Texas Tech University

Mark R. Stoll

U.S. Environmental, U.S. Religious

Email: mark.stoll@ttu.edu

Office: 454 Humanities

Email: Mark.Stoll@ttu.edu


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Mark Stoll is a native Texan and is also proud to be an Okie from Muskogee. He spent the remainder of his impressionable years in Topeka and near St. Louis. Intending to major in physics at Rice University, somehow he instead graduated with a double major in history and German. He moved to San Francisco for a decade (the "lost years") before earning his history doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught history at St. Edward's University in Austin before joining the Texas Tech History Department in 1997, where he teaches American environmental history and American religious history. He also serves as director of Environmental Studies.

Stoll's latest book is an environmental history of capitalism, Profit: An Environmental History (2022). A Portuguese edition came out in 2023 and other translations are in the works. Stoll has written two books about the American environmental movement's significant formative religious influences: Protestantism, Capitalism, and Nature in America (1997) and Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2015), which Huffington Post included among its 10 favorite nonfiction of 2015. With Dianne Glave, he edited "To Love the Wind and the Rain": African Americans and Environmental History (2005). He also edited Nature and Human Societies, a book series on global environmental history for ABC Clio. In addition to scholarly articles and chapters, when he has time he publishes blog posts and online essays. If he doesn't answer his e-mail, he is probably traveling, or backpacking in the Sierra.

Mark R. Stoll

Select Publications

Profit: An Environmental History

The story of capitalism's impact and dependence on the natural world is much older and more complicated than it first appears. Profit is the first history of capitalism by an environmental historian. The reader will not think of either the environment or capitalism the same way after reading this fascinating and eye-opening book.

Learn more at Polity Books.

Inherit the Holy Mountain - Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism

Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American EnvironmentalismInherit the Mountain - Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism argues for the place of religion in shaping the views of historical environmental figures, demonstrates how religious traditions fostered distinctive aesthetic reactions to nature, offers analysis of key works of art through the lenses of different denominations, and provides insight into the future of environmentalism in the United States

Learn more at Oxford University Press

Protestantism, Capitalism, and Nature in America

Protestantism, Capitalism, and Nature in America by Dr. Mark StollEnvironmentalists have often blamed Protestantism for justifying the human exploitation of nature, but the author of this cultural history argues that, in America, hard-boiled industrialists and passionate environmentalists sprang from the same Protestant root.

Protestant Christianity—Calvinism especially—both helped industrialists like James J. Hill rationalize their utilization of nature for economic profit and led environmental advocates like John Muir to call for the preservation of unspoiled wilderness. Biographical vignettes examine American thinkers, industrialists, and environmentalists—Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Smith, William Gilpin, Leland Stanford, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold, and others—whose lives show the development of ideas and attitudes that have profoundly shaped Americans' use of and respect for nature.

The final chapter looks at several contemporary figures—James Watt, Annie Dillard, and Dave Foreman—whose careers exemplify the recent Protestant thought and behavior and their impact on the environment.

Learn more at Barnes and Noble.

To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental History

To Love the Wind and the Rain: African Americans and Environmental HistoryTo Love the Wind and Rain is a groundbreaking and vivid analysis of the relationship between African Americans and the environment in U.S. history. It focuses on three major themes: African Americans in the rural environment, African Americans in the urban and suburban environments, and African Americans and the notion of environmental justice. Meticulously researched, the essays cover subjects including slavery, hunting, gardening, religion, the turpentine industry, outdoor recreation, women, and politics. To Love the Wind and Rain will serve as an excellent foundation for future studies in African American environmental history.

Learn more at Barnes and Noble.