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March 2015


The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
9.3 (March 2015)



1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Videos of the “Living Cosmology” Conference at Yale

3. Videos of the 2014 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting

4. Video of Thomas Berry on “The Great Work”

5. Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast (February 18 – April 5, 2015)

6. Earth Day Resource by Creation Justice Ministries

7. New Publications

8. Calls for Papers

9. Events

10. Job Openings

11. “World Religions Face the Climate Crisis” (April 17-19, 2015 class at Harvard Extension School,
Cambridge, MA, USA)

12. Food & Faith Fellowship and Course (June 2015 at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, USA)

13. “Exploring the Sacred Universe Earth Literacy Program” (August 4-11, 2015 in Godfrey, IL, USA)

14. Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion Graduate Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies

15. Walking Water: Pilgrimage Project

16. Buddhist Engaged Project: Khoryug

17. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the March 2015 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, including videos, publications, events, calls for papers, job openings, and more.

We are very pleased to announce that the videos have now been posted online from the November Yale conference “Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe.” To view the videos, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/living-cosmology-videos/ We offer our deep gratitude to Rachel Myslivy for filming and producing these videos. A collection of the conference papers will be published by Orbis Books. View the table of contents: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/storage/Living_Cosmology_TOC.pdf

Journey of the Universe Conversations is now available on Vimeo for streaming and downloading. You can access the individual episodes or the complete collection at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/jotuconversations The Journey of the Universe film is also available for streaming on Netflix. For a list of more online stores where the Journey project is available, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/buy/

We are excited to share with you the video of the 2014 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting interview with Jimmy Carter by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Steven Kepnes on “The Role of Religion in Mediating Conflicts and Imagining Futures: The Cases of Climate Change and Equality for Women.” Watch this video and others at: http://fore.research.yale.edu/multimedia

Pope Francis is preparing a new encyclical that will bring together issues of social justice and economic inequity along with the environment and climate change. The homepage of the Forum on Religion and Ecology website now has a new section on the upcoming papal encyclical. You can find “Frequently Asked Questions on the Papal Encyclical” at http://fore.research.yale.edu/files/Frequently_Asked_Questions_on_the_Papal_Encyclical.pdf  This FAQ was prepared for the Forum website with the assistance of Anne Marie Dalton, a recently retired theologian at St Mary's University in Halifax. We gratefully acknowledge her help. Read news articles related to Pope Francis, climate change, and the environment at http://fore.research.yale.edu/news-related-to-pope-francis-climate-change-and-the-environment

Yale University will host a “Panel on the Papal Encyclical” on April 8 at 5:30. Participants include John Grim, Peter Crane, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Margaret Farley, Dekila Chungyalpa, Doug Kysar, and Greg Sterling. This event is sponsored by Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale Divinity School, and the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. For more, visit: http://fore.research.yale.edu/calendar/item/panel-on-the-papal-encyclical/

The Forum on Religion and Ecology now has a Facebook page! Please show your support by “liking” us and sharing our page with your Facebook friends. Visit the new page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Forum-on-Religion-and-Ecology-at-Yale/807941202606307

Loyola University Chicago’s Second Annual Climate Change Conference, “To Tend the Earth: Responding to the Global Climate Change Crisis,” will be held March 19-21, 2015. This conference is in collaboration with Creighton University, John Carroll University, Marquette University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Xavier University. For more, visit: http://www.luc.edu/sustainability/initiatives/climatechangeconference/ Mary Evelyn Tucker will be participating in this conference, sharing reflections on the topic of “Wonder Ignites Action.” Here is a summary of her talk:

Climate change will require new sources of energy - physical and spiritual - for the flourishing of the Earth Community. One of the most renewable sources of energy for the human spirit is awe and wonder, something shared by scientists and religious people alike. Our response to the beauty of the Earth and the complexity of the universe can be a source of empowerment for the Great Work of transformation ahead. Journey of the Universe is trying to evoke this energy for a sustainable future. The vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Berry have shaped Journey and continue to inspire people around the planet to work for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. We will highlight the empowering vision of Teilhard and Berry as a grounding for this engaged work.

We 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. Videos of the “Living Cosmology” Conference at Yale

We are very pleased to announce that the videos have now been posted online from the November Yale conference “Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe.” To view the videos of the 11 panels and the celebratory service, visit:


We offer our deep gratitude to Rachel Myslivy for filming each of the conferences panels and the celebratory service, and to Brian Smith for filming the opening remarks.

