May 2015

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
9.5 (May 2015)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

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

3. Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association (May 16, 2015 at Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, USA)

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

5. Video of “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje”

6. Video by Prince Ea: “Dear Future Generations: Sorry”

7. Journey of the Universe Events

8. New Publications

9. New Documentary: PLANETARY

10. “Standing on Sacred Ground” (Documentary Series airing on PBS)

11. Religious Teachings Webinars

12. Events

13. Call for Papers

14. EcoSattva Training (May 10 - July 19, 2015)

15. Video of Thomas Berry on “Teilhard de Chardin in the Age of Ecology”

16. Job Openings

17. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the May 2015 issue of the newsletter for the Forum on Religion and Ecology. We have much to share with you this month with regards to developments in the field of Religion and Ecology, including videos, publications, events, a call for papers, job openings, and more.

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

Please join us for the Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association on May 16, 2015 at Union Theological Seminary in New York, NY. John Haught will be speaking on “Teilhard, Religion, and Big History: A Look Inside.” For more, see below or visit:

We are excited to share videos of two events that were held at Yale University this past month. The first is a recording of the panel discussion on the Papal Encyclical that took place on April 8. The event entitled “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters” included John Grim, Peter Crane, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Margaret Farley, Dekila Chungyalpa, Doug Kysar, and Greg Sterling. Watch the video: The transcript from this event is also available:

The second video is of the Chubb Fellowship Lecture given by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje on April 7. This lecture on “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment” included an interview by Andrew Quintman and Mary Evelyn Tucker. Watch the video:

We are happy to let you know about a recent piece by Mary Evelyn Tucker in conversation with Kathleen Dean Moore entitled “A Roaring Force from One Unknowable Moment.” This article reflects on how the story of the universe has the power to change our consciousness and in turn influence our historical moment. You can read the full article published in Orion Magazine here:–A_Roaring_Force.pdf

Journey of the Universe Conversations is now available on Vimeo for streaming and downloading. You can access the individual episodes or the complete collection at The Journey of the Universe film is also available for streaming on Netflix. For a list of more online stores where the Journey project is available, visit:

The Forum on Religion and Ecology now has a Facebook page! Please show your support by “liking” us and sharing our page with your Facebook friends. Visit the new page at

We hope this newsletter supports your own work and helps you further your own engagements with the field of Religion and Ecology.

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

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

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

June 4–7, 2015

Pomona College
Claremont, CA, USA

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

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

For the Press Release, visit:–Press_Release.pdf

For the Poster, visit:–Poster.pdf

Register at:

For more information, visit:

3. Annual Meeting of the American Teilhard Association (May 16, 2015 at Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, USA)

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

Lunch: 12:00 p.m; Talk: 1:45 p.m.

John Haught will be speaking on: “Teilhard, Religion, and Big History: A Look Inside”

Running silently through the heart of matter from the earliest moments of the cosmic story, a vein of “subjectivity” has been in great measure inaccessible to objectifying science. So hidden is the interior dimension of the cosmos from public examination that scientists and philosophers with materialist leanings sometimes claim that it has no real existence at all. Leaving subjectivity out of their representations of the cosmos, however, they fail to tell us the whole story. They even leave out the most important part of it. So if the new exponents of “Big History” are serious about bringing deep coherence to their accounts of the cosmos and human existence they need to make room for a wider empiricism and a more comprehensive kind of understanding than the sciences have collectively provided. They need to develop a method of inquiry that connects the inner drama tightly to the outer narrative. What, then, do the emergence of intellectual, moral and (especially) religious subjectivity teach us about the universe? With the help of Teilhard (and several other major thinkers) this lecture will outline ways in which our telling the cosmic story can be enriched by a closer “look inside.”

Register online:

Register by mail:

If you will be paying at the door, please RSVP to as we need to know in advance the number of people who will be in attendance.

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

On April 8, Yale University hosted a panel discussion on how Pope Francis’s upcoming encyclical on the environment could transform the global climate debate for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

The panel, chaired by John Grim, included six Yale-affiliated experts who addressed the implications of the encyclical from their disciplinary perspectives, followed by a discussion with the audience.

The panelists include:

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

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

Watch the video:

Read the transcript:

5. Video of “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje”

Spiritual leader, social and environmental activist, and artist, His Holiness the 17thKarmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, presented the Chubb Fellowship Lecture at Yale University on April 7. The talk was titled “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.” Afterwards Andrew Quintman and Mary Evelyn Tucker interviewed him.

Watch the video:

6. Video by Prince Ea: “Dear Future Generations: Sorry”

Activist and spoken word artist Prince Ea has released his newest video, “Dear Future Generations: Sorry,” to urge young people to take immediate action to stop climate change. His previous videos have become viral sensations and his latest is no different. It was released on April 20 to coincide with Earth Day and garnered 28 million views on Facebook in the first two days. “I made this video to inform my generation that there is something we can do right now to take back our future; that is to take a Stand for Trees,” said Prince Ea. “Climate change is an emergency situation of the highest degree and all of us share the responsibility to do something about it.” Last month, Prince Ea traveled to Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to witness firsthand the horrors of tropical deforestation. He also visited pioneering forest conservation projects developed by Wildlife Works that demonstrate a successful new way to stop deforestation by rewarding forest communities who conserve their forests. “The Stand for Trees campaign was designed to put the power to save forests in the hands of the people to whom the future matters most: young people,” explained Mike Korchinsky, founder of Code REDD and founder and president of Wildlife Works. Climate scientists have warned that global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 17 billion tonnes annually by 2020 to avoid increasing disastrous effects of climate change, according to Stand for Trees. The destruction of forests currently contributes more than 7 billion tonnes of emissions.

Dear Future Generations: Sorry” video:

Stand for Trees:

Prince Ea:

7. Journey of the Universe Events

Film Screening: Santa Monica, CA (May 23, 2015)

SGI—USA Culture of Peace Resource Center
606 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA, USA


Conversation afterwards with Dr. Christopher Chapple on “Journey of the Universe and the Interior Journey”

This free event is part of the SGI—USA Culture of Peace Distinguished Speaker Series.

Contact: Danny Hall,



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

Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization”

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

Pomona College
Claremont, CA, USA

Thursday, June 4 – 4pm

Friday, June 5 – 2pm

Saturday, June 6 – 2pm

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

Event page:

8. New Publications

A Roaring Force from One Unknowable Moment”
Mary Evelyn Tucker in conversation with Kathleen Dean Moore
Orion Magazine
May | June 2015

Read the full article:–A_Roaring_Force.pdf

The story of the universe has the power to change history

The world has arrived at a pivot point in history. You could drive a nail through this decade, and the future of the planet would swing in the balance. What can be done to tip the scales toward a resilient, and flourishing, future? Three things, we’re told, all of them essential. First, stop damaging the planet’s life-supporting systems. Second, imagine new and better ways to live on Earth. Third, and most important, change the story about who we are, we humans—not the lords of all creation, but lives woven into the complex interdependencies of a beautiful, unfolding planetary system. Many people are pursuing the first two goals. But Mary Evelyn Tucker has taken up the third, making it her life’s work.


Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis?
By David Ray Griffin
Clarity Press, 2015

Can we act quickly and wisely enough to prevent climate change – better called climate disruption – from destroying human civilization? There is no greater issue facing humanity today. This book provides everything people need to know in order to enter into serious discussions and make good decisions:

• The latest scientific information about the probable effects of the various types of climate disruption that threaten the very continuation of civilization.
• The reasons why the media and governments have failed miserably to rein in global warming, even though scientists have been warning them for decades.
• The additional challenges to saving civilization – religious, moral, and economic.
• The amazing transformation of solar, wind, and other types of clean energy during the past few years, making the transition from a fossil-fuel to a clean-energy economy possible; and the falsity of the various claims that fossil-fuel companies and their (hired) minions have made to belittle clean energy.


Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism
By Mark Stoll
Oxford University Press, 2015

In Inherit the Holy Mountain, historian Mark Stoll introduces us to religious roots of the American environmental movement. Religion, he shows, provided environmentalists both with deeply-embedded moral and cultural ways of viewing the world and with content, direction, and tone for the causes they espoused. Stoll discovers that specific denominational origins corresponded with characteristic sets of ideas about nature and the environment as well as distinctive aesthetic reactions to nature, as can be seen in key works of art analyzed throughout the book. Stoll also provides insight into the possible future of environmentalism in the United States, concluding with an examination of the current religious scene and what it portends for the future. By debunking the supposed divide between religion and American environmentalism, Inherit the Holy Mountain opens up a fundamentally new narrative in environmental studies.


Kabbalah and Ecology: God’s Image in the More-Than-Human World
By David Mevorach Seidenberg
Cambridge University Press, 2015

Kabbalah and Ecology is a groundbreaking book that resets the conversation about ecology and the Abrahamic traditions. David Mevorach Seidenberg challenges the anthropocentric reading of the Torah, showing that a radically different orientation to the more-than-human world of nature is not only possible, but that it also leads to a more accurate interpretation of scripture, rabbinic texts, Maimonides, and Kabbalah. Deeply grounded in traditional texts and fluent with the physical sciences, this book proposes not only a new understanding of God’s image but also a new direction to restore religion – to its senses and to a more alive relationship with the more than human, with nature and with divinity.


The Routledge Handbook of Religions and Global Development
Edited by Emma Tomalin
Routledge, 2015

This Handbook provides a cutting-edge survey of the state of research on religions and global development. Part one highlights critical debates that have emerged within research on religions and development, particularly with respect to theoretical, conceptual and methodological considerations, from the perspective of development studies and its associated disciplines. Parts two to six look at different regional and national development contexts and the place of religion within these. These parts integrate and examine the critical debates raised in part one within empirical case studies from a range of religions and regions. Part seven examines the links between some important areas within development policy and practice where religion is now being considered, including:

• Faith-Based Organisations and Development
• Public Health, Religion and Development
• Human rights, Religion and Development
• Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Religion
• Global Institutions and Religious Engagement in Development
• Economic Development and Religion
• Religion, Development and Fragile States
• Development and Faith-Based Education


Sustainability: What’s Love Got to Do with It?”
Journal of Sustainability Education
March 2015

This free online issue of The Journal of Sustainability Education is dedicated to the relationship between love and sustainability. It includes scholarly feature articles, case studies, opinion pieces and editorials, personal journey essays, artistic contributions, and more.


Tikkun Magazine
Spring 2015
Special Section: The Place of Hope in an Age of Climate Disaster

As the earth heats up, sea levels rise, and thousands of species face extinction, it’s easy to boomerang between denial and despair. What is the place of hope in an era of sweeping environmental destruction? Do we need hope in order to sustain our struggle to transform the political and economic structures that are fueling this devastation? Or can we try to save the environment even without hope—because it’s the right thing to do? Contributors to this special section draw on a variety of spiritual, ethical, and political traditions to reinvigorate our creative imaginations in the face of climate disaster.


Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Selected and with an Introduction by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2014

Published for the centenary of his birth.

Thomas Berry (1914-2009), was a priest, a “geologian,” and a historian of religions. He was an early and significant voice awakening religious sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is particularly well-known for articulating a “universe story” that explores the world-changing implications of the contemporary science. Berry pointed the way to an ecological spirituality attuned to our place in nature and giving rise to an ethic of responsibility and care for the Earth.

9. New Documentary: PLANETARY

A 2015 film by PLANETARY COLLECTIVE in association with RECONSIDER

We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that every living thing is connected. PLANETARY is a provocative and breathtaking wakeup call – a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species. It is a poetic and humbling reminder that now is the time to shift our perspective. PLANETARY asks us to rethink who we really are, to reconsider our relationship with ourselves, each other and the world around us – to remember that we are PLANETARY.


Mary Evelyn Tucker, Brian Swimme, Joanna Macy, Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, Barry Lopez, Drew Dellinger, Sam Mickey, Sean Kelly, Becca Tarnas, His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Alan Senauke, Ali Smith, Anam Thubten, Angel Kyodo Williams, Charles Eisenstein, David Loy, Elizabeth Lindsey, Ethan Nichtern, Janine Benyus, Joan Halifax, Lawrence Ellis, Luntana Nakoggi, Dr Mae Jemison, Mona Polacca, Peter Russell, Ron Garan, Sobonfu Some, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Wade Davis, Wes Nisker, and others.

10. “Standing on Sacred Ground” (Documentary Series airing on PBS)

Indigenous communities around the world resist threats to their sacred places—the original protected lands—in a growing movement to defend human rights and restore the environment.

In this four-part documentary series titled “Standing on Sacred Ground,” native people share ecological wisdom and spiritual reverence while battling a utilitarian view of land in the form of government megaprojects, consumer culture, and resource extraction as well as competing religions and climate change.

Narrated by Graham Greene, with the voices of Tantoo Cardinal and Q’orianka Kilcher, the series exposes threats to native peoples’ health, livelihood, and cultural survival in eight communities around the world. Rare verité scenes of tribal life allow indigenous people to tell their own stories—and confront us with the ethical consequences of our culture of consumption.

The series will begin airing on PBS the World Channel on May 17 at 9pm ET. Check local listings here:

Produced by the Sacred Land Film Project.

For more information, including Discussion Guides and Teacher’s Guides, visit:

11. Religious Teachings Webinars

GreenFaith is hosting a 6-part webinar series featuring the environmental teachings of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and China.

