Review of Binding Earth and Heaven: Patriarchal Blessings in the Prophetic Development of Early Mormonism
Lucas Johnston’s study of the religious dimensions of the sustainability movement is an important example of the attempt by religious studies scholars to highlight the ‘‘religious’’ in unexpected contexts. Johnston looks closely at discourses of sustainability in three different types of sustainability movements: evangelical (creation care), interfaith, and secular ‘‘subcultures of resistance,’’ with special attention to their concern for social justice. In so doing, he overcomes a common tendency to see these groups as having little overlap. Johnston convincingly argues that in their adoption of sustainability discourses not only are they remarkably alike, but the leaders of these movements explicitly borrow from each other. He describes their participation in a kind of network of sustainability discourse, especially those that ‘‘draw on the language of core values and deep beliefs. . . . ’’ (18). What this cross-fertilization of values and practices suggests, Johnston argues, is that ‘‘sustainability is acting as a new metanarrative, a large-scale story that is able to weave together a wide variety of value sets’’
This is a book review published as Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd, Binding Earth and Heaven: Patriarchal Blessings in the Prophetic Discourse of Early Mormonism. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012. In Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. 18:1 (2014) 115-117. doi: 10.1525/nr.2014.18.1.115. Posted with permission.