Reinventing Eden: the fate of nature in Western culture

New York: Routledge (2003)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Visionary quests to return to the Garden of Eden have shaped Western culture from Columbus' voyages to today's tropical island retreats. Few narratives are so powerful - and, as Carolyn Merchant shows, so misguided and destructive - as the dream of recapturing a lost paradise. A sweeping account of these quixotic endeavors by one of America's leading environmentalists, Reinventing Eden traces the idea of rebuilding the primeval garden from its origins to its latest incarnations in shopping malls, theme parks and gated communities. With eloquence and insight, Merchant shows how the drive to conquer nature and to explore and settle the globe, springs from this utopian pastoral impulse throughout Western history. Time and again, human manipulation of the environment is our downfall: Eden is achieved by fencing off pristine beauty in national parks and wildlife preserves, while leaving the majority of the earth in ruins. Challenging both narratives, Merchant argues that the green veneer of city-park conservation has become a cover for the corruption of the earth and the neglect of its environment. Reinventing Eden is a bold new way to think about the earth that includes green political parties, sustainable development and a partnership between humans and earth that is nothing short of an ecological revolution



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,127

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

57 (#288,857)

6 months
5 (#710,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

What Does Environmental Protection Protect?Mark Sagoff - 2013 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 (3):239-257.
Hackathons and the Making of Entrepreneurial Citizenship.Lilly Irani - 2015 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 40 (5):799-824.
Ecocentrism: Resetting Baselines for Virtue Development.Darcia Narvaez - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):391-406.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references