May 2013

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
7.5 (May 2013)


1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. American Teilhard Association Annual Meeting (May 11, 2013 at the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, NY, USA)

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

4. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings

5. New Books

6. Calls for Papers

7. Events

8. Two Upcoming Programs with the Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development at UPEACE, Costa Rica

9. “Role of Religious Leaders” Brochure on Forest Protection

10. Spiritual Ecology website:

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.

We are pleased to invite you to the Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, NY on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 12-3pm. Mary Evelyn Tucker will be speaking on “The Teilhardian Roots of Journey of the Universe.” All are welcome to attend. To see the event flyer and register, visit:

The Forum website has been gradually transitioning to a new Yale layout, and I am very happy to let you know that the project is now complete. Laura Reddick, who is graduating in a couple weeks from the master’s program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, has been a tremendous help with this project.

As always, we welcome your suggestions for website updates and newsletter items. Please let us know if you would like us to post events, news articles, syllabi, engaged projects, statements, and books that are related to the field of Religion and Ecology.

The EMMY® award-winning Journey of the Universe film and Educational Series (now titled “Conversations”) are available now via as well as the Journey of the Universe website at

I would like 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. For more information, visit two pages on the conference website: and For lodging information for this conference, visit:

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. American Teilhard Association Annual Meeting (May 11, 2013 at the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, NY, USA)

Please join us for the Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

12pm - Lunch
1:30pm - Talk

Details on the Board Meeting at 10am will be distributed directly to Board Members.

Union Theological Seminary
3041 Broadway at 121st St.
New York City, NY

Mary Evelyn Tucker will be speaking on “The Teilhardian Roots of Journey of the Universe.”

Beyond world wars and the cold war, there beckons the sense of a larger planetary whole—an emerging, multiform, planetary civilization. It is in participating in this transition moment that we will fulfill our role as humans on behalf of future generations. It requires a profound change of consciousness and values—both an expanded worldview of the universe story and a comprehensive global ethics that embraces the Earth community. Journey of the Universe offers an expansive context for this great transition. We can be inspired by this scientific story of nested interdependence—from galaxies and stars to planets and ecosystems—so that we sense how personally we are woven into the fabric of life. We are part of this ongoing journey.

Teilhard understood the immense challenges of activating human energy in the modern period. His thought is a major inspiration for the Journey of the Universe project with Brian Swimme, who is also a vice president of the American Teilhard Association. The Journey film and book arose from our shared appreciation for Teilhard’s understanding of evolution as a single unfolding energy event that gave rise to an immense diversity of life. Seeing the human as a biocultural being within these evolutionary processes gives us a new sense of our vital role and responsibility for the continuity of these processes.

Mary Evelyn Tucker is the Vice President of the American Teilhard Association, co-director of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and one of the writers and executive producers of the Emmy award winning film Journey of the Universe.

To see the flyer, visit:

$25 - Luncheon and Talk
$10 - Talk only

Register for the 2013 Annual Meeting online through Paypal at:

Or send in the registration form by mail:

All are welcome to attend this meeting. You do not have to be a member of the American Teilhard Association to join us.

3. “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


For lodging information for this event, visit:

4. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings  

Film Screening: Fort Smith, AR (May 6, 2013)
St. Scholastica Monastery
1301 S Albert Pike Ave
Fort Smith, AR, USA
This screening is part of the the Justpeace Film Series
Contact: (479) 783-4147

Film Screening: Fall River, MA (May 9, 2013)
Bristol Community College
777 Elsebree Street
Fall River, MA, USA
Sponsored by Bristol Community College
Contact: Stephan Martin,

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

Journey of the Universe Events: Chapel Hill, NC (May 17-18, 2013)
United Church of Chapel Hill
1321 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC, USA
May 17 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Film Screening & Discussion
May 18 - 9:30-11:45am - “A Forum on the Universe Story in Liturgy, Art, Myth and Education”

A Universe Story Retreat: 
Havertown, PA (June 14-19, 2013)
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–A_Universe_Story_Retreat.pdf

For more information about film screenings, visit:

5. New Books

People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India
By David L. Haberman
Oxford University Press, 2013

People Trees is about religious conceptions of trees within the cultural world of tree worship at the tree shrines of northern India. Sacred trees have been worshiped for millennia in India, and today tree worship continues there in abundance among all segments of society. In the past, tree worship was regarded by many Western anthropologists and scholars of religion as a prime example of childish animism or primitive religion. More recently, this aspect of world religious cultures is almost completely ignored in the theoretical concerns of the day. Incorporating ethnographic fieldwork and texts never before translated into English, David Haberman reevaluates concepts such as animism, anthropomorphism, and personhood in the context of the worship of the pipal, a tree of mighty and ambiguous power; the neem, an embodied form of a goddess whose presence is enhanced with colorful ornamentation and a facemask appended to its trunk; and the banyan, a tree noted for its association with longevity and immortality. Along with detailed descriptions of a wide range of tree worship rituals, here is a spirited exploration of the practical consequences, perceptual possibilities, and implicit environmental ethics suggested by Indian notions about sacred trees.


Science and Faith: A New Introduction
By John F. Haught
Paulist Press, 2013

John Haught has managed to create an imaginary, provocative dialogue where several spokespersons argue either for or against different positions about science and faith whether there exists conflict, contrast or convergence between them. His book represents a masterly summary of sophisticated debates in very accessible form. It opens one’s eyes to the complex depths of reality and convincingly proves that there is still plenty of room for theology in an age of science. But it also shows that now, when we are faced with an immense evolutionary journey that is still going on and full of promise, theology requires fresh expression in the light of transformative scientific knowledge. Readers are invited to become participants in the ongoing dialogue and will enjoy the lively debates and critical reflections offered here. Full of strong arguments, helpful explanations and wise guidance, this inspiring book will be of enormous benefit to college students and anyone trying to work out their own answers to deeply troubling questions about science and faith in a fast changing world. (Review by Ursula King, Institute for Advanced Studies University of Bristol, England)


Stories of the Great Turning
Edited by Peter Reason and Melanie Newman
Introduction by Joanna Macy
Vala Publishing Cooperative, 2013

Here is a book of stories written by people who decided to act, in their own lives, in response to the challenges of our time, and found their own way to make a difference. They are not stories about celebrities or gurus of the environmental movement but honest accounts from people who share a concern for the world we live in and who, in the words of one of the contributors, “just got on with it”. It is a book that takes the question, “What can I do?” and sets out to find some answers using one of our species’ most vital skills: the ability to tell stories in which to spread knowledge, ideas, inspiration and hope. Read about the transformation of wasteland and the installation of water power, stories about reducing consumption and creating sustainable business, stories from people changing how they live their lives and the inner transformations this demands.

6. Calls for Papers

The 27th Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA
October 3-6, 2013
Submission Deadline: May 7, 2013

Interdisciplinary Conference Exploring Awe and Wonder”
Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
September 6-8, 2013
Submission Deadline: June 15, 2013

Special Issue on Ecology
Dandelion Journal
Submission Deadline: July 31, 2013

Relationships With The World”
10th Conference on Current Pagan Studies
Claremont, CA, USA
February 8-9, 2014
Submission Deadline: August 3, 2013

Special Issue on Climate Change
New Theology Review - A Catholic Journal of Theology and Ministry
Submission Deadline: November 1, 2013

7. Events

A Silence of the Lambs – Exploring the Psychological Impacts of Life in the Pennsylvania Gas Field”
Quaker Meetinghouse, 120 3rd Street, Ithaca, NY, USA
Free and open to the public.
May 6, 2013

An Experiential Deep Ecology Workshop with John Seed
Mooncourt, Springwood, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
Journey of the Universe film screening on Saturday evening
May 18-19, 2013

IV Meetings on Ethics and Political Philosophy
University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
May 20-21 2013

Nature, Technology and Religion – Transdisciplinary Perspectives”
4th international conference of The European Forum for the Study of Religion and Environment in association with the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture
Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden
May 23-26, 2013

The Role of Animals in Ancient Myth and Religion”
Grumento Nova, Italy
June 5-7, 2013

Presentations by Pankaj Jain on Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability
June 5, 2013 - IIT Mumbai’s dept of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
June 7, 2013 - Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI), Pune, India
June 26, 2013 - India International Center, New Delhi, India

Thinking and Acting Ecologically”
Tenth Annual Meeting on Environmental Philosophy
The International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE)
The University of East Anglia, UK
June 12-14, 2013

The Ecological Spirituality of Teilhard de Chardin”
Lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker
St. Raphaela’s, 616 Coopertown Road, Haverford, PA, USA
The talk is free and open to the public.
June 15, 2013 at 2pm

For more events, visit:

8. Two Upcoming Programs with the Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development at UPEACE, Costa Rica


Education and Values for Sustainability with the Earth Charter: Teaching What Really Matters”

May 13-17, 2013

Come to Costa Rica to learn about implementing the principles of sustainability in your school or classroom!

Join other educators for a one week intensive program, which will provide you with ideas, resources and skills for implementing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in your work environment.

A Certificate on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter will be awarded upon completion of the course. (CEU credits will be available)


International Law, Global Governance and The Earth Charter Principles”

July 3-7, 2013

Come to Costa Rica to join an intensive one-week programme with policy makers, lawmakers and researchers.

This programme is organized by Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development at the University for Peace/Earth Charter International, in collaboration with the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.,%20Global%20Governance%20and%20the%20Earth%20Charter%20principles

9. “Role of Religious Leaders” Brochure on Forest Protection

The UN-REDD Programme in Asia-Pacific has released a new lessons learned brochure “Role of Religious Leaders”, which showcases how religious leaders in several countries in Asia-Pacific play an active role in raising rural communities’ awareness about forest protection and REDD+.

The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations Collaborative Initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). It builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Programme supports developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies.

For the “Role of Religious Leaders” brochure, visit:

10. Spiritual Ecology website:

A very informative website has been developed by Dr. Leslie E. Sponsel (Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, University of Hawai’i) to supplement his latest book, Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution (Praeger, 2012). Besides information on the book and author, there are growing lists of relevant new books, films, websites, and graduate programs as well as extensive course syllabi. Drafts of chapters not included in the book because of page limits set by the publisher are being added to the Research Notes folder with currently available files on Catholic Spiritual Ecologists, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Gary Snyder. The website is:

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: