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Religion and Ecology (Tirosh-Samuelson)

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Course Title

Religion and Ecology

Instructor(s) Hava Tirosh-Samuelson
Arizona State University

Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies

Subject(s) Religion and Ecology

The world today is in the midst of a major ecological crisis that is manifested in extreme weather events, loss of biodiversity, depletion of fisheries, pollution of air, water, and soil, prolonged draughts, and mass extinction of species. Since the 1970s world religions have begun to grapple with the religious significance of the environmental crisis, examining their own scriptures, rituals and ethics in order to articulate religious responses to the ecological crisis. This course explores how the Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—have addressed the ecological crisis for the past fifty years. Preserving the distinctiveness of each religious tradition, this course examines the resources for ecological responses within each tradition; the emergence of new religious ecologies and ecological theologies; the contribution of world religions to environmental ethics; and the degree to which the environmental crisis functioned as the basis of inter-faith collaboration. Special attention will be given to the contribution of religion to animal studies, ecofeminism and goddess religion, and religion and the science of ecology, and the interplay between faith, scholarship and activism.


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