March 2013

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
7.3 (March 2013)



1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. “Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe” (June 23-29, 2013 at Chautauqua Institution, NY, USA)

3. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings

4. Jesuits Around the World Newsletter

5. A Scientists’ Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice Communities (Webinar on March 26, 2013)

6. Ted-Ed Videos on Fresh Water


7. New Books

8. Events

9. Calls for Papers

10. Continuum Trailer Release + Kickstarter Launch

Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the March issue of the newsletter for the Forum on Religion and Ecology. I have much to share with you this month with regards to developments in the field of Religion and Ecology, including publications, conferences, events, calls for papers, and more.

We are continuing to move the EMMY® award-winning Journey of the Universe film out into the networks of national and international distribution. In this process it would be wonderful to get your help so that distributors will be keen to distribute the film more widely. We would be very grateful if you can take a moment to review Journey of the Universe on Please share your voice to help encourage new viewers to be inspired by the film’s powerful message for the Earth community. To review the film, visit: To review the Educational Series, visit:

I am happy to let you know that the price of the Journey of the Universe Educational Series has been reduced. The series now costs $79 for individuals (private home use). The Educational Series consists of 20 interviews. The first 10 are conversations with scientists and historians discussing the evolution of universe, Earth, life, and humans. The last 10 are discussions with environmentalists who are working on issues such as eco-cities, eco-economics, permaculture, energy, and arts and justice. We think these interviews will be very useful to complement the film and book. They will be excellent sources of discussion in your communities, churches, learning centers, and schools. You can see an overview of the series at: Short selections of each person interviewed are available at:

I am pleased to remind you about the upcoming conference at Chautauqua Institution in New York on June 23-29, 2013. The theme is “Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe” where scientists (such as Brian Greene) will speak in the morning and religion scholars in the afternoon. The afternoon sessions will include responses to Journey of the Universe from the perspectives of the world religions and are being organized by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim with colleagues from the Forum, including Heather Eaton, Chris Chapple, David Haberman, and James Miller. We hope you might join us so that we can continue the conversation with others interested in the Great Work. Stay tuned for more information in upcoming months by visiting two pages on the conference website: and

Those who wish to attend the Chautauqua Institution conference are invited to stay at the Athenaeum Hotel, which is on the Institution grounds, a short walk from everything. The “Journey of the Universe” Chautauqua Experience Package price at the Athenaeum is $286 per person per day, which is on the American Plan and provides all meals in an elegant setting, and includes room accommodation, service charge, bed tax, and all NY state taxes, as well as the cost of parking and the Gate Pass that everyone must purchase who comes to Chautauqua. Reservations can be made by calling 716-357-4444 and asking for the Week One “Journey of the Universe” Chautauqua Experience Package. An alternate accommodation would be at the Chautauqua Suites, a lovely hotel that is off the grounds, about 3 miles down the road. Parking is free, and they provide a shuttle to the Institution. The special daily rate for “Journey of the Universe” attendees is $109 per room (double occupancy) per night, including a full breakfast. This rate is good June 23 through June 27. For reservations, call 716-269-7829, and indicate the “Journey of the Universe” rate. A Gate Pass, which must be purchased for admission to the grounds, costs $80 per day or $420 per person per week.

I 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. “Journey of the Universe and Our Elegant Universe” (June 23-29, 2013 at Chautauqua Institution, NY, USA)

Journey of the Universe

The history of the Universe is both a scientific and a spiritual story. It is the scientific story of a 14-billion-year continuum from a speck of pure energy to everything we can see around us. It is also a spiritual story, one that transcends individual, human and geo-political boundaries. This understanding brings us into the present urgent need to protect our planet’s future and ensure a flourishing and spiritually connected Earth community.

Week One of the 2013 Season features a roster of interfaith scholars, led by Yale University professor and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker, exploring the themes of Tucker’s Emmy-winning documentary Journey of the Universe. The film (based on her book with evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme) draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe.

Journey of the Universe will be screened throughout Week One. To learn more, visit:

Confirmed Lecturers:
Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Heather Eaton, Chris Chapple, David Haberman, James Miller, Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Safei Eldin Hamed, Lisa Sideris, and Christopher Ives.


Our Elegant Universe”

Chautauqua opens the 2013 Season with an exploration into the wonders of the cosmos. What theories are leading thinkers wrestling with, and how do they inform our understanding of space and time? Where do they disagree? We’ll hear from pioneering scientists, deep space explorers and others who pursue answers to the most basic questions of existence.

Confirmed Lecturers:
Brian Greene, Kobie Boykins, and Jennifer Wiseman

3. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings

Loyola University New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
March 9, 2013

The Universe Story and the Interconnections with All Life”
Open Dialogue with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development
University for Peace, Costa Rica
March 11, 2013

Holism and Cosmology” talk by Mary Evelyn Tucker & John Grim
University LaSalle, Costa Rica
March 11, 2013

Holism, Ethics and Cosmology” dialogue with Mary Evelyn Tucker & John Grim
Universidad Tecnica Nacional (Alajuela), Costa Rica
March 12, 2013

Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society
Madison, CT
March 15, 2013

North Chapel UU Church
Woodstock, VT
Service, film screening, and discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker, Terry Tempest Williams, Eugene Freisen, and John Grim
April 7, 2013

American Teilhard Association Annual Meeting
“The Teilhardian Roots of Journey of the Universe
Lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker
Union Theological Seminary
New York City, NY, USA
May 11, 2013

A Universe Story Retreat”
A contemplative retreat featuring Mary Evelyn Tucker, Jean Newbold, SHCJ, and Terry Moran
Presentation by Mary Evelyn Tucker on June 15, 2pm, is open to the public.
Havertown, PA, USA
June 14-19, 2013–A_Universe_Story_Retreat.pdf

For more information about film screenings, visit:

4. Jesuits Around the World Newsletter

February 19, 2013
Vol. XVII, No. 4

The last two years have seen the development within the Society of what we call the Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks (GIAN). The five existing networks are centred on Ecology, Right to Education, Management of Natural Resources and Minerals, Migration, and Peace and Human Rights. Promotio Iustitiae no.110 is completely dedicated to the Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks. Along with other articles, it includes the position documents of these networks, a summary of what they are currently doing, and their plans for the future. Please find here the link to the publication:

USA: International Ecology Project

The International Ecology Project (IJEP) is a three-year collaborative project between Loyola University Chicago faculty and scholars from Jesuit institutions around the world to create an online Living Textbook that addresses select environmental science challenges from an integrated scientific, moral, and spiritual perspective. This Living Textbook will be a curricular resource in environmental science for teachers and students in Jesuit institutions of higher education and secondary schools worldwide. The IJEP emerged as a response of the Higher Education Secretariat to the challenge of Father General Adolfo Nicolás to the Society of Jesus to redouble its commitment to environmental stewardship in gratitude to God for the gift of the natural world, contained in his 16 September 2011 letter to Jesuits around the world and where he referred to the document Healing a Broken World (HBW). In light of today’s serious environmental challenges, HBW’s ‘recommendation four’ asked Jesuit institutions of higher education to “engage students in transformative education.” The recommendation’s third section specifically called for development of “curricula that address sustainability issues and impart a certain level of environmental literacy.” For more information:

USA: Saving the Earth as a New Frontier

Jesuit Father John Surette, of the New England Province, has a dream for the Society of Jesus. Responding to Father General Adolfo Nicolás’s call for Jesuits to explore the “frontiers, those geographical and spiritual places where others do not reach or find difficult to reach,” Fr. Surette looks to a frontier very close to home: planet Earth. “Forests are shrinking, water tables are falling, soils are eroding, fisheries are collapsing, rivers are running dry, glaciers and ice caps are melting, coral reefs are bleaching, the ocean is becoming more acidic, the atmosphere is warming, plant and animal species are going into extinction at a greater rate and the children of all species are increasingly being born sick. In all of this and much more we are reaching the limits of what life on Earth can tolerate,” Fr. Surette writes. A member of the Society of Jesus for 55 years, Fr. Surette has spent the last 22 years giving retreats and workshops on eco-spirituality. He sees the state of the Earth as one of the most important issues today: “What is happening to Earth belongs to an order of magnitude beyond any other into which we Jesuits have poured out our apostolic energies in the past. It is of greater magnitude than any of the present day social justice issues.” Fr. Surette believes that Jesuits are called to make a religious response to Earth’s fate. “This appears to be the most challenging role that we Jesuits have ever been asked to assume,” he writes. “It will require that we move beyond any denial and paralysis and that we move into the future with hope, courage and intention” Surette concludes.

