February 2015

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
9.2 (February 2015)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Journey of the Universe Events

3. Fully Funded PhD Studentship on topic of “Meat Consumption and the Idea of Animals as Resources”

4. New Publications
5. Ecojesuit – Ecology and Jesuits in Communication 

6. Calls for Papers
7. Online Interfaith Course on Climate Change
8. “Awakening to Our Place in the Universe Story” (April 26, 2015 – June 21, 2015)
9. “Retreat into the Universe Story” (July 5-10, 2015 and August 9-15, 2015)
10. “Contemplative Environmental Studies: Pedagogy for Self and Planet” (July 26 – August 1, 2015)
11. Events
12. Job Openings

13. Lent resource:
Creation Covenant 

14. New Documentary Series:
Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler 

15. Graduate Programs

Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the February 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 publications, events, retreats, calls for papers, job openings, and more.

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) will be held November 21-24, 2015 in Atlanta, GA, USA. The call for papers is now out, and the submission deadline is March 2. You can find the Religion and Ecology Group call for papers at https://papers.aarweb.org/content/religion-and-ecology-group

Also, we are excited to let you know about a fully funded PhD studentship with the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at University of Sheffield, UK that will focus on topic of “Meat Consumption and the Idea of Animals as Resources.” For more information, see below or visit: http://grantham.sheffield.ac.uk/opportunities/meat-consumption-and-the-idea-of-animal-resources/

This month there will be three different events related to the EMMY® award-winning Journey of the Universe film:

1. February 11-12 at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI, USA
2. February 19 at the University of California in Santa Barbara, CA, USA
3. February 25 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, USA

Please see below for details. You can watch the Journey of the Universe film on Netflix, and since it went online in December 2013, it has been rated by over 66,000 people. For more about the Journey project, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/ You can also visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Journey-of-the-Universe/179213572122084

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. Journey of the Universe Events

Journey of the Universe Film Screening and Lecture

February 11-12, 2015

St. Norbert College
Fort Howard Theater in the F.K. Bemis International Center
299 Third St.
De Pere, WI, USA

February 11 at 7pm: film screening and discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker

February 12 at 7pm: “Living Within the Universe Story” lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker

Sponsored by the St. Norbert College Killeen Chair

These events are free and open to the public.

Contact: Lisa Kropp, lisa.kropp@snc.edu


Journey of the Universe Film Screening

February 19, 2015


University of California Santa Barbara
Pollock Theater
Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker

Contact: Emily Zinn, ezinn@ihc.ucsb.edu


Journey of the Universe Film Screening

February 25, 2015


University of Miami
Whitten Learning Center, Room 130
Coral Gables, FL, USA

Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker

Sponsored by the Forum on Religion and Public Life


To register for this free event, RSVP at:

Contact: 305.284.4733, relgenaccs@miami.edu


3. Fully Funded PhD Studentship on topic of “Meat Consumption and the Idea of Animals as Resources”

Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures
University of Sheffield
School of English, UK

Application deadline: February 28, 2015

This studentship will trace the historical emergence of our current ideas of animal resources by studying the interactions of humans and meat animals in literature from the nineteenth century to the present. There will be three case studies, focusing on both production and consumption: small-scale farming; large-scale farming and trawler fishing. The student will collate a suitable corpus of texts and explore three key research questions:

1. What mix of attitudes is involved in thinking of an animal as a resource?
2. How do such attitudes vary in different practices of food production?
3. What other roles can animals play in addition to their designation as resources?

This project enhances the interdisciplinary programme of research at the Grantham Centre by integrating approaches from the humanities (critical literary analysis from English Studies and historical and zooarchaeological study) with those of the social sciences (philosophical analysis and normative recommendations from Political Philosophy). This integration also allows for another key project outcome: a discussion of findings specifically addressed to the public policy environment, where the humanities voice is rarely heard. The post would suit a student with an interest in cultural approaches to animals and sustainability and a background in literary studies.

See the full description:


4. New Publications

The Changing World Religion Map: Sacred Places, Identities, Practices and Politics
Edited by Stanley D. Brunn
Springer, 2015

• Covers important, yet heretofore understudied issues in regional and global contexts
• Offers a unique collection of essays that examine the contemporary global religious scene
• Brings together junior and senior scholars from the social sciences, humanities, and religious studies
• Addresses new and cutting-edge perspectives at the religion and geography interfaces.


Global Environmental Politics: From Person to Planet
Edited by Simon Nicholson and Paul Wapner
Paradigm Publishers, 2015

Today’s students want to understand not only the causes and character of global environmental problems like climate change, species extinction, and freshwater scarcity, but also what to do about them. This book offers the most comprehensive, fair-minded, accessible, and forward-looking text for introducing students to the challenge of global environmental protection. Drawing on a diverse range of voices, the book sequentially explains our current predicament, examines what is being done to respond at a variety of levels from the international to the local, and outlines different, relevant strategic choices for genuine political engagement. Developed by two top researchers and master teachers of global environmental politics, the book brings together sharply written introductory essays with tightly edited selections from a broad cross section of thinkers to provide a text that will excite and educate students of global environmental affairs. In addition, the book introduces a series of exercises designed specifically to help students draw connections between their own lives and the broader challenge of global sustainability. Global Environmental Politics: From Person to Planet finally answers the question of how to teach students about environmental harm with a sober sense of ecological reality, a firm grasp on politics, and an optimistic look toward the future.


Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness
By Mary Reynolds Thompson
White Cloud Press, 2014

Beyond the chaos and stresses of our modern age, there lies a forgotten yet primal terrain rich in wisdom, healing, and wholeness. In Reclaiming the Wild Soul, Mary Reynolds Thompson takes us on a journey into Earth’s five great landscapes as aspects of our deeper, wilder selves. There, where the inner and outer worlds meet, we discover within our souls:

• the silence and simplicity of deserts
• the mystery of forests
• the flow of oceans and rivers
• the inspiration of mountains
• the regenerative spirit of grasslands

Once awakened, these “soulscapes” reveal the beauty and magnificence of our own true nature––and a path of personal transformation aligned with the healing of the wild Earth. Reclaiming the Wild Soul is simultaneously self-help and a courageous call to action for our times.

5. Ecojesuit – Ecology and Jesuits in Communication

Jesuits and their partners throughout the world are invited to understand and share in the critical work of reconciliation and ecological concern (GC35 Decree 3). Ecology and Jesuits in Communication or Ecojesuit, initiated by the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC) and the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP), is an online communication currently in Spanish and English, open to all who share in this vision and action. Ecojesuit is an online newsletter that offers contemporary, original, and exclusively written commentaries, reflections and insights, analysis, and exchange of ideas and practices on various ecological and social concerns such as those that relate to water and watershed management, mineral development, food security, impact and adaptations to climate change, disaster risk resilience, renewable and alternative energy, Indigenous Peoples and cultural integrity, sustainable development, among others. While it has a global reach, Ecojesuit communicates communities and local concerns. While initially directed at Jesuit practitioners and organizations working on ecological concerns, Ecojesuit encourages participation and communication beyond the Jesuits and promotes a global collaboration and networking on ecology.

To subscribe Ecojesuit and obtain access to articles and stories twice a month, visit:


6. Calls for Papers

American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA, USA
November 21-24, 2015
Submission Deadline: March 2, 2015

The Religion and Ecology Group invites panels and papers that take up these themes:

1) the contribution of religion and ecology to the field of religious studies;
2) international law, ethics, and development;
3) emotions, aesthetics, affect theory, and “new materialism”;
4) environmental racism and injustice; 5) environmental conflict and violence, such as eco-terrorism, environmental conflicts around extractive economies in Africa and Latin America, and the relationship between Islamism and petroleum economies (co-sponsored with the Religion and Violence Group); and
6) post-growth religious thinking in relation to alternative economic and environmental concerns in Europe, which includes (but is not limited to) how these concerns influence values, nature-based spiritualities, etc. (co-sponsored with the Religion in Europe Group);
7) postcolonial studies and animals (for a possible cosponsored session with Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Group; Animals and Religion Group).


Unsettling Science and Religion: Contributions and Questions from Queer Studies”
2015 Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) conference
Star Island, NH, USA
August 8-15, 2015
Submission Deadline: February 15, 2015


Global Ethics and Politics: In Relation to Ecological Philosophy and Other Crucial Issues of Our Global Era”
27th International Conference of Philosophy
International Association of Greek Philosophy (IAGP)
Athens, Greece
July 11-16, 2015
Submission Deadline: February 28, 2015


Sustainable City Life: Exploring Aesthetic Values in Urban Settings”
XIth International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (IIAA) Summer Conference on Environmental Aesthetics
Lahti, Finland
August 6-8, 2015
Submission Deadline: February 28, 2015


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

7. Online Interfaith Course on Climate Change

The Wilmette Institute will offer an 8-week online course on climate change, from March 1 - April 26, 2015.

The course explores the basic science of climate change and provides an understanding of how climate disruption impacts us today and will continue to affect us in the future. We will explore ethical questions related to climate change and address them in the context of the spiritual teachings of the world’s religions, especially those of the Baha’i Faith. Some readings will help us make enlightened decisions for our personal and community lives that are consistent with our spiritual and ethical values. Finally, we will learn to participate in public discourse by being empowered to present, from a Baha’i and interfaith perspective, spiritual responses to the climate crisis. For those interested in a more thorough study of climate change and its spiritual dimensions or who are interested in specific aspects of it, the course offers numerous optional resources.

The Wilmette Institute is an online Baha’i Learning Center. Its courses are open to members of all religions.

For more information or to register, visit:


8. “Awakening to Our Place in the Universe Story” (April 26, 2015 – June 21, 2015)

April 26, 2015 – June 21, 2015

The Well Spirituality Center
LaGrange, IL, USA

The Well Spirituality Center in LaGrange, IL, is offering a spring sabbatical. It offers a contemplative experience that will nurture within the participant a sense of one-ness with all of creation and a renewed vision of life anchored in the Universe Story. The sabbatical will consist of a blend of education, contemplation, art, and ecological field trips. The Well is ideally located on woodland property west of Chicago.

Registration form:



9. “Retreat into the Universe Story” (July 5-10, 2015 and August 9-15, 2015)

July 5 – 10, 2015 at IL Ritiro Franciscan Retreat Center, Dittmer, MO, USA

August 9 –15, 2015 at Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Wheatland, IA, USA

This silent retreat will include morning ritual and presentations and an optional sharing later each day.

Presentations include:

• Birthing a New Story: The Universe Story
• Exploring the Nature of the Universe in its Guiding Principles
• Experiencing a Council of All Beings
• Gleaning Wisdom from Mentors
• Living the Universe Story


10. “Contemplative Environmental Studies: Pedagogy for Self and Planet” (July 26 – August 1, 2015)

Summer Workshop 2015

Sunday, July 26 – Saturday, August 1

Lama Foundation
San Cristobal, NM, USA

Environmental dilemmas are among the most profound challenges facing humanity. This workshop focuses on how we can best teach college and university students at this historic moment of environmental intensification. Specifically, it explores ways of using contemplative practices—meditation, yoga, journaling, art, nature walks, etc.—to enhance pedagogy and cultivate wellbeing for students, professors, and all who work for a sustainable future.

Part workshop and part retreat, this 6-day summer institute provides an opportunity to step back from our frenetic lives, develop pedagogical tools, and deepen our inner resources as teachers committed to education on a fragile and wild planet.

Faculty: Paul Wapner (professor, American University), Karen Litfin (professor, University of Washington), Jeff Warren (author and meditation instructor), Lisa Schnall (psychotherapist), Nicole Salimbene (visual artist)

Sponsored by: Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education; Global Environmental Politics, American University


11. Events

National Preach-In on Global Warming”
5th annual event, organized by Interfaith Power & Light
February 13-15, 2015
Find ways to participate at:

Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA)
Hilton at the Ball Park, St. Louis, MO, USA
There will be sessions for the International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) at this meeting.
February 18-21, 2015

Environmental Justice and Communities of Faith: A Call to Action from African American Faith Leaders”
With Lawrence Jennings
Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, USA
February 19, 2015 at 7-9pm
RSVP kdeignan@iona.edu or 914-233-2590

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

To Tend the Earth: Responding to the Global Climate Change Crisis”
Loyola University Chicago’s Second Annual Climate Change Conference
In collaboration with Creighton University, John Carroll University, Marquette University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Xavier University
Mary Evelyn Tucker will be participating in this conference.
Loyola University Chicago, IL, USA
March 19-21, 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

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

Spaciousness: De-cluttering Our Minds, Speech, and Daily Actions”
With Chris Ives
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Barre, MA, USA
September 6, 2015

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

12. Job Openings

Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities
Davidson College, NC, USA
Position begins August 1, 2015
Review of applications begins on January 15, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled.

