ISSRNC Announces 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award for Mary Evelyn Tucker & John Grim

April 24, 2019
International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture

The International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC) is pleased to announce that Mary Evelyn Tucker and John A. Grim have been selected as the 2019 recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award for their outstanding contributions to the study of religion, nature, and culture. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes distinguished figures whose work has a relevance and eloquence that speaks, not just to scholars, but more broadly to the public and to multiple disciplines.

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are foundational to the field of religion and ecology. They burst into this academic scene with the organization of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University in the latter half of the 1990s, a time when many were still wondering how the words “religion” and “ecology” went together. Ten volumes of collected works drawn from these conferences were published by Harvard University Press in Religions of the World and Ecology, a series edited by Tucker and Grim. When the ten conferences drew to a close, Tucker and Grim kept up the momentum by founding the Forum on Religion and Ecology, an international, multi-religious project that aims to broaden understanding of the environmental crisis by exploring religious worldviews, texts, and ethics. The Forum hosts conferences, supports publishing projects, and maintains a vibrant website. The Forum hosts a luncheon at the annual American Academy of Religion meetings that is legendary for its nurturing and stimulating atmosphere.

Both Tucker and Grim currently hold joint appointments at Yale University in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Divinity School, and the Department of Religious Studies. Co-directing the Forum, they have continued to organize influential conferences and workshops, and nurture scores of religion and ecology scholars. As public intellectuals, they have been called to speak at many important national and international gatherings. Largely as a result of their efforts, religion and ecology is now established as a subject of study in many colleges and universities.

Together Tucker and Grim have published over twenty books and hundreds of articles, including Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) and Thomas Berry: A Biography (Colombia, 2019). They both studied with the cultural historian and ecologian Thomas Berry as graduate students. This early connection has had a lasting impact on them with productive results, including the creation (with Brian Swimme) of the award-winning film Journey of the Universe, with an accompanying book and video conversations with scientists, environmentalists, and educators, as well as online courses.

It would be difficult to find a scholar with an interest in religion, nature, and ecology that has not been inspired by these two and affected personally by their generosity.

The ISSRNC is a community of scholars engaged in critical inquiry into the relationships among human beings and their diverse cultures, environments, religious beliefs, and practices. The Society’s Board of Directors cordially invites all individuals interested in the scholarly investigation of religion, nature, and culture to join and to participate in ISSRNC activities.