Divine Nature – M. Cremo and M. Goswami – June BBBR

Divine Nature: A Spiritual Perspective On the Environmental Crisis
Michael A. Cremo and Mukunda Goswami
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1998
144 pages

I picked this up expecting a general book on ecospirituality. What I got was a book about how the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas) is working for sustainability and ecological balance.

I’m not going to judge the theological or social propriety of ISKCON. However, the book itself was an interesting read. A good deal of it was basic environmental awareness. The first few chapters focus on ecological issues that face the world today, as well as environmental and spiritual arguments for everything from humane treatment of animals to using ox power for farming rather than tractors. There’s also an interesting chapter on “Karma and the Environment” which may be of particular interest to those who believe in karma. And the last part of the book details what ISKCON members have been doing as far as sustainable actions and lifestyles go. The book is also peppered with profiles of individual ISKCON members and affiliates and the pro-environment work they’re doing.

Overall, it’s an interesting little book. I have little use for the theological specifics, but I think it’s great to see what other people are doing to A) present the problems that many are ignoring, and B) do something about it. Some of the environmental issues may be preaching to the choir for those who are already aware of them, but they are presented well. Ten years after this book came out, some of the references are a bit dated, but the message is clear.

Four pawprints out of five.

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