July 2016

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
10.7 (July 2016)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Mary Evelyn Tucker Receives Award from Iranian President Recognizing Work in Religion and Ecology

3. Free Yale University Online Classes: “Journey of the Universe: A Story for our Times”

4. Recordings from “Laudato Si Online Conference” (June 13-17, 2016)

5. Online Retreat: “Thomas Berry: Prophet and Mystic of the Earth” (July 4-29, 2016)

6. New Publications

7. Calls for Papers

8. China India Scholar-Leaders Fellowships

9. Interfaith Declaration from “Rethinking Laudato Si: International Seminar on Science and Religion Cooperation for Environmental Care” (June 20-21, 2016 in Pyrenees of Huesca, Spain)

10. Report about “Rural Sustainability Workshop” (June 10-11, 2016 at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA)

11. Report and Video about “Bread in the Wilderness: A Summer Seminar on Food, Faith, and Ecological Well-Being” (June 6-10, 2016 in Asheville, NC, USA)

12. Events

13. Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellows

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

15. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the July 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 recently received an award from the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, for “efforts and achievements in preserving the essence of life and the global environment.” Learn more here: http://environment.yale.edu/news/article/iran-award-religion-and-ecology/ This award was presented at the “Second International Seminar on Religion, Culture, and Environment: Promoting Intercultural Dialogue for Sustainable Development,” held April 23-24 in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim participated in this conference, and the Journey of the Universe trailer was shown with Persian subtitles at the beginning and end of the conference. For the seminar agenda, a discussion note, and photos, visit: http://tinyurl.com/zsvh2cn This conference follows on two conferences on religion and ecology in Tehran in 2001 and 2005 that Mary Evelyn and John also participated in, sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Iranian government.

We are excited to let you know about four free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will teach in the fall of 2016 at Yale University. These will be featured as a specialization under the theme of “Journey of the Universe: A Story for our Times” and will include two courses on Journey of the Universe, a course on the Worldview of Thomas Berry, and an integrating capstone on Living Cosmology. For the course descriptions, visit: http://fore.yale.edu/files/Yale-MOOCS.pdf

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are participating in two summer school programs in China and Korea. The Yale-Yunnan Minzu Interdisciplinary Summer School on the Himalayas was held June 26 - July 2, 2016 at Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming, China. The theme was “Environment, Livelihood and Culture in the Greater Himalayan region.” For more, visit: http://himalaya.yale.edu/home The Global Collaborative Summer Program organized by the Global Academy for Future Civilizations is taking place July 4-22, 2016 at Kyung Hee University in South Korea. Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Sungsoo Kim, and Jeong-Eun Lee are offering a summer course on Journey of the Universe. For more, visit: http://tinyurl.com/jng9r9c The Journey of the Universe film is being shown in both China and Korea in conjunction with the summer schools. The Journey book is translated into Chinese and Korean. The film screening at the Gwancheon National Science Museum on July 12 is open to the public and will have Korean subtitles. For more, visit: http://tinyurl.com/zha766j

Mary Evelyn and John have recently edited a volume entitled Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe. Published by Orbis Books, this is the newest book in the Ecology and Justice Series on Integral Ecology. For more about this book, visit: http://www.orbisbooks.com/living-cosmology.html This volume is a collection of papers from the 2014 “Living Cosmology” conference at Yale University held in honor of Thomas Berry’s 100th birthday. For more about this conference, including videos of the talks, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/living-cosmology-conference/

We have launched a new website for Thomas Berry: http://thomasberry.org/. This new site highlights Thomas’ life and thought and was launched on the occasion of the presentation of the Thomas Berry Award to Brian Edward Brown by the Thomas Berry Foundation on January 24, 2016. On this website, you will find many of Thomas’ videos and audio recordings, along with several of his essays.

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: http://tinyurl.com/hduf35g

Journey of the Universe also has a Facebook page that we invite you to visit: http://tinyurl.com/jb8m9q4 The film is now live on Amazon.com for streaming and downloading, and via Prime as well: http://amzn.to/1PzwXuG For a list of more stores where the Journey project is available, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/buy/

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. Mary Evelyn Tucker Receives Award from Iranian President Recognizing Work in Religion and Ecology

F&ES Faculty Receives Award in Iran Recognizing Work in Religion and Ecology”
By Timothy Brown
Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies
June 27, 2016

American media often portrays Iran, a nation of roughly 78 million, as a dangerous threat not only to the region, but also to the United States and other western countries.

But according to Mary Evelyn Tucker, a senior lecturer and research scholar at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and the Yale Divinity School (YDS) many Iranians are more concerned about their deteriorating environment than terrorism. And with the lifting of sanctions, Iran is reaching out to join the international community, she observes.

In late April, Tucker and her husband John Grim, also a senior lecturer and research scholar at F&ES, travelled to Tehran for the “Second International Seminar on Religion, Culture, and Environment: Promoting Intercultural Dialogue for Sustainable Development”. The two-day conference – the third that Tucker and Grim have attended at the invitation of the Iranian government – featured discussions by international scholars, environmentalists, religious leaders, and public officials on the roles of religion and culture to help achieve sustainable development goals.

Tucker, who co-directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with Grim, was also presented with a special award from the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, recognizing her “efforts and achievements in preserving the essence of life and the global environment.”

During a recent interview, Tucker discussed the historic conference, her impressions of Iran, and the role of religion in promoting social and environmental change.

Read the interview and view photos here:

3. Free Yale University Online Classes: “Journey of the Universe: A Story for our Times”

In the fall of 2016 Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Senior Lecturers and Research Scholars at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, will offer four six-week online courses. These will be featured as a specialization under the theme of “Journey of the Universe: A Story for our Times.” This will include 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 and free to anyone, anywhere on the planet. These will be the first MOOC specialization for Yale and the first MOOCs for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Registration will take place at https://www.coursera.org/yale

Read the course descriptions here:

4. Recordings from “Laudato Si Online Conference” (June 13-17, 2016)

One year after the Papal encyclical Laudato Si was released, there is growing interest in its message that brings together eco-justice issues for people and the planet. On June 13-17, 2016, the “Laudato Si Online Conference” featured Vatican officials and leading experts from different backgrounds who dialogued about the crisis affecting our common home and reflected on the Pope’s Laudato Si’ message on occasion of its first anniversary.

Recordings of the entire conference are available here:

For recent news articles about Pope Francis, climate change, and the environment, visit:

5. Online Retreat: “Thomas Berry: Prophet and Mystic of the Earth” (July 4-29, 2016)  

Please join us in an opportunity to connect with the profound Earth-honoring teachings of the late Thomas Berry (1914-2009). Guiding us will be Sister Kathleen Deignan and Brother Kevin Cawley. Their online retreat integrates ecological concern with spiritual practice, infusing new hope into the concern for Earth’s well-being that we all hold.

Email messages three times a week will focus on primary themes from Berry’s life, like Storyteller of the Universe, Mystic of the Meadow, and Master of Creation Spirituality. You will also receive MP3s of some of Kathleen’s joyful, life-giving chants and the opportunity to participate in the Practice Circle, a community forum open 24/7.


6. New Publications

Green is Gold: The Strategy and Actions of China’s Ecological Civilization”
United Nations Environment Programme, 2016

The Chinese government has been paying close attention to ecological and environmental issues for many years. It has highlighted Ecological Civilization and environmental protection as a long-term strategy vital to the country’s modernization and its people’s well-being. President Xi Jinping has pointed out that “green is gold” and that moving towards a new era of Ecocivilization and building a “Beautiful China” are key to realizing the “Chinese Dream” of rejuvenating the nation. As China firmly supports and actively implements the concept and actions of sustainable development at the global level, its effort to build an Eco-civilization will make a significant contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey: Rediscovering the Author of A Sand County Almanac
By Julianne Lutz Warren
Foreword by Bill McKibben
Tenth Anniversary Edition
Island Press, 2016
Purchase a copy from Island Press with the code 4ODYSSEY for a 20% discount.

In 2006, Julianne Lutz Warren (née Newton) asked readers to rediscover one of history’s most renowned conservationists. Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey was hailed by The New York Times as a “biography of ideas,” making “us feel the loss of what might have followed A Sand County Almanac by showing us in authoritative detail what led up to it.” Warren’s astute narrative quickly became an essential part of the Leopold canon, introducing new readers to the father of wildlife ecology and offering a fresh perspective to even the most seasoned scholars. A decade later, as our very concept of wilderness is changing, Warren frames Leopold’s work in the context of the Anthropocene. With a new preface and foreword by Bill McKibben, the book underscores the ever-growing importance of Leopold’s ideas in an increasingly human-dominated landscape.


A Fierce Green Fire: Aldo Leopold’s Life and Legacy
By Marybeth Lorbiecki
2nd Edition
Oxford University Press, 2016

For anyone interested in wildlife, birds, wilderness areas, parks, ecology, conservation, environmental literature, and ethics, the name Aldo Leopold is sure to pop up. Since first publication, Aldo Leopold: A Fierce Green Fire has remained the classic short, inspiring biography of Leopold–the perfect companion to reading his ever popular A Sand County Almanac. Winning numerous awards, this comprehensive account of his life story is dynamic and readable, written in the context of the history of American conservation and illustrated with historic photographs. Marybeth Lorbiecki has now enriched A Fierce Green Fire in a way no other biography on Leopold has, adding numerous chapters on the ripple effects of his ideas, books, ecological vision, land ethic, and Shack, as well as of the ecological contributions of his children, graduate students, contemporary scholars, and organizations–and the wilderness lands he helped preserve. Lorbiecki weaves these stories and factual information into the biography in a compelling way that keeps both lay and academic readers engaged.


Ethnobiology for the Future: Linking Cultural and Ecological Diversity
Edited by Gary Paul Nabhan
University of Arizona, 2016

In this important new collection, Gary Paul Nabhan puts forth a call for the future not only of ethnobiology but for the entire planet. He articulates and broadens the portfolio of ethnobiological principles and amplifies the tool kit for anyone engaged in the ethnobiosphere, those vital spaces of intense interaction among cultures, habitats, and creatures. The essays are grouped into a trio of themes. The first group presents the big questions facing humanity, the second profiles tools and methodologies that may help to answer those questions, and the third ponders how to best communicate these issues not merely to other scholars, but to society at large. The essays attest to the ways humans establish and circumscribe their identities not only through their thoughts and actions, but also with their physical, emotional, and spiritual attachments to place, flora, fauna, fungi, and feasts.


The Importance of Indigenous Knowledge in Curbing the Loss of Language and Biodiversity”
By Benjamin T. Wilder, Carolyn O’Meara, Laurie Monti, and Gary Paul Nabhan
BioScience 66 (6): 499-509.
June 1, 2016

Biodiversity inventory, monitoring, and species-recovery efforts can be advanced by a dynamic collaboration of Western, citizen, and ethnoscience. Indigenous and local traditional knowledge of place-based biodiversity is perhaps the oldest scientific tradition on earth. We illustrate how an all taxa biodiversity inventory network of projects in collaboration with the Comcaac (Seri people) in northwestern Mexico is advancing not only biosystematics but also species recovery, habitat restoration, language conservation and maintenance, and the maintenance of traditional livelihoods.


Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change
By Kathleen Dean Moore
Introduction by Mary Evelyn Tucker
Counterpoint Press (2016)

Even as tides rise against the shores, another great tide is beginning to rise – a tide of outrage against the pillage of the planet, a tide of commitment to justice and human rights, a swelling affirmation of moral responsibility to the future of the lovely, reeling planet. Kathleen Dean Moore, philosopher and co-editor of Moral Ground, takes on the essential questions: Why is it wrong to wreck the world? What is our obligation to the future? What is the transformative power of moral resolve? Grounded in Moore’s lifetime of thoughtful and creative immersion in the two worlds of philosophy and nature writing, Great Tide Rising is at once heartbreaking and motivating, terrifying and empowering, analytical and lyrical, hopeful and strategic.


