November 2011

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
5.11 (November 2011)


1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally
2. Events

3. Interfaith Petition for Climate Justice at COP 17

4. New Website: Forum on Religion & Ecology @ Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)

5. New Books

6. “Religion and Environment” Review by Willis Jenkins and Christopher Key Chapple

7. New Classroom Edition DVD & Study Guide: Shugendo Now

8. Calls for Papers

9. “Renewing the Face of the Earth: Lenten Reflections on Air”

10. Community Solar Day: Occupy Rooftops (Nov. 20)

11. Christianity and Ecology Statements

12. Message of Solidarity for Small-Scale Farmers 

13. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the November 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 film screenings, conferences, events, calls for papers, publications, and more.

This month I am pleased to announce the release of a twenty-part Journey of the Universe Educational Series for use in classrooms, community centers, or religious institutions. This consists of interviews with scientists, humanists, and environmentalists. For the press release, visit: 

There will be a PBS national broadcast premiere of the film this December.  For listings nationwide, visit:  WNET Channel 13 in New York City will broadcast the film primetime on December 7 at 8pm.  For the press release, visit:

Both the Journey of the Universe film and book have both been released and are available to purchase at: 

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. 

Please join us for a free screening of the Journey of the Universe film in San Francisco on Friday, November 18, before the start of the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). The screening will be held at 7:30pm at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, 55 Fourth Street (Room: Marriott Marquis Golden Gate A). There will be discussion afterwards with Brian Thomas Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Heather Eaton.

During the meetings of the AAR and SBL, many events will take place that relate to ecological and animal issues.  To view a list of these events, visit:  Many thanks to Laurel Kearns and Elizabeth Freese for compiling this list!

I am also happy to inform you about a recent publication on “Religion and Environment” by Willis Jenkins and Christopher Key Chapple.  This is an important review of recent literature in religion and ecology.  Please see below for more information.

Finally, I would like to let you know that a memorial service for Wangari Maathai will be held on Monday, November 14 at 4:30pm at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, NY. All are invited to attend, and donations can be made to the Green Belt Movement.  As founder of the Greenbelt Movement and as an Earth Charter Commissioner, Wangari worked closely with thousands of people around the planet to create a world based on ecological integrity, social and economic justice, democracy, non-violence, and peace.  Her vision, dedication, and courage were recognized when she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.  She taught and lectured at many universities around the world, including the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale.  Wangari participated in several of our Forum conferences on World Religions and Ecology.  She spoke eloquently at Thomas Berry’s memorial service in 2009 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and she delivered an inspiring video message in 2005 at the UN at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Teilhard’s death.  

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. Events

“A Conversation on The Great Work”
An evening with Doug Demeo
Romita Auditorium of Ryan Library, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY
November 9, 2011

Memorial Ceremony for Wangari Muta Maathai (1940–2011)
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street), New York, NY
November 14, 2011

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
Moscone Center & Surrounding Hotels, San Francisco, CA, USA
November 19-22, 2011

The Earth’s Imagination - Brian Swimme DVD Series”
Knox United Church, 506 4th Street SW, Calgary, AB, Canada
November 26, 2011

Interfaith Rally for Climate Justice at COP 17
Kings Park Stadium, Durban, South Africa
November 27, 2011

Towards Indian Ecocriticism”
Central University of Tamil Nadu, India
December 2-3, 2011

For more events, visit:

3. Interfaith Petition for Climate Justice at COP 17

COP 17, or the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties will be run by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa in November 28 - December 9, 2011. The conference aims to negotiate an international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions to prevent worsening global warming and climate change.

On November 27, the day before COP 17 starts, the faith community will be holding an interfaith rally in Durban to ask the delegates to negotiate with courage and fairness. Join us in the call for a just and legally binding climate treaty.  We will deliver signatures from all over Africa and beyond to the worlds leaders during the rally.  Please sign the following petition:

We call on our leaders to fight for a just and legally binding climate treaty!”

We call on our negotiators to treat the Earth with respect, resist disorder and live in peace with each other, including embracing a legally binding climate treaty.

Africa must unite, and with one voice speak out for the justice of the poor in Africa and beyond!

4. New Website: Forum on Religion & Ecology @ Monash University (Melbourne, Australia)

The website of the Forum on Religion & Ecology @ Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) is now on-line at  The website contains a variety of resources, including a list of publications and media in the field of Religion and Ecology by Australian authors/journalists or about Australia  It also includes a list of contact information for academics and allied professionals working in this field:

5. New Books

Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics and Sustainability
Northwest Earth Institute, 2011

Hungry for Change explores the true meaning of the phrase “you are what you eat.” In four to six sessions, this discussion course challenges participants to examine their roles, not only as consumers of food, but also as creators – of food, of systems, and of the world we all live in. Each session includes readings, short assignments and accompanying discussion questions that address the impact of individual food choices on a range of issues, including ecosystem health, the treatment of factory and farm workers, and the global economy. Many sessions also include video clips, podcasts and websites to deepen the learning experience. Hungry for Change helps participants commit to lasting change by developing and sharing personal Action Plans with each session.


Environmental Ethics: An Introduction (2nd Edition)
By Patrick Curry
Polity, 2011

In this thoroughly revised and updated second edition of the highly successful Ecological Ethics, Patrick Curry shows that a new and truly ecological ethic is both possible and urgently needed. He discusses light green or anthropocentric ethics with the examples of stewardship, lifeboat ethics, and social ecology; the mid-green or intermediate ethics of animal liberation/rights; and dark or deep green ecocentric ethics. Particular attention is given to the Land Ethic, the Gaia Hypothesis, Deep Ecology, and its offshoots: Deep Green Theory, Left Biocentrism and the Earth Manifesto. Ecofeminism is also considered and attention is paid to the close relationship between ecocentrism and virtue ethics. Other chapters discuss green ethics as post-secular, moral pluralism and pragmatism, green citizenship, and human population in the light of ecological ethics. In this new edition, all these have been updated and joined by discussions of climate change, sustainable economies, education, and food from an ecocentric perspective.


Invitation to Wonder: A Journey Through the Seasons
By Elizabeth Ayres
Veriditas Books, 2010

Invitation to Wonder: A Journey Through the Seasons invokes an intimate communion with the natural world.  Using poetic language to capture the insights of scientific research and personal observation, Elizabeth Ayres transports readers through the cycle of seasons to inspire a deep wonder about the world.  Complementing this book are five spoken-word recordings in the Invitation to Wonder Audio Series, each of which is accompanied by short Listening Guides: “A Journey through the Seasons,” “Celebrating the Journey,” “A Journey into the Cosmos,” “A Journey into Chesapeake Country,” and “A Journey into Divine Presence.”  Thomas Berry called this book “Lovely. Shows amazing breadth of thought.”


Indic Visions in an Age of Science
By V.V. Raman
Metanexus Institute, 2011

Indic Visions in an Age of Science provides a detailed introduction to India’s religions with thoroughly contemporary interpretations thereof consistent with the insights of modern science. South Asia today is a nexus in a global civilization, its children and grandchildren having traveled to every corner of the world, frequently joining the educated elites abroad and making significant contributions to arts and letters, science and industry, politics and finance.  The continued story of Indian civilization is now a global and cosmopolitan enterprise and can no longer be contained in geographically boundaries in one corner of the world.  V.V. Raman is a gifted and gracious guide to the rich complexity of Indic civilization, always with a view to fostering peace and understanding amidst dangerous culture wars and clashing civilizations.  In ten succinct chapters, V.V. Raman traces the development of Indian religion, philosophy, and science from the distant past to contemporary times.

6. “Religion and Environment” Review by Willis Jenkins and Christopher Key Chapple

“Religion and Environment”
By Willis Jenkins and Christopher Key Chapple
Annual Review of Environment and Resources
Vol. 36: 441-463 (Volume publication date November 2011)
First published online as a Review in Advance on August 1, 2011


Understanding the interaction of human and environmental systems requires understanding the religious dimensions to the integration of ecology and society. Research on the significance of religion to environmental problems and of ecological ideas to religion has emerged into a robust interdisciplinary field. One sign of its vitality lies in the methodological arguments over how to conceptualize and assess that significance. Another lies in the diversity of research projects, which appear within most religious traditions, from many geographical contexts, and in several different disciplines. This article introduces major approaches to the field and key questions raised, and then briefly assesses recent work in three broad areas of tradition.

To download the PDF file of this article, visit:

7. New Classroom Edition DVD & Study Guide: Shugendo Now

A new classroom edition DVD and study guide is available for the documentary Shugendo Now. It contains the following videos:

The Lotus Ascent, 42 minutes.

We accompany 120 male pilgrims from all walks of life on a twenty-six kilometer climb to the peak of Japan’s Mt Omine. This sacred mountain, off limits to women, is regarded as the home of divinities and immortals as well as the mother’s womb: a site of rebirth, catharsis, and healing. Returning with them to the sprawling metropolises they call home, we learn what motivates pilgrims and how they integrate lessons learned from Nature in daily life. Our guide Tanaka Riten, a seasoned ascetic with intellectual credentials, media savvy, and a keen sense of humor, has made the traditional practices more accessible to lay people, boosting participation considerably. Yet attendance by more experienced ascetics has dropped. Wagering that the only way for a religious tradition to survive is to have the broadest possible membership, Tanaka believes his efforts have not been unsuccessful.

The Forest of Mountain Learning, 48 minutes.

Struggling to stay human, wishing to live “smelling the earth,” and choosing between accounting or the artist’s life: these are some of the motivations that attract visitors to The Forest of Mountain Learning. Charismatic priest Tateishi Kosho has established this rustic temple and training site as a space for individuals at a crossroads in their lives to contemplate Nature and “know their heart-mind.” Kosho’s musical and culinary virtuosity, colorful background, and wisdom gained from ascetic practices in rugged mountains make him an appealing conversation partner. But his disciplined practice and protection of the natural world from illegal dumping and gravel production earn him the respect and admiration of a global cohort of pilgrims.

You are invited to visit our new classroom edition page with all relevant details:

A new companion study guide produced with financial assistance from the US-Japan Foundation and in partnership with the Asian Educational Media Services (AEMS) for their new on-line film database Digital Asia is also now available. There you will find contextual essays, glossary, maps, filmmaker statements, and other supplementary materials:

Please let us know if you think you might wish to use the films and/or study guide in your classes.

Mark Patrick McGuire
Humanities / campus sustainability initiative
John Abbott College
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

8. Calls for Papers

“Creation, Creatureliness, and Creativity: The Human Place in the Natural World”

2012 Conference for the Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology (SCPT)
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA, USA

April 20-22, 2012

Only complete papers with a maximum of 3,000 words will be accepted.

Submission deadline: January 15, 2012


Christian Faith and the Earth: Respice et Prospice”

Sustainability Institute
Lynedoch, Stellenbosch
South Africa
August 6–10, 2012

Proposal Deadline: January 31, 2012


Religious Response to Ecological Challenges”

Nilackal St. Thomas Church Ecumenical Centre
Kerala, India
April 17-20, 2012

Proposal Deadline: January 30, 2012

Deadline for full manuscript: March 15, 2012


Culture, Politics, and Climate Change”

University of Colorado
Boulder, CO, USA
September 13-15, 2012

Proposal Deadline: January 10, 2012


Metaphysical and Religious Naturalism”

Highlands Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought
Manitou Springs, CO, USA
June 11-14, 2012

Proposal Deadline: January 15, 2012

9. “Renewing the Face of the Earth: Lenten Reflections on Air”

It’s not too early to imagine and plan for vibrant Lenten faith-sharing groups using material with an ecological twist. The following program developed by Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ can help materialize such groups. 

Renewing the Face of the Earth: Lenten Reflections on Air” incorporates scientific and theological knowledge about creation, God’s presence therein, and our call to care for it. A five-session resource, “Renewing the Face of the Earth” can enhance group prayer and sharing, build community, deepen awareness of God’s presence and action within creation, increase participants’ understanding of air pollution and global warming, and motivate participants to action. This free resource is available now for perusal or downloading:

Renewing the Face of the Earth” is part of a three-year Lenten trilogy that includes Soil, Water, and Air. For information about these, contact Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ,

10. Community Solar Day: Occupy Rooftops (Nov. 20)

Interested in helping your local school or place of worship go solar? On November 20, Solar Mosaic and other organizations are partnering across the country to hold Community Solar Day, a day for people across the country to come together at a building they want to help go solar and start creating local jobs and clean energy through a community solar project.  Sign up at to kick start a solar project in your community by taking a picture in front of the building where you’d like to go solar! We’ll provide you with all the tips and tools you need to get your project off the ground and starting building a more sustainable future from the roof up.

11. Christianity and Ecology Statements

“Healing a Broken World”
Promotio Iustitiae n° 106 (2011)
Report of the Task Force on Jesuit Mission and Ecology

Our Relationship with the Environment: The Need for Conversion”
Pastoral letter from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Social Affairs (2008)

To read more statements regarding Christianity and Ecology, visit:

12. Message of Solidarity for Small-Scale Farmers

A message of solidarity will be sent to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace partners who are working with organized groups of small-scale farmers in the Global South. It will help to strengthen their advocacy and education work with their governments and their communities.  Please sign the following card:

We support small-scale farmers around the world who are working for sustainable small-scale agriculture, genuine land reform, and a change in production and consumption patterns.

We affirm our responsibility to future generations to seek genuine solutions to the problem of climate change that are viable, truly sustainable and do not sacrifice the poorest people on the planet.

By signing this card, you are expressing your solidarity with small-scale farmers who urgently request the promotion of agricultural models that will enable them to feed their communities, participate in the fight against climate change, and improve their living conditions.

13. 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: