Narrating climate change as a rite of passage

Narrating climate change as a rite of passage Narrative tropes used to tell the climate change story shape ethical action. Hulme has given biblical descriptors to four metaphorical tropes commonly used to shape climate change narratives: lamenting Eden, presaging Apocalypse, building Babel, and celebrating Jubilee. I argue that the metaphor of rites of passage, illustrated paradigmatically by the biblical Exodus narrative, can serve as an overarching narrative metaphor for Hulme’s four tropes while better orienting readers to the ethical challenges of the Anthropocene. Rites of passage guide individuals and communities through significant transitions by focusing attention, orienting individual and collective efforts, and increasing the likelihood of reaching a desired future. Intentionally crafting the climate change story as a rite of passage can clarify how to respond adequately to the challenges of climate disruption. Moreover, linking the rites-of-passage narrative to the Exodus account amplifies the force of the resulting story. Even in secular and pluralistic contexts, stories that draw on religious narratives are compelling and, when read critically, can be adapted and retold to shape morally responsible action. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Climatic Change Springer Journals

Narrating climate change as a rite of passage

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Earth Sciences; Atmospheric Sciences; Climate Change/Climate Change Impacts
ISSN
0165-0009
eISSN
1573-1480
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10584-017-2120-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Narrative tropes used to tell the climate change story shape ethical action. Hulme has given biblical descriptors to four metaphorical tropes commonly used to shape climate change narratives: lamenting Eden, presaging Apocalypse, building Babel, and celebrating Jubilee. I argue that the metaphor of rites of passage, illustrated paradigmatically by the biblical Exodus narrative, can serve as an overarching narrative metaphor for Hulme’s four tropes while better orienting readers to the ethical challenges of the Anthropocene. Rites of passage guide individuals and communities through significant transitions by focusing attention, orienting individual and collective efforts, and increasing the likelihood of reaching a desired future. Intentionally crafting the climate change story as a rite of passage can clarify how to respond adequately to the challenges of climate disruption. Moreover, linking the rites-of-passage narrative to the Exodus account amplifies the force of the resulting story. Even in secular and pluralistic contexts, stories that draw on religious narratives are compelling and, when read critically, can be adapted and retold to shape morally responsible action.

Journal

Climatic ChangeSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 12, 2017

References

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