February 2012

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
6.2 (February 2012)


1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. “Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship” (June 5-7, 2012 at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, USA)

3. Flyways Celebration with Paul Winter Consort and the Great Rift Valley Orchestra (March 16-17, 2012 at St John the Divine, New York City, NY, USA)

4. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings 

5. International Big History Association Newsletter

6. New Books  

7. “Uses of the Bible in Environmental Ethics”

8. Silent Spring Essay Competition 

9. Calls for Papers 

10. Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment  

11. “Transfiguration of Christ and Creation: A Ministry of Wholeness” (Retreat on May 4-6, 2012 at St Mary’s Sewanee, TN, USA)

12. Events 

13. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the February 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.

I am happy to let you know about a symposium taking place this summer at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT, USA.  The symposium, “Religion and Environmental Stewardship,” will be held on June 5-7, 2012 and is sponsored by Yale Divinity School, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.  The symposium will focus on environmental education that brings together science, theology, and ethics.  Students, ministers, and lay people are welcome to attend.  For more information, see below or visit: http://summerstudy.yale.edu/environmental-symposium

We also want to inform you that we have now completed the Journey of the Universe Trilogy (film, book, and educational series of interviews). The book is available through Yale University Press, your local bookstore, and Amazon.com. The film and Educational Series are available through the website: www.journeyoftheuniverse.org We are also making copies for use overseas, as well as Blu-Ray which plays in high definition. 

The DVD Educational Series was just finished in December and consists of 20 interviews. The first 10 are conversations with scientists and historians discussing the evolution of universe, Earth, life, and humans. The last 10 are discussions with environmentalists who are working on issues such as eco-cities, eco-economics, permaculture, energy, and arts and justice.  We think these interviews will be very useful to complement the film and book. They will be excellent sources of discussion in your communities, churches, learning centers, and schools. You can see an overview of the series and short selections of each person interviewed online at: 

There is also a helpful set of Curricular Materials that accompany the Journey of the Universe project.  Prepared by Matthew Riley, these Curricular Materials contain scientific summaries, discussion questions, and resources.  They can be downloaded free of charge at: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/curriculum/

You may also know that the film was broadcast on PBS nationwide and was carried by 67% of the stations for their December pledge drive (with 520 showings).  The PBS broadcast consists of the film and an interview with Mary Evelyn Tucker. It will continue to be broadcast over the next 2 years starting up again in March for pledge drives. It is wonderful to have this opportunity for the New Story to be available for an even wider audience. Inspired by the New Story described by Thomas Berry, the Journey of the Universe draws on the latest scientific knowledge to tell the story of cosmic and Earth evolution. It aims to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth in a period of growing environmental and social crisis.  

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

2. “Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship” (June 5-7, 2012 at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, USA)

“Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship”

Environmental Education For Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Seminary Faculty
Bringing Together Science, Theology, and Ethics

Sponsored by:
Yale Divinity School
Berkeley Divinity School at Yale
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

June 5-7, 2012 at Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, USA

Cost for participants in the symposium will be $100.  Students can attend for free.
The registration deadline is May 1.
To register please contact:  joanne.vanvlack@yale.edu  


3. Flyways Celebration with Paul Winter Consort and the Great Rift Valley Orchestra (March 16-17, 2012 at St John the Divine, New York City, NY, USA)

Flyways: A Celebration of the Great Bird Migration from Africa through the Middle East to Eurasia

Presented by Paul Winter Consort and the Great Rift Valley Orchestra

Friday, March 16, 8pm
Saturday, March 17, 8pm

St John the Divine, New York City, NY, USA

Each spring, more than half a billion birds of 350 species follow the Great Rift Valley along the length of the African continent from South Africa to Ethiopia, and continue across the Middle East to Turkey where they diverge to Europe and Asia. This flyway is one of the most important bird migration corridors in the world. Paul Winter first experienced the miracle of the migration some years ago when he flew in a glider across Israel with the migrating storks as they soared on the thermal currents coming up from the Rift Valley below. From that unforgettable adventure came the vision for this project: to create a musical chronicle of the birds’ long journey using music from each of the cultures over which they fly and weaving the voices of the birds into the fabric of the music.

The music will be performed by a new international ensemble, the Great Rift Valley Orchestra, comprised of indigenous musicians from cultures along the flyway and including members of the Paul Winter Consort. The motto of the Flyways project is: “migrating birds know no borders.” Beneath this overarching aerial highway live millions of people of diverse races and cultures. The flyway embraces all of these cultures, and the project aims to harness the timeless languages of birds and music with the goal of bringing people together in common cause across borders.


4. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings

St. Paul, MN, USA
Seminar on Fridays: Jan. 27; Feb. 24; March 23; April 20, 2012
January 27 – April 20, 2012 

Cultivating Connections
Louisville, KY, USA
Study Group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, February through May
February 14 – May 22, 2012

The Henry Carter Hull Library
Clinton, CT, USA
February 15, 2012

Florida International University
Miami, FL, USA
Discussion with John Grim
February 16, 2012

Orchard House Cafe
New York City, NY, USA
February 16, 2012

Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY, USA
February 17, 2012

Carnegie Institution for Science
Washington, DC, USA
2012 Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker
February 23, 2012

Washington National Cathedral
Washington DC, USA
Film Screening & Lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
February 25, 2012

Friends Meeting at Cambridge
Cambridge, MA, USA
February 29, 2012

St. Andrews Episcopal Church
Madison, CT, USA
February 29, 2012

Essex Town Hall
Essex, CT, USA
March 1, 2012

Knox United Church
Calgary, AB, Canada
March 6, 2012

For more information about these and other upcoming screenings, visit:

5. International Big History Association Newsletter

Volume II, Number 2
February 2012

To read this newsletter, visit: http://fore.research.yale.edu/files/International_Big_History_Association_Newsletter.pdf

This issue includes a section about the Journey of the Universe film.

For past newsletters, visit: http://www90.homepage.villanova.edu/lowell.gustafson/bighistory/newsletters.html

6. New Books

Religion in Environmental and Climate Change Suffering, Values, Lifestyles
Edited by Dieter Gerten and Sigurd Bergmann
Continuum, 2012

Climate change and other global environmental changes deserve attention by the the humanities - they are caused mainly by human attitudes and activities and feed back to human societies. Focusing on religion allows for analysis of various human modes of perception, action and thought in relation to global environmental change. On the one hand, religious organizations are aiming to become “greener”; on the other hand, some religious ideas and practices display fatalism towards impacts of climate change.

What might be the fate of different religions in an ever-warming world? This book gathers recent research on functions of religion in climate change from theological, ethical, philosophical, anthropological, historical and earth system analytical perspectives. Charting the spread from regional case studies to global-scale syntheses, the authors demonstrate that world religions and indigenous belief systems are already responding in highly dynamic ways to ongoing and projected climate changes - in theory and practice, for better or for worse. The book establishes the research field “religion in climate change” and identifies avenues for future research across disciplines.


The Christian Consumer: Living Faithfully in a Fragile World
By Laura M. Hartman
Oxford University Press, 2012

Be it fair trade coffee or foreign oil, our choices as consumers affect the well-being of humans around the globe, not to mention the natural world and of course ourselves. Consumption is a serious ethical issue, and Christian writers throughout history have weighed in, discussing topics such as affluence and poverty, greed and gluttony, and proper stewardship of resources. These voices are often at odds, however. In this book, Laura M. Hartman formulates a coherent Christian ethic of consumption, imposing order on the debate by dividing it into four imperatives: Christians are to consume in ways that avoid sin, embrace creation, love one’s neighbor, and envision the future. An adequate ethics of consumption, she argues, must include all four considerations as tools for discernment, even when they seem to contradict one another. The book includes discussions of Christian practices such as fasting, gratitude, solidarity, gift-giving, Sabbath-keeping, and the Eucharist. Using exemplars from the Christian tradition and practical examples from everyday life, The Christian Consumer offers a thoughtful guide to ethical consumption.


Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money & Community in a Changing World
By Billy Parish & Dev Aujla
Rodale/Penguin Books, 2012

As we emerge from the recession, a generation is searching for practical answers about how to succeed and make positive change in the world. With real-life success stories and practical advice and exercises, Making Good outlines how to find opportunities to effect change and make money. These opportunities are not just for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies: Making Good shows step-by-step how any person can achieve financial autonomy, capitalize on global changes to infrastructure, and learn from everyday success stories—providing the skills and insights this generation needs to succeed and build careers and lives of consequence.

7. “Uses of the Bible in Environmental Ethics”

A recently completed project at the University of Exeter, UK, has sought to develop the connections between biblical studies and ecotheology and ethics. “Uses of the Bible in Environmental Ethics” was sponsored by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council and involved a team covering biblical studies and ecotheology: David Horrell, Cherryl Hunt, Christopher Southgate, and Francesca Stavrakopoulou. Two visiting scholars, Ernst Conradie and Harry Maier, also played a significant role in the project, which sought both to appraise critically the kinds of appeal to biblical material made in ecotheological and environmental-ethical discussion and also to offer proposals in ecotheological hermeneutics. A wide range of scholars, from biblical studies and patristics through to systematic theologians and ethicisits, contributed to an edited volume entitled Ecological Hermeneutics (T&T Clark, 2010). Other major publications to appear from the project were published in 2010: Greening Paul (Horrell, Hunt, and Southgate, published by Baylor University Press); and The Bible and the Environment (Horrell, published by Equinox). Some of the key ecoethical ideas were also developed in Christopher Southgate’s The Groaning of Creation (Wesminster John Knox, 2008). For further information, visit:


8. Silent Spring Essay Competition

Rachel Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring launched the modern American environmental movements and also influenced similar movements all over the globe. In commemoration of the book’s fiftieth anniversary, the Rachel Carson Center is soliciting essays from junior and senior scholars that analyze the impact and reception of the book, as well as Carson’s legacy.

The award for the junior essay winner is $1000 and for the senior essay winner, $2000. In addition, the winning essays, as well as those receiving an honorable mention, will be published in the Center’s RCC Perspectives series.

The submission deadline is March 15, 2012.

For more information, visit:


9. Calls for Papers

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting

Chicago, IL, USA
November 17–20, 2012

Submission Deadline: Mid-March 2012

Religion and Ecology Group Call for Papers:


Animals and Religion Group Call for Papers:



International Association for Environmental Philosophy 16th Annual Meeting

The Hyatt Regency
Rochester, NY, USA

November 3-5, 2012

Deadline for proposals: March 15, 2012

This conference will follow the 51st Annual Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) in NY.



“Saving the Future”

2012 Conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS)

Silver Bay Conference Center
Lake George, NY, USA

July 28 - August 3, 2012

Deadline for proposals for poster session: April 18, 2012


10. Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment

Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology have just launched a Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment.   From food, energy and waste to consumerism, Sabbath and prayer, the materials cover eighteen topics where Jewish wisdom has an important message for today. This will be a significant contribution to the field of Jewish environmental learning.

These materials will be released approximately every 3 weeks between Tu b’Shevat 5772 and Tu b’Shevat 5773. All materials have been reviewed by rabbis and scientists.

Each of the 18 topics includes:
- a short article (800 words) with a brief overview of the topic for blogs and articles
- a long article (2000-2500 words) for in-depth study of the topic
- a study guide with Hebrew/English sources and discussion questions for chavruta study or group learning
- a 5 minute video
- a podcast

Jewcology and Canfei Nesharim are now inviting Jewish and interfaith organizations, websites, publications, and communities to join their Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment by becoming a Core Teachings Sponsor, sharing a minimum of six resources with your audience across the year.  To learn more about being a Core Teachings Sponsor, and for a full schedule of topics and posting dates, please contact them at info@jewcology.com.

11. “Transfiguration of Christ and Creation: A Ministry of Wholeness” (Retreat on May 4-6, 2012 at St Mary’s Sewanee, TN, USA)

What is the meaning of the story of Jesus’s transfiguration “on a high mountain”? Does it have any connection to our spiritual lives in the present day? Through this familiar biblical passage, retreat participants will reflect on the concept that Christ’s glorification is for the whole creation and, accordingly, that it has the its potential to re-energize environmental attitudes and policies. Through teaching, discussion, reflection, networking, resourcing, planning, and walking a “Canticle Trail” at the Organic Prayer Project (a program of the Center on Religion and Environment centered on a biodynamic farm at the Sisters of St. Mary Convent), this retreat is designed to provide theological insight, restful reflection and practical advice for those involved in environmental ministry in Christian churches and organizations. Come prepared to think, reflect, and engage with others.

For the retreat brochure, visit: http://fore.research.yale.edu/files/CRE_Transfiguration_Retreat_Brochure.pdf

12. Events

“Climate, Mind and Behavior 2012 Symposium”
3rd Annual Climate, Mind and Behavior Symposium
Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY, USA
February 15 - 17, 2012


Religions, Science and Technology in Cultural Contexts: Dynamics of Change”
International Association for the History of Religions Special Conference 2012
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Rica Nidelven Hotel, Trondheim, Norway
March 1-3, 2012


Ground for Hope-Westchester: Mobilizing Interfaith Action for the Earth”
Spellman Hall, Iona College, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, USA
March 11, 2012


Biodiversity Conservation and Animal Rights: Religious and Philosophical Perspectives”
14th Jaina Studies Workshop
Soas: University of London, United Kingdom
March 21-22, 2012

“Making Peace with the Earth: A Spiritual Imperative, A Survival Necessity”
With Dr. Vandana Shiva
Lecture: James Memorial Chapel
Reception:  The Social Hall
Union Theological Seminary, New York City, NY, USA
March 22, 2012

“Strategies for a New Economy” 
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA
June 8-10, 2012


For more events, visit:

13. 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.nl/wo 

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 news@religionandecology.org 


For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit: