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January 2013

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
7.1 (January 2013)


1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. “Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe” (June 23-29, 2013 at Chautauqua Institution, NY, USA)

3. New Books

4. Interfaith Online Course on Climate Change

5. Spirituality of Soil: A Lenten Journey from Cosmic Dust to Easter Garden (Lent 2013 Resource)

6. Mission 4/1 Earth

7. Faith Based Advocacy Program for the Jordan River’s Rehabilitation

8. Events

9. Calls for Papers

Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the January issue of the newsletter for the Forum on Religion and Ecology. I have much to share with you this month with regards to developments in the field of Religion and Ecology, including publications, conferences, events, calls for papers, and more.

We are happy to give you more news about the upcoming conference at Chautauqua Institution in New York on June 23-29, 2013. The theme is “Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe” where scientists (such as Brian Greene) will speak in the morning and religion scholars in the afternoon. The afternoon sessions will include responses to Journey of the Universe from the perspectives of the world religions and are being organized by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim with colleagues from the Forum, including Heather Eaton, Chris Chapple, David Haberman, and James Miller. We hope you might join us so that we can continue the conversation with others interested in the Great Work. Stay tuned for more information in upcoming months by visiting two pages on the conference website: http://www.ciweb.org/religion-lectures-week-one/ and http://www.ciweb.org/education-lectures-week-one/

I am also pleased to let you know about an interfaith online course on climate change, offered by the Wilmette Institute beginning February 1. This course is designed to give participates a deeper understanding of climate change in terms of scientific knowledge, ethical issues, and spiritual and religious responses. For more, visit: http://www.cvent.com/events/climate-change/event-summary-94f24ac3be9d4dbe9f7ae3c94e75ea75.aspx

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

Warm wishes,
Elizabeth McAnally
California Institute of Integral Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
Website Manager & Newsletter Editor

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2. “Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe” (June 23-29, 2013 at Chautauqua Institution, NY, USA)

Journey of the Universe

The history of the Universe is both a scientific and a spiritual story. It is the scientific story of a 14-billion-year continuum from a speck of pure energy to everything we can see around us. It is also a spiritual story, one that transcends individual, human and geo-political boundaries. This understanding brings us into the present urgent need to protect our planet’s future and ensure a flourishing and spiritually connected Earth community.

Week One of the 2013 Season features a roster of interfaith scholars, led by Yale University professor and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker, exploring the themes of Tucker’s Emmy-winning documentary Journey of the Universe. The film (based on her book with evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme) draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe.

Journey of the Universe will be screened throughout Week One. To learn more, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/

Confirmed Lecturers:
Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Heather Eaton, Chris Chapple, David Haberman, James Miller, Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Safei Eldin Hamed, and Lisa Sideris.



“Our Elegant Universe”

Chautauqua opens the 2013 Season with an exploration into the wonders of the cosmos. What theories are leading thinkers wrestling with, and how do they inform our understanding of space and time? Where do they disagree? We’ll hear from pioneering scientists, deep space explorers and others who pursue answers to the most basic questions of existence.


3. New Books

Voices of Feminist Liberation
Edited by Emily Leah Silverman, Dirk von der Horst, and Whitney Bauman
Equinox, 2012

Voices of Feminist Liberation brings together a wide range of scholars to explore the work of Rosemary Radford Ruether, one of the most influential feminist and liberation theologians of our time.

Ruether’s extraordinary and ground-breaking thinking has shaped debates across liberation theology, feminism and eco-feminism, queer theology, social justice and inter-religious dialogue. At the same time, her commitment to practice and agency has influenced sites of local resistance around the world as well as on globalised strategies for ecological sustainability and justice.

Voices of Feminist Liberation examines the potential of Ruether’s thinking to mobilize critical theology, social theory and cultural practice. The scholars gathered here present their personal engagements with Ruether’s thinking and teaching. The book will be invaluable to scholars, policy-makers, and activists seeking to understand how colonial and patriarchal oppression in the name of religion can be confronted and defeated.


Nature as Spiritual Practice
By Steven Chase
Eerdmans, 2011

Field Guide for Nature as Spiritual Practice
By Steven Chase
Eerdmans, 2011

Nature as Spiritual Practice shows in practical ways how delighting in the natural world can enhance life. Steven Chase employs personal anecdotes, ancient wisdom, modern science, scriptural tie-ins, practical advice, and thought provoking contemplative exercises to reclaim the role of nature in spiritual and moral identity.

Nature as Spiritual Practice is enhanced by a companion Field Guide with 64 additional “creation practices” to lead readers into more profound knowledge of themselves and others, to instill in them reverence for and companionship with nature, and awaken in them a greater commitment to creation care.

4. Interfaith Online Course on Climate Change

The Wilmette Institute will offer a 7-week online course on climate change, beginning February 1, 2013.

The objectives of the course are

• to help participants become literate in the science of climate change and to acquire an understanding of how it impacts people today and in the future,

• to explore ethical questions related to climate change and to address them within the context of the spiritual teachings of the world’s religions, especially of the Baha’i Faith,

• to enable participants to make enlightened decisions for their lives that are consistent with their own spiritual and ethical values.

For those interested in a more thorough study of climate change or who are interested in specific aspects of it or in its ethical challenges and spiritual dimensions, the course offers numerous optional resources.

