June 2015

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
9.6 (June 2015)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Video of Yale Panel on “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters”

3. “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization” (June 4–7, 2015 at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA)

4. Paul Winter Consort’s 20th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration (June 20, 2015 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY, USA)

5. “White House—U.S. Buddhist Leadership Conference” and Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change

6. New Publications

7. Letter Welcoming Pope Francis’ Climate Change Message and U.S. Visit

8. “Who Is God?” (Speech by Governor Mario Cuomo)

9. GreenFaith Fellowship Program

10. The People’s Pilgrimage

11. Petition: “Claim the Sky”

12. Events

13. Journey of the Universe Events

14. Calls for Papers

15. A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment

16. Video of Thomas Berry on “The New Story”

17. Graduate Programs

18. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the June 2015 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 videos, publications, events, calls for papers, and more.

During this month of June, Pope Francis is expected to release his new encyclical that will highlight issues of “integral ecology,” namely concerns for people and the planet. He will address both the degradation of the environment and the challenge of climate change along with how this is impacting the poor and most vulnerable. Thus, social and economic justice will be an important theme along with care for Earth and for present and future generations.

The homepage of the Forum on Religion and Ecology website (http://fore.yale.edu/) has a new section on the upcoming papal encyclical. You can find “Frequently Asked Questions on the Papal Encyclical,” related news articles, a video recording and transcript of the Yale panel discussion entitled “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters,” and more.

We would like to invite you to “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization,” held June 4–7, 2015 at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA. This trans-disciplinary international conference will bring together 1,000 presenters across more than 80 fields of specialty. The Journey of the Universe film will be shown a number of times at this conference. In addition to the screenings, there will be a conference track focused on “Journey of the Universe and Inclusive History as A Context of Meaning.” Please see below for more details about this important conference, or visit: http://www.ctr4process.org/whitehead2015/

Also, we are happy to let you know that the Paul Winter Consort will celebrate the dawning of the summer during the 20th annual Summer Solstice concert on June 20, 2015 at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York. For details, see below or visit: http://www.paulwinter.com/summer-solstice/

The Forum on Religion and Ecology now has a Facebook page! Please show your support by “liking” us and sharing our page with your Facebook friends. Visit the new page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Forum-on-Religion-and-Ecology-at-Yale/807941202606307

Journey of the Universe also has a Facebook page that we invite you to visit:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Journey-of-the-Universe/179213572122084?fref=nf Journey of the Universe Conversations is now available on Vimeo for streaming and downloading. You can access the individual episodes or the complete collection at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/jotuconversations The Journey of the Universe film is also available for streaming on Netflix. For a list of more online 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.

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

2. Video of Yale Panel on “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters”

On April 8, Yale University hosted a panel discussion on how Pope Francis’s upcoming encyclical on the environment could transform the global climate debate for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The panel, chaired by John Grim, included six Yale-affiliated experts who addressed the implications of the encyclical from their disciplinary perspectives, followed by a discussion with the audience.

The panelists include:

Science: Peter Crane, Dean, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES)
Ethics: Margaret Farley, Yale Divinity School (YDS), Emeritus
Religion: Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion & Ecology, F&ES, YDS
Conservation: Dekila Chungyalpa, World Wildlife Fund
Law: Douglas Kysar, Yale Law School

Gregory Sterling, Dean of the Yale Divinity School, made concluding comments.

Watch the video:

Read the transcript:

For more about the encyclical, see the following:

Frequently Asked Questions on the Papal Encyclical”:

Anticipating Pope Francis’ Forthcoming Encyclical on the Human-Earth Relationship,” by Jame Schaefer:

Related News Articles:

3. “Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization” (June 4–7, 2015 at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, USA)

An international conference bringing together some 1,000 presenters across more than 80 fields of specialty for the most ambitious trans-disciplinary event held on behalf of the planet.

June 4–7, 2015

Pomona College
Claremont, CA, USA

Uniting the Tenth International Whitehead Conference and Ninth International Conference on Ecological Civilization.

Plenary speakers:
Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org
Vandana Shiva, TIME’s “Hero” of the environment
Sheri Liao, China’s leading environmental activist
John B. Cobb, Jr., Intellectual architect of conference events
Herman Daly, Father of ecological economics
Wes Jackson, Pioneer in perennial agriculture
David Griffin, Founder of constructive postmodern thought

For the Press Release, visit:

For the Poster, visit:

Register at:

For more information, visit:

4. Paul Winter Consort’s 20th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration (June 20, 2015 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY, USA)

The Paul Winter Consort, with special guest, Navajo singer Radmilla Cody, will celebrate the dawning of the summer during the 20th annual Summer Solstice concert on Saturday, June 20, at 4:30 AM at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street, Manhattan.

Beginning in the pre-dawn darkness in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, the Grammy®-winning ensemble, the Paul Winter Consort, will surround the audience and play continuously for two hours as the morning sun gradually illuminates the stained-glass windows of the Cathedral.

The Consort will premiere new music inspired by the Grand Canyon, Paul Winter’s place of pilgrimage for many years, and by the canyon-esque space of the Cathedral, which he has long regarded as “Grand Canyon East.” This event will take place in conjunction with the reissue of the Consort’s Grammy®- nominated album Canyon, which has been remastered and will be coupled with a new DVD of the film, Canyon Consort, from the PBS special about the making of the Canyon album.


5. “White House—U.S. Buddhist Leadership Conference” and Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change

Buddhists Go to the White House”
By Hozan Alan Senauke
Lion’s Roar
May 15, 2015

The streets of Washington DC were lined with blossoms and greenery, the prospect of promise. One hundred thirty Buddhist teachers, monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen, academics, and organizers met on Thursday May 14 for the first “White House—U.S. Buddhist Leadership Conference,” the subject at hand being “Voices in the Square—Action in the World.”

The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change”
May 14, 2015

6. New Publications

The Vandana Shiva Reader
By Vandana Shiva
Kentucky Press, 2015

Motivated by agricultural devastation in her home country of India, Vandana Shiva became one of the world’s most influential and highly acclaimed environmental and antiglobalization activists. Her groundbreaking research has exposed the destructive effects of monocultures and commercial agriculture and revealed the links between ecology, gender, and poverty. In The Vandana Shiva Reader, Shiva assembles her most influential writings, combining trenchant critiques of the corporate monopolization of agriculture with a powerful defense of biodiversity and food democracy. Containing up-to-date data and a foreword by Wendell Berry, this essential collection demonstrates the full range of Shiva’s research and activism, from her condemnation of commercial seed technology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the international agriculture industry’s dependence on fossil fuels, to her tireless documentation of the extensive human costs of ecological deterioration. This important volume illuminates Shiva’s profound understanding of both the perils and potential of our interconnected world and calls on citizens of all nations to renew their commitment to love and care for soil, seeds, and people.


Technofutures, Nature and the Sacred: Transdisciplinary Perspectives
Edited by Celia Deane-Drummond, Sigurd Bergmann, and Bronislaw Szerszynski
Ashgate, 2015

The capacity of human beings to invent, construct and use technical artifacts is a hugely consequential factor in the evolution of society, and in the entangled relations between humans, other creatures and their natural environments. Moving from a critical consideration of theories, to narratives about technology, and then to particular and specific practices, Technofutures, Nature and the Sacred seeks to arrive at a genuinely transdisciplinary perspective focusing attention on the intersection between technology, religion and society and using insights from the environmental humanities. It works from both theoretical and practical contexts by using newly emerging case studies, including geo-engineering and soil carbon technologies, and breaks open new ground by engaging theological, scientific, philosophical and cultural aspects of the technology/religion/nature nexus. Encouraging us to reflect on the significance and place of religious beliefs in dealing with new technologies, and engaging critical theory common in sociological, political and literary discourses, the authors explore the implicit religious claims embedded in technology.


GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Save the Earth
By Fletcher Harper
Abingdon Press, 2015

God is calling us to live differently. The challenges we face are imminent. GreenFaith provides vision, inspiration, and practical tools to help you build your faith while inhabiting a creation that is at risk. With honesty and candor, Fletcher Harper shows that it takes belief and practice, science and faith to sustain us and our planet. The book gives concrete examples and tips that will help people of faith and worshiping communities engage in Earth care—in bold, life-giving ways. Each chapter has questions to guide personal study and group conversation. All bets are off if we go over the climate change cliff—a disaster greater than many Hurricane Sandys. There is no doubt that climate change is happening. While debated for years and despite some media reports to the contrary, the majority of people are ready to take action to avoid calamity. But what action is advisable or even possible? What can ordinary people do in the face of such staggering problems? Can or should faith communities play a part? Fletcher Harper shows how we can make a difference and make Earth a better world for all of us.


Ecolinguistics: Language, Ecology and the Stories We Live By
By Arran Stibbe
Routledge, 2015

The increasingly rapid destruction of the ecological systems that support life is calling into question some of the fundamental stories that we live by: stories of unlimited economic growth, of consumerism, progress, individualism, success, and the human domination of nature. Ecolinguistics shows how linguistic analysis can help reveal the stories we live by, open them up to question, and contribute to the search for new stories. Bringing together the latest ecolinguistic studies with new theoretical insights and practical analyses, this book charts a new course for ecolinguistics as an engaged form of critical enquiry.


• A framework for understanding the theory of ecolinguistics and applying it practically in real life;
• Exploration of diverse topics from consumerism in lifestyle magazines to Japanese nature haiku;
• A comprehensive glossary giving concise descriptions of the linguistic terms used in the book;
• Discourse analysis of a wide range of texts including newspapers, magazines, advertisements, films, nonfiction books, and visual images.


Roundtable on Climate Destabilization and the Study of Religion
Journal of the American Academy of Religion
Volume 83 Issue 2, June 2015

This roundtable grapples with two interlocked questions: (1) Might we need to change how we study and theorize about religion on a planet undergoing anthropogenic climate destabilization, and if so, how; and (2) What does it mean to be a religious studies and/or a biblical scholar professional, working as an employee at an institution of learning on a biophysical campus, on a planet undergoing rapid anthropogenic climate destabilization? It seems these are soon to become the most important questions facing our field, and this roundtable intends to help generate and shape a needed discussion about how AAR members and readers of the JAAR might approach answers to these questions.

7. Letter Welcoming Pope Francis’ Climate Change Message and U.S. Visit

Pope Francis plans to mark two historic milestones this year:

• Issuing a rare “encyclical” (a letter of guidance to the whole church) – the first to focus primarily on climate change and human responsibility for the environment.
• Visiting the United States and addressing a joint session of Congress – the first Pope ever to do so.

Please consider being part of these historic events by joining in a letter welcoming Pope Francis and his leadership on climate change.

To read the letter and sign it, visit:

8. “Who Is God?” (Speech by Governor Mario Cuomo)

On October 15, 1991, Governor Mario Cuomo described himself to the audience at 92nd Street Y as “an ordinary New Yorker” who grew up on “asphalt streets” playing stickball in Queens who, like many, struggles to keep his faith. During a panel titled “Who Is God?”, Cuomo’s speech touched upon the trying times, past and present, that test the faith of Americans, and why we ultimately hold true to our beliefs. He notes especially how the perspective of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin inspired his life and public service. The speech was later included in 1994’s More Than Words: The Speeches of Mario Cuomo.

Listen to the audio of this speech:

Read what Sam Roberts, writing in The New York Times now, has to say about this historic speech:

Read Alessandra Stanley’s report on the speech, also in The New York Times, published the day after Cuomo delivered it in 1991:

9. GreenFaith Fellowship Program

June 15 is the annual application deadline for the GreenFaith Fellowship Program – an 18-month, interfaith education and training program for religious-environmental leaders. Over 150 leaders – from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Unitarian traditions – make up the Fellowship community. They’re from 35 states, 3 Canadian Provinces, Europe and Africa.

GreenFaith Fellows do the following:

• Deepen their knowledge and skills as religious-environmental leaders.
• Attend three retreats of four days length on themes of spirituality, stewardship and justice in relation to the Earth.
• Write an eco-theological statement that connects personal experience, spiritual traditions, and the natural world.
• Participate in monthly webinars where they engage with cutting-edge leaders.
• Carry out a leadership project tailored for their own setting.
• Connect with the emerging and established leaders of the religious-environmental movement.

Learn about the Fellowship Program:

10. The People’s Pilgrimage

The People’s Pilgrimage is an open source response from the human heart to the climate crisis. It’s a way for everyone – of all faiths and none – to share our hopes and fears, and call for action on climate this year. It’s not owned by any one organisation it’s been inspired and started by people around the world, of diverse faiths, doing everything they can to lift up the local and human stories of climate change. Anyone, anywhere (alone or in a group) can post a journey story anytime up to December 2015 when World Leaders meet in Paris and are due to sign a meaningful global climate agreement.

Please make your own pilgrimage and post it here:

11. Petition: “Claim the Sky”

Ice-caps are melting, sea level is rising, storms are intensifying, and the climate change negotiations are not moving fast enough. It’s time to do something different. For decades, we’ve allowed free access to anyone who wants to dump carbon into the atmosphere. So let’s claim our sky! By asserting that we all own the sky, we can begin to use the legal institutions surrounding property rights to protect our property, charge for damages, and provide rewards to those that improve this shared resource. We need you to join us in reclaiming the sky by signing this petition to create an atmospheric trust to protect and restore our common property. There’s a simple tool to do that. The Public Trust Doctrine is a powerful legal principle that supports this argument. It says that certain natural resources should be held in trust as assets to serve the public good. It is the government’s responsibility, as trustee, to protect these assets from harm and maintain them for the public’s use.

Please sign this petition and join in this campaign to save our planet:

For more information about “Claim the Sky,” see:

12. Events

“Earth-Honoring Faith – In the Midst of New Dimensions: Native Wisdom Dialogue”
Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center, Abiquiu, NM, USA
June 22–28, 2015

Retreat into the Universe Story”
What is Earth Asking?
July 5 – 10, 2015 at IL Ritiro Franciscan Retreat Center, Dittmer, MO, USA
August 9 –15, 2015 at Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat, Wheatland, IA, USA

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

EcoSattva Training”
Online, interactive training on Buddhist responses to climate change
Featuring Joanna Macy, rev. angel Kyodo Williams, and others
September 13 - November 15, 2015

A Cosmology of Connection: Worldview, Ecology, Justice, and Creativity”
With Drew Dellinger
Schumacher College, The Old Postern, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, UK
September 21-25, 2015

Building and Sustaining Nonviolent Communities: What is Our Future?”
Agape’s Annual St. Francis Day
Keynote: Michael Baxter
Agape Community, Ware, MA, USA
October 3, 2015

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

13. Journey of the Universe Events

Film Screenings and Conference Track: Claremont, CA (June 4-7, 2015)

Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization”

Uniting the Tenth International Whitehead Conference and Ninth International Conference on Ecological Civilization

Pomona College
Claremont, CA, USA

Thursday, June 4 – 4pm

Friday, June 5 – 2pm

Saturday, June 6 – 2pm

In addition to these screenings, there will be a conference track focused on “Journey of the Universe and Inclusive History as A Context of Meaning”:

Event page:


Film Screening: New Haven, CT

June 5, 2015 at 7:30pm

Yale University
Burke Auditorium
Kroon Hall, Third Floor
195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT

Discussion afterward with Matthew Riley.

Contact: Carol Pollard, 203-432-6188, carol.pollard@yale.edu


14. Call for Papers

Religion, Science and the Future”
A Conference sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (Celebrating its 10th Anniversary)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
January 14-17, 2016
Submission Deadline: July 15, 2015

Consuming the World: Eating and Drinking in Culture, History, and Environment”
Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, Germany
March 11-12, 2016
Submission Deadline: July 15, 2015

The Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture”
Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, USA
March 31 - April 1, 2016
Submission Deadline: October 1, 2015

15. A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment

For many Pagans, religious practice includes a spiritual connection with the Earth. They actively try to cultivate a harmonious relationship with the non-human natural world. In this time of accelerating environmental change, many Pagans feel a sense of urgency to help transform humanity’s relationship with the Earth. This sense of urgency is what drew together a large group of diverse Pagans, including Pagan leaders, authors, artists, and bloggers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other places around the world, to draft “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.”

To view and sign this statement, visit:

16. Video of Thomas Berry on “The New Story”

The Forum on Religion and Ecology is posting videos and audio recordings of Thomas Berry’s talks on the Thomas Berry Foundation website. The videos are from the library of Lou Niznik thanks to the generous gift of Jane Blewett. We thank Don Smith and Wes Pascoe for editing them and making them available online. We are also very grateful to Don for creating the summary and discussion questions for the videos.

Watch these videos:

This month we would like to share with you a video excerpt of Thomas Berry discussing his 1978 Teilhard Studies publication entitled “The New Story” at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia in 1984. Here he calls for the articulation of a new story of evolution and the emergence of life.

Watch this video:

For a summary of the video and discussion questions, visit:

You can read “The New Story” here:

17. Graduate Programs

Joint MA in Religion and Ecology

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES) and Yale Divinity School (YDS), New Haven, CT, USA

This graduate program is aimed at students who wish to integrate the study of environmental issues and religious communities in their professional careers and for those who wish to study the cultural and ethical dimensions of environmental problems.

Faculty members: Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Fred Simmons



MA and PhD in Philosophy and Religion, concentration in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness

California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA

This graduate program is dedicated to re-imagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.

Faculty members: Brian Thomas Swimme, Elizabeth Allison, Sean Kelly, Richard Tarnas, and Robert McDermott



For more educational programs related to religion and ecology, visit:

18. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

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

For more information, visit: brill.com/wo

For the online edition, visit: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685357

Table of Contents for Volume 19, Issue 2 (2015):

• Introduction (Whitney A. Bauman)
• The Importance of Religion and Ecology in Indonesia (Zainal Abidin Bagir)
• Faiths from the Archipelago (Fachruddin Majeri Mangunjaya; Imran S.L. Tobing; Andang Binawan; Evangeline Pua and Made Nurbawa)
• The Fight over the Forest (Keith Andrew Bettinger)
• Ammatoan Indigenous Religion and Forest Conservation (Samsul Maarif)
• Islamic Law and the Environment in Indonesia (Anna M. Gade)
• Meaning-Making Practices, Copyrights, and Architecture in the Indonesian Archipelago (Whitney A. Bauman)
• Film Review: Earth, Water, Woman, by D. Fox (prod.), S. Feinbloom and A. Swati Guild (dir.) (Review by Erin Weston)
• Book Review: Systematic Theology and Climate Change: Ecumenical Perspectives, edited by Michael S. Northcott and Peter M. Scott (Review by Ernst Conradie)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit:

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