Religion and agriculture

Religion and agriculture have been closely associated since neolithic times and the development of early Orphic religions based upon fertility and the seasons.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Lindsay Falvey (2005), Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism (PDF), Institute for International Development, pp. 13–14, archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-06

External links

Agricultural philosophy

Agricultural philosophy (or philosophy of agriculture) is, roughly and approximately, a discipline devoted to the systematic critique of the philosophical frameworks (or ethical world views) that are the foundation for decisions regarding agriculture. Many of these views are also used to guide decisions dealing with land use in general. (Please see the Wikipedia article on environmental philosophy.) In everyday usage, it can also be defined as the love of, search after, and wisdom associated with agriculture, as one of humanity's founding components of civilization. However, this view is more aptly known as agrarianism. In actuality, agrarianism is only one philosophy or normative framework out of many that people use to guide their decisions regarding agriculture on an everyday basis. The most prevalent of these philosophies will be briefly defined below.

Agricultural spiritualism

Agricultural spiritualism or the Spirit of Agriculture refers to the idea that the concepts of food production and consumption and the essential spiritual nature of humanity are linked. It assumes that spirituality is inherent to human consciousness, is perhaps a product of it, and is accessible to all who cultivate it. The association with agriculture includes such agricultural metaphors as "cultivate" in language used by most mystics across history.

Followers of this idea state the following reasons to justify this link:

Agriculture was the preoccupation of the majority of the population of the world at the time that the major scriptures of the continuing religions were compiled.

The approach that agriculture takes to creating the optimal conditions for production of its harvest is the same as that recommended by the traditional religions for producing insight or wisdom.

Historically, the adoption of agriculture liberated part of a population to focus on understanding of spirituality.

Ancient Egyptian agriculture

The civilization of ancient Egypt was indebted to the Nile River and its dependable seasonal flooding. The river's predictability and the fertile soil allowed the Egyptians to build an empire on the basis of great agricultural wealth. Egyptians are credited as being one of the first groups of people to practice agriculture on a large scale. This was possible because of the ingenuity of the Egyptians as they developed basin irrigation. Their farming practices allowed them to grow staple food crops, especially grains such as wheat and barley, and industrial crops, such as flax and papyrus.


In ancient Roman culture, felicitas (from the Latin adjective felix, "fruitful, blessed, happy, lucky") is a condition of divinely inspired productivity, blessedness, or happiness. Felicitas could encompass both a woman's fertility, and a general's luck or good fortune. The divine personification of Felicitas was cultivated as a goddess. Although felicitas may be translated as "good luck," and the goddess Felicitas shares some characteristics and attributes with Fortuna, the two were distinguished in Roman religion. Fortuna was unpredictable and her effects could be negative, as the existence of an altar to Mala Fortuna ("Bad Luck") acknowledges. Felicitas, however, always had a positive significance. She appears with several epithets that focus on aspects of her divine power.

Felicitas had a temple in Rome as early as the mid-2nd century BC, and during the Republican era was honored at two official festivals of Roman state religion, on July 1 in conjunction with Juno and October 9 as Fausta Felicitas. Felicitas continued to play an important role in Imperial cult, and was frequently portrayed on coins as a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the Roman Empire. Her primary attributes are the caduceus and cornucopia. The English word "felicity" derives from felicitas.

Lindsay Falvey

John Lindsay Falvey FTSE (born 23 May 1950), known as Lindsay Falvey, is an Australian -born international R&D specialist and an author who writes on topics concerning agricultural science and philosophy, religion, international development and spiritual development. He is Chair of the Board of the CGIAR Consortium, the International Livestock Research Institute, and is a life member of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge. He continues as an Honorary Professor, having retired as a professor at the University of Melbourne where he was Chair of Agriculture, Dean of Land and Food Resources and Dean of Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture.

Falvey is a recipient of national and international awards, has three doctorates [Ph.D., D.Agr.Sc., D.Agr.Techn. (honoris causa)] reflecting his work in Asia and Australia, is a recipient of the Australian Centenary Medal, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE).

List of fertility deities

A fertility deity is a god or goddess associated with fertility, pregnancy, and childbirth. In some cases these deities are directly associated with these experiences; in others they are more abstract symbols. Fertility rites may accompany their worship. The following is a list of fertility deities.

Mary Settegast

Mary Settegast is a contemporary American scholar and author who specializes in the Neolithic Age.

The accomplished but reclusive Settegast earned graduate degrees from both the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. She has received critical praise for her books Plato Prehistorian, Mona Lisa's Moustache, and When Zarathustra Spoke. As their titles indicate, Settegast's first and third books focus on human prehistory; her special interest is on the co-evolution of religion and agriculture. In a different vein, Mona Lisa's Moustache deals with contemporary cultural and intellectual issues.

P Moe Nin

P Moe Nin (Burmese: ပီမိုးနင်း; 5 November 1883 – 6 January 1940) was one of Burma’s most prolific and treasured writers. His writing style differed from that prevalent in Burma at the time, writing concisely and clearly. Because of this, he is often regarded as the father of Burmese short story writing and the modern Burmese novel. He translated uncountable and valuable works of general knowledge from Western languages.

Prehistoric technology

Prehistoric technology is technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric, including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, hunt, and bury their dead.

There are several factors that made the evolution of prehistoric technology possible or necessary. One of the key factors is behavioral modernity of the highly developed brain of Homo sapiens capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving. The advent of agriculture resulted in lifestyle changes from nomadic lifestyles to ones lived in homes, with domesticated animals, and land farmed using more varied and sophisticated tools. Art, architecture, music and religion evolved over the course of the prehistoric periods.


Prodicus of Ceos (; Greek: Πρόδικος ὁ Κεῖος, Pródikos ho Keios; c. 465 BC – c. 395 BC) was a Greek philosopher, and part of the first generation of Sophists. He came to Athens as ambassador from Ceos, and became known as a speaker and a teacher. Plato treats him with greater respect than the other sophists, and in several of the Platonic dialogues Socrates appears as the friend of Prodicus. One writer claims Socrates used his method of instruction. Prodicus made linguistics and ethics prominent in his curriculum. The content of one of his speeches is still known, and concerns a fable in which Heracles has to make a choice between Virtue and Vice. He also interpreted religion through the framework of naturalism.

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