The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
4.11 (November 2010)
Welcome to the November 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 books, videos, conferences, calls for papers, job openings, events, and more.
We want to highlight the upcoming conference, “Pierre Teilhard de Chardin for A New Generation.” It will be held November 18-21 at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA, USA. Keynote speakers include Mary Evelyn Tucker, Illia Deleo, Brother Jeffrey Gros, and David Grumett. John Grim and Brian Swimme will also be speaking. For more information, visit: http://www.teilhardforanewgeneration.com/
We also want to inform you about the 2010 Winter Solstice Celebration with the Paul Winter Consort and Special Guests. Four shows of this solstice celebration will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, NY on December 16-18, 2010. For more information, visit: http://paulwinter.com/concerts/upcoming-concerts/
We are excited to share news with you about the recent publication of Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. Edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, this anthology brings together inspiring and compelling accounts from over eighty visionaries calling for individual and collective moral responsibility for the planet’s ecological and social crises. Contributions are in various forms, such as letters, poems, economic analyses, proclamations, essays, and stories, and contributors include Mary Evelyn Tucker, Brian Swimme, Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Bill McKibben, Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, Wangari Maathai, E.O. Wilson, Gary Snyder, and many others. For more information, visit: http://tupress.trinity.edu/
We also want to direct your attention to a feature-length documentary that explores the current planetary crisis pertaining to biodiversity loss. The film, Call of Life, investigates the causes and possible effects of the current mass extinction of species while including perspectives from leading scientists, social scientists, environmentalists, religious leaders and scholars, and more. Through interviews with eminent figures from various backgrounds, the film examines the primary drivers of species loss: habitat destruction, global warming, pollution, and invasive species, all compounded by the expanding human population and our consumption patterns. For more information, visit: http://www.speciesalliance.org/video.php
Along with films and books, television media can also present helpful information regarding environmental issues and their relationships to religious worldviews and values. One such example is a recent interview on CNN, in which CNN’s Nadia Bilchik discussed issues of environmental education with four members of the Temple of Understanding: Mary Evelyn Tucker, Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey, Karen Armstrong, and Rabbi Lawrence Troster. To see the video, visit: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2010/10/31/nr.bilchik.religion.and.environment.cnn?iref=allsearch. Recently the Temple of Understanding celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dinner in New York where they recognized Interfaith Visionaries, including John Grim, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and others working in the field of religion and ecology. For more, visit: http://www.templeofunderstanding.org/wwd_2010_awards-2.htm
Another helpful resource for understanding global environmental issues is the series of essays by members of the Critical Issues Committee of the Geological Society of America. The essays are collected under the title, “Toward a Stewardship of the Global Commons: Engaging ‘My Neighbor’ in the Issue of Sustainability,” and the collection is available online: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/basin/local/sustainin0.html. The essays provide pathways to raise public awareness of the issue of sustainability. They compel us to engage our neighbors or students in dialogue concerning the ideas that will influence the quality of their lives and those of future generations. Each essay in this series focuses on a particular concept that is essential to understand the issue of sustainability, including concepts of the commons, time (and deep time), resources, connectedness, ecological footprint, spaceship Earth, the global ecosystem, change, culture, choice, the future, and more. The goal of this work is to help bring these concepts into the public domain so that they support the cultivation of sustainability literacy.
Finally, to support your own participation in academic efforts to respond to the complex challenges of environmental issues, we are happy to share with you three Calls for Papers. The first two are calls for submissions for conferences. Taking place in New York in April 2011, the first is a conference on “Green Feminisms,” which explores intersections between environmental issues and issues related to women. For the CFP, visit: http://www.nwsa.org/regions/newyork.php. Taking place in the Netherlands in June 2011, the second conference focuses on the cross-fertilization between environmental philosophies from America, Europe, and other continents, “Old World and New World Perspectives on Environmental Philosophy.” For the CFP, visit:
http://www.cep.unt.edu/ISEE2/call-2011.pdf. The third CFP is for an issue of the Journal of American Culture, “The Greening—or not—of America,” which focuses on the global environmental crisis and its implications for culture in the United States. For the CFP, visit: http://leopold.asu.edu/node/36.
Providing opportunities to engage religious and ecological perspectives through conferences, film, television, essays, journals, and more, we hope that this newsletter supports your own work and helps you further your own engagements with the field of Religion and Ecology.
Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally
California Institute of Integral Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
Web Content Managers & Newsletter Editors
“Creation, Communion and the Universe Story”
A conference by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, CTUSA
November 13, 2010
“Ground for Hope: A Religious-Environmental Education & Training Event”
Keynote Lecture by Dr. Larry Rasmussen
Watchung Ave. Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ, USA
The Theological School at Drew University, Madison, NJ, USA
November 14-15, 2010
“Pierre Teilhard de Chardin for A New Generation”
Hosted by Santa Clara University and the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley
Keynote speakers: Mary Evelyn Tucker, Illia Deleo, Brother Jeffrey Gros, and David Grumett. John Grim and Brian Swimme will also be speaking.
Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, USA
November 18-21, 2010
“On the Run: European and Pacific Responses to climate change in the Pacific”
YMCA Youth Hostel, Berlin, Germany
November 19-21, 2010
“Second International Congress of Bioethics”
With emphasize on Morality, Spirituality and Creationism
November 20-22, 2010
“Living on the Edge”
The Fourth International Conference of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC)
University of Western Australia (UWA-Perth)
December 16-19, 2010
“2010 Winter Solstice Celebration with Paul Winter Consort & Special Guests”
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY, USA
December 16-18, 2010
Grounding Religion: A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology
Edited by Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin O’Brien
How do religion and the natural world interact with one another? Grounding Religion introduces students to the growing field of religion and ecology, exploring a series of questions about how the religious world influences and is influenced by ecological systems.
Grounding Religion examines the central concepts of ‘religion’ and ‘ecology’ using analysis, dialogical exchanges by established scholars in the field, and case studies. The first textbook to encourage critical thinking about the relationships between the environment and religious beliefs and practices, it also provides an expansive overview of the academic field of religion and ecology as it has emerged in the past forty years.
The contributors introduce students to new ways of thinking about environmental degradation and the responses of religious people. Each chapter brings a new perspective on key concepts such as sustainability, animals, gender, economics, environmental justice, globalization and place. Discussion questions and contemporary case studies focusing on topics such as Muslim farmers in the US and Appalachian environmental struggles help students apply the perspective to current events, other media, and their own interests.
Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril
Edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson
Trinity University Press, 2010
Moral Ground brings together the testimony of over eighty visionaries-theologians and religious leaders, naturalists, scientists, elected officials, business leaders, activists, and writers-to present a compelling call to honor our individual and collective moral responsibility to the planet. In the face of environmental degradation, species extinction, and climate change, scientific knowledge alone does not tell us what we ought to do. Nor can political processes or economic incentives give us all the answers. The missing premise of the argument and the much-needed centerpiece in the debate to date has been the need for ethical values, moral guidance, and principled reasons for doing the right thing for the future of our planet, its animals, its plants, and its people.
Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture With Nature
By Osprey Orielle Lake
White Cloud Press, 2010
This groundbreaking book from artist-author-advocate Osprey Orielle Lake explores how the beauty, vitality, and ecological systems of the natural world can guide and transform human perspective, particularly as we face current environmental crises. Lake shows that we must infuse our cultural discourse with the language, importance, and wisdom of nature—that lasting changes in our way of life will arise from and find broad support only when nature in all its transformative beauty and power is once again front and center in our everyday vocabulary and life.
Her wisdom, stories, lyrical style, and thorough research frame chapters such as “Around the Fire: From Global Warming to a Renewed Hearth”, “Anthem to Water”, “Democracy Ancient and Modern” and “Honor the Women”. Osprey takes us along wild rivers as she explores water conservation and the mysteries of water science; sits us around a fire along with great minds of past and present to contemplate the climate crisis; and takes us to several continents where we navigate deeper into history of culture and land. Whether you are an agent for social, environmental, or political change or a lover of natural history and literature, consider this book required reading for its inspiration, innovation, and hope for the Earth and future generations.
The Divine Dynamic: Exploring the Relationships between Humans, Earth, and the Creative Power of the Universe
By John Surette, SJ
ACTA Publications, 2010
In this series of short reflections suitable for individual and group use, Jesuit author John Surette uses passages from the Scriptures to explore how humans are part of what he calls "The Divine Dynamic" of the Universe. This book challenges the way we think about God, the planet of which we are a part, and the ways we relate to one another.
John Surette, SJ, has been a Catholic priest for almost fifty years. He has worked in the Caribbean islands and territories for many years as a chemistry teacher, adult religious educator, and community organizer. He lives in LaGrange Park, Illinois, where he is involved with eco-spirituality and eco-justice groups, including Spiritearth and The Well Spirituality Center.
Animals as Biotechnology: Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Studies
By Richard Twine
In Animals as Biotechnology, sociologist Richard Twine places the question of human/animal relations at the heart of sustainability and climate change debates. The book is shaped by the emergence of two contradictory trends within our approach to nonhuman animals: the biotechnological turn in animal sciences, which aims to increase the efficiency and profitability of meat and dairy production; and the emerging field of critical animal studies - mostly in the humanities and social sciences - which works to question the nature of our relations with other animals.
Food Security and Global Environmental Change
Edited By John Ingram, Polly Ericksen and Diana Liverman
Global environmental change (GEC) represents an immediate and unprecedented threat to the food security of hundreds of millions of people, especially those who depend on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods. As this book shows, at the same time, agriculture and related activities also contribute to GEC by, for example, intensifying greenhouse gas emissions and altering the land surface. Responses aimed at adapting to GEC may have negative consequences for food security, just as measures taken to increase food security may exacerbate GEC. The authors show that this complex and dynamic relationship between GEC and food security is also influenced by additional factors; food systems are heavily influenced by socioeconomic conditions, which in turn are affected by multiple processes such as macro-level economic policies, political conflicts and other important drivers.
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Call of Life is the first feature-length documentary to fully investigate the growing threat posed by the rapid and massive loss of biodiversity on the planet. Featuring leading scientists, social scientists, environmentalists and others, the film explores the scope, the causes, and the predicted global impact of a mass extinction occurring on a scale not seen since the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
If current trends continue, scientists warn that half or more of all plant and animal species on Earth will become extinct within the next few decades. Entirely caused by human activities, this contemporary mass extinction is disrupting and destroying the complex, interconnected biological systems that support life on earth.
Through interviews with eminent biologists and ecologists, the film examines the primary drivers of species loss: habitat destruction, global warming, pollution, and invasive species, all compounded by the expanding human population and our consumption patterns.
On October 31, 2010, CNN’s Nadia Bilchik joined members of the Temple of Understanding to discuss their role in environmental education.
Watch this short interview with these members:
Mary Evelyn Tucker (Co-director, Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale)
Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey (Director, Muslim American Society Freedom)
Karen Armstrong (Author, A History of God)
Rabbi Lawrence Troster (Director, GreenFaith's Fellowship Program)
“Toward a Stewardship of the Global Commons: Engaging ‘My Neighbor’ in the Issue of Sustainability”
By Members of the Critical Issues Committee, Geological Society of America
Part I: Stewardship of the Commons
Part II: Understanding Deep Time
Part III: Doubling Time
Part IV: Sustainability and Resources
Part V: The Connectedness of Everything
Part VI: Ecological Footprint and Carrying Capacity
Part VII: Spaceship Earth: No Place Else to Go
Part VIII: Part of the Global Ecosystem
Part IX: We Live in a World of Change
Part X: Sustainable World
Part XI: Cultural Context of Sustainability
Park XII: We Have the Option of Choice: The Future Is Up To Us.
Guidelines to Sustainability Literacy
7. Call for Papers: “Green Feminisms: Women, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice” (Conference on April 30-31, 2011 at SUNY New Paltz, NY, USA)
Throughout the world women have taken the lead in struggles against the destruction of the environment and in developing new ways to live with the earth. Feminist thinkers, by challenging systems of domination, have pointed out the connections between the domination of nature and other forms of domination. This conference will bring together theorists, activists and artists who are engaged in struggles against the destruction of the earth and are envisioning more egalitarian ways of living. By linking theory and practice, “Green Feminisms” hopes to present new models for halting the degradation of our environment.
We invite proposals for workshops that address a variety of environmental issues, examined through a feminist lens and we encourage proposals that incorporate critical race theory and transnational perspectives. We welcome submissions from scholars, activists, artists, and musicians for presentations, workshops, or performances for complete sessions or individual presentations.
A 500 word proposal is due by November 18, 2010.
For the full CFP, visit: http://www.nwsa.org/regions/newyork.php
The Eighth Annual Meeting of the International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) issues a call is for proposals of the following kinds:
1. Proposals for 2-hour themed sessions are encouraged, including author-meets-critics sessions, sessions emphasizing socially engaged philosophic activities, etc. Themes can be found at: http://www.cep.unt.edu/ISEE2/call-2011.pdf
2. Papers are welcomed from all philosophical traditions, and from environmental philosophy broadly conceived (not just environmental ethics).
3. We particularly welcome offers to give 10 minutes of summary and comments on general session papers. Offers for chairing sessions are also welcomed.
Please submit abstracts of 300 words by December 6, 2010.
For the full CFP, visit: http://www.cep.unt.edu/ISEE2/call-2011.pdf
At the focus of this special issue is the global environmental crisis now sometimes being faced – and undeniably also sometimes being denied. What are its implications for the culture of the United States? America, because of its position as the world’s dominant military superpower and consumer of resources, occupies a critical role in the environmental crisis. In this special issue, we seek contributions from a range of interdisciplinary environmental thinkers, dreamers and practitioners.
Submissions, generally 15-25 pages in length, are to be original scholarly manuscripts formatted according to MLA style guidelines.
The deadline for submission is December 31, 2010.
For the full CFP, visit: http://leopold.asu.edu/node/36
University of Helsinki has launched a Tenure Track System for teaching and research personnel. The aim of the system is to enhance the predictability, competitiveness and attractiveness of an academic career.
The Faculty of Theology declares open for application one tenure track position in the field of Global theology, worldviews and ideologies.
The Faculty is seeking to employ talented and motivated individuals, who have completed their doctorate 3 to 7 years ago and have subsequently gained scientific and other relevant academic merits.
Details can be found at: http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/tdk/english/administration/tenure.html
Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada is a public university with a primary focus on graduate education for in-career professionals. The MA in Environmental Education and Communication is a transdisciplinary program that ranges through courses in systems, conflict, communication and education, and a very important course on worldviews and ethics. The program runs over two years, includes two three-week residencies and a final one week residency, a thesis, and a range of highly interactive on-line courses.
I am looking for an instructor, preferably with a PhD (or close to it), who is comfortable with teaching about both environmental ethics and about worldviews to instruct a 10 week on-line course (using the Moodle platform) running from April to June, 2011.There would be roughly 25 students in the class. Payment would be around $7500 (Canadian). RRU provides good support for instructors, assisting them to be effective teachers in the on-line environment.
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.nl/wo
For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit: http://fore.research.yale.edu/publications/newsletters/index.html
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