A collection of conference papers will be published by Orbis Books. View the table of contents at:


For the conference program, the celebratory service program, biographies of participants, photos, articles, and more, visit the conference page:


3. Videos of the 2014 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting

Videos are now up of the 2014 American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, USA. We are especially excited to share with you the video of the interview with Jimmy Carter by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Steven Kepnes on “The Role of Religion in Mediating Conflicts and Imagining Futures: The Cases of Climate Change and Equality for Women.” Watch this video at:

Other videos from the 2014 AAR annual meeting include:

• Plenary Address: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
• Plenary Panel: PRRI/AAR National Survey on Religion, Values, & Climate Change
• The Bible and Climate Change: Bill McKibben's The Comforting Whirlwind
• Promise & Peril in the US Government's Engagement with Religious Communities
• Plenary Address: Bill McKibben
• Plenary Panel: Religion and the Roots of Climate Change Skepticism
• Presidential Address: Laurie Zoloth
• The Doniger Affair: Censorship, Self-Censorship, and the Role of the Academy in the Public Understanding of Religion
• The Marty Forum: Charles Taylor
• Retooling the Climate Change Debate: New Social, Theological, and Philosophical Perspectives
• Contemplative Environmentalism: Religion and Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

Watch the videos at:

4. Video of Thomas Berry on “The Great Work”

We are happy to draw your attention to a video of Thomas Berry speaking on “The Great Work” and the influence of Teilhard de Chardin at a meeting of the American Teilhard Association in 1994. This is excellent introduction and overview of the thinking which guided his life work. Introductions are given by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim.

Watch the video at:

For a summary of the video and discussion questions, visit:

This video is from the library of Lou Niznik thanks to the generous gift of Jane Blewett. We thank Don Smith and Wes Pascoe for making this video available online.

For more videos of Thomas Berry, visit:

5. Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast (February 18 – April 5, 2015)

Make Lent an opportunity to enter into a spiritual discipline of fasting from carbon. Over the past few years, thousands of people the world over have welcomed a day-by-day opportunity to fast from carbon as their Lenten discipline. People of every Christian perspective – and people who are not Christians – have benefitted from this opportunity to become more conscious and conscientious in their daily lives.


United Church of Christ

Global Catholic Climate Movement

Ignatian Solidarity Network, “Renewing the Face of the Earth”

Marianist Environmental Education Center

Archdiocesan Office for the Environment in Bombay

6. Earth Day Resource by Creation Justice Ministries

Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22nd, and many congregations are celebrating in their churches on April 19th or the 26th. The theme of the 2015 Earth Day Resource by Creation Justice Ministries is "Have you anything here to eat?" Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate. This resource is available to download online and is accompanied by a web page. It includes many extras like sermon prep, Christian education ideas, song suggestions, denominational resources and much more. Use this page in conjunction with the resource for an exciting and meaningful Earth Day Sunday.


7. New Publications

Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Selected and with an Introduction by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2014

Published for the centenary of his birth.

Thomas Berry (1914-2009), was a priest, a “geologian,” and a historian of religions. He was an early and significant voice awakening religious sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is particularly well-known for articulating a "universe story" that explores the world-changing implications of the contemporary science. Berry pointed the way to an ecological spirituality attuned to our place in nature and giving rise to an ethic of responsibility and care for the Earth.

Review by Terri MacKenzie:

I think I have read (though I don’t pretend to have mastered) just about everything that Thomas Berry ever wrote, starting with manuscripts he generously shared whenever I visited the Riverdale Center in the 70’s. In spite of that, when reading the excerpts selected by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim in Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community, I felt the same joy of discovery that I did at the very beginning. In addition, I was awed as I read each of the introductions to the 12 chapters they have compiled. Here is a book that feels inspired — not just by Thomas’ always- inspiring messages, but by the beauty and lucidity of the arrangement of excerpts as well as the deft and warm words that introduce each chapter. Few people have better background than Mary Evelyn and John to attempt this book, and they do not disappoint. The New Story, the Great Work, the role of religions, humans’ role in the story — it’s all here. No one can miss the sacred in these pages. Read and rejoice!


Poverty and Ecology at the Crossroads: Towards an Ecological Theology of Liberation in the Philippine Context
By Reynaldo D. Raluto
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2015

This book offers a theological reflection on the praxis of struggle for human and ecological liberation. It critically appropriates the framework of the emerging ecological theology of liberation, which expands the notion of the preferential option for the poor—privileging those who suffer from class oppression, racial discrimination, sexist ideologies, and ecological exploitation. These are urgent signs of the time that serve as privileged loci theologici. With the analytical mediation of the social and ecological sciences, this book investigates the oppressive ideologies that produce poverty and the ecological crisis. It draws from the wellspring of Christian faith to affirm that these negative realities are counter-signs of the coming of God’s Kingdom. It maps out existing advocacies that may awaken a sense of solidarity and serve as embers of hope for a sustainable world.


An Introduction to Ecological Economics, Second Edition
Edited by Robert Costanza, John H. Cumberland, Herman Daly, Robert Goodland, Richard B. Norgaard, Ida Kubiszewski, and Carol Franco
CRC Press, 2014

From Empty-World Economics to Full-World Economics

Ecological economics explores new ways of thinking about how we manage our lives and our planet to achieve a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future. Ecological economics extends and integrates the study and management of both "nature's household" and "humankind's household"—An Introduction to Ecological Economics, Second Edition, the first update and expansion of this classic text in 15 years, describes new approaches to achieving a sustainable and desirable human presence on Earth. Written by the top experts in the field, it addresses the necessity for an innovative approach to integrated environmental, social, and economic analysis and management, and describes policies aimed at achieving our shared goals.

• Provides a unified understanding of natural and human-dominated ecosystems
• Guides the way to a sustainable and desirable future
• Reintegrates the market economy within society and the rest of nature


The Human in the Universe
By Niamh Brennan
Wyndham Hall Press, 2015

In this book, the age-old existential human questions such as ‘what is love, what is suffering, what does it mean to be alive’, are addressed anew, but this time from the larger context of the Universe story as articulated through contemporary science. The Universe story contextualises the human story within the larger cosmic story. The book deals with the implications of this story for how we live our lives and indeed for how we view our lives. It focuses on the particularities of life such as friendship, joy, love suffering, consciousness, and drawing on philosophy, the major insights emerging from cosmology and personal reflection, seeks to understand them. In the beginning chapters it outlines the Universe story and its major principles and this then sets the context as the book takes on a more reflective and philosophical bent. It uses as its foundation the author’s own experience and so is more lyrical than academic, attempting to evoke in the reader the same joy that the author felt when she first learned this story from science. The book ends with a vision of humanity and the role of humanity which aims to re-awaken people to the simple pleasure and gift of existence and in doing so, enabling us to become a more relational, compassionate and thoughtful species.


The Wisdom of the Liminal: Evolution and Other Animals in Human Becoming
By Celia Deane-Drummond
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014

A sophisticated theological anthropology that takes into account evolutionary theories and our relationships to other animals

In this book Celia Deane-Drummond charts a new direction for theological anthropology in light of what is now known about the evolutionary trajectories of humans and other animals. She presents a case for human beings becoming fully themselves through their encounter with God, after the pattern of Christ, but also through their relationship with each other and with other animals. Drawing on classical sources, particularly the work of Thomas Aquinas, Deane-Drummond explores various facets of humans and other animals in terms of reason, freedom, language, and community. In probing and questioning how human distinctiveness has been defined using philosophical tools, she engages with a range of scientific disciplines including evolutionary biology, biological anthropology, animal behavior, ethology, and cognitive psychology. The result is a novel, deeply nuanced interpretation of what it means to be distinctively human in the image of God.

8. Calls for Papers

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA, USA
November 21-24, 2015
Submission deadline: March 4, 2015
Religion and Ecology Group call for papers:

“Religion in the Anthropocene – Challenges, Idolatries, Transformations”
5th international conference of the European Forum for the Study of Religion and Environment, in collaboration with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
Munich, Germany
May 14-17, 2015
Submission Deadline: March 20, 2015

“How to think the Anthropocene? Anthropologists, philosophers and sociologists facing climate change”
Collège de France, Paris
November 5-6, 2015
Submission Deadline: March 31, 2015

“Globalisation and Global Justice”
Societas Ethica's 52nd annual conference
Linköping, Sweden
August 20-23, 2015
Submission deadline: March 31, 2015

“The Ethics of Using Animals in Research”
Second Oxford Summer School on Animal Ethics
St Stephen’s House, Oxford, UK
July 26-29, 2015
Submission deadline: April 30, 2015

9. Events

Wangari Maathai Day
March 3, 2015

“Rediscovering the Spiritual in God’s Creation”
Sefafino McLaren Vale, South Australia
March 10-13, 2015

“Nature and Religion”
Twentieth Postgraduate Religion and Theology Conference
University of Bristol, UK
March 13-14, 2015

“Moral Cultures of Food: Access, Production, and Consumption from Past to Present”
UNT Initiative in Food Culture and Environment
University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
April 2-4, 2015

“Panel on the Papal Encyclical”
Yale University, Linsly Chittenden Hall, High Street, New Haven, CT, US
Participants: John Grim, Peter Crane, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Margaret Farley, Dekila Chungyalpa, Doug Kysar, and Greg Sterling.
Sponsored by Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale Divinity School, and the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
April 8, 2015 at 5:30pm, followed by a reception

“Fragile World: Ecology & the Church”
World Catholicism Week 2015
In anticipation of Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment
DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
April 8-12, 2015

“Religion and Labor: moral vision from/for the grassroots”
A Conference at Syracuse University and Le Moyne College
Syracuse, NY, USA
April 10-11, 2015

“Ecotones of the Spirit: A Gathering on Contemplative Ecology”
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
April 14, 2015

3rd Green Church Conference
An Ecological and Ecumenical Event
Saint-Ignace-de-Loyola Church, Beauport, Québec, Canada
April 14, 2015

Citizens’ Climate Lobby International Conference
Keynote by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe
Washington, DC
June 21-23, 2015
See invitation for faith leaders (clergy, professors of religion, and seminarians):

“Ecological Science at the Frontier: Celebrating ESA’s Centennial”
Ecological Society of America (ESA) 100th Annual Meeting
Session on “Ecologists and Faith & Justice Communities: A Journey from Antagonism to Earth Stewardship Partnerships for the Next Century.”
Mary Evelyn Tucker will be participating in this event.
Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD, USA
August 9-14, 2015

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

10. Job Openings

The Aldo Leopold Distinguished Teaching Chair in Environmental Ethics and Education
The Lawrenceville School, Science Department, Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

Executive Director of New Economy Coalition
Boston, MA, USA
Application deadline: March 13, 2015

Director of Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center
Hiawatha, IA, USA

11. “World Religions Face the Climate Crisis” (April 17-19, 2015 class at Harvard Extension School,
Cambridge, MA, USA)

Harvard Extension School
One Brattle Square, Room 201
Cambridge, MA, USA

April 17-19, 2015

Registration deadline: March 27, 2015

In this interactive weekend course, students, faculty, and local religious leaders engage in a real-time simulation of the Parliament of World Religions. The task: to draft international protocols that address the climate crisis. Racing a deadline of Earth Day 2015, the delegates must uphold the beliefs and practices of their own faith traditions—Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Confucian/Daoist—while crafting policy guidelines for governments and their own denominations. Participants work in small groups and speak in larger plenary sessions to negotiate issues of technology, culture, nature and spirituality, economic justice, and the ethical roots of personal lifestyle. Pre-readings are included on the syllabus. (2 credits)


12. Food & Faith Fellowship and Course (June 2015 at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, USA)

Wake Forest University
School of Divinity
Winston-Salem, NC, USA

“Re:Generate Fellowship--Food, Creation Care, and Bioregional Leadership”

Thanks to the generosity of the Byron Fellowship Education Foundation and Kalliopeia Foundation, we are thrilled to announce a new fellows program for young faith leaders June 14-19, 2015. The fellowship is a holistic leadership development program for young faith leaders who are exploring vocational issues focused in the areas of food justice, health, sustainable agriculture, and/or climate change. The fellowship overlaps with, yet is distinct from, the course listed below.


“Wake Forest Food & Faith Intensive in Asheville”

Registration is now open for the annual “Wake Forest Food & Faith Intensive in Asheville” June 15-19, 2015. Now in its third year, this interdisciplinary course has grown into a vibrant polyculture of concepts and practices: biblical scholarship, regenerative agriculture, social justice, watershed discipleship, and contemplative spirituality. Each June we gather in Katuah, the Cherokee name for this part of western North Carolina, to learn, connect, and renew. The Katuah bioregion is renowned for its biological diversity—a fitting metaphor for the rich ethnic, geographical, and theological diversity among participants who’ve attended this course. In 2015 our theme is “A New Heaven, A New Earth: Food Justice, Ecology, and Revelation,” and to explore this theme we have a stellar line-up of faculty and presenters.


13. “Exploring the Sacred Universe Earth Literacy Program” (August 4-11, 2015 in Godfrey, IL, USA)

Held at the Oblate Ecological Initiative in Godfrey, IL, USA

This program offers participants an opportunity to explore the implications of a more expansive understanding of ourselves in the evolutionary process and our embeddedness in Earth’s web of life.

Daily presentations explore these great stories as your own story: Universe Story, Story of Galaxies, Stars and Planets, Earth Story, Human Story, Story of our Self-Nourishing Earth, Bioregional Story.

Activities include input from a several presenters, ritual, field trip, conversation and immersion in the natural world.


14. Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion Graduate Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies

The ecological challenges of the 21st century represent a crisis of values and consciousness. The twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss are among the greatest existential threats humanity has seen. Graduate study at the MA and PhD level in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion allows students to cultivate the knowledge and wisdom to respond to the ecological crisis from integral and transdisciplinary perspectives. Students gain skills and insight to transform practices, worldviews, and consciousness in the service of a more just and flourishing planetary future.

The uniquely integrated curriculum explores such questions as:

• What are the roles of religion, spirituality, and culture in the ecological crises of our time?
• What ecological insights do the world's religious heritages offer?
• How can exploring worldviews help us to understand and address ecological trauma?

Core faculty are at the forefront of the dialogue linking spiritual and cosmological with ecology and sustainability. Faculty include: Elizabeth Allison, Robert McDermott, Jacob Sherman, and Brian Swimme.

Applications for Fall 2015 are accepted throughout the spring, and admission is on a rolling basis.


15. Walking Water: Pilgrimage Project

Walking Water is a pilgrimage project in Southern California whose goal is to contribute to empowering, inspiring and equipping individuals and communities in the Owens Valley to Los Angeles region to engage in the issue of water - water use, water protection, city living and wild nature - and the relationships between human communities. Walking Water is about creating a new narrative, one based on both our common need and respect for water, our common endeavor to create meaning in our relationship with water and this world, and ultimately to live within our means. The pilgrimage will be broken into 3 phases that will be walked over a 3 year period. The 1st phase of the walk will be from September 1-21, 2015.

For more about Walking Water, visit:

If you are interested in organizing a parallel event in your own community, visit:

16. Buddhist Engaged Project: Khoryug

KHORYUG (Environment in the Tibetan language) is a network of Buddhist monasteries and centers in the Himalayas working together on environmental protection of the Himalayan region with the aim of practically applying the values of compassion and interdependence towards the Earth and all living beings that dwell here. As Buddhist practitioners, we believe that our actions must flow from our aspiration to benefit all sentient beings and safeguard our mother Earth and that this positive change in our societies must begin with ourselves first. KHORYUG aims to develop a partnership with community based organizations and NGOs wherever there is a member monastery or center so that together with our communities, we can help and protect all life on Earth now and for the future. Subscribe to get updates on the progress of KHORYUG, and to learn more about how you can help.


17. 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: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685357

Table of Contents for Volume 19 (2015):

• Introduction (Julia Watts Belser)
• The Picture of Health (Sharon V. Betcher)
• Lead Me Beside Still Waters (Lisa Nichols Hickman)
• Disability and the Social Politics of “Natural” Disaster (Julia Watts Belser)
• Disability Studies, Queer Theory, and the New Materialism (Whitney A. Bauman)
• Disability and Environment (Roger S. Gottlieb)
• The Reproduction in/of Disability and Environment (Mel Y. Chen)

Book Reviews:

• People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India, by David L. Haberman. (Review by Matthew T. Riley)
• Ecology and Religion, by John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker (Review by Daniel T. Spencer)
• Die Moral der Energiewende: Risikowahrnehmung im Wandel am Beispiel der Atomenergie, edited by Jochen Ostheimer and Markus Vogt. (Review by Sigurd Bergmann)

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