… is from pages 28-29 of the newly published final volume – Bourgeois Equality – of Deirdre McCloskey’s essential trilogy on bourgeois values (footnote excluded; links added):
Or consider the emergence of a Nature-worshipping environmentalism that would have been viewed as a crazy luxury in the hardscrabble times of 1800 or even of 1933. The economist and student of theology Robert Nelson calls environmentalism the new religion of the West (a West that nonetheless, outside of places like Poland or the United States, imagines itself to be irreligious)….
The economist and think-tank maven Fred L. Smith, Jr. speaks of “eco-paganism”: “Most environmentalists do not, of course, see themselves as pagans,” he writes. “Yet many do espouse a watered-down form of pantheism which elevates nature to near the status of a deity.” By now the good people of rich and secular places such as Sweden, though contemptuous of the childish absurdity (as most Swedes believe it to be) of their ancestors’ worship of a Lutheran God, have found their transcendent in the worship of Nature, and spend their Sunday mornings devoutly gathering mushrooms and lingonberries in Nature’s forest.