The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology
Simon & Schuster, 1992
Ecopsychology as a named concept is now a quarter of a century old, so I decided to go spelunking into some of the foundational texts. This is the book that started it all.
When I was first learning about ecopsychology, my instructor, Dr. Thomas Doherty, described how there are three generations of ecopsychology. The first, coming out of the initial few years of its development, has a decidedly countercultural feel to it. It’s full of criticisms of society as a whole, and something of an aversion to formal research. (Later generations have been more open to studies, as the peer-reviewed journal Ecopsychology demonstrates.)
After re-reading this book, I’m unsurprised by how anti-authoritarian early ecopsychology was. Roszak’s book is a long letter to Western society on how we’ve distanced ourselves from nature and how this has had a devastating impact not just on the planet itself, but on our psyches. It’s far from being simply an accusatory jeremiad, though, for the author draws on a variety of disciplines from philosophy to religion to support his assertions, culminating in a brief but concise description of a potential solution: ecopsychology.