November 2016

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
10.11 (November 2016)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Yale University Online Classes: “Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times” (Open to the Public)

3. Protest at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline

4. “Intersections: Faith and the New Cosmology” (Symposium/Retreat on June 26-30, 2017 at Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, USA)

5. World Religions and Energy Ethics

6. New Publications

7. New Documentary: Planetary

8. Events

9. Job Openings and Fellowships

10. Grant Opportunity: Creation Care Initiatives in the Episcopal Church

11. Calls for Papers

12. 2017 Calendar: “The Gifting Universe,” by Peter Adair

13. Ecology and Justice Series on Integral Ecology (Orbis Books)

14. Graduate Programs

15. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the November 2016 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.

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are teaching four MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) at Yale through the online platform, Coursera. These include two courses on Journey of the Universe, one on Thomas Berry, and a capstone on Living Cosmology. See Yale's announcement: To enroll in the courses go here: You may audit the course free of charge. The next session starts November 21, and anyone can pre-enroll for that session now. These are the dates for upcoming sessions: November 21, 2016 - January 9, 2017; December 19, 2016 - February 6, 2017; January 16 - March 6, 2017; February 13 - April 3, 2017.

On October 14-16, 2016, the Center for the Study of World Religions (CSWR) at Harvard Divinity School hosted “Religion, Ecology, and Our Planetary Future,” a major conference marking the twentieth anniversary of the Religions of the World and Ecology Conference series and subsequent book series, and advances the work of understanding and transforming the discourse of religions and ecology for the 21st century. Mary Evelyn and John organized the conference with the CSWR Director, Frank Clooney and his staff. You can learn more about this conference and see the program, press release, opening comments by Mary Evelyn and John, and conference videos here:

We are delighted to let you know that the following colleges and universities have a job opening in the area of religion and ecology: University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Clara University, St. Olaf, Carleton, Dartmouth, University of North Texas, and Marquette.

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology, edited by Willis Jenkins, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim, is now available. This volume not only provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the field of religion and ecology by leading scholars, it also relates this field for the first time to the growing area of environmental humanities. The full table of contents can be found at Read the introduction by Mary Evelyn and John: We hope you will encourage your institutions to order this book.

The Forum on Religion and Ecology has a Facebook page. Please show your support by “liking” us and sharing our page with your Facebook friends. Visit the page here:

Journey of the Universe also has a Facebook page that we invite you to visit: The film is now live on for streaming and downloading, and via Prime as well: For a list of more stores where the Journey project is available, visit:

We hope this newsletter supports your own work and helps you further your own engagements with the field of Religion and Ecology.

Take care,
Elizabeth McAnally
California Institute of Integral Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
Website Manager & Newsletter Editor

2. Yale University Online Classes: “Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times” (Open to the Public)

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Senior Lecturers and Research Scholars at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, are offering four six-week online courses. These are featured as a specialization under the theme of “Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times.” This includes two courses on Journey of the Universe, a course on the Worldview of Thomas Berry, and an integrating capstone on Living Cosmology. Each of these courses can be taken independently.

These are MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) available on Coursera to anyone, anywhere on the planet. These are the first MOOC specialization for Yale and the first MOOCs for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

See the landing page at Yale announcing the courses:

You may formally register to be a full participant in any of the classes for a fee. This means you will get some feedback. Upon completing all the courses you will receive a certificate of completion.

To enroll in the courses and to read all of the course descriptions, go here:

Alternatively you may audit the course free of charge.

These courses were officially launched on September 21, 2016 and will be offered throughout the academic year beginning every 4 weeks.

The next session starts November 21. Anyone can pre-enroll for that session now.

Upcoming sessions:

November 21, 2016 - January 9, 2017
December 19, 2016 - February 6, 2017
January 16, 2017 - March 6, 2017
February 13, 2017 - April 3, 2017

3. Protest at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline

We want to draw your attention to the historic protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline currently happening at Standing Rock in North Dakota. This is the largest gathering of Native Americans in the last 100 years and has included as many as 7000 people. This began in April and has drawn more attention in recent months. For the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and supporters their activities have been centered on prayer, non-violence, and protection of water in this region and across the area that the pipeline would cross.

Here is a brief summary from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) has taken a strong stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,134-mile long oil pipeline starting from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota and ending up in refineries in Patoka, Illinois. It is proposed to transport over 570,000 barrels per day. To date, more than 300 tribes and first nations officially stand with Standing Rock by way of tribal resolutions, letters of support, or tribal delegations joining the camp.

For more, see the articles here:

4. “Intersections: Faith and the New Cosmology” (Symposium/Retreat on June 26-30, 2017 at Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, USA)

On June 26-30, 2017, the symposium/retreat entitled “Intersections: Faith and the New Cosmology” will be held at Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA, USA ( Participants are invited to use inquiry, theological reflection, dialogue and personal prayer as a means of integrating our current expanding understanding of the Cosmos with our faith response. Our guest presenters will each focus on a theme and develop it as part of a more complete engagement with the intersection of our expanding consciousness and understanding of the Cosmos, our place in it and our respective faith stance. This symposium/ retreat is open to persons of all faiths though a Christian orientation will be evident. It is recommended that participants be familiar with the New Cosmology/the New Story, i.e. the evolutionary reality of our Universe. Presenters include Heather Eaton, Anne Marie Dalton, John Haught, and a guest appearance by Brian Swimme.

Symposium brochure:


Contact the facilitator of the retreat / symposium:
Margaret Galiardi, OP,

5. World Religions and Energy Ethics

Light for a New Day: Interfaith Essays on Energy Ethics
Edited by Erin Lothes Biviano
GreenFaith, 2016
Available online here:

At COP 22 in Marrakech on November 10, Light for a New Day, an interfaith energy ethics essay collection, was presented to a Green Zone event hosted by GreenFaith. The collection includes essays from faith leaders and scholars from the world’s major faith traditions, including indigenous communities. The essays articulate the specific application of religious values and principles to concrete energy issues in diverse geographic regions. They express the distinctive values, scriptures, and ethical principles of each tradition in order to develop and expand a shared moral vision regarding energy: our essential moral obligation to support a sustainable and fair transition to a renewable energy future.

6. New Publications

The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene
By Oswald J. Schmitz
Princeton University Press, 2016

Leading ecologist, Oswald Schmitz, at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has published an important new book from Princeton University Press on The New Ecology where he draws on engaging stories to illustrate rich themes of the interdependence of people and nature. Our species has transitioned from being one among millions on Earth to the species that is single-handedly transforming the entire planet to suit its own needs. In order to meet the daunting challenges of environmental sustainability in this epoch of human domination–known as the Anthropocene–ecologists have begun to think differently about the interdependencies between humans and the natural world. This concise and accessible book provides the best available introduction to what this new ecology is all about–and why it matters more than ever before.

There's many books out there discussing the Anthropocene; if you're going to only read one book on the topic, choose this one.” (review on


Religion and Sustainable Agriculture: World Spiritual Traditions and Food Ethics
Edited by Todd LeVasseur, Pramod Parajuli, and Norman Wirzba
University of Kentucky Press, 2016

Distinct practices of eating are at the heart of many of the world’s faith traditions—from the Christian Eucharist to Muslim customs of fasting during Ramadan to the vegetarianism and asceticism practiced by some followers of Hinduism and Buddhism. What we eat, how we eat, and whom we eat with can express our core values and religious devotion more clearly than verbal piety. In this wide-ranging collection, eminent scholars, theologians, activists, and lay farmers illuminate how religious beliefs influence and are influenced by the values and practices of sustainable agriculture. Together, they analyze a multitude of agricultural practices for their contributions to healthy, ethical living and environmental justice. Throughout, the contributors address current critical issues, including global trade agreements, indigenous rights to land and seed, and the effects of postcolonialism on farming and industry. Covering indigenous, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish perspectives, this groundbreaking volume makes a significant contribution to the study of ethics and agriculture.


Caring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment
By Mitch Hescox and Paul Douglas
Bethany House Publishers, 2016

Forget the confusing doom and gloom talk about climate change. You want to know the truth about what’s happening, how it could affect your family and the world, and more important, if there are realistic ways to do something about it—even better, solutions that reflect your beliefs. Connecting the dots between science and faith, pastor and influential evangelical leader Mitch Hescox and veteran meteorologist Paul Douglas show how Christians can take the lead in caring for God’s creation. Tackling both personal and global issues, these trusted authors share ways to protect our families, as well as which action steps will help us wisely steward the resources God has given us. This hopeful book offers a much-needed conservative, evangelical approach to a better way forward—one that improves our health, cleans up our communities, and leaves our kids a better world.


A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical, and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion
By Matthieu Ricard
Shambhala Publication, 2016

Every cow just wants to be happy. Every chicken just wants to be free. Every bear, dog, or mouse experiences sorrow and feels pain as intensely as any of us humans do. In a compelling appeal to reason and human kindness, Matthieu Ricard here takes the arguments from his best-sellers Altruism and Happiness to their logical conclusion: that compassion toward all beings, including our fellow animals, is a moral obligation and the direction toward which any enlightened society must aspire. He chronicles the appalling sufferings of the animals we eat, wear, and use for adornment or “entertainment,” and submits every traditional justification for their exploitation to scientific evidence and moral scrutiny. What arises is an unambiguous and powerful ethical imperative for treating all of the animals with whom we share this planet with respect and compassion.


Ecological Sustainability in Traditional Sámi Beliefs and Rituals
By Mardoeke Boekraad
Series: Moderne - Kulturen – Relationen
Peter Lang, 2016

The book gives a detailed overview of relevant traditional indigenous Sámi myths, beliefs and rituals based on empirical findings. The author inquires whether and how they are related to an ecologically sustainable use of the natural environment. Her main sources are ancient missionary texts, writings by Sámi and contemporary interviews with Sámi individuals. The traditional value system included ecological sustainability as a survival strategy. Beliefs and rituals, transmitted via stories, incorporated these values and transmitted a feeling of a round life, despite the strict rules for right behavior and punishment for transgressions. The term round symbolized a sense of safety, interconnectedness, reliance on mutual help and respect, identification and empathy with all living beings.


Lynn White Jr. and the Greening-of-religion Hypothesis”
By Bron Taylor, Van Wieren, Gretel and Bernard Daly Zaleha
Conservation Biology 30 (2016): 1000–1009
Available online here:

Lynn White Jr.’s “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis,” which was published in Science in 1967, has played a critical role in precipitating interdisciplinary environmental studies. Although White advances a multifaceted argument, most respondents focus on his claim that the Judeo-Christian tradition, especially Christianity, has promoted anthropocentric attitudes and environmentally destructive behaviors. Decades later, some scholars argue contrarily that Christianity in particular and the world's predominant religions in general are becoming more environmentally friendly, known as the greening-of-religion hypothesis. To test these claims, we conducted a comprehensive review of over 700 articles—historical, qualitative, and quantitative—that are pertinent to them.

7. New Documentary: Planetary

Bullfrog Films has just released the visually stunning documentary Planetary, a provocative wakeup call that takes us from one of the truly extraordinary events of our civilization, space travel, and looks at how this gave us a totally different perspective of Earth. The film challenges us to reconsider our relationship with the planet and encourages a shift in our perspective – to remember that every living thing is connected.

Featuring interviews with thirty renowned scientists, philosophers and religious figures including astronauts Ron Garan and Mae Jemison, environmentalist Bill McKibben, the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale’s Mary Evelyn Tucker, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, and anthropologist Wade Davis, Planetary invites us to explore our place on the planet and the integral role we play in the stewardship of the natural world.

A beautiful film for birthing a planetary consciousness. Many are seeking to move beyond anthropocentric thinking and this film helps point the way.”
- John Grim, Co-Director and Co- Founder, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University

Streaming or DVD previews for purchase evaluation are available – please email

Now available with public performance rights for purchase, digital site licensing, and rental from Bullfrog Films at

Campus and community screening licenses, plus reduced rates for activist and grassroots groups available from Bullfrog Communities at

8. Events

Engaging with Faith Organisations and Communities for Sustainable Development”
UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, Bonn, Germany
November 15-17, 2016

Secondary School Religion Teachers at the AAR”
November 18, 2016 at 9am-4pm
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 006C, San Antonio, Texas, USA

American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting
San Antonio, TX, USA
November 19-22, 2016
For a preview of events happening at the AAR that may be of interest to the AAR Religion and Ecology Group, visit:

The Universe of Integral Eco-Education”
Don Bosco High School, Matunga, Mumbai, India
November 24, 2016

Ignatian Pedagogy in the Context of an Evolutionary Universe”
Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune, India
November 26-28, 2016

Faith and Solar Initiative”
Urban Ecology Center-Riverside Park, Milwaukee, WI, USA
November 29, 2016 at 7-8 pm

The Theology of Evolution—Convergent, Contingent or Directed?”
Martin Hall, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LX
December 13, 2016
Sponsored by The British Teilhard Association
Press Release:
Tickets are required to this free event. Please book online by December 2:

Faith and Ecology Seminary Education Conference”
Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University, 3041 Broadway, New York, NY, USA
December 14, 2016

Laudato Si’ and Animals: Preparing for the Lenten Journey”
St. Francis Alliance Retreat
White Post, VA, USA
February 17-19, 2017

The ‘Wicked Problem’ of Climate Change: What is it doing to us and for us?”
63rd Conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS)
in partnership with the Parliament of the World's Religions
Star Island, Portsmouth, NH, USA
June 24 - July 1, 2017

9. Job Openings and Fellowships

Assistant Professor of Religion and Ecology
Area of Competence: Buddhism or Islam or Christianity, with interest in Feminism/Gender Studies
Philosophy and Religion Department
University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
Review of applications began November 1, 2016 and will continue until the search is closed.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Philosophy
Preference for Feminism/Gender Studies
Philosophy and Religion Department
University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
Review of applications began November 1, 2016 and will continue until the search is closed.

Assistant Professor in Religion and Environmental Studies
The Department of Religion and the Department of Environmental Studies
St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, USA
Review of applications began October 1, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

Professor in Religion and Science
Department of Religion
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
Review of applications began November 1, 2016, and continue until the position is filled.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Animal Studies Initiative, Department of Environmental Studies
New York University, New York, NY, USA
Review of applications began November 1, 2016, and will continue until the search is complete.

Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
2017-18 cohort of postdoctoral and senior fellows
Application Deadline: January 31, 2017

Re:Generate Fellowship program
February 16-19, 2017
Winston Salem, NC, USA
Applicants must be 40 years old or younger
Application deadline: November 15, 2016

Spiritual Ecology Fellowship Program
Application deadline: March 15, 2017
Applicants should be between the ages of 22-30.

10. Grant Opportunity: Creation Care Initiatives in the Episcopal Church

The Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation is pleased to make available funds for creation care initiatives. The purpose of these funds is to equip Episcopalians for reconciliation with Creation in accordance with our mandate as disciples of Jesus Christ.

At our General Convention in 2015, The Episcopal Church allocated funds to enable local faith-based projects for mitigating climate change and safeguarding the integrity of Creation, naming an Advisory Council for the Stewardship of Creation as the grantmaking body. Grants up to $10,000 will be considered.

Grants will be invited, received and considered on a repeated cycle while funds are available. After an initial cycle beginning in November 2016, the next cycle will begin in February 2017.

11. Calls for Papers

The Dialogue Between Science & Religion”
Essay contest of Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology
Submission Deadline: December 12, 2016

Place and Space: Perspectives on Ground and Groundedness”
24th Annual DePaul University Graduate Student Conference
DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
February 10-11, 2017
Submission Deadline: December 15, 2016

Knowing Nature: The Changing Foundations of Environmental Knowledge”
Renmin University of China, Beijing, China
Submission Deadline: January 1, 2016

Faith Communities and Environmental Activism”
The University of Edinburgh, Scotland
May 18-20, 2017
Submission Deadline: January 10, 2017

Graduate Conference in Religion & Ecology: Ethos, Ethics, and the Environment”
Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, USA
April 21, 2017
Submission Deadline: January 30, 2017

12. 2017 Calendar: “The Gifting Universe,” by Peter Adair

“The Gifting Universe 2017” full-color wall calendar by Peter Adair can be viewed and purchased at Each month is headed by a brief essay highlighting our collective journey. A sample of titles: January: 'Mystery of Creation'; February: 'Spiral Beauty, Grace of the Galaxies'; March: 'The Sun, Archangel in the Sky'; April: 'Living Earth, Jewel of the Heavens'; May: 'The Moon, Earth’s Luminous Daughter’ etc. This year’s calendar, Adair’s sixth and final in this series, is transformational in tone and vision. Stunning photos!

13. Ecology and Justice Series on Integral Ecology (Orbis Books)

Published by Orbis Books, the Ecology and Justice Series on Integral Ecology seeks to integrate an understanding of Earth’s interconnected life systems with sustainable social, political, and economic systems that enhance the Earth community. To see the flyer for this Orbis series, visit:

This month we are featuring the following book from this series:

The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story
By Brian Thomas Swimme
Orbis Books, 1996

What does it mean to be human, to live on planet Earth, in the universe as it is now understood? Bestselling author and mathematical cosmologist Brain Swimme takes us on a journey through the cosmos in search of the “new story” that is developing in answer to this age-old question.

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
Faculty members: Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Matthew Riley

MA and PhD in Religion and Nature
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Faculty members: Bron Taylor, Jonathan Edelmann, and Robin Wright

MA and PhD in Philosophy and Religion, concentration in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness
California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA
Faculty members: Brian Thomas Swimme, Elizabeth Allison, Sean Kelly, Richard Tarnas, and Robert McDermott
New online M.A. in Integral Ecology
Beginning in 2017

New MA in Ecology and Spirituality
University of Wales and Schumacher College, UK
Beginning January 2017
Watch a video about this new program:

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:

For the online edition, visit:

Table of Contents for Volume 20, Issue 3 (2016)

Special Issue: “Spatial Turns”

• Introduction (Sigurd Bergmann)
• Place and the Hermeneutics of the Anthropocene (Forrest Clingerman)
• Hybrid Encounters in Reconciliation Ecology (Jeremy Kidwell)
• Impacts of Religious Beliefs on Environmental Indicators (Emilio Chuvieco; Mario Burgui and Isabel Gallego-Álvarez)
• Shepherds, Rituals, and the Sacred (Fabrizio Frascaroli)
• Peacemaking Rituals in the Context of Natural Disaster (Urte Undine Frömming)
• Indigenising in a Globalised World (Graham Harvey)
• Comparative Methods in Spatial Approaches to Religion (Whitney A. Bauman)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit:

To download this newsletter as a PDF, visit: