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December 2016



The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
10.12 (December 2016)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Historic Victory at Standing Rock

3. Yale University Online Classes: “Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times” (Open to the Public)

4. New Publications

5. Calls for Papers

6. Events

7. Job Openings and Fellowships

8. “Contemplative Environmental Practice” (Retreat for Professors and Activists, July 28 - August 3, 2017, Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, NM, USA)

9. Ecology and Justice Series on Integral Ecology (Orbis Books)

10. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the December 2016 issue of the newsletter for the Forum on Religion and Ecology. We have much to share with you this month with regards to developments in the field of Religion and Ecology.

As so many of you know, there is good news to share from Standing Rock, North Dakota. On December 4th the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. This is a historic victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and all those protesting the pipeline. As an article in the Huffington Post explains, “The Obama administration has halted construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline amid growing protests that were expected to draw some 2,000 U.S. military veterans. The Army announced Sunday that it has denied the final easement required for the $3.8 billion project to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. Instead, it will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement to examine the impacts and explore alternative routes, it said.”

This is a significant moment in U.S. history when a peaceful, non-violent gathering of Native American peoples prevailed against great odds to halt a pipeline that could damage sacred sites as well as land and water. We will send out further articles in a separate email but rejoice in this important decision.

We want to share a striking statement from a ceremony that took place today where veterans joined Native elders to ask for forgiveness. Gen. Wesley Clark Jr. said: "Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.” You can watch an abbreviated version of the hour and a half ceremony yesterday here: http://www.salon.com/2016/12/05/we-beg-for-your-forgiveness-veterans-join-native-elders-in-celebration-ceremony/


Other News:

There will be a special graduate student conference at Yale Divinity School on April 21, 2017. The deadline for paper submissions for the “Graduate Conference in Religion & Ecology: Ethos, Ethics, and the Environment” is January 30, 2017. For more, visit: http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/divinity/default/today/default/CAL-2c9cb3cc-580ccce9-0158-2b45e00f-000076febedework@yale.edu/

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are teaching four MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) at Yale through the online platform, Coursera. These include two courses on Journey of the Universe, one on Thomas Berry, and a capstone on Living Cosmology. See Yale's announcement: https://environment.yale.edu/news/article/fes-online-courses-on-cosmology-and-ecology-offered-as-yales-first-mooc-specialization/ To enroll in the courses go here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/journey-of-the-universe You may audit the courses free of charge. The next session starts December 19, and anyone can pre-enroll for that session now. These are the dates for upcoming sessions: December 19, 2016 - February 6, 2017; January 16 - March 6, 2017; February 13 - April 3, 2017.

We encourage you to join Mary Evelyn Tucker in an hour-long teleconference on Wednesday, December 14 at 1pm EST as she discusses her book "Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe" (co-edited with John Grim). This event is hosted by WATER - Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual. Reading materials will be sent to those who register for this free event. You can register here: http://www.waterwomensalliance.org/december-14-watertalk-with-mary-evelyn-tucker/

We are happy to invite you to a special summer workshop at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM, USA entitled “Journey of the Universe: An Epic Story for Our Shared Future.” This event will be held July 2-8, 2017 and is 10th in a series of a ten-year commitment on the part of Ghost Ranch to Earth-Honoring Faith: A Song of Songs. The goal of the series is to construct justice-centered, Earth-Honoring Christianities that promote interfaith efforts on common earth issues. Faculty for the 2017 workshop include William Brown, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Rev. Betty Whitted Holley, Julianne Lutz Warren, David Stephens, and Larry Rasmussen. For the flyer, visit: http://fore.yale.edu/files/2017_Earth_Honoring_Faith.pdf

We are delighted to let you know that the following colleges and universities have a job opening in the area of religion and ecology: University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Clara University, St. Olaf, Carleton, Dartmouth, University of North Texas, and Marquette.

We hope this newsletter supports your own work and helps you further your engagements with the field of Religion and Ecology.

Take care,
Elizabeth McAnally
California Institute of Integral Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
Website Manager & Newsletter Editor
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

2. Historic Victory at Standing Rock

We are very excited to share that on December 4th, the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. This is a historic victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and all those protesting the pipeline.

The protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline has been largest gathering of Native Americans in the last 100 years and has included as many as 7000 people. This began in April and has drawn more attention in recent months. For the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and supporters their activities have been centered on prayer, non-violence, and protection of water in this region and across the area that the pipeline would cross.

