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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Faith and Change in Communities of Peril
by Musselman, Malori Ann, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 2020, 211; 28258420
Abstract (Summary)

While social and climate scientists alike have attempted to present the crucial facts of climate change, their urgent warnings have seemingly resulted in comparatively little political action. In this project, I investigate the intersections of faith, environmental justice, and speculative futures in both Christian and popular literature and media in the US. Utilizing analysis based in interpretive methodologies and my own experience as a political educator and organizer, I analyze specific narratives in works of faith and fiction—each attempting to address environmental apocalypse, collective struggles for survival, and the processes of building livable futures—as works of political theory. I examine literary and cultural texts and consider ideas, values, beliefs, and strategies for surviving and adapting in the face of varying potent apocalypses. I specifically explore narratives in sermons and scriptural interpretations, novels, televised series, and podcasts as well as the strategies and processes presented to achieve articulated visions of the future. Additionally, I examine how storyteller-activists are defining and mobilizing specific communities in the face of climate disaster. My project provides a novel account of the intricate relationships between storytelling and prophecy, embodied experience, and on the ground political organizing in the US. My research seeks to identify practical strategies in hopes of facilitating movement through melancholic lamentation and doom and into sustained, creative political organizing.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lowndes, Joseph E.
Commitee: Berk, Gerald, Chari, Anita, Weisiger , Marsha
School: University of Oregon
Department: Department of Political Science
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 82/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Environmental Justice, Religion, Mass communications
Keywords: Apocalypse, Environmental justice, Jeremiad themes, Narrative, Speculative fiction, Faith, Peril, Christian literature
Publication Number: 28258420
ISBN: 9798597074467
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