Professor of South Asian Religions
Saint Mary’s University, Department of Religious Studies, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
9 month Sessional Position in South Asian Religions
Consideration of application materials will begin February 15, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled.
Position begins September 1, 2015.

Postdoc in Ecological Research Ethics project
Department of Philosophy, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Start date: Negotiable, but summer 2015 or earlier is desirable
Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified.

Executive Director
Creation Justice Ministries, Washington, DC, USA
Applications will be reviewed starting March 16, 2015.

2 open positions for Teacher/Guide
Ridge and Valley Charter School, Blairstown, NJ, USA

13. Lent resource: Creation Covenant

Creation Covenant explores God’s covenant with all creation in light of present-day species extinctions and habitat loss. The free five week Lent program for individuals or groups connects Christ’s suffering 2000 years ago with his suffering today “in ten thousand places” (G. M. Hopkins). Designed by Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ, Creation Covenant is a timely response to what Pope Francis wrote in Joy of the Gospel: “God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel … the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations.”


14. New Documentary Series: Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler

Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler
(Lourdes, Shikoku, Jerusalem, Hajj, Kumbh Mela, Osun-Osogbo)
PBS, 2014
360 minutes on 2 Discs

Sacred journeys are as old as humanity, yet they’re more popular today than ever before. Tens of millions go on a pilgrimage each year. In this landmark series, New York Times best-selling author Bruce Feiler travels with American pilgrims on six historic pilgrimages. They set out from the ordinary and seek the extraordinary.

- In Lourdes, France, bathe in sacred waters with wounded soldiers from around the world in a moving search for healing and reconciliation.

- In southern Japan, trek with Buddhist pilgrims on an 800-mile, 88-temple journey as they seek personal salvation and renewal.

- In Jerusalem, follow the trail of pilgrims from the three Abrahamic traditions as they ground their faith in one of the holiest cities on Earth.

- In Mecca, go behind closed doors of the Hajj in a rare, intimate look at pilgrims making the trip of a lifetime.

- In India, plunge into the Ganges during the largest human gathering on earth, the Kumbh Mela, which takes place every 12 years.

- And in Nigeria, dance at water’s edge with African-Americans at a spectacular Yoruba festival where they reclaim their religious roots.

Unprecedented in scope, Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler will forever change how you view your own spiritual journey.

15. 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:

16. 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 18 (2014):

• Enfleshed in Cosmos and Earth (Matthew Eaton)
• Religion and Sustainability in Global Civil Society (Evan Berry)
• The Integrative Worldview and its Potential for Sustainable Societies (Annick Hedlund-de Witt)
• Spiritual Roots of the Land (Christopher Golden)
• When you have seen the Yellow Mountains (Ole Bruun)
• Environmental Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage (Paul Sarfo-Mensah, Akwasi Owusu-Bi, Samuel Awuah-Nyamekye, Steve Amisah)
• Ecology and Vision (Matthew T. Eggemeier)
• Of Gardens and Prosperity (Paul Walker)
• Co-Creator or Creative Predator? (Daniel P. Scheid)
• Leonardo da Vinci Our Contemporary? (Nina Witoszek)
• “Green” Reproduction, Resource Conservation, and Ecological Responsibility (Cristina Richie)


• Anne Primavesi. Exploring Earthiness: The Reality and Perception of Being Human Today. (Review by Frederica Helmiere)
• Sigurd Bergmann, Irmgard Blindow and Konrad Ott (eds). Aesth/Ethics in Environmental Change: Hiking Through the Arts, Ecology, Religion and Ethics of the Environment. (Review by Christopher Hrynkow)
• Gretel Van Wieren. Restored to Earth: Christianity, Environmental Ethics, and Ecological Restoration. (Review by Daniel T. Spencer)
• Clayton Crockett and Jeffrey W. Robbins. Religion, Politics, and the Earth: The New Materialism (Radical Theologies). (Review by Whitney A. Bauman)
• George Alfred James. Ecology is Permanent Economy: The Activism and Environmental Philosophy of Sunderlal Bahuguna. (Review by Sam Mickey)
• Eliza F. Kent. Sacred Groves and Local Gods: Religion and Environmentalism in South India. (Review by Pankaj Jain)
• Cynthia Moe-Lobeda. Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation. (Review by Max Thornton)
• Roger S. Gottlieb. Spirituality: What is it and Why it Matters. (Review by Daniella Vaclavik)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit:

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