Eco-anxiety and Hope: Table of Contents

Eco-anxiety and Hope is a groundbreaking monograph about the challenges of living in the Anthropocene. First published in Finnish in October 2017, the book is currently being translated into English.

The book consists of two parts and many short chapters. The first part, "Eco-anxiety", provides an in-depth description of the phenomenon. The second part builds a constructive account of hoping in the Anthropocene. 

Part One: Eco-anxiety

1. Elephant in the Room
Onboard the Ship
2. What is Eco-anxiety?
3. Why is it so difficult to react constructively to environmental problems?
4. The Invisible Wall of Silence
The Crew Member

Childhood and Youth
5. Developmental Psychology and Human-Environment-relations
6. Children and Nature – and the Crisis
The Child
7. The Development of the Psyche and Encountering Environmental Damage
8. How Do the Youth See the World?
Young passengers
9. Post-ecological era and Games of Thrones
The Revolutionary

10. Guilt
11. Shame
12. Is the Sky Falling on Us?
13. Pain and Sorrow
14. Types of Grief
15. Tasks of Grief and Loss
16. The Challenges of Environmental Grief
17. Mortality and Environment
18. Solastalgia: The Sorrow of Losing Dear Places
19. Trauma and Environment
20. Helplessness and Fear

Ways of Reacting
21. Apathy, Melancholia, and Double Life
22. The Temptation of Denial
23. Dissonance and Denialism
24. Why Do People Want to Believe that Climate Science is Wrong?
The Natural Scientist
25. Shoot the Messenger! And Other Practical Ways of Reacting
The Scholar
26. Technological Optimism and Faith in Progress
The Machinist (The Engineman)
27. Consumerism, Narcissism, and Fragility

Living in the End Times?
The Survivalists
28. The Appeal of the Apocalyptic
At the Bar
29. Nuclear and Environmental Annihilation
The Disheartened
30. On the Beach: Excess and Depression

Part Two: Hope

From Despair to Hope
31. Accepting the Reality
32. Despair and Hopelessness
33. Seasons of the Mind
34. Optimism, Pessimism, and Hope
35. Deeper into Hope
36. Modes of Hoping
37. Binocular Vision (Skill of Seeing Two Levels)
38. Sources of Hope
The Businessman

Dealing with the Emotions
39. The Need for Reconciliation and Recognition
40. Forgiveness and Ambivalence
41. Daring to Mourn (Environmental Grief)
The Chaplain
42. Rituals
43. Places of Commemoration
44. Times of Commemoration
45. The Art of Living and Dying
46. Nature and Wellbeing
47. Spending Time Outdoors
The Lover of the Sea
48. Cycles of Life and Nature

Tragedy and Art
49. The Tragic
50. Environmental Tragedy
The Bureau of Navigation
51. Fellow Travellers in Tragic Times
52. Art-based Activities and Movies

Being Human
53. Childhood and Childness
54. Human at Play (Homo Ludens)
55. Benevolence
56. Coping and Surviving
57. The Social Dimension (Groups and Community)
My Friend

Society and Communication: From Anxiety into Action
58. EcoJustice: Learning from the Margins
59. Story and Genre
60. Grand Narratives
The Conservationist
61. Tragedy, Hope, and the Environmental Movement
62. How to Speak with Others about These Things?
The Network
63. Sociopolitical Aspects
The Captain
64. Hope and Direction
On the Deck, with a Storm Approaching

Epilogue: Christianity, Eco-anxiety, and Hope

References for each Chapter

About the Author

Dr. Panu Pihkala (b. 1979) is a postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki. He is a leading Finnish expert in interdisciplinary research about “eco-anxiety”. Pihkala’s pioneering monograph on the subject was published in Finnish in October 2017 and it has raised much public discussion in Finland.

Pihkala is the author of 10 peer-reviewed articles and a monograph in environment-related studies. For introduction to his work in environmental education and in environmental theology, see:

- “Environmental Education After Sustainability: Hope in the Midst of Tragedy”, Global Discourse Vol 7:1 (2017),
- "Rediscovery of Early Twentieth-Century Ecotheology." Open Theology Vol 2:1 (2016), 268-285,



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