A Radical Alliance of Black and Green Could Save the World”
By James Gustave Speth and J. Phillip Thompson III
The Nation
April 14, 2016

In this article, the authors mention Thomas Berry, the Forum on Religion and Ecology, and the Iroquois Confederacy. A beautiful thing is happening: Advocates for racial justice and for environmental protection—too often, movements quite distant from each other—are coming together in a new way. One can see it in the campaign of National People’s Action and the Climate Justice Alliance to push for a just and locally empowering transition to clean energy; in the New Economy Coalition’s inclusive membership and commitment to front-line communities; and in the projects of the Evergreen Cooperatives, in inner-city Cleveland. These new efforts (may they multiply!) are grounded on a strong foundation. When one explores the roots of both the environmental and civil-rights movements, one finds a strikingly similar radical critique. Both movements have called for a deep restructuring of society and the economy; in both cases, that call is based on an affirmation of life and the devoted care that life requires of us.

7. Calls for Papers

“Animal Narratology”
Special issue of Humanities
Submission deadline: July 20, 2016

Rational Animals? Comparing Human and Animal Minds from an Interdisciplinary Perspective”
Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
October 4-6, 2016
Submission deadline: July 20, 2016

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes”
The New School, New York City, NY, USA
April 20-23, 2017
Submission deadline: September 5, 2016 by 5pm EST

8. China India Scholar-Leaders Fellowships

We are pleased to announce the China India Scholar-Leaders Initiative, a new 18-month Fellowship opportunity through the India China Institute. The Fellowship seeks to support and enhance emerging scholars working in the area of India-China Studies and related fields, with special attention to scholars from underrepresented backgrounds and areas of study. The Fellowship will focus on the theme of Prosperity and Inequality in China and India and will provide participants a chance to conduct fieldwork in India and China and enhance their research methods at The New School, a leading international university in New York City. Scholars will also have the opportunity to work with established scholars from India, China and the US on prosperity and inequality research. The Fellowship runs from April 15, 2017 through October 15, 2018.

Applications are now being accepted, and the deadline to apply is September 30, 2016.

For more information about this Fellowship, or to apply online, visit the India China Institute website: http://www.indiachinainstitute.org/initiatives/scholar-leaders/

9. Interfaith Declaration from “Rethinking Laudato Si: International Seminar on Science and Religion Cooperation for Environmental Care” (June 20-21, 2016 in Pyrenees of Huesca, Spain)

The Declaration of Torreciudad is the result of the working discussions at the “International Seminar on Science and Religion cooperation for Environmental Care” (http://www.issrec.org/), inspired by the Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato si’. The seminar was attended by a group of environmental scientists, theologians, and religious leaders of major spiritual traditions. We open this declaration to everyone that recognizes the extent of environmental problems and appreciates the need to promote a greater cooperation between the sciences and major religious and spiritual traditions towards solving these problems.

Read and endorse the Declaration of Torreciudad:

10. Report about “Rural Sustainability Workshop” (June 10-11, 2016 at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA)

On June 10-11, 2016, the International Rural Sustainability Workshop was held at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX, USA (http://cas.unt.edu/ruralsustainability).

The workshop generated the “Denton Declaration” calling for greater cooperation among rural NGO’s by the creation of an international advocacy group. Read this declaration here: http://fore.yale.edu/files/Denton_Declaration.pdf

Watch the keynote presentation by Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi, director of the Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO):

11. Report and Video about “Bread in the Wilderness: A Summer Seminar on Food, Faith, and Ecological Well-Being” (June 6-10, 2016 in Asheville, NC, USA)

Each year in June Wake Forest University School of Divinity convenes a five-day seminar in food, faith, and ecological well-being in the North Carolina mountains. On June 6-10, 2016, over 40 faith leaders from around the country gathered for the 4th iteration of this gathering. For more, visit: http://divinity.wfu.edu/bread/

View a report and see photos:

Watch a video about this event:

12. Events

Journey of the Universe Summer Course
July 4-22, 2016
Global Academy for Future Civilizations
Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Faculty for this 3 credit course on Journey of the Universe include:
Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Sungsoo Kim, and Jeong-Eun Lee
Contact: 82-2-961-0995~6, summer@khu.ac.kr
Brochure: http://gafc.khu.ac.kr/gep/pdf/GC_2016%20Brochure.com.pdf
Website: http://gafc.khu.ac.kr/gep

Our Common Home: The Origins, Theology and Implications of Laudato Si”
Online Summer Course with Michael Ross
St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
July 4-14, 2016

Persons as Animals: Understanding the Animal Bases of Agency, Perceptual Knowledge and Thought”
Weetwood Hall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
July 6-7, 2016

Zest for Life: Partnering with Our Sacred Earth Community”
2016 Sisters of Earth Conference
Presentation Center, Los Gatos, CA, USA
July 7-10, 2016

Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and Moses Start a Co-op: Faith Communities Building an Inclusive Economy”
SUNY Buffalo State, Buffalo, NY, USA
July 8, 2016

Journey of the Universe Film Screening
July 12, 2016 at 7pm
Gwancheon National Science Museum, South Korea
Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
This event is part of the 2016 Global Collaborative Special Lecture Series.
Contact: 82-2-961-0995~6, summer@khu.ac.kr
Brochure: http://gafc.khu.ac.kr/gep/pdf/GC_2016%20Brochure.com.pdf
Website: http://gafc.khu.ac.kr/gep

12th International Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change Symposium”
Harris Manchester College in the University of Oxford, Oxford, England
July 20-23, 2016

The Ethics of Eating Animals”
Third Annual Oxford Animal Ethics Summer School
St Stephen’s House, Oxford, UK
July 24-27, 2016

Contemplative Environmental Practice”
Retreat for Professors and Activists
Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, NM, USA
July 24-30, 2016

Retreat into the Universe Story: What is Earth Asking?”
July 29 – August 4, 2016
Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Wheatland, IA, USA

Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum”
From Environment to Sustainability: Megatrends of the 21st Century
Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
Faculty Director: Daniel C. Esty
Faculty: Gary Brudvig, Marian Chertow, Todd Cort, E. Donald Elliott, Bradford Gentry, Richard Kauffman, Mary Evelyn Tucker
September 21-23, 2016

Earth to Earth: Natural Burial as Spiritual Practice”
Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, IL, USA
November 4-5, 2016

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

13. Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellows

The Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship recognizes the need to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of interconnectedness, service, stewardship, and reverence for nature. The 9-month Fellowship program is designed to offer an experience of deep study, reflection, and practical development and explores ways in which the principles of Spiritual Ecology can contribute to profound systems of change.

Learn more about the 2016 Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellows here:

14. 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: http://thomasberry.org/assets/uploads/Orbis_Ecology_and_Justice_3-24-16.pdf

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

Inspired Sustainability: Planting Seeds for Action
By Erin Lothes Biviano
Orbis Books, 2016

This book asks (and answers) an important question: How do we encourage and empower activists and scholars to work for environmental sustainability? Lothes Biviano combines empirically-based focus group data with interdisciplinary research and theological interpretation to offer a unique analysis of what encourages and what discourages sustainable decision making, including the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional conflicts inherent in confronting climate change. A must-read for anyone searching for the spark that drives spiritual Americans to feel the environmental crisis as a sacred loss, and who are re-imagining their faith and life through environmental advocacy.

15. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology has as its focus the relationships between religion, culture and ecology world-wide. Articles discuss major world religious traditions, such as Islam, Buddhism or Christianity; the traditions of indigenous peoples; new religious movements; and philosophical belief systems, such as pantheism, nature spiritualities, and other religious and cultural worldviews in relation to the cultural and ecological systems. Focusing on a range of disciplinary areas including Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology and Theology, the journal also presents special issues that center around one theme.

For more information, visit: brill.com/wo

For the online edition, visit:

Table of Contents for Volume 20, Issue 2 (2016)

• In Search of an Authentic Pax Gaia (Simon Appolloni and Christopher Hrynkow)
• Catholics and Climate Change Skepticism (Lynn Vincentnathan, S. Georg Vincentnathan, and Nicholas Smith)
• Eco-theological Responses to Climate Change in Oceania (Cecilie Rubow and Cliff Bird)
• Reading Nature Religiously (Nancy Menning)
• Engaged Buddhist Practice and Ecological Ethics (Charles Strain)
• Book Review: Naturethik und biblische Schöpfungserzählung: Ein diskurstheoretischer und narrativ-hermeneutischer Brückenschlag, written by Christof Hardmeier and Konrad Ott (Review by Sigurd Bergmann)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit:

To download this newsletter as a PDF, visit: