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Nature in Modernity

Servant, Citizen, Queen or Comrade

Stephen Duguid

Nature in Modernity: Servant, Citizen, Queen or Comrade explores the origins and implications of the mastery of nature agenda within Western culture and argues that there is a long-standing parallel «shadow» tradition grounded instead in mutuality, respect and reciprocity. This is explored in a series of chapters that focus on our hunter-gatherer heritage, the shift to a more sedentary and agricultural life and the subsequent emergence of mastery of self and nature as the dominant cultural objective. The impact of this mastery agenda on the natural environment is explored and a case made that our current ecological crisis has its origins in this tradition of mastery. A counter tradition is examined, identifying a range of cultural tools grounded in alternative traditions, tools that can be used to create a culture of care, mutuality and reciprocity in which it will be logical to welcome nature in all its complexity as a fellow citizen.