For full newsletter, visit:

5. A Scientists’ Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice Communities (Webinar on March 26, 2013)

The follow-up webinar for the scientists speakers bureau to faith communities will be held Tuesday, March 26, tentatively slotted for noon, Eastern time. Stay tuned for further information in the coming weeks at and Speakers will include Cassandra Carmichael (National Council of Churches EcoJustice Programs Director, hosting), and Alexei Laushkin (Evangelical Environmental Network, Sr. Communications Director).

Contributions are invited, especially to report on ecology/science outreach work you have been doing in faith communities, and to raise current questions, so please reply with any contributions to the webinar agenda to Greg Hitzhusen at These efforts will be summarized at the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in Minneapolis, MN, USA on August 8, 2013. For the description of this ESA workshop, visit:

6. Ted-Ed Videos on Fresh Water

Watch two recently released TED-Ed videos on fresh water created by Christiana Peppard (educator) and Jeremy Collins (animator).

Where we get our fresh water”

Fresh water accounts for only 2.5% of Earth’s water, yet it is vital for human civilization. What are our sources of fresh water? In the first of a two part series on fresh water, Christiana Z. Peppard breaks the numbers down and discusses who is using it and to what ends.

Fresh water scarcity: An introduction to the problem”

Fresh water is essential for life – and there’s not nearly enough of it for the world right now. Why is that, and what could we do? Christiana Z. Peppard lays out the big questions of our global water problem. And no, shorter showers are not the answer.

7. New Books

Rebirth of the Sacred: Science, Religion, and the New Environmental Ethos
By Robert Nadeau
Oxford University Press, 2012

There is a large and growing consensus that effectively mitigating the impacts of global warming and resolving other menacing environmental problems will require massive changes in our political and economic institutions and new standards for moral and ethical behavior. In this groundbreaking book, Robert Nadeau claims that these remarkable developments could occur if sufficient numbers of environmentally concerned people in the great religious traditions of the world participate in the new dialogue between the truths of science and religion.

One aim of this book is to demonstrate that this dialogue can serve as the basis for articulating and disseminating an environmental ethos with a profound spiritual dimension. The other is to make a convincing case that the widespread acceptance of ethos could result in the fairly rapid emergence of a well organized and highly effective worldwide movement in religious environmentalism that will be critically important in the effort to resolve the environmental crisis.


Saving the Earth? The Legacy of Reformed Views on “Re-Creation”
By Ernst M. Conradie
Studies in Religion and the Environment/Studien zur Religion und Umwelt, Vol. 8
LIT Verlag Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London, 2013

Christians seeking to “Save the Earth” have to relate “creation” with “salvation” by doing justice to both themes. This study explores the ambiguous legacy of the ways in which this challenge is approached in the reformed tradition of Swiss, Dutch and German origin and in the reception of this tradition in South Africa. It focuses on the diverging interpretations of the category of “re-creation” in this regard.


CIFERAE: A Bestiary in Five Fingers
By Tom Tyler
University of Minnesota Press, 2012

This book is a provocative investigation into animals, hands, and human identity in Western philosophy. A bold investigation into the philosophical and intellectual parameters of the question of the animal, Tom Tyler’s book features “wild animals” (ferae)—both real and imaginary—who appear in the works of philosophy as mere ciferae, or ciphers. Tyler ultimately challenges claims of human distinctiveness and superiority, which are so often represented by the supposedly unique and perfect human hand.


Climate Myths: The Campaign Against Climate Science
By John J. Berger
Northbrae Books, 2013,_Ph.D./Books/Entries/2013/3/1_Climate_Myths__The_Campaign_Against_Climate_Science_%282013%29.html

Climate Myths is both an authoritative primer on climate change and a definitive rebuttal of climate science skepticism and denial. Climate skeptics and their oil and coal industry sponsors have long tried to discredit climate science and thwart climate legislation and policy. Climate Myths describes their modus operandi in detail and historical context, exposing the pseudoscientific “think tanks,” “institutes,” and assorted rightwing proxy organizations that manufacture myths about climate change, paralyze the climate policy process, smear reputable scientists, and pretend that policies to protect the climate pose a dangerous threat to American democracy and prosperity. This book debunks these myths by drawing upon the established principles and notable achievements of authoritative climate science.

