October 15, 2011
The name Social Ecology (for those of us who are familiar with it) brings to mind an immediate association with the work of Murry Bookchin. This too was my first thought when I heard about the book Social Ecology: Applying Ecological Understanding to our Lives and our Planet (2011), edited by David Wright, Catherine Camden-Pratt and Stuart Hill. This article provides a sneak preview of the ideas represented in Social Ecology that unfolded as a series of email exchanges between myself and Wright; a review of this book is planned for a future issue of The Trumpeter on “Ecosophies of Communication.”
This article begins with a short summary of Bookchin's perspective—and the way we have come to understand Social Ecology. Followed by a brief definition of what I mean by transpersonal ecosophy. This sets the stage for my communication with Wright, where we will begin to see how the views of Social Ecology have metamorphosed at the University of Western Sydney into a fresh multidisciplinary inquiry. An inquiry that is different only in the name with which it has chosen to identify itself, yet otherwise shares the deep ecology movement's orientation and (following Arne Naess and Alan Drengson) what I now prefer to call transpersonal ecosophy.