The Wilmette Institute is an online Baha’i Learning Center: http://wilmetteinstitute.us.bahai.org/ Its courses are open to members of all religions. Participants are usually from many countries and continents. On the faculty are Christine Muller, Arthur Lyon Dahl, Carole Flood, and Karryn Olson-Ramanujan.

To register, visit this event registration page: http://www.cvent.com/events/climate-change/event-summary-94f24ac3be9d4dbe9f7ae3c94e75ea75.aspx

5. Spirituality of Soil: A Lenten Journey from Cosmic Dust to Easter Garden (Lent 2013 Resource)

Ash Wednesday falls on February 13th, 2013, so it's already time to plan for Lent! Consider using Spirituality of Soil: A Lenten Journey from Cosmic Dust to Easter Garden, a down-loadable five-week program for group or individual use.

Grounded in Lenten themes, Scripture, and the Universe Story, participants deepen their appreciation of Mother Earth and the gift of soil. Reflections on the role of earth in the Gospels and in our evolution story highlight the importance of mitigating the current threats to Earth.

Each week contains a closing activity and suggestions for Earth-care action. Users can adapt this material in any way that will deepen participants' consciousness of the sacred interconnection of all life and our part in co-creating a sustainable future.

This program is available free at: http://ecospiritualityresources.com/adventlent-reflections-2/lent-2013-soil/

6. Mission 4/1 Earth

Launching on Easter Monday, April 1, 2013, and continuing through the great 50 days of Eastertide, United Church of Christ congregations, colleges, seminaries, camps and outdoor ministries, and health and human service agencies will join together in a shared mission campaign to:

• Collectively offer more than one million hours of engaged earth care, including clean up, advocacy, education, and behavioral changes that will impact the environment.

• Collectively plant more than 100,000 trees locally and globally in partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation and the UCC's denominational partners around the world.

• Collectively write and send more than 100,000 advocacy letters on environmental concerns to elected officials and local and national newspapers.

Mission 4/1 Earth links together four significant events — Easter (March 31), Earth Day (April 22), Arbor Day (April 26) and Pentecost (May 19) — for a sustained, aggressive and collective mission opportunity for the entire United Church of Christ. Together, we will inspire and aspire to what we can accomplish as one church.

Groups are encouraged to engage in creative local mission projects, service opportunities, educational programs, worship services, and media events. Your innovation will spark momentum for the initiative and stir the imaginations of other UCC people, agencies, schools, and congregations.


7. Faith Based Advocacy Program for the Jordan River’s Rehabilitation

This year Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME) is launching a widespread faith based advocacy campaign to support ongoing advocacy efforts toward the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River.

By engaging Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities in Jordan, Palestine and Israel as well as internationally, FoEME aims to advance the creation of larger stakeholder circles supporting the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River.

As part of this effort FoEME is developing faith based toolkits aimed at advancing understanding, awareness and action surrounding the Lower Jordan River’s rehabilitation. The toolkits will bring together texts, songs, stories and other materials associated with the Jordan River in each of the three Abrahamic traditions in order to strengthen the awareness of connections between Judaism, Christianity and Islam and water in general and the Lower Jordan River specifically. These toolkits will be designed to serve faith based community efforts in support of the rehabilitation of the LJR.

The deadline for proposals is January 24, 2013.

For more information or to learn how your community can get involved, visit: http://foeme.org/www/?module=projects&project_id=23

8. Events

“A Pray-in for the Climate”
Washington, DC, USA
January 15, 2013


International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability
Ninth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability
International Conference Center Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan
January 23-25, 2013
Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


“The Decisive Decade: Embracing the Heart of Transition”
The Third Annual Whidbey Winter Gathering
January 31 – February 3, 2013
Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island, WA, USA


“Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya”
March 8-10, 2013
The New School, New York, NY, USA


“The Mountaintop Vision: Martin Luther King’s Cosmology of Connection”
With Drew Dellinger and Special Guests, Rev. Deborah L. Johnson, Paul Hawken, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Louie Schwartzberg and Jennifer Johns
The Lakeside Theater at the Kaiser Center, Oakland, CA, USA
April 6, 2013
Join this event live or by livestream.


“Global Environmental Justice”
Universität Bremen, Germany
April 26-27, 2013


For more events, visit: http://fore.research.yale.edu/calendar/

9. Calls for Papers


IV Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy
University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
May 20-21 2013
Submission deadline: January 30, 2013


“Beastly Morality”
Second Annual Animal Ethics Workshop
Emory University's Center for Ethics, Atlanta, GA, USA
April 5, 2013
Submission deadline: February 1, 2013


“Linking Rural & Urban Societies & Ecologies”
2013 Annual Meeting of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS)
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
June 19-22, 2013
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2013


“Climate Change, Sustainability and an Ethics of an Open Future”
50th Societas Ethica Annual Conference
Kontakt der Kontinente, Soesterberg, Netherlands
August 22-25, 2013
Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2013


American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
November 23-26, 2013

Religion and Ecology Group sessions at AAR
Deadline for abstracts: To Be Announced
For the call for papers for the Religion and Ecology Group, visit:

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: http://www.brill.com/worldviews-global-religions-culture-and-ecology

For more information on other journals related to religion and ecology and to environmental ethics/philosophy, visit: http://fore.research.yale.edu/publications/journals/index.html. If you know of a publication that needs to be added to this list, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit: