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Homogenizing Violence, Isa 40:4 (and Luke 3:5) and MTR (Mountaintop Removal Mining)

Elvey, Anne (2015) Homogenizing Violence, Isa 40:4 (and Luke 3:5) and MTR (Mountaintop Removal Mining). Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology , 19 (3). pp. 226-244. ISSN 1363-5247 EISSN: 1568-5357

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With the metaphor of leveling hills and filling valleys, Isa 40:4 presents an image of homogenizing violence toward Earth. This biblical text has been adopted by proponents of Mountaintop Removal Mining (hereafter, MTR). Justification of MTR by explicit reference to Isa 40:4 has occurred principally in response to Christian protests against MTR. The same text has been used by those resisting MTR. This article begins with ecophilosopher Val Plumwood’s critique of homogenization and draws on Paul Ricoeur’s reading of Aristotle on metaphor, to ask if, other than as a crass use as a proof-text for MTR, the application of Isa 40:4 to this destructive practice points to a deeper problem with homogenizing metaphors whose content is other-than-human. While the Isaian metaphor is problematic, it is grounded in the underlying liveliness of its subject. Attention to the liveliness of these biblical mountains and valleys allows that the text, and its metaphors, can also empower resistance to MTR. The liveliness underlying the mountains and hills of the Isaian metaphor can prompt a renewed focus on, and solidarity with, the Appalachian mountains and their communities.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Mountaintop Removal Mining, Isaiah 40, Christianity, homogenization
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220303 Environmental Philosophy
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 84 Mineral Resources (excl. Energy Resources) > 8402 Primary Mining and Extraction Processes of Mineral Resources > 840299 Primary Mining and Extraction of Mineral Resources not elsewhere classified
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960699 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
D - Ethics / Moral Theology
B - Old Testament
A - Philosophy
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Dr Anne F. Elvey
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2016 02:31
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2016 03:39
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2038

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