May 2012

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter

6.5 (May 2012)



1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally 

2. “Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship” (June 5-7, 2012 at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, USA)

3. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings 

4. Events

5. New Books

6. Calls for Papers

7. “America the Possible: A Manifesto,” by James Gustave Speth

8. Garrison Institute’s “Climate, Mind and Behavior Symposium” (February 15-17, 2012 at Garrison, NY, USA)

9. Sophia Summer Institute: “Our Way into the Future: A Celebration of the Story and Work of Our Time” (July 19-22, 2012 in Oakland, CA, USA)

10. Summer Institute in New Economics (June 24 - July 1, 2012 at Boston College, MA, USA)

11. Powerful U.S. Bishops/United Methodist Church Statement Marks Earth Day

12. TEDxBozeman Talk: “The Many Gods of Planet Earth,” by Betsy Quammen

13. Minding Animals Bulletin

14. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the May 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.

I am happy to invite you to a symposium taking place June 5-7, 2012 at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT, USA.  The symposium, “Religion and Environmental Stewardship,” is organized by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, and it is sponsored by the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, Yale Divinity School, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  The symposium will focus on environmental education that brings together science, theology, and ethics.  The symposium will engage experts from Yale and across the country to address topics such as the greening of seminaries and churches, curricular initiatives in eco-theology, climate change, environmental justice, and preaching and liturgical approaches to environmental stewardship.  Students, ministers, and lay people are welcome to attend.  For more information, see below or visit:

I also want to inform you that we have now completed the Journey of the Universe Trilogy (film, book, and educational series of interviews). The book is available through Yale University Press, your local bookstore, and The film and Educational Series are available through the website: We are also making copies for use overseas, as well as Blu-Ray which plays in high definition.

I would like to let you know about a recent review of the Journey of the Universe book.  This review by Julianne Lutz Warren was published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences and can be read at:  You can find more reviews of the Journey book on, as well as on the Journey website:

The Journey of the Universe Facebook page is a great way to connect with others and show your support for the project. Come “Like” us on Facebook!!/pages/Journey-of-the-Universe/179213572122084

The film is continuing to be broadcast nationwide on PBS for their pledge drive over the next 2 years and has already been carried by 70% of the stations (with over 600 showings).  The PBS broadcast consists of the film and an interview with Mary Evelyn Tucker.  It is wonderful to have this opportunity for the New Story to be available for an even wider audience. Inspired by the New Story described by 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.  

The DVD Educational Series was completed in December and 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 and short selections of each person interviewed online at:

There is also a helpful set of Curricular Materials that accompany the Journey of the Universe project.  Prepared by Matthew Riley, these Curricular Materials contain scientific summaries, discussion questions, and resources. They can be downloaded free of charge at:

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. “Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship” (June 5-7, 2012 at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT, USA)

Summer Symposium: Religion and Environmental Stewardship” 

Environmental Education For Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Seminary Faculty
Bringing Together Science, Theology, and Ethics

Organized by Mary Evelyn Tucker & John Grim, Co-Directors of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

Sponsored by:
Yale Divinity School
Berkeley Divinity School at Yale
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale

June 5-7, 2012 at Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT, USA

The symposium costs $100.

It is free of charge for full-time students.

Registration closes on May 15, so don’t delay!

To register please contact:


3. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings

Greenburgh Nature Center
Scarsdale, NY, USA
May 9, 2012

Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker and Bill Rees
May 14, 2012

The Christine Center
Willard, WI, USA
May 25, 2012

Garrison Institute
Garrison, NY, USA
Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
May 30, 2012

Yale Divinity School
New Haven, CT, USA
Discussion & panel with John Grim & Mary Evelyn Tucker
June 5, 2012

For more screenings, visit:


4. Events

Degrowth in the Americas”
International Conference
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
May 13-19, 2012

Animal Welfare: Ethical & Behavioral Questions”
Aarhus University, Denmark
May 14-16, 2012                              

