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“The world food crisis is not a fad”: The More-with-Less Cookbook and Protestant Environmental Spirituality

  • Kevin Stewart Rose


This article examines the spirituality reflected in the 1976 cookbook More-with-Less. Written by a former Mennonite missionary hoping to provide religious households with a practical way to respond to world hunger, the cookbook's message of a simple diet that could transform users' influence on the world is an early example of the religious environmentalism that has grown increasingly popular among middle-class American Protestants in the last several decades. By examining its historical context, narrating its genesis, and critically assessing the spirituality it recommended, this article argues that the cookbook provides a useful window into Protestant environmental spirituality, its version of which allowed practitioners to maintain traditional institutional relationships and conceptions of the divine while cultivating the individuated religiosity increasingly sought after in modern culture. Emerging in the institutional overlap of traditional religious organizations and the putatively secular formations of mass media, globalization, and consumer culture, the cookbook leveraged the incipient emphasis on lifestyle choices within consumer culture to craft an individuated response to a vision of the world in permanent crisis. More-with-Less and the Protestant environmental spirituality it represents shed light on current scholarly debates about the form religion takes within modern contexts of secularity, especially when religious practitioners seek adaptations that can maintain traditional theological and organizational commitments.



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Thanks are due, first of all, to David Morgan, Molly Worthen, and Matt Hedstrom, who shepherded the earliest stages of this research toward something worth publishing. Thanks also to Frank Peachey at the Mennonite Central Committee and Dorothy Hartman at MennoMedia for crucial guidance with their respective historical records. Members of the Virginia Colloquium in American Religion provided crucial feedback on the first draft, and I am especially indebted to Bradley Kime's careful reading and incisive comments on multiple drafts of the article. I also want to thank the editors and reviewers at Religion and American Culture, whose suggestions for revision improved the article immensely. Finally, thanks most of all to the folks at Mennonite Dinner in Wheaton, Illinois, and Sunset Hill in Bloomington, Indiana, who first introduced me to the world of Mennonite cookbooks over a decade ago.

1 Doris Janzen Longacre, “Exploratory Outline for Cookbook Proposal,” July 1974, MCC box 258, folder 156/20.

2 Longacre, Doris Janzen, More-with-Less (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1976), 233.

3 Jack C. Scott to CROP offices, Spring 1974, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

4 “Special Report: The World Food Crisis,” Time, November 11, 1974.

5 Longacre, More-with-Less, 6.

6 MennoMedia reported 851,000 copies in print on December 12, 2016. Author personal correspondence with MennoMedia.

7 For its association with the evangelical left, see Swartz, David, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 153–69. For a narrower focus on Mennonite reception, see Nolt, Steven M., “Globalizing a Separate People: World Christianity and North American Mennonites, 1940–1990,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 84 (October 2010), 502–04.

8 In the last two decades, a group of works have helpfully replaced linear secularization narratives with the critical study of the varied political and ideological projects that format distinctions between the religious and the secular in the modern world. In general, these have tended to focus on intellectual and cultural processes, with comparatively little attention to the role of political economy in the formation of the secular and of religion in relation to it. See, for example, Asad, Talal, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003); Taylor, Charles, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2007); Tracy Fessenden, Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006); and Modern, John Lardas, Secularism in Antebellum America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011). On the other hand, works in American religious history that do examine the intersection of religion and the economy have focused either on the role of market logics such as competition in American religion, or on the role of specific religious groups in the rise of free market ideologies, with comparatively little attention to the role of the economy in the construction of religion and the secular in relation to one another. See, for example, Moore, R. Laurence, Selling God: American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994); Moreton, Bethany, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009); Stievermann, Jan, Goff, Philip, and Junker, Detlef, eds., Religion and the Marketplace in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015); and Porterfield, Amanda, Grem, Darren, and Corrigan, John, eds., The Business Turn in American Religious History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). In the story of More-with-Less, I seek to connect these conversations to illumine the way American Protestants found a readymade infrastructure within the modern political economy through which the actions they marked as religious might move through institutional spaces marked as secular.

9 Courtney Bender and Kathryn Lofton are especially helpful here, having fruitfully studied new religious and spiritual forms produced in putatively secular institutional settings such as medicine, the arts, mass media, and workplaces. Bender, Courtney, The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010); Lofton, Kathryn, Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011); and Lofton, Kathryn, Consuming Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017).

