April 2015

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
9.4 (April 2015)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters” (April 8, 2015 at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA)

3. “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization” (June 4–7, 2015 at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA)

4. “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje” (April 7, 2015 at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA)

5. Fully Funded PhD Positions

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

7. Global Oneness Project Interview with Mary Evelyn Tucker

8. Video of Thomas Berry on “Twelve Principles for Understanding the Universe and the Role of the Human in the Universe Process”

9. New Publications

10. Calls for Papers

11. Events

12. “Earth-Honoring Faith – In the Midst of New Dimensions: Native Wisdom Dialogue” (June 22–28, 2015 in Abiquiu, NM, USA)

13. “Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit” (June 1 – July 23, 2015 in Stony Point, NY, USA)

14. Graduate Programs

15. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the April 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, and more.

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 has a new section on the upcoming papal encyclical. You can find “Frequently Asked Questions on the Papal Encyclical” at http://fore.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.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 5:30pm entitled “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters.” Participants include John Grim, Peter Crane, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Margaret Farley, Dekila Chungyalpa, Doug Kysar, and Greg Sterling. This event will be broadcast via livestream. It 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: https://environment.yale.edu/news/article/pope-francis-and-the-environment-why-his-new-climate-encyclical-matters

Yale will also host another exciting event on April 7 at 4pm. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, will give the Chubb Fellowship Lecture on “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment.” Afterwards Andrew Quintman and Mary Evelyn Tucker will interview him. This event is free and open to the public. Please reserve your ticket at http://chubbfellowship.org/

We would also like to invite you to “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization,” held June 4–7, 2015 at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA. This trans-disciplinary international conference will bring together 1,000 presenters across more than 80 fields of specialty. Please see below for more details, or visit: http://www.ctr4process.org/whitehead2015/

You can find information below on fully funded PhD positions at the 1) University of Graz, Austria, 2) the University of Leeds, 3) the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Deutsches Museum; 4) the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and 5) Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

We want to let you know that Yale has migrated the Forum on Religion and Ecology website to another server. The primary domain name has changed from fore.research.yale.edu to this new URL: fore.yale.edu. This change will not affect the old links, as the new URL will continue to direct to the correct pages within the site.

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/

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

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

2. “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters” (April 8, 2015 at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA)

Panel on the Papal Encyclical

April 8, 2015

5:30pm, followed by a reception

Yale University
Linsly Chittenden Hall
63 High Street
New Haven, CT

This event will be broadcast via livestream.

Sponsored by Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School with the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

Read a press release by Kevin Dennehy on “Pope Francis and the Environment: Yale Examines Historic Climate Encyclical”

Watch a brief podcast of Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim speaking about the panel and the Papal Encyclical on the Environment:

3. “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization” (June 4–7, 2015 at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA)

An international conference bringing together some 1,000 presenters across more than 80 fields of specialty for the most ambitious trans-disciplinary event held on behalf of the planet.

June 4–7, 2015

Pomona College
Claremont, CA, USA

Uniting the Tenth International Whitehead Conference and Ninth International Conference on Ecological Civilization.

Plenary speakers:
Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org
Vandana Shiva, TIME’s “Hero” of the environment
Sheri Liao, China’s leading environmental activist
John B. Cobb, Jr., Intellectual architect of conference events
Herman Daly, Father of ecological economics
Wes Jackson, Pioneer in perennial agriculture
David Griffin, Founder of constructive postmodern thought

Press Release:


Registration page:

For more information, visit:

4. “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje” (April 7, 2015 at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA)

Spiritual leader, social and environmental activist, and artist, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, will present the Chubb Fellowship Lecture on Tuesday, April 7. The Karmapa will give a talk at 4pm at Yale in Woolsey Hall (500 College St.) titled “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.” Afterwards Andrew Quintman and Mary Evelyn Tucker will interview him.

The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and is regarded as an influential leader on social and environmental issues. Since his escape from Tibet to India in 2000, the Karmapa has played a key role in preserving Tibetan religion and culture. At the age of 29, the Karmapa’s message has particularly resonated with young people, whom he encourages to take responsibility to create a more compassionate future for the planet.

The Chubb Fellowship was founded with a gift from Yale alumnus Hendon Chubb, and since 1949 has been one of Yale’s most prestigious honors. The Chubb Fellowship is devoted to encouraging interest in public service. Chubb Fellows spend their time at Yale in close, informal contact with students and make an appearance open to the public. Former Chubb Fellows include President Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman. Recent fellows include Ambassador Samantha Power, author Wendell Berry, and Burmese political leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

This event is free and open to the public. Please reserve your ticket: http://chubbfellowship.org/

5. Fully Funded PhD Positions

Fully Funded PhD position in Philosophy, Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program
“Climate Change – Uncertainties, Thresholds and Coping Strategies”
University of Graz, Austria
Application Deadline: April 8, 2015


12 Funded Doctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities in Europe: Leeds | Munich | Stockholm
• Four PhD fellows at the Environmental Humanities Research Group at the University of Leeds (deadline: May 1, 2015)
• Four doctoral fellows at the Rachel Carson Center at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Deutsches Museum (deadline: May 15, 2015)
• Four PhD fellows at the Environmental Humanities Lab at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (deadline: April 20, 2015)


PhD position in Ethics and Social Responsibility of Deep Sea Mining
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim

6. 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: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/living-cosmology-videos/

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 http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/storage/Living_Cosmology_TOC.pdf

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

7. Global Oneness Project Interview with Mary Evelyn Tucker

In this complete interview, author and scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker reveals that humanity is currently at a crossroads integrating science and cosmology. She explains that we need to take all the knowledge and information we have learned from science and ground it in a renewed relationship to the earth, which is inherently spiritual. Only then, says Tucker, will we find real solutions to the current issues of our time.

This video is available to watch online. It is also downloadable in SD or HD for classroom use. We are very grateful to the Global Oneness Project for making this available!


8. Video of Thomas Berry on “Twelve Principles for Understanding the Universe and the Role of the Human in the Universe Process”

The Forum on Religion and Ecology is posting videos and audio recordings of Thomas Berry’s talks on the Thomas Berry Foundation website. The videos are from the library of Lou Niznik thanks to the generous gift of Jane Blewett. We thank Don Smith and Wes Pascoe for doing the needed editing to make them available online.

Watch these videos:

This month we would like to share with you a lecture from 1984 in which Thomas Berry sketches out “Twelve Principles for Understanding the Universe and the Role of the Human in the Universe Process.” These principles touch on many of the foundational ideas central to his thinking and life work. The video includes an appearance by Brian Swimme.

Watch this video:

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

9. New Publications

Book Review of Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) by John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker

Review by Sam Mickey
The Trumpeter
Volume 30, Number 1 (2014)

In Ecology and Religion, John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker provide an exemplary overview of religion and ecology. They have been active participants in the emerging field of religion and ecology in recent decades, particularly through their work as the co-directors and founders of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale — the largest international and interreligious organization dedicated to exploring the religious dimensions of contemporary environmental issues. Along with the field of religion and ecology, this book is situated in relation to many other fields of environmentally oriented inquiry, including scientific ecology, environmental policy, environmental ethics, eco-philosophy, and the environmental humanities. The book is well suited for classroom use, complete with discussion questions for each chapter, a glossary of important terms, notes with many suggestions for further reading, and multiple appendices, including recommended online resources related to religion and ecology. However, Ecology and Religion is not only relevant in academic contexts. It is also relevant for activists, advocates, and any readers who are generally interested in developing more comprehensive and inclusive response to environmental issues. In other words, this book functions as a guide to religion and ecology both “as an academic field and as an engaged force” (p. 10).

Read the full review:

You can order Ecology and Religion from Island Press at


Cloud of the Impossible: Negative Theology and Planetary Entanglement
By Catherine Keller
Columbia University Press, 2015

The experience of the impossible churns up in our epoch whenever a collective dream turns to trauma: politically, sexually, economically, and with a certain ultimacy, ecologically. Out of an ancient theological lineage, the figure of the cloud comes to convey possibility in the face of the impossible. An old mystical nonknowing of God now hosts a current knowledge of uncertainty, of indeterminate and interdependent outcomes, possibly catastrophic. Yet the connectivity and collectivity of social movements, of the fragile, unlikely webs of an alternative notion of existence, keep materializing–a haunting hope, densely entangled, suggesting a more convivial, relational world. Catherine Keller brings process, feminist, and ecopolitical theologies into transdisciplinary conversation with continental philosophy, the quantum entanglements of a “participatory universe,” and the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, Walt Whitman, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and Judith Butler, to develop a “theopoetics of nonseparable difference.” Global movements, personal embroilments, religious diversity, the inextricable relations of humans and nonhumans–these phenomena, in their unsettling togetherness, are exceeding our capacity to know and manage. By staging a series of encounters between the nonseparable and the nonknowable, Keller shows what can be born from our cloudiest entanglement.


Mindscaping the Landscape of Tibet: Place, Memorability, Ecoaesthetics
Series: Religion and Society 60
By Dan Smyer Yü
De Gruyter, 2015

Based on the author’s cross-regional fieldwork, archival findings, and critical reading of memoirs and creative works of Tibetans and Chinese, this book recounts how the potency of Tibet manifests itself in modern material culture concerning Tibet, which is interwoven with state ideology, politics of identity, imagination, nostalgia, forgetting, remembering, and earth-inspired transcendence. The physical place of Tibet is the antecedent point of contact for subsequent spiritual imaginations, acts of destruction and reconstruction, collective nostalgia, and delayed aesthetic and environmental awareness shown in the eco-religious acts of native Tibetans, Communist radical utopianism, former military officers’ recollections, Tibetan and Chinese artwork, and touristic consumption of the Tibetan landscape. By drawing connections between differences, dichotomies, and oppositions, this book explores the interiors of the diverse agentive modes of imaginations from which Tibet is imagined in China. On the theoretical front, this book attempts to bring forth a set of fresh perspectives on how a culturally and religiously specific landscape is antecedent to simultaneous processes of place-making, identity-making, and the bonding between place and people.


Christian Food Movement” - A New Guide
By Nurya Love Parish
Churchwork, 2015

The need for sustainable food systems has increasingly become a focus of our national conversation, but very little focus has been placed on the connections between faith and food. Wanting to learn more about how Christians in particular were contributing to the good food movement, Episcopal priest and blogger Nurya Love Parish started researching and collecting examples of Christians engaged in food and farming ministries - by growing food, providing educational resources, and more. The guide includes almost 100 links to authors, farms, non-profits, etc. It’s a free download which will be updated periodically and emailed to those who subscribe to receive it. Subscribe here: http://www.churchwork.com/christian-food-movement/

10. Calls for Papers

Encountering Earth: Thinking Theologically with a More-Than-Human World
Volume of collected essays
Submission deadline for essay proposals: April 30, 2015

Ecocinema: Celebrating Landscapes and Waterscapes”
National Conference, organised as part of tiNai Ecofilm Festival 2015
Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, K.K. Birla Goa Campus, Goa, India
October 9-10, 2015
Submission Deadline: May 15, 2015

Religion, Science and the Future”
A Conference sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (Celebrating its 10th Anniversary)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
January 14-17, 2016
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2015

11. Events

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

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

Teilhard de Chardin: His Importance in the 21st Century”
With John F. Haught, James F. Salmon, Kathleen Duffy, John Grim, Ilia Delio, and Frank Frost
Georgetown University, 37th & O Streets, NW, Washington, DC, USA
April 9, 2015 at 3pm
RSVP: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1hzTgrXoMUVN9Lz9JLzfRxo2v1FCQRuq_aWTQqaCz7s8/viewform
For the flyer, visit: http://fore.yale.edu/files/Teilhard_4-9-15.pdf

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

A New Story….Celebrating the life and legacy of Thomas Berry in Communion with The Entire Earth Community”
Homecoming Farm’s Fifth Annual Spring Awakening
Helen Butler Hall at Dominican Village, Amityville, NY, USA
April 18, 2015

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

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

12. “Earth-Honoring Faith – In the Midst of New Dimensions: Native Wisdom Dialogue”
(June 22–28, 2015 in Abiquiu, NM, USA)

June 22–28, 2015

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center
280 Private Drive 1708
Abiquiu, NM, USA

“Earth-Honoring Faith In the Midst of New Dimensions: Native Wisdom in Dialogue” is eighth in a series of a ten-year commit¬ment 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.

Journey with us as we explore the massive transitions affecting Earth today with the help of Native American elders and teachers. As our planet faces epochal changes brought on by human beings (the “Anthropocene”), what kind of world is coming to pass?

What stories, values and practices are required to sustain us during the Great Transition from industrial to ecological civilization? Learn from Native elders and Native Christian leaders, in dialogue with other voices.

Presentations, conversations, contemplative practices, prayer and ritual will be included in this dynamic week. An excursion to nearby Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo for its Feast Day celebration will occur on Wednesday, June 24th.

For the flyer, visit:


13. “Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit” (June 1 – July 23, 2015 in Stony Point, NY, USA)

A Free Multifaith Peace, Justice and Earthcare Program for Young Adults

Stony Point Center 6th Annual Summer Institute 2015

June 1 – July 23, 2015

Stony Point Center
17 Cricketown Road
Stony Point, NY, USA

The Stony Point Summer Institute is seeking Jewish, Christian and Muslim young adults, ages 19-29, who are grounded in their religious traditions, serious about spirituality and the state of the planet, excited by social activism in a multireligious context, and open to living and learning in an intentional community setting.

Rolling admissions.


14. Graduate Programs

Joint MA in Religion and Ecology

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES) and Yale Divinity School (YDS), New Haven, CT, USA

This graduate program is aimed at students who wish to integrate the study of environmental issues and religious communities in their professional careers and for those who wish to study the cultural and ethical dimensions of environmental problems.

Faculty members: Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Fred Simmons



MA and PhD in Philosophy and Religion, concentration in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness

California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA

This graduate program is dedicated to re-imagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.

Faculty members: Brian Thomas Swimme, Elizabeth Allison, Sean Kelly, Richard Tarnas, and Robert McDermott



For more educational programs related to religion and ecology, visit:

15. 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)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit:

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