13th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology
Montpellier, France
May 20-25, 2012
2 sessions related to religion and ecology:
The large religions of the world and the environment 
Sacred lands - dynamic archetypes for changing times

Global Stewardship: An Integrating Story for Ecological Civilization”
With Mary Evelyn Tucker
The Spring of Sustainability 2012
Free online, live event with Mary Evelyn Tucker
Hosted by Betsy Rosenberg
12:00 - 12:30pm
May 24, 2012

Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Ethical Perspectives on Land Use and Food Production”
10th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics (EurSafe) 2012
Tübingen, Germany
May 30 - June 2, 2012

Living Dao Today: Views and Visions”
8th International Conference on Daoist Studies
Utting am Ammersee near Munich, Germany
June 6-10, 2012

Strategies for a New Economy”
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA
June 8-10, 2012

For more events, visit:


5. New Books

The Wisdom of John Muir: 100+ Selections from the Diaries, Journals, and Essays of the Great Naturalist
By Anne Rowthorn
Foreword by Bill McKibben
Wilderness Press, 2012

No single American has done more to preserve our wilderness than John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club and a self-taught botanist, inventor, glaciologist, geologist, ornithologist, world traveler, and writer.  The Wisdom of John Muir: 100+ Selections from the Diaries, Journals, and Essays of the Great Naturalist is a compilation of more than 100 of John Muir’s most evocative writings drawn from his better-known works as well as from his letters and journals. Highlights of Muir’s life introduce each chapter of the book and brief reflective comments accompany the selections to explain or elaborate upon their particular contexts. Building on her lifelong passion for the work and philosophy of John Muir, author Anne Rowthorn has created an entirely new treatment for showcasing the great naturalist’s philosophy and writings. By pairing carefully selected material from various stages of Muir’s life, Rowthorn’s book provides a look at the experiences, places, and people that inspired and informed Muir’s words and beliefs.


The Sacred in the City
Edited by Liliana Gómezand Walter Van Herck
Continuum, 2012

The book reflects the way in which the city interacts with the sacred in all its many guises, with religion and the human search for meaning in life. The sacred has become an important category of a new interpretation of social and cultural transformation processes. From a unique broader perspective, the volume focuses on the relationship between the city and the sacred. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, combining the expertise of philosophers, historians, architects, social geographers, sociologists and anthropologists, it draws a nuanced picture of the different layers of religion, of the sacred and its diverse forms within the city, with examples from Europe, South America and the Caribbean, and Africa.


Water, Cultural Diversity, and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?
Edited by Barbara Rose Johnston, Lisa Hiwasaki, Irene J. Klaver, Ameyali Ramos Castillo, and Veronica Strang
UNESCO, 2012

A product of the UNESCO-IHP project on Water and Cultural Diversity, this book represents an effort to examine the complex role water plays as a force in sustaining, maintaining, and threatening the viability of culturally diverse peoples. It is argued that water is a fundamental human need, a human right, and a core sustaining element in biodiversity and cultural diversity. The core concepts utilized in this book draw upon a larger trend in sustainability science, a recognition of the synergism and analytical potential in utilizing a coupled biological and social systems analysis, as the functioning viability of nature is both sustained and threatened by humans.


Raising Elijah: Protecting Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis
By Sandra Steingraber
Da Capo Press, 2011

Our children face an environment more threatening to their health than any generation in history. Sandra Steingraber confronts this crisis with precise science and a lyrical, witty, moving memoir. Each lively chapter of this unique book focuses on one of the universals of childhood–milk, laundry, pizza, homework, the “Big Talk”–and explores the hidden, social political, and historical forces behind it. Throughout, Steingraber demonstrates how closely the intimate world of parenting connects to the public world of policy-making and how the ongoing environmental crisis is, fundamentally, a crisis of family life.


6. Calls for Papers

Bioethics: Religious and Spiritual Approaches”
2012 Claremont International Jain Conference
Claremont Lincoln University, Claremont, CA, USA
August 24-25, 2012
Submission Deadline: May 15, 2012

Ahimsa and Sustainable Happiness”
Prem and Sandhya Jain International Conference on Nonviolence
Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles, CA, USA
November 2-4, 2012
Submission Deadline: May 18, 2012

The Changing World Religion Map
Edited book to be published by Springer
Deadline for chapters: June 2012

Everyday Religion and Sustainable Environments in the Himalaya”
The New School, New York, NY, USA
March 8-10, 2013
Deadline for Submissions: June 15, 2012

Environment in South-East Asia”
Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies

Deadline for Submissions: June 30, 2012


7. “America the Possible: A Manifesto,” by James Gustave Speth

America the Possible: A Manifesto,” Part I

From decline to rebirth

By James Gustave Speth
March/April 2012 issue of Orion magazine

Like you and other Americans, I love my country, its wonderful people, its boundless energy, its creativity in so many fields, its natural beauty, its many gifts to the world, and the freedom it has given us to express ourselves. So we should all be angry, profoundly angry, when we consider what has happened to our country and what that neglect could mean for our children and grandchildren.

For full story, visit:


America the Possible: A Manifesto,” Part II

A new politics for a new dream

By James Gustave Speth
May/June 2012 issue of Orion magazine

We need a compelling vision for a new future, a vision of a better country—America the Possible—that is still within our power to reach. The deep, transformative changes sketched in the first half of this manifesto provide a path to America the Possible. But that path is only brought to life when we can combine this vision with the conviction that we will pull together to build the necessary political muscle for real change. This article addresses both the envisioning of an attractive future for America and the politics needed to realize it. A future worth having awaits us, if we are willing to struggle and sacrifice for it. It won’t come easy, but little that is worth having ever does.

For full story, visit:


8. Garrison Institute’s “Climate, Mind and Behavior Symposium” (February 15-17, 2012 at Garrison, NY, USA)

The Climate, Mind and Behavior (CMB) Project at the Garrison Institute in New York convenes leading thinkers and practitioners in the fields of climate change and environmental advocacy, neuro-, behavioral and evolutionary economics, psychology, policy-making, social networking investing and social media. During the program’s annual symposia and regional meetings, CMB network participants work together to identify ways to shift human behavior so as to realize large-scale greenhouse gas emissions reductions. It brought experts from these fields together for the third annual CMB symposium on February 15-17, 2012 to explore the connection between social sciences research and human-based solutions to climate change.

Materials from this symposium can be found at:

Video recordings of the lectures of the key presentations from the symposium can be found at:

Mary Evelyn Tucker was one of the participants in this year’s symposium.  Her lecture on “The Emerging Alliance of Religion & Ecology” can be found at:


9. Sophia Summer Institute: “Our Way into the Future: A Celebration of the Story and Work of Our Time” (July 19-22, 2012 in Oakland, CA, USA)

Summer Institute — July 19-22, 2012
Post-Institute Retreat — July 22-24, 2012

Holy Names University
3500 Mountain Blvd.
Oakland, CA, USA

Presenters include: Brian Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Fox, Diarmuid O’Murchu, Miriam Therese Winter, Peter Mayer, Jim Conlon, and Belvie Rooks.

The Sophia Center is a wisdom school celebrating earth, art, and spirit. The Sophia Center story is a story of the emergence of creation spirituality, the New Universe Story and Great Work of Our Time.


