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Contributor Biographies - Part 2


 Steven Rockefeller is Professor of Religion Emeritus at Middlebury College in Vermont and a Commissioner on the Earth Charter Project. He received his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and his Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Religion from Columbia University. He has also served as Dean of the College at Middlebury College. His published works include: John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (Columbia University Press, 1991) and two co-edited volumes: with John C. Elder, Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment Is a Religious Issue (Beacon, 1992), and with Donald S. Lopez, The Christ and the Bodhisattva (State University of New York, 1987).

Rosemary Radford Ruether is a Catholic ecofeminist theologian teaching at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. She currently holds the Carpenter Chair of Feminist Theology at the GTU. Formerly the Harkness Professor of Applied Theology at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and member of the graduate faculty of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, she currently teaches courses on the interrelation of Christian theology, history, and social justice issues (topics include: sexism, racism, poverty, militarism, ecology, and interfaith relations). She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Scripps College (1958), an M.A. in Ancient History (1960), and a Ph.D. in Classics and Patristics (1965) from Claremont Graduate School. She also holds twelve honorary doctorates, two of the most recent are from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. She is author and/or editor of thirty-five books including: Women Healing Earth: Third World Women on Feminism (Orbis, 1999), Religion and Ecology (Orbis, 1996), Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing (HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), and, with Rita Gross, Religious Feminism and the Future of the Planet: A Buddhist-Christian Conversation (Continuum, 2001).

 William F. Ryan, a Canadian Jesuit priest, holds an M.A. in labor relations from St. Louis University, a licentiate in theology from the College St. Albert, and a Ph.D. in economic development from Harvard University. He has acted as a Special Advisor to International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Ottawa (1993–2000) on a research project entitled, “Science, Religion, and Development,” and was the founding Director of the Center of Concern, Washington, D.C. His research interests primarily focus on relationships between science, religion, and economic development. Research he conducted for the IDRC has been published in: The Lab, the Temple, and the Market: Expanding the Conversation (IDRC, 2000) and Culture, Spirituality, and Economic Development: Opening a Dialogue (IDRC, 1994). Additional publications include: The Clergy and Economic Growth in Quebec (Presses d’Universite Laval, 1966) and, co-edited with Joseph Gremillion, World Faiths and New World Order (Interreligious Peace Colloquim, 1978).

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College and holds a chair in the Economics of Leisure Studies at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Schor went on to receive her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts. Before joining Boston College, she taught in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women’s Studies at Harvard University for seventeen years. Schor has served as a consultant to the United Nations (UN), the World Institute for Development Economics Research, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). She was a fellow at the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1995–1996 for a project entitled “New Analyses of Consumer Society.” Schor was given the Maurer-Stump Award (1994) from the Reading-Berks Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and she is the recipient of the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contributions to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language (1998) from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Schor is author of the national best-seller, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (Basic Books, 1991) and her book, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need. The Overworked American (HarperPerennial, 1999), appeared on several best seller lists including: The New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, and the annual best books list for The New York Times, Business Week, and other publications. The book is widely credited for influencing the national debate on work and family. Schor’s other published works include: Do Americans Shop Too Much? (Beacon Press, 2000), and as co-editor, with Betsy Taylor, Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the Twenty-first Century (Beacon Press, 2002). Schor’s latest book, Cashing Out On Kids (forthcoming), is about the growth of marketing and advertising to children and how it is undermining their well-being. Her current work focuses on the issue of environmental sustainability and its relation to Americans’ lifestyles. Her scholarly articles have appeared in the Economic Journal, The Review of Economics and Statistics, World Development, Industrial Relations, The Journal of Economic Psychology, and other journals.

Schor has lectured widely throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan to a variety of civic, business, labor, and academic groups. She appears frequently on national and international television and radio, and profiles on her have appeared in scores of magazines and newspapers, including: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and People magazine.

 Larry Shinn is President of Berea College. He received his B.A. from Baldwin Wallace College (1964), his B.D. from Drew Theological School (1968), and his Ph.D. in History of Religions from Princeton University (1972). He has served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bucknell University, and has taught courses in religion and humanities at Oberlin College. He is the author of two books: Two Sacred Worlds: Experience and Structure in the World Religions (Abingdon, 1977) and The Dark Lord: Cult Images and the Hare Krishnas in America (Westminster Press, 1987).

Moshe Sokol is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Touro College in New York City and a member of its Graduate Faculty of Jewish Studies. Over the past several years, Sokol has participated in and taught or delivered papers at various conferences and sessions on Judaism and the environment. He is the author of numerous essays on Jewish ethics and philosophy, and the editor of: Engaging Modernity, Rabbinic Authority and Personal Autonomy (J. Aronson, 1997) and Tolerance, Dissent, and Democracy: Philosophical, Historical, and Halakhic Perspectives (forthcoming).

Leslie Sponsel is a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii, where he developed and directed the Ecological Anthropology Program from 1981-2010, including from 2003-2010 the Spiritual Ecology Concentration available to undergraduate as well as graduate students. In August 2010, he retired to devote full-time to research and writing on spiritual ecology and related subjects, although he still teaches one course each semester. Among his courses are three cross-listed between Anthropology and Religion: 443 Anthropology of Buddhism, 444 Spiritual Ecology, and 445 Sacred Places. Sponsel received his B.A. in geology from Indiana University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University. His research includes annual summer visits to Thailand where he collaborates with his wife Dr. Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel in exploring Buddhist ecology and environmentalism, in recent years focusing on sacred caves. Among other publications, Sponsel contributed several articles to the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (Bron Taylor, Editor-in-Chief, NY: Thoemmes Continuum, 2005). His latest book is Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, July 2012, http://spiritualecology.info).

Donald Swearer was appointed as director of the Center for the Study of World Religions and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies at Harvard Divinity School in 2004. He came to HDS from Swarthmore College where he had taught since 1970, most recently as the Charles and Harriet Cox McDowell Professor of Religion. Professor Swearer has received numerous research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Program, and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others and has held a variety of editorial posts for several academic journals, including Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Religious Ethics, and Religious Studies Review. His recent books include The Buddhist World of Southeast Asia, 2nd rev. ed. (2008), Becoming the Buddha: The Ritual of Image Consecration in Thailand (2004), Sacred Mountains of Northern Thailand and Their Legends (2004), and The Legend of Queen Cama (1998). He has contributed essays on Buddhism and ecology to Earth Ethics 10, no. 1 (Fall 1998): 19-22 and Buddhism and Ecology (CSWR/Harvard University Press, 1997).

Brian Swimme, PhD, is at the California Institute of Integral Studies, in San Francisco.  He is the author of The Universe is a Green Dragon (Bear and Company, 1984), The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (Orbis, 1996), and co-author, with Thomas Berry, of The Universe Story (HarperSanFrancisco, 1994, 1992).  In collaboration with Bruce Bochte, he has produced three DVD series exploring the new evolutionary ecological cosmology:  Canticle to the Cosmos; Earth's Imagination; and The Powers of the Universe.  He is co-writer, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, of the documentary Journey of the Universe.

Ines Talamantez is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Graduate Program in Native American Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Director of the Society for the Study of Native American Traditions, and Managing Editor of New Scholar: Americanist Review. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California (San Diego) and has taught at the University of California (San Diego), Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and Wellesley College. Her research has focused on field studies among several American Indian nations.