This series includes the following:

Christian Teachings Webinar by Dr. Patricia Tull
Jewish Teachings Webinar by Rabbi Lawrence Troster
Hindu Teachings Webinar by Dr. Pankaj Jain
Buddhist Teachings Webinar by Dr. David Loy
Muslim Teachings Webinar by Saffet Catovic and Nana Firman
Chinese Teachings Webinar by Mary Evelyn Tucker

Listen to the recordings and view PowerPoints for the presentations:

12. Events

Jazz Vespers - Gaia Meditations: Reconnecting with our place in the universe & the sacred in nature”
Based on the work of Thomas Berry
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, Oakton, VA, USA
May 8, 2015 at 7:30- 8:30pm

Religion in the Anthropocene – Challenges, Idolatries, Transformations”
5th international conference of the European Forum for the Study of Religion and Environment, in collaboration with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
Munich, Germany
May 14-17, 2015

The Ethics of Nature – The Nature of Ethics”
University of Manchester, UK
May 16, 2015

An Unexpected Wilderness: Seeking God on a Changing Planet”
Sixty-First Annual Convention of the College Theology Society
University of Portland, Oregon, USA
May 28-31, 2015

Manufacturing Landscapes - Nature and Technology in Environmental History”
Renmin University of China, Beijing
May 28-31, 2015

Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit”
A Free Multifaith Peace, Justice and Earthcare Program for Young Adults
Stony Point Center 6th Annual Summer Institute 2015
Stony Point, NY, USA
June 1 – July 23, 2015

Paul Winter’s 20th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY, USA
June 20, 2015 at 4:30-6:30 am

Care for Creation: Scripture, Science, and Ethics”
Public lecture series and course on the Church and the environment with Dawn Nothwehr, OSF, and Mark J. Potosnak
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL, USA
September 8 - December 1, 2015

“Living in the Divine Milieu”
With Ursula King, PhD, FRSA
Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center, Litchfield, CT, USA
September 11-12, 2015

“Building Relationships for the Good of the Earth: Re-Polishing the Silver Covenant Chain”
Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario, Canada
September 25-27, 2015

For more events, visit:

13. Call for Papers

The Greening of Religions: Hope in the Eye of the Storm”
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
April 1-4, 2016
Submission Deadline: September 30, 2015

14. EcoSattva Training (May 10 - July 19, 2015)

What does it mean to express a Buddhist response to climate change? One Earth Sangha is featuring Joanna Macy, Rev. angel Kyodo williams and a powerful collection of teachers, activists and experts in an online, interactive “EcoSattva Training.” This course will develop the community’s capacity to effectively engage on climate change and other ecological challenges with courage, compassion and wisdom.

To learn more and register, visit:

15. Video of Thomas Berry on “Teilhard de Chardin in the Age of Ecology”

The Forum on Religion and Ecology is posting videos and audio recordings of Thomas Berry’s talks on the Thomas Berry Foundation website. The videos are from the library of Lou Niznik thanks to the generous gift of Jane Blewett. We thank Don Smith and Wes Pascoe for doing the needed editing to make them available online.

Watch these videos:

This month we would like to share with you an interview with Thomas Berry by Jane Blewett in which they talk about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s philosophy. Thomas outlines and discusses Teilhard’s three great contributions: (1) he told the story of the universe in an integral manner with four phases “Galactic, Earth, Life, Human,” (2) he identified the human as a dimension of the Universe from the beginning, and (3) he moved the essential Christian issue from the Redemption to the Creation.

Watch this video:

For a summary of the video and discussion questions, visit:–Summary_Notes.pdf

16. Job Openings

Lecturer in Philosophy, Science and Religion
University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity, United Kingdom
Application deadline: May 25, 2015

Assistant Professor of Geography in “Human Dimensions of Water”
West Virginia University, Department of Geology and Geography, Morgantown, WV, USA
Application deadline: September 15, 2015

17. 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 the online edition, visit:

Table of Contents for Volume 19 (2015):

• Introduction (Julia Watts Belser)
• The Picture of Health (Sharon V. Betcher)
• Lead Me Beside Still Waters (Lisa Nichols Hickman)
• Disability and the Social Politics of “Natural” Disaster (Julia Watts Belser)
• Disability Studies, Queer Theory, and the New Materialism (Whitney A. Bauman)
• Disability and Environment (Roger S. Gottlieb)
• The Reproduction in/of Disability and Environment (Mel Y. Chen)

Book Reviews:
People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India, by David L. Haberman. (Review by Matthew T. Riley)
Ecology and Religion, by John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker (Review by Daniel T. Spencer)
Die Moral der Energiewende: Risikowahrnehmung im Wandel am Beispiel der Atomenergie, edited by Jochen Ostheimer and Markus Vogt. (Review by Sigurd Bergmann)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit:

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