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Title: An exploration of four ecovillages through the ecoresilient lens of spirituality
Authors: Koziol, Carol Ann
Keywords: Ecovillage;intentional community;resilience;community resilience;transformative resilience;ecoresilience;spiritual capital;engaged spirituality
Issue Date: 14-Oct-2020
Abstract: Ecovillages worldwide continue to develop processes and solutions to face the known and unknown, social and ecological, climate-related challenges confronting communities. After a review of resilience concepts, the term ‘ecoresilience’ is defined. This research explores ecovillages through the lens of ecoresilience, specifically, the under-studied aspect of spirituality. Spirituality is framed as the simple conviction that there is more to life than we can materially observe. The exploration of four ecovillages develops through mixed data collection methods of site visits, interviews, guided tours, and a historical review. A case study approach comparatively evaluates and analyzes the ecoresilience of the four ecovillages La Cité Écologique in Quebec, Whole Village Ecovillage in Ontario, The Park at Findhorn in Scotland, and The Federation of Damanhur in Italy. A significant finding uncovered how spirituality positively impacts ecovillage ecoresilience. Beginning with the purpose of an ecovillage, and continuing through individual and collective activities, spirituality supports and builds spiritual capital in communities. Spiritual capital creates a shock absorber to help community members manoeuvre through adverse events. The case studies displayed many unique examples of building spiritual capital through the three spiritual themes, including connection to the web of life, engaged spirituality through social-ecological efforts, and the arts. Spirituality ensures a strong connection to the web of life, builds community cohesion, and both are essential ingredients for future ecovillage ecoresilience. Other mainstream lessons gleaned from this research are intergenerational governance, cooperative living, low-impact lifestyles, nature-based education, the ability to adapt to change, and the importance of individual and communal spiritual activities to ecoresilience.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Human Studies and Interdisiplinarity - Doctoral Theses

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