Rodney Taylor is Professor of Religious Studies and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His published works include: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Chinese Confucianism (Rosen Publishing Group, 2004); The Religious Dimensions of Confucianism (State University of New York Press, 1990); The Confucian Way of Contemplation: Okada Takehiko and the Tradition of Quiet-Sitting (University of South Carolina Press, 1988); The Way of Heaven: An Introduction to the Confucian Religious Life (Brill, 1986); The Cultivation of Sagehood as a Religious Goal in Neo-Confucianism: A Study of Selected Writings of Kao P’an-lung, 1562–1626 (Scholars Press, 1978); and two co-edited volumes: with J. Watson, They Shall Not Hurt: Human Suffering and Human Caring (Colorado Associated University Press, 1989); and with Frederick M. Denny, The Holy Book in Comparative Perspective (University of South Carolina Press, 1985).

Mitchell Thomashow is Director of the Antioch New England Doctoral Program in Environmental Studies, the founder and supervising editor of Whole Terrain, an instructor of courses on global environmental change, environmental thought, ecological and cultural diasporas, and perception and place; as well as an editorial board member of Terra Nova, and a member of the Advisory Board of The Orion Society. He is the author of Ecological Identity: Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist (MIT Press, 1995), which offers an approach to environmental education based on reflective practice that incorporates issues of citizenship, ecological identity, and civic responsibility within the framework of environmental studies. His research interests include the educational and psycho-spiritual dimensions of global environmental change. His recent essays and reviews consider biospheric perception, the local/global dialectic, the intellectual history of global change studies, and place based environmental education.

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson is Professor of History, Director of Jewish Studies, and Irving and Miriam Lowe Professor of Modern Judaism at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.  She was born in Kibbutz Afikim, Israel (1950) and served in the Israeli army (1968-1971).  She holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy and Mysticism from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1978), and a BA in Religious Studies from SUNY in Stony Brook, New York (1974).  Prior to joining the faculty of Arizona State University, she taught at Indiana University (1991-1999), Emory University in Atlanta (1988-1991), Columbia University in New York (1982-1988), and Hebrew Union College in New York (1980-1982).  In these institutions she has taught courses in Jewish history, Jewish philosophy and mysticism, and Western religions for graduate and undergraduate students.
Prof. Tirosh-Samuelson’s research focuses on medieval and early-modern Jewish intellectual history, with an emphasis on the interplay between philosophy and mysticism.  In addition to numerous articles and book chapters in academic journals and edited volumes, she is the author of Between Worlds:  The Life and Work of Rabbi David ben Judah Messer Leon (SUNY Press, 1991) that received the award of the Hebrew University for the best work in Jewish history for 1991, and the author of Happiness in Premodern Judaism: Virtue, Knowledge and Well-Being in Premodern Judaism (Hebrew Union College Press, 2003).  She is also the editor of Judaism and Ecology: Created World and Revealed World (Harvard University Press, 2002), Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy (Indiana University Press, 2004), and The Legacy of Hans Jonas: Judaism and the Phenomenon of Life (Brill Academic Publishers, 2008).  She is the recipient of the generous grant ($500,000) for the Templeton Research Lectures on the Constructive Engagement of Science and Religion (2006-09) for the project, “Facing the Challenges of Transhumanism: Religion, Science, and Technology.”  In 2007 she was the honoree of the Distinguished Alumni Award of SUNY-Stony Brook.
In addition to her academic position, Prof. Tirosh-Samuelson sits on the editorial board of the Journal of American Academy of Religion and the academic advisory board of Metanexus Institute of Science and Religion and is the co-editor (with Giuseppe Veltri) of a book series, Studies in Jewish History and Culture, for Brill Academic Publishers. 

Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Senior Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She is a co-founder and co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Together they organized a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. They are series editors for
the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. She is also Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. She is the author of Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003), Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). She co-edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994), Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000) and When Worlds Converge (Open Court, 2002). With Tu Weiming she edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2004). She also co-edited a Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). She edited several of Thomas Berry's books: Evening Thoughts (Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006), The Sacred Universe (Columbia University Press, 2009), Christian Future and the Fate of Earth (Orbis Book, 2009). She is a member of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and is a member of the Earth Charter International Council. B.A. Trinity College, M.A. SUNY Fredonia, M.A. Fordham University, PhD Columbia University.

