June 2016


The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
10.6 (June 2016)



1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Free Yale University Online Classes in “Cosmology and Ecology”

3. Yale-Yunnan Minzu Interdisciplinary Summer School on the Himalayas (June 26 - July 2, 2016 in Kunming, China)

4. Journey of the Universe Events

5. Healing Earth: A Free Digital Environmental Science Textbook

6. 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association

7. K-8 Public School Curriculum Based on Thomas Berry’s Thought

8. New Publications

9. Summer Courses

10. Events

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

12. “Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust” (June 12, 2016)

13. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Spiritual Values of Nature

14. Graduate Programs

15. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the June 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.

We are excited to let you know about three free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will teach this September at Yale University. This will include two courses on Journey of the Universe and a course on the Worldview of Thomas Berry. For the course descriptions, see below or visit: http://fore.yale.edu/files/Free_Yale_Cosmology_and_Ecology_Courses.pdf

Mary Evelyn and John have recently edited a new 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 would like to call your attention to “Christian Ecotheology: Text, Context, and Practice,” a summer course that will be taught by one of our Forum scholars, Dr. Matthew Riley. The class is a week-long intensive course held at Yale Divinity School on June 13-17. It is open to all. For more, visit: http://summerstudy.yale.edu/classes/christian-ecotheology-text-context-and-practice

We have recently 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 Vimeo for streaming/renting: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/journeyoftheuniverse. 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. Free Yale University Online Classes in “Cosmology and Ecology”

In September Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will teach three six-week online courses through Yale. These will be featured as a cluster of courses (a “specialization”) under the theme of “Cosmology and Ecology.” This will include two courses on Journey of the Universe and a course on the Worldview of Thomas Berry. Each course 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. More details will follow when the release date is known.

Course Descriptions:

Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life

Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with cosmological understandings found in the world’s cultural traditions. The courses draw on the Emmy award-winning film, Journey of the Universe, the book from Yale University Press, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations.

Journey explores cosmic evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence. It examines a range of dynamic interactions in the unfolding of galaxies, Earth, life, and human communities. It investigates ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future.

The Journey courses are based on a new integration that is emerging from the dialogue of the sciences and humanities. Journey tells the story of evolution as an epic narrative, rather than as a series of facts separated by scientific disciplines. This changes our perception so that we begin to see ourselves as an integral part of this narrative. By situating ourselves within this story we can better appreciate the complexity and beauty of processes such as self-organizing dynamics, natural selection, emergence, symbiosis, and co-evolution. As we discover these intricate processes of evolution, we awaken to the beauty and complexity of our natural environment at this critical juncture in our planetary history.

One course will draw on the Journey of the Universe film and book written by Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker. The other course will draw on the Journey Conversations with scientists, historians, and environmentalists.

See: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org

The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community

Thomas Berry (1914-2009) was a historian of world religions and an early voice awakening moral sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is known for articulating a “new story” of the universe that explores the implications of the evolutionary sciences and cultural traditions for creating a flourishing future. This course investigates Berry’s life and thought in relation to the Journey of the Universe project. It draws on his books, articles, and recorded lectures to examine such ideas as: the New Story, the Great Work, and the emerging Ecozoic era. The course explores Berry’s insights into cosmology as a context for locating the human in a dynamic unfolding universe and thus participating in the creative work of our times. In particular, we will examine Berry’s reflections on renewal and reform in the areas of ecology, economics, education, spirituality, and the arts.

See: http://www.thomasberry.org

View this announcement as a PDF:

3. Yale-Yunnan Minzu Interdisciplinary Summer School on the Himalayas (June 26 - July 2, 2016 in Kunming, China)

The first international summer school on the theme of “Environment, Livelihood and Culture in the Greater Himalayan region” will be held June 26 - July 2, 2016 at the Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming, China. This international summer school is jointly organized by Yale Himalaya Initiative, the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, and the Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies at the Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming.

The aim and scope of the summer school is to engage participants in an interdisciplinary exercise with a team of prominent Himalayan scholars and historians of religions who represent a diversity of disciplines (i.e. ecology, anthropology, climate science, religion etc.) for developing critical approaches to understand the transregionality of environments, livelihoods, and cultures in the greater Himalayan region.

The participants will benefit from a diversity of learning material (both reading, and audio/visual) that have been developed especially for the Yale’s Online Himalayan diversities course and the Forum on Religion and Ecology courses, as well as existing seminars and training materials for graduate students and young scholars at the Center for Trans-Himalayan Studies. With the aim of complete immersion, participants will be able be fully engaged with scholars for a five day period. The participants will also get the opportunity to engage with fellows from across the world who are interested in the region and explore possibilities for research collaborations.

The last date to register for the course is June 17, 2016.


4. Journey of the Universe Events

Film Screening: June 4, 2016 at 2pm
Grace Farms, New Canaan CT, USA
Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim.

Film Screening: June 11, 2016 at 9:30am
Peterborough Community Theater, Peterborough, NH, USA
Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Sponsored by the Ecological-Ecumenical Committee and the Pastoral Council of Divine Mercy Church.
Contact: 603-525-4063
Flyer: http://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/storage/6-11-16-Journey.pdf

Film Screening: June 14, 2016 at 7pm
Mercy Center Chapel, Farmington, MI, USA
With Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Discussion afterward about the Universe Story and Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’
Hosted by Mercy Center and St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center
Cost: Free Will Offering
Contact: (313) 286-2800
Flyer: https://www.stpaulretreat.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/An-Evening-of-Discovery-and-Conversation.pdf

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

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

For more details about these events, visit:

5. Healing Earth: A Free Digital Environmental Science Textbook

Loyola University Chicago and the International Jesuit Ecology Project (IJEP) have launched Healing Earth, a free digital environmental science textbook. Available online at http://healingearth.ijep.net/, the textbook is intended for fourth-year secondary school students, first-year university students, adult learners, and independent learners worldwide. The text takes a global approach to environmental issues through Ignatian pedagogy—a method that challenges students to see scientifically, evaluate ethically, reflect spiritually, and act effectively. More than 90 scholars from Jesuit institutions across the world contributed to the project, which is already being utilized by educators in more than 40 cross-curricular classrooms teaching biology, theology, social science, fine arts, and public health courses.

Each of the textbook’s six chapters includes a case study that guides students through the Ignatian pedagogical approach, outlining the scientific, ethical, and spiritual issues raised in each example. There is also an online forum for students to discuss the intersection of environmental science and social issues highlighted in the book. Due to the dynamic nature of climate change and environmental science, the authors plan to make regular updates to the digital text, which will include updated resource links and video content. IJEP collaborators plan to move the project forward by creating additional resources for educators, which will include forums for lesson plan sharing and a teacher’s manual. To accommodate a global audience, the textbook is currently being translated into multiple languages, including Spanish and French, available later this year.

View the text: http://healingearth.ijep.net/

Learn more about the project and collaboration: http://www.luc.edu/ijep

6. 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association

The 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association was a huge success, with more than 225 people in attendance! The meeting was held on May 14, 2016 at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. Ilia Delio gave a lecture on “Teilhard de Chardin and World Religions: Ultra Catholic or Ultra Human?” Listen to the recording: https://youtu.be/QghRJmlcwng View photos: http://tinyurl.com/zoohwuz We invite you to become a member of the American Teilhard Association. All members receive annually two issues of Teilhard Studies, as well as the Association’s newsletter, Teilhard Perspective. You can become a member online: http://teilharddechardin.org/index.php/membership

7. K-8 Public School Curriculum Based on Thomas Berry’s Thought

Online Professional Development with Traci Pannulo and members of the Ridge & Valley Charter School Community

Recorded Webcast Available: June 16, 2016
Live Q&A: June 23, 2016, 7:00 PM EST (US)

The Ridge and Valley Charter School, Blairstown, NJ is a pre-eminent example of a school inspired by the work of Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme and the movie/book Journey of the Universe. Founded in 1999 by a group of people associated with Genesis Farm in Blairstown, NJ and its pioneering Earth Literacy curriculum developed by Miriam MacGillis, Lawrence and Jean Edwards, the school developed a curriculum grounded in the Story of the Universe. This online PD program is being offered in a series on the Deep Time Journey Network, www.deeptimejourney.org. (Click on “professional development” on the menu bar.)

This webcast will provide an introduction to the philosophy, curriculum framework, structures and strategies employed to create the Deep Time context for the children’s experience. This will include images, with narration, to illustrate the Lenses and KLEs. Additionally, we include footage of the school in action, sort of a “day in the life”, to try to convey the essence of how Deep Time is deeply infused into the culture of the school.

Read the press release:

8. New Publications

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.


Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance
By Donald Worster
Oxford University Press, 2016

The discovery of the Americas around 1500 AD was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope that set in motion profound changes in almost every society on earth. This new period, which saw the depletion of the lands of the New World, proved tragic for some, triumphant for others, and powerfully affecting for all. In this work, acclaimed environmental historian Donald Worster takes a global view in his examination of the ways in which complex issues of worldwide abundance and scarcity have shaped American society and behavior over three centuries. Looking at the limits nature imposes on human ambitions, he questions whether America today is in the midst of a shift from a culture of abundance to a culture of limits-and whether American consumption has become reliant on the global South. Worster engages with key political, economic, and environmental thinkers while presenting his own interpretation of the role of capitalism and government in issues of wealth, abundance, and scarcity. Acknowledging the earth’s agency throughout human history, Shrinking the Earth offers a compelling explanation of how we have arrived where we are and a hopeful way forward on a planet that is no longer as large as it once was.


Ecological Integrity and Global Governance: Science, Ethics and the Law
By Laura Westra
Routledge Research in International Environmental Law
Routledge, 2016

It is increasingly argued that a focus on environmental sustainability is fundamental to effective and equitable governance, and ultimately for the good of mankind. This book argues that, in the face increasing environmental challenges, it is essential to recognise the role that ecological integrity has played, and must play, in governance for environmental sustainability in order to ensure the future survival of life on earth. Ecological integrity encompasses not only the necessity of respect for nature, but also the human right to a sound and healthy environment. The author shows that on this basis, acceptance of its primacy in law and governance is key to a sustainable and equitable future for all. The book presents a uniquely informed treatise on the term, its origins, evolution and position in current debates, exploring the conflicts which have so far prevented its acceptance. Written by a leading scholar on the subject, this book provides the most in-depth exposition of ecological integrity available to increase understanding of this crucial concept and encourage its adoption in governance and international law.


City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness
Edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian
University of Chicago Press, 2015

We usually think of cities as the domain of humans—but we are just one of thousands of species that call the urban landscape home. City Creatures introduces readers to an astonishing diversity of urban wildlife in Chicago with a unique and accessible mix of essays, poetry, paintings, and photographs. The contributors bring a story-based approach to this urban safari, taking readers on birding expeditions to the Magic Hedge at Montrose Harbor on the North Side, canoe trips down the South Fork of the Chicago River (better known as Bubbly Creek), and insect-collecting forays or restoration work days in the suburban forest preserves. Although the book is rooted in Chicago’s landscape, nature lovers from cities around the globe will find a wealth of urban animal encounters that will open their senses to a new world that has been there all along. Its powerful combination of insightful narratives, numinous poetry, and full-color art throughout will help readers see the city—and the creatures who share it with us—in an entirely new light.


Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future
By Jeffrey T. Kiehl
Columbia University Press, 2016

Facing Climate Change explains why people refuse to accept evidence of a warming planet and shows how to move past partisanship to reach a consensus for action. A climate scientist and licensed Jungian analyst, Jeffrey T. Kiehl examines the psychological phenomena that twist our relationship to the natural world and their role in shaping the cultural beliefs that distance us further from nature. He also accounts for the emotions triggered by the lived experience of climate change and the feelings of fear and loss they inspire, which lead us to deny the reality of our warming planet. But it is not too late. By evaluating our way of being, Kiehl unleashes a potential human emotional understanding that can reform our behavior and help protect the Earth. Kiehl dives deep into the human brain’s psychological structures and human spirituality’s imaginative power, mining promising resources for creating a healthier connection to the environment—and one another. Facing Climate Change is as concerned with repairing our social and political fractures as it is with reestablishing our ties to the world, teaching us to push past partisanship and unite around the shared attributes that are key to our survival.


Global Responsibility and the Enhancement of Life”
By William Schweiker
De Ethica. A Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics
Vol. 3:1 (2016)

This article advances a conception of global ethics in terms of the centrality of responsibility to the moral life and also the moral good of the enhancement of life. In contrast to some forms of global ethics, the article also seeks to warrant the use of religious sources in developing such an ethics. Specifically, the article seeks to demonstrate the greater adequacy of a global ethics of responsibility for the enhancement of life against rival conceptions developed in terms of Human Rights discourse or the so-called Capabilities Approach. The article ends with a conception of ‘conscience’ as the mode of human moral being and the experience of religious transcendence within the domains of human social and historical life. From this idea, conscience is specified a human right and capacity to determine the humane use of religious resources and also the norm for the rejection of inhumane expressions of religion within global ethics.


The Phenomenon of Humanity”
By David Sloan Wilson
Center for Humans & Nature

A few years ago I read The Phenomenon of Man, by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and was amazed by its current relevance. Teilhard was a Jesuit Priest and famed paleontologist at a time when science was regarded as a suitable path to God. Teilhard’s path was too radical for the Catholic Church, however, and his best-known work was not published until after his death in 1955. Over the decades, Teilhard was largely forgotten as a scientist but remained widely read for his spiritual quality. What did I, a practicing evolutionary scientist, find so relevant about his work?

9. Summer Courses

Bread in the Wilderness: A Summer Seminar on Food, Faith, and Ecological Well-Being”
Fourth Annual Wake Forest Food & Faith Intensive
Asheville, NC, USA
June 6-10, 2016

Ecologies of Justice: Christian Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Communities”
Summer course with Dr. Andrew R. H. Thompson
The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, USA
June 6-24, 2016
Auditors are welcome.

Christian Ecotheology: Text, Context, and Practice”
With Matthew Riley, Ph.D.
2016 Summer Study Course
Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, USA
June 13-17, 2016

The Spirituality & Practices of Asian Religions”
Special one-week intensive class
Hartford Seminary, 77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT, USA
June 13-18, 2016

Tending the Roots of Sustainability: The Significance of Experience-based Learning and Our Responsibility to Children and the Earth”
2016 Summer Course at The Nature Institute
The Nature Institute, Ghent, NY, USA
June 19-25, 2016

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

10. Events

Rural Sustainability Workshop”
University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
June 10-11, 2016

Ethical Theories and the Animal Issue: Between Science and Philosophy”
University of Milan, Italy
June 16-17, 2016

Climate Justice”
This is the 9th retreat in the Earth-Honoring Faith series.
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM, USA
June 19-25, 2016
Flyer: http://fore.yale.edu/files/2016_Earth-Honoring_Faith.pdf

Wonder & the Natural World”
Indiana University Bloomington, IN, USA
Hosted by the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CSRES)
June 20-23, 2016
Flyer: http://fore.yale.edu/files/Wonder_and_the_Natural_World.pdf

How Can We Know? Co-creating Knowledge in Perilous Times”
62nd annual conference of the Institute for Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS)
Star Island, NH, USA
June 25 - July 2, 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

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

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

For events in the Washington area, see the Earth Ministry / Washington Interfaith Power & Light Events Digest:

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

11. 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:

On Care for our Common Home, Laudato Si’: The Encyclical of Pope Francis on the Environment with Commentary by Sean McDonagh
By Pope Francis
Commentary by Sean McDonagh
Ecology and Justice Series
Orbis Books, 2016

Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s historic encyclical on the environment, was issued in 2015. As the first encyclical devoted entirely to the environment and related social justice issues, it represented a watershed in the church’s engagement with such urgent challenges as climate change, environmental degradation, and the fate of the poor. This volume joins the full text of Laudato Si’ with reflections by Sean McDonagh, one of the foremost Catholic proponents of ecological awareness. Aside from reviewing the history of Catholic teaching and the environment, he elaborates on several of the specific themes in the encyclical—climate change, biodiversity, water scarcity, the threats to the ocean, and the crisis of food. He concludes with prescriptions about what must be done to turn the pope’s vision into a program of effective action. Each of us has a role to play. As Pope Francis observes, “All it takes is one good person to restore hope.” For a 10-page Study Guide to Laudato Si’ prepared by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, visit: http://www.iustitiaetpax.va/content/dam/giustiziaepace/Eventi/laudatosi/guidatematica/Laudato_ENG.pdf

12. “Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust” (June 12, 2016)

Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust” is a worldwide, multi-faith day of prayer & action for the planet and a call for world leaders to commit to a 1.5 degree limit on global temperature rise. June 12 marks six months after the Paris Climate Agreement and joins in the celebration of International Environment Day (June 5) and the first anniversary of the publication of Pope Francisco’s Encyclical “Laudato Si” (June 18). A record 175 countries have already signed the Paris Climate Agreement, but in spite of this we are set for temperature rises well above the critical 1.5°C limit that governments agreed to, and that scientists, activists and vulnerable communities are fighting for with the cry of ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’.

To find ways to get involved, visit:

13. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Spiritual Values of Nature

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has been working for some time for the protection of sacred natural sites, through its Secretariat offices and its Task Force on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas (CSVPA), which is part of the World Commission on Protected Areas. Sacred natural sites (SNS) are natural areas of special spiritual significance to peoples and communities. They include natural areas recognized as sacred by indigenous and traditional peoples, as well as natural areas recognized by institutionalized religions or faiths as places for worship and remembrance. Many sacred sites have survived for hundreds of years and act as important biodiversity reservoirs. However, their contribution to conservation has been largely overlooked and undervalued by state and conservation agencies, policies and laws. Many sacred natural sites are areas of great importance for the conservation of biodiversity. In fact, very often the reasons for protecting the spiritual connections between people and the earth, and for conserving biodiversity in their lands, are inseparable.


14. Graduate Programs

Joint MA in Religion and Ecology

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

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 Matthew Riley



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:

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: