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Predicated upon the concept that religion is the way in which people orient themselves in the world with reference to both ordinary and extraordinary powers, meaning, and values, Albanese draws together a number of diverse religious phenomena and movements. All have nature as the common centralizing element, and a cluster of beliefs, behaviours and values that encircles this symbolic centre. Taking a somewhat elusive -- and heretofore, unorganized and unacknowledged -- form of religion, the author develops her thesis for a nature religion. Persuasively arguing from an historical stance, the author thus provides compelling evidence that nature as religious symbol acts as a culture broker, illuminating persistent patterns in past and present American life. Although the text often becomes saturated with a plethora of 'isms', 'ists' and 'ologies' that slows the comprehension of the lay reader, the presentation is generally outstandingly clear and concise. In fact, the reader is often caught involuntarily commenting in silent agreement with precisely worded observations and conclusions.