Here is a brief summary from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) has taken a strong stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,134-mile long oil pipeline starting from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota and ending up in refineries in Patoka, Illinois. It is proposed to transport over 570,000 barrels per day. To date, more than 300 tribes and first nations officially stand with Standing Rock by way of tribal resolutions, letters of support, or tribal delegations joining the camp.

We want to draw your attention to these recent articles:

Army Corps Blocks Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Route
By James MacPherson
NBC Washington
December 4, 2016

John Grim on Standing Rock: ‘This is Not Only About Water, It’s All About Water’
By Timothy Brown
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
November 30, 2016

Indigenous Activists at Standing Rock Told a Deep, True Story
By Bill McKibben
The Nation
December 5, 2016

Reflections from Miriam MacGillis at Genesis Farm
Restoring Paradise One Watershed at a Time
December 2, 2016

The Many Ways to Help Standing Rock
By Sarah van Gelder
YES! Magazine
November 29, 2016

For more, see the articles here:





3. Yale University Online Classes: “Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times” (Open to the Public)

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Senior Lecturers and Research Scholars at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, are offering four six-week online courses. These are featured as a specialization under the theme of "Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times." This includes two courses on Journey of the Universe, a course on the Worldview of Thomas Berry, and an integrating capstone on Living Cosmology. Each of these courses can be taken independently.

These are MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) available on Coursera to anyone, anywhere on the planet. These are the first MOOC specialization for Yale and the first MOOCs for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

See the landing page at Yale announcing the courses:

You may formally register to be a full participant in any of the classes for a fee. This means you will get some feedback. Upon completing all the courses you will receive a certificate of completion.

To enroll in the courses and to read all of the course descriptions, go here:

Alternatively you may audit the courses free of charge.

These courses were officially launched on September 21, 2016 and will be offered throughout the academic year beginning every 4 weeks.

The next session starts December 19. Anyone can pre-enroll for that session now.

Upcoming sessions:

December 19, 2016 - February 6, 2017
January 16, 2017 - March 6, 2017
February 13, 2017 - April 3, 2017

4. New Publications

Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology
Edited by Willis Jenkins, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim
Routledge Books, 2016
Read the introduction by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim:

The moral values and interpretive systems of religions are crucially involved in how people imagine the challenges of sustainability and how societies mobilize to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being. This volume not only provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the field of religion and ecology by leading scholars, it also relates this field for the first time to the growing area of environmental humanities. It encourages both appreciative and critical angles regarding religious traditions, communities, attitude, and practices. It presents contrasting ways of thinking about “religion” and about “ecology” and about ways of connecting the two terms. Written by a team of leading international experts, the Handbook discusses dynamics of change within religious traditions as well as their roles in responding to global challenges such as climate change, water, conservation, food and population. It explores the interpretations of indigenous traditions regarding modern environmental problems drawing on such concepts as lifeway and indigenous knowledge. This volume uniquely intersects the field of religion and ecology with new directions within the humanities and the sciences.


Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril
Edited by Lisa E. Dahill and Jim B. Martin-Schramm
Foreword by Bill McKibben
Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2016

In 2017 Christians around the world will mark the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. In the midst of many appeals for reformation today, a growing number of theologians, scholars, and activists around the world believe Reformation celebrations in 2017 and beyond need to focus now on the urgent need for an Eco-Reformation. If human beings do not reform their relationship with God's creation, unspeakable suffering will befall many--especially the weakest and most vulnerable among all species. The conviction at the heart of this collection of essays is that a gospel call for ecological justice belongs at the heart of the five hundredth anniversary observance of the Reformation in 2017 and as a--if not the--central dimension of Christian conversion, faith, and practice into the foreseeable future. Like Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, this volume brings together critical biblical, pastoral, theological, historical, and ethical perspectives that constructively advance the vision of a socially and ecologically flourishing Earth.


Advancing Nonviolence and Social Transformation: New Perspectives on Nonviolent Theories
Edited by Heather Eaton and Lauren Michelle Levesque
Equinox Publishing, 2016
For a 25% discount, see this flyer:

Nonviolence is emerging as a topic of great interest in activist, academic and community settings. In particular, nonviolence is being recognized as a necessary component of constructive and sustainable social change. This book considers nonviolence in relationship to specific social, political, ecological and spiritual issues. Through case studies and examinations of social resistance, gender, the arts, and education, it provides specialists and non-specialists with a solid introduction to the importance and relevance of nonviolence in various contexts. Advancing Nonviolence and Social Transformation is organized into five sections. The first section is a set of essays on various historical and contemporary perspectives on nonviolence. The second section consists of essays on philosophical and theoretical explorations of the topic. The third and fourth sections expand the scope of nonviolence into the areas of thought and action, including Indigenous resistance, student protests, human trafficking, intimate partner violence and ecological issues. The final section takes nonviolence into the study of wonder, music, education and hope. The book will be useful to anyone working in the theories and practices of social change.


Designing Regenerative Cultures
By Daniel Christian Wahl
Forewords by Graham Leicester and David Orr
Triarchy Press, 2016

This is a ‘Whole Earth Catalog’ for the 21st century: an impressive and wide-ranging analysis of what’s wrong with our societies, organizations, ideologies, worldviews and cultures – and how to put them right. The book covers the finance system, agriculture, design, ecology, economy, sustainability, organizations and society at large. In this remarkable book, Daniel Wahl explores ways in which we can reframe and understand the crises that we currently face and explores how we can live our way into the future. Moving from patterns of thinking and believing to our practice of education, design and community living, he systematically shows how we can stop chasing the mirage of certainty and control in a complex and unpredictable world. The book asks how can we collaborate in the creation of diverse regenerative cultures adapted to the unique biocultural conditions of place? How can we create conditions conducive to life?


“Recognition and Ecological Theology”
By Panu Pihkala
Open Theology, Volume 2, Issue 1
October 2016
Download this open access article here:

This article explores the possibilities offered by theories of recognition and identity politics for a better understanding of religious – in this case, Christian – environmentalism. Insights related to recognition are gleaned from literature in ecological theology. Themes for further research and possibilities for practical adaptation are explored. It is argued that theories of recognition help to understand the dynamics related to processes where a certain group asks for more recognition of nature. Identity questions and developments in environmentalism are clarified by an understanding of what happens when partial recognition is granted.

5. Calls for Papers

“Graduate Conference in Religion & Ecology: Ethos, Ethics, and the Environment”
Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, USA
April 21, 2017
Submission deadline: January 30, 2017

“Nature in Process: Novel Approaches to Science and Metaphysics”
11th International Whitehead Conference
Ponta Delgada, on the Island of Sao Miguel, Portugal
July 25-28, 2017
Submission deadline: January 31, 2016

“Environmental Justice: Culture, Resistance and Ethics”
International Conference
Dr. K.N.Modi University, Newai, Rajasthan, India
March 24-25, 2017
Submission deadline: January 8, 2017

“Convergence and Divergence between Animal and Environmental Ethics”
International Conference
Montreal, Canada
May 17-19, 2017
Submission deadline: February 15, 2017

“Imagining Alternatives”
Special Issue of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities
Submission deadline: June 1, 2017

6. Events

"Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe"
Teleconference with Mary Evelyn Tucker
December 14, 2016 at 1pm EST

“Faith and Ecology Seminary Education Conference”
Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
December 14, 2016

“Laudato Si’ and Animals: Preparing for the Lenten Journey”
St. Francis Alliance Retreat
White Post, VA, USA
February 17-19, 2017

“Beyond the Parochial: Exploring Global Spirituality”
Scarritt Bennett Center, Nashville, TN, USA
March 23-25, 2017

“The ‘Wicked Problem’ of Climate Change: What is it doing to us and for us?”
63rd Conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) in partnership with the Parliament of the World's Religions
Star Island, Portsmouth, NH, USA
June 24 - July 1, 2017

“Teilhard’s Mysticism: Spiraling into the Cosmic Christ”
Retreat with Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, PhD
Maris Stella Retreat Center, Harvey Cedars, NJ, USA
June 25 - July 1, 2017

“Intersections: Faith and the New Cosmology”
Presenters: Heather Eaton, Anne Marie Dalton, John Haught, and Brian Swimme.
Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, USA
June 26-30, 2017

“Journey of the Universe: An Epic Story for Our Shared Future”
10th anniversary of Earth-Honoring Faith
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM, USA
July 2-8, 2017
Faculty: William Brown, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Rev. Betty Whitted Holley, Julianne Lutz Warren, David Stephens, and Larry Rasmussen.

7. Job Openings and Fellowships

Assistant Professor of Religion and Ecology
Area of Competence: Buddhism or Islam or Christianity, with interest in Feminism/Gender Studies
Philosophy and Religion Department
University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
Review of applications began November 1, 2016 and will continue until the search is closed.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Philosophy
Preference for Feminism/Gender Studies
Philosophy and Religion Department
University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
Review of applications began November 1, 2016 and will continue until the search is closed.

Assistant Professor in Religion and Environmental Studies
The Department of Religion and the Department of Environmental Studies
St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, USA
Review of applications began October 1, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Animal Studies Initiative, Department of Environmental Studies
New York University, New York, NY, USA
Review of applications began January 10, 2017, and will continue until the search is complete.

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
2017-18 cohort of postdoctoral and senior fellows
Application deadline: January 31, 2017

Spiritual Ecology Fellowship Program
Application deadline: March 15, 2017
Applicants should be between the ages of 22-30.

8. “Contemplative Environmental Practice” (Retreat for Professors and Activists, July 28 - August 3, 2017, Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, NM, USA)

At the heart of the workshop is the use of contemplative practices. Too often professors and activists put aside their personal lives as they take up the task of their professional commitments. For many of us, this creates a gulf between our psychological and spiritual preoccupations, on the one hand, and our jobs as activists and teachers, on the other. The workshop aims to bridge this divide by using contemplative practices to explore the connections between our deepest inner experiences and our environmental efforts. Through daily meditation, art, nature walks, yoga, journal writing, and other reflective exercises, we will investigate the interface between inner ecology and our pedagogical and activist work. Furthermore, the workshop will introduce contemplative practices tailored specifically for use in the classroom and activist settings. Faculty include Paul Wapner, Kritee (Kanko), and Jeff Warren.


9. Ecology and Justice Series on Integral Ecology (Orbis Books)

Published by Orbis Books, the Ecology and Justice Series on Integral Ecology seeks to integrate an understanding of Earth’s interconnected life systems with sustainable social, political, and economic systems that enhance the Earth community. To see the flyer for this Orbis series, visit: http://thomasberry.org/assets/uploads/Orbis_Ecology_and_Justice_3-24-16.pdf

This month we are featuring the following book from this series:

The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation
By Mark Hathaway and Leonardo Boff
Orbis Books, 2009

A Nautilus Book Award Winner

Humanity and the Earth itself stand at an important crossroad. The combined dynamics of deepening poverty and accelerating ecological degradation create a powerful vortex of despair and destruction. And yet Mark Hathaway and Leonardo Boff believe we still have the opportunity to act fruitfully and change direction. Drawing on insights from quantum physics, deep ecology, and the new cosmology, they articulate a new vision of liberating action. In the ancient image of the Tao--the principle of living in balance with the wisdom of the cosmos--they lay out a path of spiritual renewal, ecological transformation, and authentic liberation.

10. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology has as its focus the relationships between religion, culture and ecology world-wide. Articles discuss major world religious traditions, such as Islam, Buddhism or Christianity; the traditions of indigenous peoples; new religious movements; and philosophical belief systems, such as pantheism, nature spiritualities, and other religious and cultural worldviews in relation to the cultural and ecological systems. Focusing on a range of disciplinary areas including Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology and Theology, the journal also presents special issues that center around one theme.

For more information, visit: brill.com/wo

For the online edition, visit:

Table of Contents for Volume 20, Issue 3 (2016)

Special Issue: “Spatial Turns”

• Introduction (Sigurd Bergmann)
• Place and the Hermeneutics of the Anthropocene (Forrest Clingerman)
• Hybrid Encounters in Reconciliation Ecology (Jeremy Kidwell)
• Impacts of Religious Beliefs on Environmental Indicators (Emilio Chuvieco; Mario Burgui and Isabel Gallego-Álvarez)
• Shepherds, Rituals, and the Sacred (Fabrizio Frascaroli)
• Peacemaking Rituals in the Context of Natural Disaster (Urte Undine Frömming)
• Indigenising in a Globalised World (Graham Harvey)
• Comparative Methods in Spatial Approaches to Religion (Whitney A. Bauman)

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