature
Conceptions of Nature
  • Spiritual or religious
  • Source of sustenance
  • Source of knowledge
  • Subject of knowledge
  • At the service of people (so controllable)
  • Dangerous (so beyond control)

Multiple understandings of nature can be in play at once

— in other cultures and in our own

joplin mo tornado may 22
Joplin, MO: Tornado, May 22

A society’s relationship to nature is not static

describe relationships between people and nature
Describe relationships between people and nature
  • Time/place specific (not universal)
    • Greek men and Greek women in the Bacchae
    • Early modern European/Christian
    • Western scientific approach of Galileo & Heisenberg
    •  Khoisan
  • Contingent
  • Dynamic (not static)
the lion and the jackals
The Lion and the Jackals
  • Spirituality
  • Sustenance
  • Uneven control
  • Danger
  • Change

1) !no, 2) Poo, an animal said to eat the fruit of the !no.

Drawing by !nanni. 5/24/1881. Bleek & Lloyd Collection, UCT

song of the broken string
Song of the Broken String

Consequences of rupture in a society’s relationship with nature

making meaning with nature
Making meaning with nature

The place does not feel to me

As the place used to feel to me