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Ambiente & Sociedade

versión impresa ISSN 1414-753Xversión On-line ISSN 1809-4422


CARVALHO, Isabel Cristina Moura  y  STEIL, Carlos Alberto. The "cultivating self": health, ecology and spirituality. Ambient. soc. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.2, pp.289-305. ISSN 1414-753X.

This paper aims at identifying practices for self-perfectioning and environmental care linked to physical as well as mental and spiritual health and well-being. It focuses on the points of intersection between ecological and religious practices that engender processes for the "sacralization of nature" and the "naturalization of the sacred". Our field of empirical interest is the one of religious practices of ecological groups and the ecological practices of religious groups. As theoretical and methodological references we chose contributions from Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of perception, Bateson's ecological psychology, Thomas Csordas' phenomenological anthropology and Tim Ingold's ecological epistemology, since these perspectives join in the purpose to break up the dualities mind/body, subject/environment, nature/culture. We encounter in the concept of landscape a point of convergence between these different approaches as a body of the world. Thus the hypothesis which we support is that the landscape, as a body of the world, may be taken as the soil of culture, in the sense that the human subject, in his or her corporeal condition of being of this world is not only set in the landscape, but the landscape is the very condition of his or her engagement in the world and in culture.

Palabras clave : Ecology; Religion; Health; Phenomenology; Self-perfectioning.

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