Religious repertoires of sustainability: Why religion is central to sustainability transitions, whatever you believe

Timothy Stacey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Leading figures in sustainability transitions stress the need for approaches from other fields. A particular blind spot is the role of culture and meaning in transitions. This paper introduces the concept of “religious repertoires” as a means of better understanding what enables and inhibits social change. Existing research on the role of religion in transitions focuses on either particular religions or the benefits of a broadly “religious” or “spiritual” outlook. In contrast, I propose that all societies, institutions, and practices, no matter how secular or rational, can be better understood through the lens of the religious repertoires they perform. While we are not all religious, we do all engage in repertoires that shape our understanding of what is possible and desirable. Attending to these repertoires offers people a richer understanding of: themselves and the transitions that interest them; the factors that enable and inhibit transitions; and how to govern transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100821
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Volume50
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Magic
  • Myth
  • Religious repertoires
  • Ritual
  • Social change
  • Sustainability

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