Alastair McIntosh is a Scottish writer, academic and activist, who explores the connections between theology and ecology from a Quaker perspective. He was brought up in Leurbost on the Isle of Lewis and is married to Vérène Nicolas. He is involved with Scottish land reform especially on Eigg and campaigned successfully against the Harris superquarry in Lingerbay. He is a fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology, an Honorary Fellow of the Schumacher Society, and helped to set up the Govan based GalGael Trust of which he is Treasurer and a non-executive director. In 2006 he was appointed to the honorary position of Visiting Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde (Department of Geography & Sociology) – the first such post in Human ecology in a Scottish university.
(This paragraph reproduced from Wikipedia.com under a Creative Commons License. Photo by Dominique Carton.)
Recent Books and articles of Alastair McIntosh (with notes and links from the author). Reproduced with permission from www.alastairmcintosh.com.
New Book: Spiritual Activism
by Alastair McIntosh and Matt Carmichael
The book begins by defining spirituality for a modern audience of all faiths and beliefs, and goes on to consider the problems and necessities of true leadership. Drawing on a rich history of spirituality and activism, from The Bhagavad Gita, to the Hebrew prophets, to Carl Jung, it is both guide and inspiration for people involved in activism for social or environmental justice.
The text is enriched with tales from the authors’ own experiences. It contains case studies of inspirational spiritual activists (including Mama Efua, Desmond Tutu, Gerrard Winstanley, Sojourner Truth and Julia Butterfly Hill), which demonstrate the transformative power of spiritual principles in action.
Over the past half century the issues facing activists have changed, as has our understanding and awareness of spirituality. For activists, spiritual philosophy is rising up the agenda because it offers distinct, tried and tested approaches to deep questions: Where did it all go wrong? What does it mean to be human? What is the place of leadership? What is the nature of power?
Books by Alastair McIntosh
This page gives links to all books by Alastair McIntosh that are in print, the most recent listed first. Click on either the cover or on “more…” for full details, reviews, extracts and purchasing options. These are in chronological order of date of publication. For those completely new to my work my best know book is Soil and Soul, and Poacher’s Pilgrimage is a similarly major book.
Articles since 2000 ~~~ Archive
238, 2014, Where Stands Our Nineveh Today?, Sermon after the Scottish Referendum, delivered at Iona Abbey, Sunday 21 September.
221(a). 2013, Growing up with Calvin (reflections on Island Spirituality), Third Way, 36:7, Sept 2013, pp. 24-26.
218(a). 2012. The Liberation Theology of Pussy Riot, Coracle, The Iona Community, Autumn 2012, pp. 19-20.
218. 2012, Radical Human Ecology: Intercultural and Indigenous Approaches, co-edited with Lewis Williams (1) and Rose Roberts (2) in the Ashgate Research Companion series, Ashgate, London. Includes my chapters on “The Challenge of Radical Human Ecology to the Academy” and “Teaching Radical Human Ecology in the Academy”, with a Foreword by Richard Borden of the Society for Human Ecology, 433 pp, ISBN 978-0-7546-9516-5, price £30 hardback.
217. 2012 The ‘Sacredness’ of Natural Sites and Their Recovery: Iona, Harris and Govan in Scotland, in Mallarach, J.-M., Papayannis, T. and Väisänen, R. (eds), The Diversity of Sacred Lands in Europe: Proceedings of the Third Workshop of the Delos Initiative – Inari/Aanaar 2010. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN and Vantaa, Finland: Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services – free PDF of complete volume from IUCN here.
216. 2012, Book review of ‘A New Climate for Theology’ by Sally McFague, Journal of the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol5:3, 384-6.
215. 2011, Narcissistic modern art cannot help us in these troubled times, The Guardian(Face to Faith column), 21 October, also as print version pdf linked to the Kandinsky in Govan conference (see archive).
212. 2010. Foreword to Future Ethics: Climate Change and Apocalyptic Imagination, edited by Stefan Skrimshire, Continuum, London, 2010.
210. 2010. Popping the Gygian Question, Dark Mountain, Issue 1, Dark Mountain Project, May 2010, 101-7.
209. 2010. A Short Course in Liberation Theology, as used with participants at the GalGael Trust, 15pp. PDF.
207. 2010. What Price the Earth? Climate Change Theology Post-Cop15, WM, World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland, January, No. 33, 1.
205. 2009. Where now ‘Hell and High Water’?, ECOS: Journal of the British Association for Nature Conservation, 30:(3/4), 66-77 (with 5 short book reviews in same issue), 96-98, 103).
203. 2009. Compassion (a reflection on the crofting, community and the psyche of the world), Bella Caledonia, September 09 (online journal … or click here for Word version).
202. 2009. Review of Finlay MacLeod’s (Fionnlagh MacLeòid) The Norse Mills of Lewis / Muilnean Beaga Leòdhais, The Stornoway Gazette, 16 July.
201. 2009. Review of Noel Charlton’s Understanding Gregory Bateson: Mind, Beauty and the Sacred Earth (State University of New York Press, 2008), Coracle, Iona Community, 4/40, 23-24.
200. 2009, Wilderness near the end of Heaven,John Muir Trust Journal, Spring 2009, 10-11.
199. 2009, La parole et la recherche de l’unité: entretien avec Alastair McIntosh, Transitions, Numero 1, Paris (interview with Alastair McIntosh in French on Quaker consensual decision making process).
198. 2008, Review of “A Book of Silence” by Sara Maitland, Third Way, December 2008, online at https://www.thirdway.org.uk/editions/winter-2009/reviews/a-book-of-silence.aspx .
197. 2008, Land, Identity, School: Exploring Women’s Identity with Land in Scotland Through the Experience of Boarding School (PDF), with Chriss Bull (1) and Colin Clark (3), Oral History: Journal of the Oral History Society, Autumn 2008, Vol. 36:2, 75 – 88.
196. 2008, Rekindling Community: Connecting People, Environment and Spirituality,Schumacher Briefing No. 15, Green Books. ISBN 978-1-900322-38-6.
195. 2008, Some Contributions of Liberation Theology to Community Empowerment in Scottish Land Reform 1991 – 2003, (4 MB PDF) Thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by Published Works undertaken with the Academy of Irish Cultural Heritages, Faculty of Arts, University of Ulster.
194. 2008,Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition,Birlinn Press, Edinburgh, 289 pp. + x, £8.99, ISBN 978-1-84158-622-9.
193. 2008, Child of the Earth (on the spirituality of a stillborn child – PDF 4MB),Third Way, Vol. 31:3, pp.8-11.
191. 2008, ‘Sea Change for Fishing,’ in Change and continuity in Scotland’s fishing communities,Economic & Social Research Council, ESRC Seminar Series, 17-20.
190. 2008, ‘Who is Your Enemy? Lafarge, NGOs and the Harris Superquarry Campaign’ (PDF) – a sharing and debate between Alastair McIntosh of the Centre for Human Ecology and Michel Picard of Lafarge, in Kai Hockerts & Luk Van Wassenhove (eds), It’s All Our Business: Corporate Responsibility in a Global World, INSEAD Alumni Sustainability Roundtable, INSEAD Business School, Paris, Chapter 2.3.
189. 2008, Engaging the Powers of Walter Wink – an Activist’s Testimony, (PDF file) in Enigmas and Powers: Engaging the Work of Walter Wink for Classroom, Church and World, ed. D. Seiple & Frederick W. Weidmann, Princeton Theological Monograph Series No. 79, 101-112.
188. 2007, Archive of Scottish Land Reform Audio Broadcasts with Alastair McIntosh during the 1990s, listen here to 9 digitised broadcasts that reflect a little of the social history of the modern Scottish land reform movement.
187. 2007, Guest Editorial, The Participant (PDF File),Scottish Natural Heritage, Planning Aid & Royal Town Planning Institute, No. 4, 2.
185. 2006, Fire in the Bones (Theology of Spiritual Activism), Third Way, (also in PDF of original), Vol. 29, No. 7, September 2006, pp. 12 – 15. Also published in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Tikkun, pp. 18 – 20, the progressive American Jewish magazine –www.tikkun.org .
184. 2006, Love and Revolution (collected poetry), Luath Press, Edinburgh, 96pp, £7.99, 4 September 2006, ISBN 1-905222-58-0.
183. 2006, Entretien avec Alastair McIntosh: Quand la société civile et l’industrie s’impliquent dans une vision partagée (entretien par Béatrice Quasnik), Les Cahiers de Sol, Society for Organisational Learning, Paris, France, No. 6, Juin/June 2006, pp. 24 – 30, en PDF.
182. 2006, Review of The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (Bron Taylor & Jeffrey Kaplan (eds.), Thoemmes Continuum, London & NY, 2 vols, £225), in ECOS: Journal of the British Association of Nature Conservationists, 27:1, pp. 116-117.
181. 2006, Land Reform: The People Find Their Voice, Reforesting Scotland, Issue 34, pp. 10-12.
180. 2006, Homage to Young Men, a “rap” (so they say!) first performed with the chart-topping duo, Nizlopi, in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 19 January, plus a 7 minute interview and a bit of “rap” on the MacAulay & Co Show, BBC Radio Scotland, broadcast 1010 16 February.
178. 2006, What I believe – audio interview of Alastair McIntosh by Sally Magnusson on childhood, spirituality and nonviolence, as broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland, 0803 Sunday 28 January, 27 minutes. Clicking this link should play it through your media player.
177. 2005, What is Liberation Theology? Liturgical Commentary on Adolfo Pérez Esquivel’s Stations of the Cross from Latin America, 1492 – 1992,with introductions in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and the 15 images scanned and presented in both .pdf and .ppt profiles.
176. 2005, Tribute to the Late Colin Murdo Macleod, Stornoway Gazette,17 November, p. 18.
174 2005, BBC Radio Scotland Thought for the Day (multiple contributions), 2005 – 2006.
173. 2005, The Dream Job: 21 Steps to enhance Black and Ethnic Minority opportunities in Scotland,(co-authored by Alastair McIntosh, Vérène Nicolas, Tara O’Leary, Jane Rosegrant & Nick Wilding; Foreword by Tesfu Gessesse, Chair of EMPOWER), EMPOWER, Equal, European Social Fund & Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh, 23 September, 28pp..
172. 2005, 3 contributions to TheEncyclopaedia of Religion and Nature(2 volumes), Jeffrey Kaplan & Bron Taylor eds., Continuum International Publishing, London & NY, 2005 (www.religionandnature.com), comprising: 1) Scotland (the historical context of nature religion), 1503-1505, 2) Faerie Faith in Scotland, 633-634, and, 3) Scything & Erotic Fulfillment (vernacular work rhythms), 1507-1509.
170. 2005, Open Letter to Business: Towards Accelerating Marginal Utility, The Nature of Business, WWF International (Worldwide Fund for Nature), Switzerland, Vol. 3:1, p. 5.
169. 2005, Through the Eye of a Potato: Undertaking a CHE Thesis, address delivered at Centre for Human Ecology Thesis Day, 11 February.
167. 2005, Chronique d’une Alliance: Peuples autochtones et société civil face à la mondialisation, (the abridged French translation of Soil and Soul), Editions Yves Michel, Paris, ISBN 2 913492 30 4, €22, 351pp.. Ce blog est destiné aux lecteurs d’Alastair McIntosh afin qu’ils puissent se connaître, se faire connaître et s’exprimer sur les sujets abordés dans le livre.
166. 2004, Public School and the Platonic Ideal, Boarding Concern, Winter 2004, p. 7.
165. 2004, Corporate Ethics and the Harris Superquarry, Ecos: Journal of the British Association of Nature Conservationists, jointly with Luc Giraud-Guigues and Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud (both of WWF International), Vol. 25, Issue 2,. 44 – 52. Also on this page are contributions to the closing superquarry debate that I co-ordinated from Dan Barlow of Friends of the Earth Scotland, and Nigel Jackson, Executive Director of Lafarge Aggregates UK.
164. 2004, Land Reform, a 90 second “Pressure Point” broadcast on Scottish TV’s Politics Now, transmitted 16 September 2004. Click here to read text, or if you have Windows Media Player click this video link.
163. 2004, Land Reform … the Next Stages, The Crofter – The Journal of the Scottish Crofting Foundation, No. 63, May 2004, 9 – 10.
162. 2004, Corporate Ethics: Stones & Spirit – Keynote address to Lafarge’s corporate conference in Bergamo, Italy, delivered 17 May 2004. An edited version of this was published in The Sunday Herald (Seven Days), 23 May 2004, p. 9, as “Integrity of firm caught between a rock and a hard place.”
161. 2004, Peace in the Tiger’s Mouth, Chapter 16 of Seeking Cultures of Peace: a Peace Church Conversation, ed. Enns, Fernando, Holland, Scott & Riggs, Ann K., World Council of Churches (Geneva), Cascadia Publishing House (Telford, Pennsylvania) & Herald Press (Scottdale, Pennsylvania), pp. 215 – 226. Now also in PDF.
160. 2004, The Real Price of Property, Third Way,Jan/Feb, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 22 – 25.
159. 2004, Foreword to Europe, Globalization and Sustainable Development, ed. Barry, John, Baxter, Brian & Dunphy, Richard., Routledge, London, £65 (hardback), ISBN: 0-415-30276-5, xii – xxiii. Now also in PDF.
157. 2003, Paedophilia in the Community, The Hebridean, Stornoway, 20 November.
156. 2003, The 4 Stages of Land Reform in Scotland, The Hebridean,Stornoway, 2 Oct, pp. 8-9, & 23 Oct., p. 11.
155. 2003, Power to the People (Wind Energy & Land Value Market Capitalisation),The Hebridean, Stornoway, 21 August, p. 7.
154. 2003, The Lie of the Land (Land Reform on Eigg Update), The Hebridean, Stornoway, 14 August, p. 7.
153. 2003, Idolatry of the Invisible Hand (a response to Sir Mark Moody-Stuart on business & sustainability), Green Christian, No. 53, November, 11 – 12.
152. 2003, The Power of Love: What Can Nonviolence Say to Violence? Resurgence, No. 219, July/Aug, 42-44. Now also in PDF. Also, in Spanish translation as El Poder del Amor.
151. 2003, Cold War Psychohistory in the Scottish Psyche, in Jamison, Brian (ed.), Scotland and the Cold War, Cualann Press, Dumfermline, pp. 74 – 80.
150. 2003, Constitutional Theology, Community & Sovereignty of the Sea,in International Union for Land Value Taxation and Free Trade: Proceedings of the Edinburgh Conference 2001, International Union for Land Value Taxation, London, 2003, 70-85.
149. 2003, Towards a Sustainable Community Housing Policy for Scotland, distributed consultation paper, July 7, 7 pp..
146. 2003, Class of 1981 – Alastair McIntosh – MBA Profile,Aluminate, University of Edinburgh Management School, Summer edn..
145. 2003, The Saltire Society / The Herald Debate – War, Religion and the British Constitution, text based on delivery at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, 27 May.
144. 2003, Communities of Place, The Aisling, Aran Islands, Ireland, Issue 31, 2003, pp. 65-67 Also published on the website of Open Democracy (with links to many key phrases) as Soil and Soul: Lessons from Ireland, 2002. This is an extended version of publication no. 136 (below), which first appeared in The Cork Examiner newspaper.
143. 2003, Report to Scottish Quakers on Fact-finding Visit to the World Council of Churches (Decade for Overcoming Violence), Religious Society of Friends, Britain Yearly Meeting & General Meeting Scotland, March 2003.
142. 2003, Development with Soul: alternatives to debt, interview by Peter Gibb with Alastair McIntosh, Land and Liberty, Vol. 109:1204, Autumn/Winter 2002/2003, 8-10 (this internet version is uncut).
141. 2003, Channel 4’s “Without Prejudice?” – “7 days in the life of … Alastair McIntosh”, Sunday Herald, 25 January 2003, p. 9 (7 Days section), and, “How I won 50 grand on TV”, The Herald, 28 January 2003, p. 14.
140. 2002, Becoming Rooted in Place. Public address given at the opening of NVA’s Hidden Garden at Glasgow’s Tramway Theatre, 30 November 2002.
138. 2002, The Future of Wild Land in Scotland: “Yes, about the fairies and all that…”. This article was commissioned by the Scottish Wild Land Group for their published contribution to The International Year of Mountains 2002, Scotland’s Wild Land – what future?, ISBN 0-9543790-0-4, £4.00, 5-8.
137. 2002, Kinship with Creation: Two Quakers Share their Views, Quaker Green Action, ISBN 0 9518766 3 5, 38 pp., UK (with Susannah Brindle, but this website gives only Alastair McIntosh’s interview).
136. 2002, It’s all about putting people in their place, text of address to the Rural Planning Symposium for Duhallow, published in The Irish Examiner, Cork, 21 June 2002.
135. 2002, Roots for Living, occasional column in The Big Issue in Scotland, with Vérène Nicolas, on diverse social, environmental and spiritual issues. This link takes you to the index.
134. 2002, Review of “Human Ecology: Basic Concepts for Sustainable Development”, The Ecologist, Vol. 32:2, March 2002, 55-6.
133. 2001, Origins of the Sex-Spirit Split, Sex and Spirit Conference – keynote address, Findhorn Foundation, 21 October 2001.
132. 2001, Sabbath and the Corporate Mammon: concluding the Harris Superquarry Debate, ECOS, British Association of Nature Conservationists, 22 (1), 46-52.
131. 2001, Let’s make a world of difference (Globalization, or One World?), Evening News, Edinburgh, November 26, 10.
128. 2001, Land Reform and National Identity, Le Monde Diplomatique, Paris, No. 572-48, November, p. 6, co-authored with Vérène Nicolas. Published in French translation, as Quand l’Ecosse Distribue les Terres: Vent de Réformes Après la Conquête de L’Autonomie, in English original, London, p. 13 (with The Guardian Weekly by subscription and on website) as Scotland plc – Land Reform and National Identity, in German/Swiss editions as Das Geheimnis des wahren Schotten, and in Spanish (Chilean edition) as Reforma agraria e identitaria en Escocia (December 2001 edition).
127. 2001, Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power, Aurum Press, London, ISBN 1 85410 802 6, £17.99 hardback, 322pp. + xiv, with Foreword by George Monbiot. The 2nd edition (trade paperback) appeared in November 2002, and the current 3rd edition (mass paperback, £7.99) in November 2004. An abridged French translation was published in March 2005 by Editions Yves Michel, as Chronique d’une Alliance: Peuples autochtones et société civil face à la mondialisation (€22).
126. 2001, Community, Power and Peace: Healing Nationhood, Historic Peace Churches’ Consultation for the WCC – Theology and Culture: Peacemaking for the Globalised World, conference at Bienenberg Theological Seminary, Basel, Switzerland, 25-29 June 2001. The above link takes you to the original conference paper which, along with others given, is online at www.peacetheology.org. A revised version was published in 2004 jointly with the World Council of Churches – click here for this version.
125. 2001, Pagan Presbyterianism? Protest and Prophetic Theology, The Friends’ Quarterly, Kent, 32:7, 300-309.
124. 2000, Discounting the Children’s Future? Does the Non-symmetrical Depreciation of Natural and Human-made Capital Invalidate the Assumption of Substitutability in “Weak” Sustainability Analysis?, Geophilos,No. 00(1), Land Research Trust, London, (with Gareth Edwards-Jones (2)), 122-133.
123. 2000. Defying the Corporate Golem (Lafarge Redland, Corporate “Human” Rights and the British Constitution), Foundations, William Temple Foundation, 3:4, 27.
121. 2000. Shine On…, The Kingdom of Fife: Our Land and its Peoples, “keynote listener” contribution to proceedings of WECAN! conference, Falkland, 26-28.
120. 2000, “The whole house of Islam, and we Christians with them”: an Interview with “the Last Orientalist” (Professor William Montgomery Watt),The Coracle, 3:51, Iona Community, (with Bashir Maan (1)), 8-11. Now also in PDF .
119. 2000, A Sabbath of the Land (Harris superquarry reconciliation, and SAC conservation area theology), Stornoway Gazette, 20 July, 4, being reprinted in ECOS: Journal of the British Association for Nature Conservation, autumn 2000.
118. 2000. Earth First, Suits Last, Product, No. 4, Edinburgh, 4.
117. 2000, God versus Trident: Constitutional Theology in Legal Defence , legal arguments prepared for Ellen Moxley of the “Greenock Three” Peace Women, Greenock Sheriff Court contingent submission.
116. 2000, Healing Nationhood: Essays on Spirituality, Place and Community, including Land, Power & National Identity commissioned by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Curlew Productions, Kelso, with the Centre for Human Ecology and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, 144pp., ISBN 1 900259 95 8, £7.50.
115. 2000, Who’s a Real Scot? The Report of “Embracing Multicultural Scotland”,Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh, 28pp., (with Hanna Maan (1), Nick Wilding (2), Vérène Nicolas (3) and Amadu Khan (4)). Now in PDF.
113. 2000, Saint Andrew – Nonviolence and National Identity, Theology in Scotland, St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, VII:1, 55-70 PDF Version.
112. 2000, The Case for God: Carbeth Hutters’ Feudal Defence Against Eviction, Ecotheology, Sheffield Academic Press, Issue 8, 86-110. Now also in PDF.
111. 2000, Socially Expressed Spectrum of Power, annual handout to students on Advanced Staff & Command Course at the Joint Services Command & Staff College, now part-published in Healing Nationhood (see above), 14-17.
110. 2000, Dancing to your Shadow: A Celtic Reflection on the Healing of Broken-Heartedness, The Journal of Contemporary Health, Liverpool John Moores University, Issue 8, 58-60; reprinted in PanGaia, Port Arena, CA., No. 23, 41-45.
109. 2000, God in All Creation: Address introducing business theme at Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Quaker Monthly, Quaker Home Service, 79:2, July 2000, 163-167 and at press with Christian.
108. 2000, God, Creation and Yearly Meeting 2000, The Friends Quarterly,Kent,, 32:2, 49-58. Archive