Susan Power Bratton's Religion and the Environment examines the role played by religion at the interface of scientific and policy level issues emerging from concerns about the environment. It looks at the dialogues between faith and science in the context of environmental concepts, such as sustainability and conservation. Bratton defines religion and its functions not simply as what people believe in, but critically analyzes the categories of the “sacred,” the “ordinary,” and the “symbols” (p. 9) that characterize religion. She argues that it is in dwelling on the multiple meanings and values of these terms that both the concepts of environment and religion (together and individually) be made sense of.  Bratton is of the idea that religion cannot be separated from its embedded environmental values, and throughout the book she brings up instances from historical, theological, and contemporary human engagement with the environment to advance her arguments.

Bratton's primary concern in the book lies in the question of “why and how religion influences environmental attitudes and the adoption of green practices” (p. 9). Along with this, she explores the role played by cosmology and spirituality in contemporary interactions with the environment. She specifically studies the concept of “faith” and its built‐in potential to retain important information about the natural environment. She uses faith further to enquire its role in attaching value to natural objects and processes. The book engages with discourses on classical Greek, Christian, pagan, and other religious treatises, social justice movements, urban infrastructures, healing and wellness practices, concerns about climate change, environmental activism, and dialogues between science and religion. It does not abandon these engagements, but consciously connects them to an intricate whole, which seeks to understand religion through a discourse on environment, and environment through religion.

The book is divided into twelve chapters, each examining one symbol, trope, or practice in detail by exposing its environmental values, as can be studied alongside its connection with religion. Religion here is both the context as well as the cause. Bratton discusses topics like sustenance of indigenous modes of agriculture, species preservation, and community‐based procedures of harvesting and conservation, where she contextualizes religion as a major regulator behind the sustentation of these practices. The religious context in which these practices are situated becomes a site to contest their scientific validity. Further, an enquiry into the legitimacy of the ethical considerations and moral codes that religion approves of leads to a discussion on religious professionalism in relation to animism and shamanism, where Bratton says that knowledge about the environment is intricately connected to elements of cognition (p. 27). The first five chapters dwells on the connections that community‐based sustenance practices have on the environment, and the multiple “religious codes” (p. 29, 36) that soldiers on theological doctrines. Chapters six to eight discusses religious watershed management practices, preservation of species through sanctuaries, and the making of the sacred space and modern mega‐cities, respectively. In these chapters, Bratton moves back and forth in history to demonstrate how environmental ideas took shape against changing cultural values. In Chapter nine, the concept of religious healing is explored against the backdrop of planetary healing where Bratton interestingly brings in the Gaia hypothesis. Chapter ten broadly tackles the question of climate scepticism that according to Bratton can also be interpreted through faith‐based networking systems that has historically been effective in mobilizing support for climate‐related causes. Chapter eleven serves more like a pre‐conclusion, where Bratton brings up some of her earlier discussed arguments to closure. This chapter deals with the conceptual approaches and models that envision a planetary future and discusses religious environmental activism as aligned with contemporary political and social movements.

Towards its conclusion, the book ushers toward the possibility of initiating more discussion on eco‐religious discourses that Bratton believes will help shape the “character and vision of environmental trailblazers” (p. 216). This vision encompasses faith and spirituality as cursory proponents of environmental consciousness. It steers away from the dominant positioning of the Anthropocene and concerns about environmental degradation in the domain of science. But at the same time, Bratton acknowledges and incorporates the variegated ways from which religion itself can be understood. She does not homogenize the idea of religion to better accommodate her arguments, but on the contrary, brings out its diversity to support them. Her idea of religion is not devoid of science either. She situates eco‐religious consciousness within a robust scientific framework that is informed of how religions of the world perceive nature. This fuses together notions of nature, natural and religion, by validating the existence of different modes of knowledge (p. 32) that coexist alongside laboratory‐oriented scientific analysis of the environment.

Religion and the Environment encompasses a wide range of topics under its canopy with erudite perfection. While the book presents well‐founded and substantial arguments about the connections and negotiations between religion and nature, the content of individual chapters echoes a repetition of similar objectives and premises about the environmental roots in religious practices that appears like a verbose when read as a continuous whole. The overall structure of the book, with each chapter outlining its key concepts in the beginning, the interspersed and recurrent description boxes and figures that breaks the otherwise monotony of the written word. The author's choice of highlighting important and unusual terms, and use of lucid language, makes the book a very convenient and accessible text for academics as well as nonacademics interested in discourses on environmentalism and or religion.