10 For a helpful critical overview of this conventional approach to spirituality, see Courtney Bender and Omar McRoberts, “Mapping a Field: Why and How to Study Spirituality,” Social Science Research Council Working Paper (October 2012), 10.

11 On the white middle class, consumption, and American empire, see Hoganson, Kristin L., Consumers' Imperium: The Global Production of American Domesticity, 1865–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007).

12 Patterson, James T., Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945–1974 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 82.

13 John B. Cobb, Jr., “Ecological Disaster and the Church,” Christian Century 87, no. 40 (October 7, 1970), 1185.

14 On the cultural anxieties produced as a result of stagflation and the energy crisis in the 1970s, see Jefferson Cowie, Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class (New York: The New Press, 2010), 213–59.

15 Paul R. Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (New York: Ballantine, 1968).

16 Tung-Hui Hu helpfully points out that “the advent of new media in the late 1960s and early 1970s was felt primarily as the advent of news media,” characterized, like other forms of new media, by an enchanting sense of interactivity through the creation of a networked public. Hu, A Prehistory of the Cloud (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015), 28.

17 Jane Feuer's classic essay, “The Concept of Live Television: Ontology as Ideology,” argues that “liveness” is the organizing (although technically specious) ideology of the medium, through which television is portrayed and experienced as uniquely immediate and authentic. Feuer, “The Concept of Live Television: Ontology and Ideology,” in Regarding Television: Critical Approaches—an Anthology, E. Ann Kaplan, ed. (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1983).

18 Sasha Torres and others have shown that, in the first place, the evening news gained its cultural authority and relevance by broadcasting “national crisis”: “The civil rights movement played a crucial role in the emerging production practices and self-understanding of network information workers.” This, in turn, helped make sensationalized coverage of national and global crises the default content circulated in these networks of “liveness.” Torres, Black, White, and in Color: Television and Black Civil Rights (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 15. Other helpful works on the close relationship between telejournalism and midcentury upheavals include Susan Douglas, Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1994), 163–91; Lynn Spigel and Michael Curtin, eds., The Revolution Wasn't Televised: Sixties Television and Social Conflict (New York: Routledge, 1997); Aniko Bodroghkozy, Groove Tube: Sixties Television and the Youth Rebellion (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001); Todd Gitlin, The Whole World is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left, 2nd ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003). TV ownership statistics are from Patterson, Grand Expectations, 348.

19 Hu's broader argument, that media networks, including the news media of the late 1960s and 1970s, have cultivated a subject position for Americans as “users” expected to undertake immaterial labor as part of their network participation, is also instructive here. Although Hu focuses on the creation of user identity around computers, by theorizing the news media as a network that creates an interactive public, we might also see how it influenced Longacre's sense of urgent responsibility to cook and eat in a way that leveraged interconnectivity to resolve world problems, making her readers into active subjects in the global expansion of the postwar political economy. See Hu, A Prehistory of the Cloud, 46–47. On immaterial labor, see Maurizio Lazzarato, “Immaterial Labor,” in Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics, Paolo Vimo and Michael Hardy, eds. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006): 132–47.

20 Although some definitions of globalization use strictly economic terms—as in Joseph Stiglitz's “the removal of barriers to free trade and the closer integration of national economies”—postcolonial scholarship has helpfully recognized the inseparability of globalization's cultural and economic dimensions. The midcentury globalization that provides the immediate context of More-with-Less was characterized by a reorganization of international political economy amid rapid decolonization, and that reorganization depended on a Western cultural sense of capitalistic moral responsibility, driven by ideological constructions around the concept of a “Third World.” As Edward Said notes, the American news media at the time were particularly “effective in representing strange and threatening foreign cultures for the home audience,” constructions that helped to justify a global economic agenda. Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2002), IX; Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York, Vintage Books, 1993), 293.

21 Patricia Young, “Report from Rome: The World Food Conference,” Church and Society 65, no. 4 (April 1975), 57.

22 As Lawrence Glickman observes, this has been the case as long as the economy has depended on consumption, as seen in examples like the Boston Tea Party and the Antebellum Free Produce movement, which leveraged consumer choice to place pressure on slave-based agriculture. Glickman, Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America (Chicago: University Press, 2009), 31–90. On consumer politics at its early twentieth-century apogee, see also Lizabeth Cohen, Consumer's Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (New York: Vintage Books, 2003); Meg Jacobs, Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005).

23 On the roles of department stores and advertising in tying consumption to individual psychological needs, see William Leach, Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture (New York: Vintage, 1993); and T. J. Jackson Lears, Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America (New York: Basic, 1994). Kathryn Lofton's more recent analysis of soap advertising helpfully traces the way advertising has involved explicit ritual training around the nature and relation of the self, the body, and consumption. Lofton, Consuming Religion, 82–101.

24 On the rise of “lifestyle consumption” in general, see Sam Binkley, Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption in the 1970s (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007). For lifestyle consumption as a technique for market segmentation, see Cohen, Consumer's Republic, 309–31.

25 The historian Thomas Haskell has argued that this sense of connection and culpability is a fundamental feature of modern capitalism, its “cognitive style.” In the capitalist culture of antebellum America, he observes that people began “linking present choices to consequences more or less remote in time by the use of recipes that map a route from one to the other.” Haskell emphasizes the cognitive style's emergence through mercantile contracts obligations; in the immediate context of More-with-Less, the same cognitive style often characterizes acts of consumption. Haskell, “Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility, Part 2,” The American Historical Review 90, no. 3 (June 1985), 561.

26 David Shi's The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture ([Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985], 248–76) offers the classic account of the rise of voluntary simplicity in the 1970s. For a more recent account that links voluntary simplicity to the rise of lifestyle discourse in 1970s consumer culture writ large, see Binkley, Getting Loose, 77–164.

27 Ian G. Barbour, “An Ecological Ethic,” Christian Century 87, no. 40 (October 7, 1970), 1181. This is a special issue of the Christian Century on the ecological crisis.

28 Barbour, “An Ecological Ethic,” 1182. My use of the term environmental spirituality to describe More-with-Less follows the commonplace treatment of “world hunger” as an aspect of a broader “ecological crisis” at the time. This was reflected in Protestant publishing venues like the Christian Century, as well as in key texts in the mainstream environmental movement, such as Frances Moore Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet (New York: Ballantine, 1971).

29 Jonathan Power and Dr. Anne-Marie Hollenstein, “The World Food Crisis,” Church and Society 65, no. 4 (March–April 1975), 8.

30 Power and Hollenstein, “The World Food Crisis,” 9.

31 Kissinger, quoted in Larry Minear, “The US and the World Food Conference,” Christianity and Crisis 35, no. 1 (February 3, 1975), 8.

32 Minear, “The US and the World Food Conference”; and Patricia Young, “Report from Rome: The World Food Conference,” Church and Society 65, no. 4 (April 1975), 54–57.

33 John Chancellor, “World Food Conference,” NBC Evening News, Vanderbilt Television News Archive, November 15, 1974,

34 Harry Reasoner, “World Food Conference,” ABC Evening News, Vanderbilt Television News Archive, November 14, 1974,; Charles Kuralt, “World Hunger / India,” CBS Evening News, Vanderbilt Television News Archive, November 05, 1974,

35 Minear, “The US and the World Food Conference”; Christianity Today (July 16, 1976), 8–22 (special issue devoted to hunger).

36 Wilfred Bockelman, “For Laypeople and Intelligent Pastors,” Christian Century 95, no. 4 (February 8, 1978) 118–23; Jameson Jones, “United Methodism: A Cautious Mood,” Christian Century 95, no. 29 (September 20, 1978) 850–54; Robert Zwier and Richard Smith, “Christian Politics and the New Right,” Christian Century 97, no. 32 (October 8, 1980) 937–41.

37 Robert Booth Fowler observes that such resolutions were often the primary form of engagement with environmental issues among Protestants at this time: “By now there have been a tremendous number of these resolutions. Some denominations adopt one or more every year they meet.” Fowler, The Greening of Protestant Thought (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 15.

38 Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, “Resolution No. 2—On Stewardship of God's Creation” (1974), is reproduced in Charles H. Yaple, “The Christian Church and Environmental Education: A Study of Involvements in the United States,” (PhD diss., College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, 1982), 285.

39 Committee on Social and Urban Affairs, “Natural Resources,” Journal of the General Convention (1979), is reproduced in Yaple, “The Christian Church and Environmental Education,” 279.

40 As Fowler observes, although the denominational resolutions adopted lifestyle language, “most of their words go to favored policy directions,” leaving their members to their own devices with respect to individual action. Fowler, The Greening, 15.

41 Swartz, Moral Minority, 153–69.

42 Wally Kroeker, “Another Step for Social Concern,” Moody Monthly 75 (Feb 1975), 8.

43 Ronald J. Sider, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1977).

44 Sider, Rich Christians, 156, 182, 183.

45 See, for example, Edward Espe Brown, Tassajara Bread Book (Berkeley, CA: Shambhala 1970); Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet, 1971.

46 Doris Janzen Longacre, “Haste, Waste, and the Food Crisis,” MCC box 258, folder 156/20.

47 Longacre, More-with-Less, 8–30.

48 On church women as primary target audience, see Doris Janzen Longacre to Beulah Kauffman, July 19, 1974, MCC box 258, folder 156/20.

49 David Hollinger has recently offered a helpful study of the underappreciated influence of missionaries on twentieth-century American society. Hollinger focuses on high-profile figures in the foreign service, universities, and elsewhere, but Longacre and thousands like her who participated in new one- or two-year mission placements affected their home communities in less formal ways. They may have understood themselves as informal agents of globalization, both in their use of globalizing travel and communication technologies and their role in shaping the international gaze of their domestic communities upon return. Hollinger, Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017).

50 On the link between figures like Jim Wallis and Students for a Democratic Society, see Swartz, Moral Minority, 47–67.

51 Longacre, More-with-Less, 13.

52 Paul Longacre, “MCC Program to Combat the World Food Crisis” December 5, 1973, Paul Longacre's papers (author's personal possession).

53 Mennonite Central Committee, “Resolution on World Food Crisis,” January 17, 1974, Paul Longacre's papers (author's personal possession).

54 MCC, “Resolution.”

55 Doris Longacre, “Exploratory Outline for Cookbook Proposal,” July 1974, MCC box 258, folder 156/20; Doris Longacre to Paul Schrock, September 18, 1974. Herald Press More-with-Less editor's file.

56 Longacre, More-with-Less, back cover copy.

57 Longacre, “Haste, Waste, and the Food Crisis.”

58 Ken Hiebert to Paul Schrock, December 23, 1975, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file; Jack C. Scott to CROP offices, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

59 Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2007), 486.

60 Robert Wuthnow's categories of “dwelling” and “seeking” is one particularly influential example of this understanding of religious individualism as institutional religion's polar opposite. See Wuthnow, After Heaven: Spirituality in American Since the 1950s (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 1–18.

61 Paul Schrock to William T. Snyder, December 4, 1974, Herald Press More-with-Less editor's file.

62 Doris Longacre to Herald Press, June 6, 1975, Herald Press More-with-Less editor's file.

63 “MCC Food Crisis Cookbook Project,” MCC box 258, folder 156/20.

64 Doris Longacre to Herald Press, June 6, 1975, Herald Press More-with-Less editor's file.

65 The designer, Kenneth Hiebert, is well known in the graphic design community, holding teaching positions at multiple design schools and authoring two textbooks.

66 “Exploratory Outline for Cookbook Proposal,” July 1974, MCC box 258, folder 156/20.

67 Kalona Mennonite Church Workshop Outline, March 21, 1978, MCC box 1, folder 55/04.

68 Doris Longacre, “How to Conduct a More-with-Less Workshop,” 1980 Cassette, MCC Archive.

69 Longacre, Exploratory Outline for Cookbook Proposal, September 9, 1974, MCC box 258, folder 156/20.

70 Joshua Clark Davis observes that “these businesses faced an array of criticisms, including charges of cliquish dogmatism [and] excessive prices for questionable products.” Davis, From Headshops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017), 180. For a more comprehensive account of countercultural food practices, see Warren Belasco, Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry, 2nd ed. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, [1989] 2007).

71 Longacre, More-with Less, 97.

72 Longacre, More-with-Less, 98.

73 Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet, 130.

74 Longacre, More-with-Less, 24.

75 Longacre, More-with-Less, 29–30.

76 Longacre, More-with-Less, 109.

77 Longacre, More-with-Less, 166.

78 Paul Schrock to Paul Longacre, November 17, 1975, MCC box 258, folder 156/20; Maynard W. Shetler to Reg Toews, April 13, 1982, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

79 Paul Schrock to Mary Meyer, January 18, 2000, Herald Press More-with-Less 25th anniversary marketing file.

80 Jack Scott to Bookstore Managers, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

81 Paul Longacre to Dr. Catherine Mumaw, August 5, 1980, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

82 More-with-Less reviews file, MCC box 258, folder 156/21.

83 Herald Press press release, “Sales Pass Quarter Million Mark,” 1980, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

84 Longacre, “How to Conduct a More-with-Less Workshop,” 1980 Cassette, MCC Archive.

85 Longacre, “How to Conduct”; Aileen Van Beilen, Hunger Awareness Dinners (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1978); Deloris Histand, Living More-with-Less Study Action Guide (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1981).

86 Doris Janzen Longacre, Living More with Less (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1980); Joetta Schlabach Handrich, Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1991); Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert, Simply in Season (Scottdale, PA: Herald, 2005).

87 See letters to Herald Press, 2000, in Herald Press More-with-Less 25th anniversary editors file.

88 Helen Zoe Veit, Modern Food Moral Food: Self-Control, Science, and the Rise of Modern American Eating in the Early Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2013); Cohen, A Consumer's Republic, 2004; Sack, Whitebread Protestants, 2000.

89 Longacre, More-with-Less, 13.

90 Longacre, “Exploratory Outline for Cookbook Proposal,” July 1974, MCC box 258, folder 156/20.

91 “Foreword to Anniversary Addition,” Herald Press More-with-Less 25th anniversary edition editors file.

92 Paul Schrock to Book Approving Group, May 22, 1990, Herald Press More-with-Less 25th anniversary editor's file: “These issues are popular across the country and will likely continue to be in the national consciousness for quite some time.”

93 Bender, The New Metaphysicals, 23, 55.

94 Longacre, More-with-Less, 22.

95 Longacre, More-with-Less, 23.

96 Paul Schrock, “Doris call to me Nov. 25,” November 25, 1975; Paul Schrock to Kenneth Hiebert and Doris Longacre, November 22, 1975, Herald Press More-with-Less editor's file.

97 David Morgan, The Sacred Gaze: Religious Visual Culture in Theory and Practice (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 154.

98 Longacre, More-with-Less, 25.

99 This follows what the cultural historian Grace Hale calls “the romance of the outsider,” ascendant over this period as a cultural means for middle-class white American self-fashioning through a fascination with black culture and existence. Hale, A Nation of Outsiders (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010). Scholars of American literature have long observed similar uses of blackness as a canvas on which white authors produce white identity. See, for example, Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992).

100 Longacre, More-with-Less, 15.

101 David Morgan, The Forge of Vision: A Visual History of Modern Christianity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015), 127.

102 Morgan, The Forge of Vision, 127, 134.

103 Morgan, The Forge of Vision, 123.

104 Here, I am thinking with David Morgan's theory of “focal objects” that serve as nodal points through which religionists encounter the agency of complex actor-networks. Morgan, “The Ecology of Images: Seeing and the Study of Religion,” Religion and Society 5 (2014), 83–105.

105 Matthew S. Hedstrom, The Rise of Liberal Religion: Book Culture and American Religion in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 18.

106 Email to Herald Press, May 13, 2000, Herald Press More-with-Less 25th anniversary edition editor's file.

107 Email to Herald Press.

108 Edgar Stoesz to K. B. Hoover, April 25, 1975, MCC box 275, folder 169/69.

109 Hatfield called it “a major contribution to the store of knowledge on world hunger and what the individual can do to alleviate it.” Mark Hatfield to Doris Longacre, March 4, 1976, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file; Mooneyham noted, “There is nobody in the country doing more to sensitize the conscience of North Americans than the MCC. Your personal significant contribution through the cookbook is just typical of the splendid things the organization is doing.” W. Stanley Mooneyham to Doris Longacre, March 22, 1976, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

110 Several books tell a change-over-time story wherein the various forms of American spirituality lose their political edge and become primarily therapeutic, apolitical, and consumerist in the twentieth century: Philip F. Gura, American Transcendentalism: A History (New York: Hill and Wang, 2008); Beryl Satter, Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement 1875–1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999); Jeremy Carrette and Richard King, Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion (New York: Routledge, 2005).

111 Longacre, More-with-Less, 23.

112 Longacre, More-with-Less, 23.

113 Longacre to Paul Schrock, October 24, 1976, Herald Press More-with-Less editor's file.

114 Longacre, Living More with Less, 129, 137–38.

115 Herald Press press release, “Sales Pass Quarter Million Mark,” 1980, Herald Press More-with-Less marketing file.

116 More-with-Less 40th anniversary testimonials, courtesy of MennoMedia.

117 More-with-Less’s association with the evangelical left is reflected in Swartz's use of the cookbook as a smaller example within Sider's wider story. See Swartz, Moral Minority, 153–69. For Shane Claiborne's comments, see Living More with Less 30th anniversary testimonials, Herald Press Living More with Less 30th anniversary marketing file.

118 Bender, The New Metaphysicals, 19.

119 Catherine L. Albanese, Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); Bron Taylor, Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

120 Until recently, Fowler's The Greening of Protestant Thought was the primary historical treatment of religious environmentalism during this period. More recent historical studies have, like Fowler, continued to focus almost exclusively on the role of Christian theology in shaping environmental attitudes. See, for example, Evan Berry, Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015); Mark Stoll, Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). Two recent ethnographic studies have helpfully engaged more thoroughly with social, political, and economic power as well as formations of Protestantism in relation to religious environmentalism, but a historical treatment along the same register is still lacking. Kerry Mitchell, Spirituality and the State: Managing Nature and Experience in America's National Parks (New York: University Press, 2016); Amanda Baugh, God and the Green Divide: Religious Environmentalism in Black and White (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017).

121 Lynn White Jr., “The Historic Roots of our Ecologic Crisis,” Science 155 (1967), 1203–07).

122 White, “The Historic Roots,” 5. As Todd LeVasseur and Anna Peterson observe in their introduction to a book-length exploration on White's legacy, “To no small extent, most work—including scholarly writing and also teaching—in the fields of environmental philosophy, ecotheology, and the environmental humanities generally constitute a reply to or commentary upon White's article.” LeVasseur and Peterson, eds. Religion and Ecological Crisis: The “Lynn White Thesis” at Fifty (New York: Routledge, 2017), 4. Mark Stoll's essay in the same volume offers a historical overview of Christian responses to White. Stoll, “Sinners in the Hands of an Ecologic Crisis: Lynn White's Environmental Jeremiad,” in Religion and Ecological Crisis: The “Lynn White Thesis” at Fifty, Todd LeVasseur and Anna Peterson, eds. (New York: Routledge, 2017), 47–60.

123 Baugh, God and the Green Divide, 6.

124 Fowler, The Greening of Protestant Thought, 15.

125 On the transformation of environmentalism from conservationism to a wide-ranging political movement over this period, see Hal K. Rothman, The Greening of a Nation? Environmentalism in the U.S. since 1945 (Orlando: Harcourt Brace, 1998). Membership in the major environmental groups expanded from 124,000 in 1960 to 1,127,000 in 1972. Patterson, Grand Expectations, 725.

126 The best resources on this period of earnest expressions of intellectual assent to the environmental movement remain Fowler, The Greening of Protestant Thought, and Yaple, “The Christian Church and Environmental Education.”

127 Taylor, A Secular Age, 302; Lofton, Kathryn, Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), 209; Wuthnow, Robert, After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 135; Bellah, Robert, Madsen, Richard, and Sullivan, William M., Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 221.

128 Bender and McRoberts, “Mapping a Field,” 10.

129 On combining traditions and emphasizing “the East,” see Albanese, Catherine L., A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008), 331–46; on discourses of science in combinative spirituality, see Bender, New Metaphysicals, 55.

130 Edgar Stoesz to Doris Longacre, January 27, 1978, MCC box 275, folder 169/69.

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“The world food crisis is not a fad”: The More-with-Less Cookbook and Protestant Environmental Spirituality

  • Kevin Stewart Rose


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