Tu Weiming is Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute and Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History, Philosophy, and Confucian Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University (1968) and has taught at Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Active in many public bodies, he has served as: Chairman of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University; Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Director of Culture and Communication at the East-West Center in Honolulu (1990–1991); and Chair of the Academia Sinica’s advisory committee on the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy (since 1995). He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected in 1988); an invited scholar at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland; and coordinator of the seminar on Chinese in the Global Community for business executives, government officials, and university professors held annually at the Aspen Institute. He was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) to serve on the Group of Eminent Persons for the Dialogue Among Civilizations (2001). He received an honorary professorship at Zhejiang University (2001) and has held visiting professorships at Peking University, Nankai University, Nanjing University and Zhongshan University. His awards include: an honorary doctorate from Lehigh University (2000), the Thomas Berry Award (2000), and the Nineth International T’oegye Studies Award (Korea). He has also been named as an advisor to the newly established Raman Chinese University (Malaysia). Tu’s English publications include more than 100 articles and book chapters.

Franklin E. Vilas, D.Min., known to his friends as “Skip”, was born and grew up in New York City. Attending Yale University and Virginia Theological Seminary, he was ordained to the Priesthood of the Episcopal Church in 1960. He has served as curate in St. Mark’s Church, New Canaan, Ct. and rector of St. John’s in Beverly Farms, MA, St. Anne’s in Brooklyn Heights, NY and St. Paul’s in Chatham, NJ.

In the 1970's, Skip was Priest-in-Charge of Trinity Church, Wall Street and St. Paul’s Chapel in Lower Manhattan. He served for 5 years as Program Director of the Diocese of Connecticut, and for 6 as Executive Director of Wainwright House Conference Center in Rye, NY. Since retirement from Chatham in the year 2000, Skip and his wife Joyce have served as an interim team at All Saint’s, Bay Head, the Port Newark facility of the Seamen’s Church Institute, St. Andrew’s in New Providence and most recently have completed two years at St. Luke’s in Gladstone-Peapack, NJ.

During his career, Skip had been involved in the field of mental health, serving in the Carter administration as one of 12 members of the President’s Commission on Mental Health. In recent decades he has been engaged in the ministries of environmental stewardship and ecojustice. He is the founder of the national Episcopal Environmental Network (http://www.eenonline.org) and of GreenFaith, an interfaith statewide organization in New Jersey (http://www.GreenFaith.org). He serves on an interfaith advisory committee to the United Nations Environment Programme, and is a board member of the Temple of Understanding.

Skip and Joyce have been members of the congregation of St. Mary’s-by-the-Sea since 2001. They live at the Four Seasons community in Lakewood, and have two grown daughters, Virginia and Deborah, who are residents of Manhattan.

Duncan Ryûken Williams received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and is currently Associate Professor of Japanese Buddhism and Chair of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  He has previously taught at Brown University, Trinity College, and the University of California, Irvine.  He is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Mellon Foundation, the American Academy of Religion, the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, among others.  He has also been ordained since 1993 as a Buddhist priest in the Sôtô Zen tradition and served as Buddhist chaplain at Harvard University from 1994-96.

He is the author of a monograph entitled The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Sôtô Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan (Princeton University Press, 2005) and co-editor of a number of volumes including American Buddhism (Routledge/Curzon Press, 1998) and Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard University Press, 1997).  He has also translated four books from Japanese into English, including Putting Buddhism to Work: A New Theory of Economics and Business Management (Kodansha, 1997).  Recently, he had been working on Asian-American Buddhism and is preparing an edited volume titled Issei Buddhism: Pioneer Japanese Buddhists in the Americas.  He is also researching the role of Buddhism in the Japanese American incarceration experience during World War II for a monograph titled Camp Dharma: Buddhism and the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II (forthcoming, University of California Press).