10. Summer Institute in New Economics (June 24 - July 1, 2012 at Boston College, MA, USA)

Increasingly dire ecological news and the failure of the global economy to generate adequate jobs and incomes has undermined the legitimacy of conventional economics. As our economic system fails, interest in a “new economics” is expanding. New economics is grounded in principles of ecological sustainability, equity and fairness, the democratization of wealth, community empowerment and the importance of social connection. New economists can be found throughout the social sciences, as well as in adjacent disciplines and interdisciplinary fields. If you are a graduate student, you are invited to join us for the first-ever summer institute in new economics. We have brought together a dynamic group of distinguished faculty who are eager to engage with graduate students interested in pursuing research and practice in this emerging field. We will meet on the campus of Boston College for a one-week intensive program of classes, workshops with leading new economy practitioners, and scrumptious artisanal meals. Students attending the workshop can expect to leave with a solid grounding in the latest research and theory, and with a strong network of faculty and other graduate students. We hope that all participants will experience a renewed sense of accomplishment and inspiration for the challenging task of building an ecologically viable and socially just economy.


Equity and Environment
Growth and Scale
Community economics and planning
Food and agriculture
Labor Markets and consumption
Politics and transition strategy


11. Powerful U.S. Bishops/United Methodist Church Statement Marks Earth Day

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the United Methodist Church (UMC) marked Earth Day 2012 with the release a joint statement on the Eucharist and the environment.  The statement, “Heaven and Earth are Full of Your Glory,” affirms that both Methodists and Catholics believe their celebration of the Eucharist helps them to see God’s glory in all of creation and therefore leads to greater care for the environment.

The document says: Jesus chastises the Pharisees for being able to interpret the appearance of the skies while being unable to interpret the signs of the times (cf. Mt 16:3).  In our time the appearance of the skies has become a sign of the times.  The threat of climate destabilization, the destruction of the ozone layer, and the loss of bio-diversity point to a disordered relation between humankind, other living beings and the rest of the earth. 

The elements of nature—grain for bread and grapes for wine—become part of salvation through the Eucharist and that salvation itself is an act of God at work in all of creation and all creation encountering God.  Additionally, the document call[s] both Methodists and Catholics to participate more deeply in the Eucharist by recognizing its intrinsic connection with the renewal of creation.

Bishop William Skylstad, retired bishop of Spokane (and honorary chairman of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change) and Methodist Bishop Timothy Whitaker of the UMC Florida Conference co-chaired the dialogue. 

Read the statement here:


12. TEDxBozeman Talk: “The Many Gods of Planet Earth,” by Betsy Quammen

This talk examines connections between religions, cultures and environmental ethics. This idea of caring for species, rivers and landscapes is embedded in the world’s many faiths and traditions. Betsy Gaines Quammen and the organization she founded, The Tributary Fund, explores world cultures to identify, reinforce and put into action values and practices that safeguard our species and planet. I order to further conservation, Gaines Quammen attests, we must understand the beliefs of communities that have a direct impact on threatened wildlife, in order to encourage empathy and bestow responsibility. Betsy founded The Tributary Fund after visiting the Eg-Uur watershed and Dayan Derkh Monastery ruins in 2002 and falling in love with the rivers, landscapes and people of Mongolia. Betsy has a Master’s of Science from University of Montana in Environmental Studies and is a PhD candidate at Montana State University in Religion and Environmental History. She lived in Kenya and worked for Swara (the magazine of the East African Wildlife Society) and has served on the national board of directors for the Sierra Club and for American Wildlands. Over the years, she’s worked with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Montana State University’s Center for Native American Studies and Wallace Stegner Chair, and many other conservation groups. Betsy lives in Bozeman, MT, with her husband, writer David Quammen.;search%3Atag%3A%22tedxbozeman%22


13. Minding Animals Bulletin

May 3, 2012
Minding Animals International

This is the final Minding Animals Bulletin to be released before the Minding Animals Conference (MA2) in Utrecht, the Netherlands on July 4-6, 2012.

Inside this edition you will find:

  • Call for Nominations for MA Board and Academic Advisory Committee; and Nomination Form.

  • Information relating to the ICAS Satellite Event at MA2 on 3 July.

  • Upcoming Minding Animals and Partner Events.

  • Information on Getting to Utrecht.

  • Information on Registration at Utrecht and other important times for the conference.

To read the bulletin, visit:


14. 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: