January 2011


The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
5.1 (January 2011)  


1. Editorial, by Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally  

2. Events 

3. Interdisciplinary Conference in India: “Yamuna River: A Confluence of Waters, A Crisis of Need”

4. Online Conference: “Healing Ecology”

5. New Books

6.  Call for Translations: Sacred Natural Sites

7. Call for Papers: “Religion and Climate Change” (Special Issue of Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture)

8. Call for Papers: “On the Socioeconomic and Political Outcomes of Global Climate Change” (Special Issue of Sustainability) 

9. Summer Institute: “Rethinking the Land Ethic: Sustainability and the Humanities” (June 20 - July 15, 2011 in Flagstaff, AZ, USA)

10. Holmes Rolston III Early Career Essay Prize in Environmental Philosophy 

11. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Editorial, by Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the January issue of the newsletter for the Forum on Religion and Ecology.  We have much to share with you this month with regards to developments in the field of religion and ecology, including books, DVDs, conferences, events, calls for papers, and more.

An important conference is currently taking place in Delhi, India, January 3-5, “Yamuna River: A Confluence of Waters, A Crisis of Need.”  Organized by the Forum on Religion and Ecologya and sponsored by Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and TERI University, Delhi, this interdisciplinary conference is bringing together a group of specialists in science, public policy and civil society, as well as ethics and religious studies, with the aim of addressing the condition of the Yamuna River, a river that is a goddess to millions of Hindus and is also the most polluted in India.  See below for more information, or visit:


We are happy to let you know current information about The Journey of the Universe project (http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org), which is a collaboration of Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme. The project involves a film, a book, and an educational DVD series, which will be available in 2011. The film was inspired by the New Story of Thomas Berry, a cultural historian who wrote The Universe Story with Swimme.  Drawing on the latest scientific knowledge to tell the story of cosmic and Earth evolution, the Journey of the Universe aims to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth in a period of growing environmental and social crisis.

There will be premieres of the film on the east and west coasts of the United States this coming spring, and later the film will be broadcast on the PBS station in San Francisco (KQED).  The east coast premiere will take place at Yale on March 25 and the west coast premiere in San Francisco on April 30.  Furthermore, to conclude the upcoming Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC, there will also be a premiere of the film on March 27 at the Carnegie Institution for Science.  We will continue to give you updated information about this project as it unfolds.  For a trailer of the film, news about the premieres, and more information about the book and educational series, please visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org .  More information about the book can also be found at the website of the publisher, Yale University Press: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300171907

We are always working to bring you the latest calls for papers related to the field of religion and ecology. This month, we have many calls for papers to share, including a call for translations. The call for translations is part of an effort to facilitate the conservation of Sacred Natural Sites (SNS), particularly in relationship to an edited volume on Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving Nature and Culture (Earthscan, 2010). The call has been issued in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), specifically the IUCN’s Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas (CSVPA). To help raise awareness and promote the conservation of SNS, CSVPA is asking for volunteers to translate three short documents into different language. For more information, please visit:

We have two calls for papers to share with you on topics of social and religious perspectives on climate change. First, a call for papers has been released for a special issue of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture (JSRNC) on “Religion and Climate Change.” In particular, the issue is seeking papers that draw on case studies or other social scientific methodologies to examine issues related to the intersection of religion and climate change, ranging from the global to the local and including multiple geographical and religious backgrounds. More information is available at: 

A call for papers has also been announced for a special issue of Sustainability, focusing “On the Socioeconomic and Political Outcomes of Global Climate Change”: http://www.mdpi.com/si/sustainability/climate_change. The journal is seeking full research papers and comprehensive review articles. Instructions for submissions can be found here: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/instructions/.

An invitation for papers has also been issued by the International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE), which is inaugurating an annual essay prize to mark its 20th anniversary. The prize is named in honor of the environmental philosopher Holmes Rolston, III. ISEE is inviting papers from scholars in the early stages of their career on any aspects of environmental philosophy or theoretical inquiries into environmental issues. The winning essay will be awarded $500 and will be published in the journal, Environmental Ethics. See below for more information. 

We hope that this newsletter supports your own work and helps you further your own engagements with the field of religion and ecology.  

Warm wishes,
Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally
California Institute of Integral Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
Web Content Managers & Newsletter Editors


2. Events


“Food and Faith II”
Unitarian Society of New Haven
700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden , CT , USA
January 17, 2011

Presentation to Saybrook College Fellows
By Mary Evelyn Tucker
195 Prospect, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
January 27, 2011

Dimensions of Political Ecology: Conference on Nature-Society”
Keynote Speaker: Paul Robbins
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA
February 18-19, 2011

American Teilhard Association Annual Meeting”
Speaker: John Haught
Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, USA
May 14, 2011

Animals as Religious Subjects: A Transdisciplinary Conference”
Hosted by the European Forum for the Study of Religion and Environment
University of Chester, UK
May 21-24, 2011

Technology and Security”
17th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT)
University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
May 26-29, 2011

Old World and New World Perspectives on Environmental Philosophy”
The Eighth Annual Meeting of the International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE)
June 14-17, 2011
Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Doing Good, Doing Bad, Doing Nothing: Scientific and Religious Perspectives”
The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science
Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York (USA)
June 18-25, 2011

This Planet as Paradise: Beauty & Ecological Restoration”
4th in a Series of Earth-Honoring Faith
Instructors: Rita Naskashima Brock, Marty Haugen, Janet Parker, Larry Rasmussen, Barbara Rossing, Daniel Spencer
Ghost Ranch Abiquiu, NM, USA
June 20-26, 2011

Minding Animals Conference 2012”
Utrecht University, the Netherlands
July 1-7, 2012



3.  Interdisciplinary Conference in India: “Yamuna River: A Confluence of Waters, A Crisis of Need”

Yamuna River: A Confluence of Waters, A Crisis of Need” 
Sponsored by:Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and TERI University, Delhi
Organized by the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
January 3-5, 2011

In terms of economy and ecology, the Yamuna River is one of the most important waterways of India.  From its source in the Himalayas, it flows in southeast across north India through Delhi and Agra  to its confluence with the Ganges at Allahabad. Nearly 60 million people depend upon the waters of the Yamuna for their survival, yet it is now heavily polluted with industrial and human waste.

From the traditional perspective of Hinduism, the Yamuna is a mother that nurtures, purifies, and sustains.  She is a goddess, identified as Lord Krishna’s supreme lover. Yet, the Yamuna River as it appears today presents a challenging paradox.  A river that is a goddess to millions of people is also the most polluted in India.  It is the irony of a river at once deified and defiled. This conference will convene scientists and religious leaders to address the condition of the river.

We will bring together a group of specialists in science (toxicology, hydrology, ecology), public policy and civil society, as well as ethics and religious studies. This will be designed to provide a forum for communication across these various fields. With a deeper understanding of the important role of values and behavior some long term policy plans may be implemented based on the best of current science. For more information, visit:  



4. Online Conference: “Healing Ecology”

At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, which took place in Atlanta in November, the Buddhist Critical-Constructive Reflection Group co-sponsored with the Ethics Section a session that focused on issues of Buddhism and ecology in David Loy’s essay, “Healing Ecology,” and included responses from Stephanie Kaza (professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont) and Grace Kao (an ethicist at the Claremont School of Theology). 

To continue the discussion that started in that session, Loy’s piece and Kao’s response have been uploaded to the website for the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, and an online conference has begun. To read and post comments about the pieces and the issues they raise for Buddhism and ecology, please visit: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics 

5. New Books

Natural Saints: How People of Faith are Working to Save God’s Earth
By Mallory McDuff
Oxford, 2010

At La Capilla de Santa Maria, parishioners weatherized their church in an effort to decrease the utility bills that took up a fifth of the annual budget. At Jubilee Community Church, parents and the education coordinator revised the Sunday School curriculum to integrate care of creation for all age levels. And at All People’s Church in Milwaukee, the sanctuary became a free farmer’s market on Sundays with produce grown by youth.

Natural Saints shares the stories and strategies of contemporary church leaders, parishioners, and religious environmentalists working to define a new environmental movement, where justice as a priority for the church means a clean and safe environment for all. Mallory McDuff shows that a focus on God’s earth is transforming both people and congregations, creating more relevant and powerful ministries. As a result, people of faith are forming a new environmental movement with a moral mandate to care for God’s earth.

McDuff highlights eight key ministries: protecting human dignity, feeding the hungry, creating sacred spaces, responding to natural disasters, promoting justice, making a pilgrimage, educating youth, and bearing witness. With two daughters in tow, she traveled across the country to document environmental actions grounded in faith. This journey transformed the author’s own faith and hope for a sustainable future. Congregations and individuals seeking to integrate care of creation into their faith community will find inspiration and concrete advice in the lives of these natural saints.


Green Church: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice!
By Rebekah Simon-Peter
Abingdon Press, 2010

Integrating scripture with scientific research, this book is designed as a six-week study (one chapter per week) to help Christians learn about current environmental issues and learn what they can do to make a positive difference. Each chapter includes sidebars with helpful facts and tips and concludes with a prayer, activities, and online resources. This book can be accompanied by the short book (app. 80 pages) by the same author, Seven Simple Steps to Green Your Church [Abingdon Press, 2010]. The companion book is a guide from greening your church over the course of a year, with a specific task to do each month (e.g., lighting, recycling, heating/cooling, etc.).


Anti-Human Theology: Nature, Technology and the Postnatural
By Peter Manley Scott
SCM Press, 2010

Peter Manley Scott offers a theological and ethical reading of our present situation. Due to the vigour of its re-engineering of the world by its technologies, western society has entered into a postnatural condition in which standard divisions between the natural and the artificial are no longer convincing.

This postnatural development is liberating – both theologically and politically. Scott develops an ‘anthropology’ that does not repeat Christianity’s history of anthropocentrism but instead criticises it by exploring the mutual entanglement of animals, humans and other creatures.

Deeply disrespectful of traditional centres of power, his ethical critiques of ‘pioneering’ technologies expose their anti-social and anti-ecological tendencies and identify possible paths of oppositional political action.

This is ethical theology at its best: deeply informed by theological tradition, immersed in contemporary political-technological problematics in radically oppositional ways, and yet fiercely hopeful of a good outcome for animals—human and non-human—and other life in history.



6. Call for Translations: Sacred Natural Sites

Sacred Natural Sites: Conserving Nature and Culture
Edited by Bas Verschuuren, Robert Wild, Jeffrey McNeely and Gonzalo Oviedo
Earthscan, 2010

Sacred Natural Sites are the world’s oldest protected places. This book focuses on a wide spread of both iconic and lesser known examples such as sacred groves of the Western Ghats (India), Sagarmatha /Chomolongma (Mt Everest, Nepal, Tibet - and China), the Golden Mountains of Altai (Russia), Holy Island of Lindisfarne (UK) and the sacred lakes of the Niger Delta (Nigeria).

The book illustrates that sacred natural sites, although often under threat, exist within and outside formally recognised protected areas, heritage sites. Sacred natural sites may well be some of the last strongholds for building resilient networks of connected landscapes. They also form important nodes for maintaining a dynamic socio-cultural fabric in the face of global change. The diverse authors bridge the gap between approaches to the conservation of cultural and biological diversity by taking into account cultural and spiritual values together with the socio-economic interests of the custodian communities and other relevant stakeholders.

Translate for Sacred Nature and earn a book about Sacred Natural Sites.

Please help protect sacred natural sites and their custodians by volunteering to translate three short documents into different languages.

We are collaborating with IUCN’s Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas (CSVPA), chaired by Rob Wild and co-chaired by Bas Verschuuren, to disseminate a call for translations relevant to the conservation of Sacred Natural Sites (SNS). SNS are biocultural areas: features of the landscape that are revered and protected for cultural and spiritual reasons, which results in the conservation of their biodiversity. But SNS are also biocultural areas at risk, threatened by development and inappropriate management practices by outsiders. The documents to be translated into as many languages as possible are part of a campaign to raise awareness and increase protection of SNS. Please help this campaign by volunteering to translate for CSVPA!

For more information about this translation project, visit:




7. Call for Papers: “Religion and Climate Change” (Special Issue of Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture)

Papers are requested for a special issue of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture (JSRNC) on “Religion and Climate Change” and a possible book. Anthropogenic climate change is among the most significant and far-reaching social issues of our time. Although climate scientists are near unanimous about potentially catastrophic consequences, mobilizing a meaningful response has proven to be a real challenge.  Numerous statements on climate change by faith-based actors and institutionalized religious groups have occurred in recent years. However, far less research has been published about actually existing faith-shaped action by religious institutions, groups and individuals.

Papers that draw on case studies or other social scientific methodologies to examine the intersection of religion and climate change are sought for the special issue of the journal. Depending on the response, we may also pursue book publication. Papers may address the topic on scales ranging from global to local, and from any social science discipline, including but not limited to sociology, geography, history, cultural studies, native studies, anthropology, political science, and religious studies. The special issue also aims for geographical and religious diversity. See the detailed description at http://www.religionandnature.com/journal/pdf/climate_change_cfp.pdf 

Interested scholars should send a 200-500 word prospectus for a paper contribution, along with a short biography up to 150 words (may include a website link if available) to the editors listed below. Please send expressions of interest by February 15, 2011. In paper proposals please describe the methodological approach you would expect to take and the argument(s) likely to be advanced. Potential authors will be contacted by the end of February. Accepted papers will be due July 2011. 


Randolph Haluza-DeLay, randy.haluza-delay@kingsu.ca

Andrew Szasz, szasz@ucsc.edu

Robin Globus, rglobus@ufl.edu

8. Call for Papers: “On the Socioeconomic and Political Outcomes of Global Climate Change” (Special Issue of Sustainability)

The following Special Issue will be published in Sustainability (http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/), and is now open to receive submissions of full research papers and comprehensive review articles for peer-review and possible publication:

Special Issue: “On the Socioeconomic and Political Outcomes of Global Climate Change”

Website: http://www.mdpi.com/si/sustainability/climate_change/

Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. Rafael Reuveny

Deadline for manuscript submissions: February 28, 2011

Submitted papers should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. We also encourage authors to send us their tentative title and short abstract by e-mail for approval to the editorial office at sustainability@mdpi.com

This Special Issue will be fully open access (unlimited and free access by readers).

Article Processing Charges (APC) are 500 CHF per paper. An additional fee of 250 CHF may apply if English editing or extensive revisions must be undertaken by the Editorial Office. For more information please refer to: http://www.mdpi.com/about/apc/.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors before submitting a manuscript: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/instructions/.

Manuscripts should be submitted through the online manuscript submission and editorial system at http://www.mdpi.com/user/manuscripts/upload/.

In case of questions, please contact the Editorial Office at: sustainability@mdpi.com



9. Summer Institute: “Rethinking the Land Ethic: Sustainability and the Humanities” (June 20 – July 15, 2011 in Flagstaff, AZ, USA)

Rethinking the Land Ethic: Sustainability and the Humanities,” the 2011 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institute for college and university faculty, will be held June 20 – July 15, 2011. Bryan Norton and Bron Taylor will be among the core faculty in this exciting, four week long summer institute led by faculty at Arizona State University. It will be held in Flagstaff, Arizona and have field trips in the region, including to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.  Participants receive a $3,300 stipend and will include three graduate students.  The deadline for applicants is March 1, 2010. Further information can be found at http://leopold.asu.edu/sustainability/welcome 

10. Holmes Rolston III Early Career Essay Prize in Environmental Philosophy

To mark the 20th anniversary of the International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE), the ISEE and the Center for Environmental Philosophy are inaugurating an annual essay prize for scholars in the early stages of their career. The prize is named in honour of Professor Holmes Rolston III, for his pioneering work in the field of environmental philosophy.

Papers are invited on all aspects of environmental philosophy or environmental affairs (with a strong theoretical component). A prize of $500 will be awarded to the winning essay.

All submitted papers that qualify (see conditions) will be reviewed by an Essay Prize Committee in consultation with the Editorial Board of Environmental Ethics. The winning essay will be published in the journal, Environmental Ethics.

Submission Guidelines:

* Scholars who have earned their doctorate no more than five years prior to submission are invited to submit an essay. Submissions must be accompanied by a one-page CV to provide evidence of early career status.

* Closing date for submissions: June 1st, 2011.

* Word limit: 60,000 characters (including spaces), including notes and references. An abstract of 100-150 words should also be included.

* Style: consult the Chicago Manual of Style or any recent issue of Environmental Ethics.

* Essays must be prepared for blind review (cover page with contact information and email on a separate page).

* Submissions should be emailed to: Emily.Brady@ed.ac.uk. Please put ‘Essay Prize’ in the subject line of the email submission.

* The essay should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and should not be submitted to any other journal until the outcome of the competition is announced.

* The decision of the committee will be final. There is only one prize per year and the committee reserves the right not to award the prize if submissions are not of an appropriate standard.

Dr. Emily Brady
President, International Society for Environmental Ethics
University of Edinburgh, Emily.Brady@ed.ac.uk

Dr. Eugene C. Hargrove
Center for Environmental Philosophy
University of North Texas, cep@unt.edu 

11. 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: http://fore.research.yale.edu/publications/newsletters/index.html