Nature faith and native faith as integrative spiritualities in Hungarian ecovillages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A basic assumption in contemporary research on religion is that religion is not an abstract system with 'neat' compartments, but a system that changes and adapts as human beings encounter, understand, interpret, and practice it. Within this basic understanding, religion scholar Marion Bowman has proposed the term 'integrative spirituality' to refer specifically to lifestyle choices that combine an eclectic mix of spiritual ideas and practices to produce highly personalized forms of religiosity. I argue that we can understand the spiritual life of Hungarian ecovillages through this lens. Ecovillages are 'intentional' communities, that is, village communities created with conscious efforts. Their inhabitants' objective is to create settlements that fit into their natural environments in the most efficient way with the least possible environmental damage. I show how Hungarian eco-village dwellers integrate green ideas, environmental philosophy, and folk-belief-especially the Central and Eastern European traditions of 'nature faith' and 'native faith'-to form a coherent religious worldview. This case study highlights the power of individuals and communities to create and re-create unique belief systems. The resulting worldview is not homogenous, but diverse and colorful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-146
Number of pages22
JournalJournal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Eco-paganism
  • Ecovillages
  • Native faith

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Religious studies

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