June 2011

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
5.6 (June 2011)

1. Editorial, by Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally
2. Journey of the Universe Film Showings

3. Events
4. New Books

5. Webinar on Hinduism and the Environment with Pankaj Jain

6. The Sacred Door Trail

7. Call for Papers: “Transforming Feminisms: Religion, Women and Ecology” (Special Issue of the Journal for the Study of Religion)

8. Call for Papers: Eighth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability (January 10-12, 2012 in Vancouver, Canada)

9. Call for Nominations: “Tunza International Children & Youth Conference on the Environment” (September 26-30, 2011 in Bandung, Indonesia)

10. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Editorial, by Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the June 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 film screenings, books, conferences, events, calls for papers, and more.

We are pleased to keep you informed about the Journey of the Universe project. This collaboration of Brian Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim includes a film and a book (available at the end of June 2011) and an educational DVD series (available July 20, 2011). Inspired by the New Story of Thomas Berry, the Journey of the Universe draws on the latest scientific knowledge to tell the story of cosmic and Earth evolution. It aims to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth in a period of growing environmental and social crisis. For more information about the project, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org

To view the book flyer from Yale University Press, visit:


To pre-order the book, visit:


There will be a special broadcast of the Journey of the Universe film on KQED, the San Francisco PBS station, for a membership pledge on June 11. See below for more information. A number of screenings of the film have been scheduled. A screening of the film will be held in Oakland on June 10, in Toronto June 15, in Sweden July 2, in Austin August 8, in Ottawa September 23, and in Seattle September 30. For the most up-to-date list of showings, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/upcoming-events/  

If you are interested in scheduling a screening of the Journey of the Universe, please contact Sue Espinosa at sespinosa@msn.com.

Along the same lines as the Journey of the Universe project, it is our aim to inspire you to deepen your relationship with the Earth community and to participate in many expressions of the story of the evolving universe. We hope 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. Journey of the Universe Film Showings

Film Broadcast: KQED (June 11, 2011)

KQED Pledge Drive
5:30pm on KQED 9 and KQED Life


Film Screening: Oakland, CA (June 10, 2011)

East Bay Church of Religious Science (EBCRS)
4130 Telegraph Ave. 
Oakland, CA 94609
Discussion after the film with Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker. 
Contact: Belvie Rooks, bjr@mcn.org  
For the flyer, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/storage/EBCRS_Flyer.pdf  


Film Screening: University of Toronto (June 15, 2011)

University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto
Muzzo Family Alumni Hall (Room 100) 
121 St. Joseph Street
Toronto, ON Canada
Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will introduce the film. 
Contact: Dennis O’Hara, dennis.ohara@utoronto.ca


Film Screening: Sigtuna, Sweden (July 2, 2011)

Tallberg Forum
Sigtuna, Sweden
Location and Time TBA
Contact: info@tallbergfoundation.org


For more events related to Journey of the Universe, visit: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/upcoming-events/

3. Events

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

Living Sustainably as Spiritual Practice”
Creation Spirituality Communities Annual Event
Chicago, IL, USA
June 16-20, 2011

Sunrise Solstice”
Summer Solstice Celebration with the Paul Winter Consort
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
New York City, NY, USA
4:30 a.m.
June 18, 2011

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

This Planet as Paradise: Beauty & Ecological Restoration”
4th in a Series of Earth-Honoring Faith
Ghost Ranch Abiquiu, NM, USA
June 20-26, 2011

Third Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Symposium”
Serenbe, GA, USA
June 29-July 1, 2011

Knowledge and Value in a Globalising World: Disentangling Dichotomies, Querying Unities”
Conference of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) and the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa / New Zealand (ASAANZ)
University of Western Australia
Perth, Western Australia
July 5-8, 2011

Cultural Traditions and Sustainable Development”
Southeast Asian Biennial Conference
Hanoi, Vietnam                                                                         
July 7-8, 2011

Living the New Story: Cosmology for a Mutually Enhancing World”
Sophia Center Summer Institute 2011
Oakland, CA, USA
July 14-17, 2011

Cosmology for a Mutually Enhancing World”
Post-Institute Retreat of Sophia Center Summer Institute 2011
Oakland, CA, USA
July 17-19, 2011



4. New Books

Relational Reality: New Discoveries of Interrelatedness That Are Transforming the Modern World
By Charlene Spretnak
Green Horizon Books, 2011

Relational Reality reveals the coherence among numerous surprising discoveries of the interrelated nature of reality. These discoveries are part of a new perspective that has been emerging gradually for the past several decades but has gained momentum and is now transforming every mainstream field of human endeavor. All our basic assumptions (built on the old idea that everything in the physical world is essentially separate and functions mechanistically) are being reconsidered. No longer a marginal perspective, the Relational Shift is based on the realization that all entities in this world, including humans, are thoroughly relational beings of great complexity who are both composed of and nested within networks of creative, dynamic interrelationships. Nothing exists outside of those relationships. As we try to grasp the interrelated nature of reality, emergent relational approaches are already transforming the way we educate our children, attend to our health, green our communities, and rethink economic activity. New analyses of the crises of modernity and abundant new solutions are the result. 


Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating
By Norman Wirzba
Cambridge University Press, 2011

This book provides a comprehensive theological framework for assessing eating’s significance, employing a Trinitarian theological lens to evaluate food production and consumption practices as they are being worked out in today’s industrial food systems. Norman Wirzba combines the tools of ecological, agrarian, cultural, biblical, and theological analyses to draw a picture of eating that cares for creatures and that honors God. Unlike books that focus on vegetarianism or food distribution as the key theological matters, this book broadens the scope to include discussions on the sacramental character of eating, eating’s ecological and social contexts, the meaning of death and sacrifice as they relate to eating, the Eucharist as the place of inspiration and orientation, the importance of saying grace, and whether or not there will be eating in heaven. Food and Faith demonstrates that eating is of profound economic, moral, and theological significance.


Christianity and Earthkeeping: In Search of an Inspiring Vision
By Ernst Conradie
SUN PReSS, 2011

Why should Christians engage in earthkeeping as Christians and from within Christian commu­nities? What is the underlying theological rationale for that? Despite the wealth of literature that has emerged in the field of ecological theology over the last three decades, there remains a lack of clarity on this very basic question. In this book some 19 reasons why Christians may be encouraged to engage in earthkeeping are identified, juxtaposed and assessed in order to call for clarity, to invite discussion. The result may challenge the deepest convictions of some readers, but may also enrich the array of arguments available for persuading others of the need for Christian involvement in earthkeeping praxis. This book is part of the series Resources in Religion and Theology. 

Prof Ernst M. Conradie teaches Systematic Theology and Ethics in the Department of Religion and Theology at the University of the Western Cape.


Earthwise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care (3rd Edition)
By Calvin B. DeWitt
Faith Alive, 2011

Earthwise is about living in harmony with the natural world around us—and sharing the joy of this living.  Sadly, our ways of life in today’s global economy have led to increasing land and habitat destruction, pollution, species extinction, buildup of “greenhouse gases,” and other degradations of the earth. But rather than grovel and wring our hands in despair, lifelong creation care scientist Calvin B. DeWitt suggests we discover a joyful, positive attitude about working together for good in this world. Looking forward in hope, we can make changes and take positive, lasting action that is more in harmony with the way the world works and is meant to be. This book, now in its third edition, helps to provide us and our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and fellow citizens with practical information and ideas to become truly “earthwise.”

Calvin B. DeWitt is a professor in the Nelson Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he serves on the graduate faculties of Environment and Resources, Water Resources Management, Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, and Limnology and Marine Science.

To read a sample chapter of this book, visit:



5. Webinar on Hinduism and the Environment with Pankaj Jain

On May 19th, 2011, GreenFaith’s Hindu Scholar-in-Residence, Dr. Pankaj Jain, led an hour long webinar describing Hindu teachings on the environment.

To listen to this webinar, visit:  



6. The Sacred Door Trail

The Sacred Door Trail (SDT) is a 165-mile interfaith pilgrimage trail loop located in western Montana, dedicated to spiritual unity, peace, and our connection to Earth and each other. It is a compilation of pre-existing National Forest Service trails which make up a loop that explores some of the most beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes in the United States. What is special about the trail is that it is a shared sacred path, shared by many people, faiths and indigenous cultures that care to support such a vision. The trail serves to reconnect people back to our original church, our original temple – Mother Earth. 

The opening of the trail will occur in August of 2012. It will involve three days of dedication ceremonies and blessings for the land given by representatives of all the different faiths and indigenous cultures who support the project. The purpose of the blessings will be to establish the land and trail as a shared sacred space. Our current support for the project includes indigenous and faith-based leaders from around the world, as well as interfaith, environmental, and peace organizations that believe in such acts of unity.

In December, National Geographic devoted an entire special edition to pilgrimage trails and sacred sites around the world (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/sacred-journeys). However, not one was an interfaith trail or shared sacred site.  This is the niche the SDT will fill not only in America but around the world.  

How you can help: Join the Sacred Door Trail Alliance (SDTA).

The SDTA is a compilation of different faith based groups, indigenous groups, and interfaith groups, as well as social justice, peace, women’s, artistic, and environmental organizations that believe in and support such acts of unity and Earth reconnection.  We have been focusing locally in Montana and now are expanding our support to a national and international level. If your organization would like to add its name to our alliance list which will be able to be viewed soon on our website, please let us know.

To learn more about the SDT, visit: www.thesacreddoortrail.com

To watch a two minute video clip about the trail, visit: http://www.vimeo.com/20572547 

In Gratitude,
Weston Pew
Director/Founder of the Sacred Door Trail 


7. Call for Papers: “Transforming Feminisms: Religion, Women and Ecology” (Special Issue of the Journal for the Study of Religion)

Reflections on the relationship between humans and the natural world is a critical issue for many feminists within the Study of Religion. In particular, feminists address the connections between sexism and the exploitation of nature. A crucial focus in order to reconfigure these relationships is to challenge hierarchical structures and dualistic thinking. The study of religion, women and ecology has become a sub-field on its own, developed into vigorous interdisciplinary programs of research and teaching. This endeavor pays particular attention to intersecting locations of power, contextual dynamics, women’s subjectivities, and the creation of new epistemologies. Therefore this special issue addresses the ways in which emerging feminist discourses within the Study of Religion contributes to transforming feminisms by means of reconceptualizing the relationships between religions, humans and the environment. 

We warmly invite submissions that focus on:

  • Emerging feminists discourses within various religious traditions
  • Empirical research that explores the category of women’s experience in relation to religion and ecology
  • The challenge of dualistic and hierarchical worldviews that separates humans from nature and the divine
  • Emerging feminist spiritualities that have responded to the ecological crisis largely through a rejection of “religion” and are engaged in a form of ritualized activism to bring about a global transformation

Professor David Chidester, Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town

Guest Editors:
Dr. Nina Hoel, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town
Mrs. Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, PhD candidate, Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town

Deadline for Submissions: 15 July, 2011.

This special issue is slated for publication in October 2011.

Submissions, questions and queries can be directed to: nina.hoel@uct.ac.za

Journal for the Study of Religion is the premier journal in South Africa for research in the academic study of religion and religions. The journal is published twice a year by the professional society, the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa (ASRSA), which is the South African affiliate of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR). Articles published are subject to a peer-review process by independent referees drawn from the International Editorial Advisory Board and the Editorial Consultants, or by other experts in the international and local academic community.


8. Call for Papers: Eighth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability (January 10-12, 2012 in Vancouver, Canada)

The Eighth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability will be held at the Robson Square, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada on January 10-12, 2011. The Conference will work in a multidisciplinary way across the various fields and perspectives through which we can address the fundamental and related questions of sustainability.

Participants are welcome to submit a proposal for a 30-minute paper, 60-minute workshop, or a jointly presented 90-minute colloquium session. Virtual participation is available.

Participants may choose to submit written papers before or after the Conference for possible publication in The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, a fully refereed academic Journal. All Conference participants receive an online subscription to the Journal for one year after the Conference.

The deadline for the Call for Papers is June 23, 2011.

For more information, visit: http://www.SustainabilityConference.com


9. Call for Nominations: “Tunza International Children & Youth Conference on the Environment” (September 26-30, 2011 in Bandung, Indonesia)

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia will be organizing its Tunza International Children & Youth Conference on the Environment, on September 26-30, 2011. Held in Bandung, Indonesia, it will bring together 1400 children and youth, to discuss their role and inputs to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio +20”. Under the slogan “Reshaping Our future through A Green Economy and Sustainable Lifestyle.” The conference will also review the contribution of youth to the International Year of Forests and how they can adopt more environment-friendly lifestyles. The conference themes are Rio + 20 (Green Economy) / Green Lifestyles, Forests, Sustainable Consumption and State of the Global Environment from the youth perspective.

To submit a nomination from your organization, visit:

Children nominations: http://unep.org/tunza/children/events/icc2011

Youth nominations: http://unep.org/tunza/youth/conferences_events/tiyc2011

Nominations must be submitted to UNEP on or before June 30, 2011.

For further information on the conference, please contact:

The Children and Youth / Sport and the Environment Unit
Division of Communications and Public Information
Email: children.youth@unep.org


10. 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