8. Events

Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya”
The New School, New York, NY, USA
Among others, Elizabeth Allison will be presenting and Mary Evelyn Tucker will be responding.
March 7-8, 2013
Join this event live or by livestream.

Environmental Humanities in a Changing World”
Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Conference is FREE and Open to the Public.
Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will be presenting at this conference.
March 8-9, 2013

Ground for Hope—Long Island”
Temple Beth David, Commack, NY, USA
March 10, 2013

Igniting the Green Fire: Finding Hope in Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic”
2013 Geography of Hope Conference
The Father of the Modern Conservation Movement Inspires Weekend Gathering in West Marin
Point Reyes Station, CA, USA
March 15-17, 2013

An International Conference on Nature and Value in Chinese and Western Philosophies”
1st Annual Rutgers Workshop on Chinese Philosophy (RWCP)
Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
April 4-5, 2013

Beastly Morality”
Second Annual Animal Ethics Workshop
Emory University’s Center for Ethics, Atlanta, GA, USA
April 5, 2013
Please RSVP by April 1 to

The Mountaintop Vision: Martin Luther King’s Cosmology of Connection”
With Drew Dellinger and Special Guests, Rev. Deborah L. Johnson, Paul Hawken, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Louie Schwartzberg and Jennifer Johns
The Lakeside Theater at the Kaiser Center, Oakland, CA, USA
April 6, 2013
Join this event live or by livestream.

Climate Change and the Common Good”
A national conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN, USA
April 8-10, 2013

Religious and Spiritual Perspectives on Climate Engineering”
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
Potsdam, Germany
April 24–26, 2013

Global Environmental Justice”
Workshop at the Universität Bremen, Germany
April 26-27, 2013

Climate Revival – An Ecumenical Festival to Embolden the Renewal of Creation”
Old South Church, UCC & Trinity Church (Episcopal), Boston, MA, USA
April 27, 2013

The Earth is the Lord’s: Renewing the Covenant of Creation”
High Leigh Conference Centre, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
July 15-18, 2013

For more events, visit:

9. Calls for Papers

International Association for Environmental Philosophy 17th Annual Meeting
Hilton Eugene and Conference Center, Eugene, OR, USA
October 26-28, 2013
Submission Deadline: March 8, 2013

Special issue of Penn Bioethics Journal
Open to all Undergraduate Students
Deadlines for submissions: March 11, 2013 and April 8, 2013

Rethinking ‘Nature’”
Special issue of Teoria, 1/2014
Deadline for abstracts: March 31, 2013

10. Continuum Trailer Release + Kickstarter Launch

Following on from the success of their short film Overview, Planetary Collective released the trailer for their upcoming feature documentary, Continuum on 22nd February. A Kickstarter campaign was launched on the same day to raise the final funds needed to complete the film, with live events taking place in New York, Chicago, Albuquerque and London.

Continuum is feature-length documentary that builds upon the planetary perspective set forth in Overview. By weaving together perspectives and ideas from some of the key theorists and thinkers in the fields of cosmology, environmentalism, sustainability, social theory, anthropology and systems dynamics, it tells the story of where we have come from, where we are now, and the possibilities for our future.

Using cutting-edge cinematography, the team has travelled to 20 countries, and around 50 cities to shoot the film, and interviewed 20 people including Bill McKibben, Barry Lopez, Wade Davis, Paul Hawken and His Holiness the 17th Karmapa.

The Continuum Kickstarter campaign is asking for a minimum of $80,000 for editing, soundtrack, animation, distribution and publicity. However, it is hoped that donations will exceed this and help fund a final round of filming of some of the more expensive-to-reach interviewees and footage.

Overview Microsite:

11. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

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

For more information on other journals related to religion and ecology and to environmental ethics/philosophy, visit: If you know of a publication that needs to be added to this list, email

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit: