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Religion and Resistance in Appalachia: Faith and the Fight Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining by Joseph D. Witt

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I'm impressed. Until I got into this book beyond the title, I found that it was deeper and more thorough than I expected. I particularly value the author's awareness of the role of evangelical religious values in both the initial and the contemporary struggle against strip mining and mountaintop removal mining. The book provides an excellent overview of the topic. It begins with a nice historical synopsis of resistance to strip mining. Chapter two looks closely at mainstream Catholic and Protestant rationales for opposing mountaintop removal. Chapter three examines the evangelical perspective that was dominant in the first efforts to oppose strip mining in the 1960s and continues today. Chapter four examines spiritual and nature-revering religious values that conflict with the destruction of the earth. The last chapter looks at situations in contemporary movements when these perspectives came into conflict - some resolved beautifully, and others not so much. "Religion and Resistance in Appalachia: Faith and the Fight against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining captures and interprets the complexities of what is going on -- religiously, as well as politically, economically, and socially -- among protestors fighting for their homes in Appalachia. Witt's careful study sheds new light on the role of faith in protest, and anyone interested in religious environmentalism should read this book." -- Kevin O'Brien. "Witt skillfully describes and analyzes the meaning and significance of place from various religious and utilitarian perspectives, including competing claims to place. . . .  This case study certainly deserves wide readership and far more public attention for the phenomena it documents." -- Choice. This book began as a doctoral thesis at the University of Florida in religious studies. The author, Joseph D. Witt, is now an associated professor of religion at Mississippi State University.

Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, a 2019 first paperback edition of a 2016 release. 296 pages with an Index, Bibliography, Notes and photos. Trade paperback, $30.00.