November 2013

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
7.11 (November 2013)


1. Editorial, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. New Resources by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on “Environmental Stewardship and Conservation”

3. New Video and Audio Recordings of Thomas Berry

4. Climate Stewardship Summit and the Hartford Declaration

5. Jordan River Faith Based Advocacy Program and Conference

6. New Publications

7. Events

8. Calls for Papers

9. Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Sustainable Development

10. Summer Institute in Bioethics (June 2 – July 25, 2014 in New Haven, CT, USA)

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 publications, conferences, events, and more.

We are very excited to share news that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints recently added a page to its website on the topic of “Environmental Stewardship and Conservation.” This page includes links to additional resources, including a compilation of “Selected Scriptures and Church Leader Statements on Environmental Stewardship and Conservation” and an address by Elder Marcus B. Nash on “Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth.” The posting of this information by the LDS Church represents a major step forward towards helping to develop a broader conservation ethic in Utah and furthering the cause of faith-based conservation worldwide. To view this page, visit:

We are pleased to announce that the EMMY® award-winning Journey of the Universe film is now available for streaming and downloading from both iTunes and Reelhouse. It is, of course, also available in DVD format at Whole Foods, as well as,,, and a number of other online stores listed at: If you wish to give a rating or review that would be very helpful! The film has been translated into Spanish and the book into French, Italian, and Korean. For a new Overview Statement of the Journey project, visit:

Also, the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) will be held on November 23-26, 2013 in Baltimore, MD, USA. Matt Riley has compiled a list of the events related to religion and ecology, religion and animals, and other related sessions taking place at this year’s meeting, available at:–AAR_SBL_2013.pdf

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. New Resources by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on “Environmental Stewardship and Conservation”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints recently added a page to its website on the topic of “Environmental Stewardship and Conservation.” The posting of this information by the LDS Church represents a major step forward towards helping to develop a broader conservation ethic in Utah and furthering the cause of faith-based conservation worldwide.

This new page links to a number of related topics:

* Selected Scriptures and Church Leader Statements on Environmental Stewardship and Conservation
* Elder Marcus B. Nash Address: “Righteous Dominion and Compassion for the Earth”
* Church Conservation Practices
* Green Buildings
* Sustainable Agriculture
* Recycling
* First Presidency Supports Energy Conservation
* Tips for Energy Conservation
* The Wonder of the Creation
* The Creation — Each Day a Gift
* Earth — a Gift of Gladness
* What the Scriptures Say about Ecology
* Growing a Garden
* VIDEO: Mormon April 2012 World Report: Bishop’s Garden
* Mormon April 2012 World Report: Bishop’s Garden (Part 2)
* Deseret Ranches

3. New Video and Audio Recordings of Thomas Berry

It is a joy to let you know that this past Saturday was the 99th anniversary of Thomas Berry’s birth. Thomas, who was born on November 9, 1914 and died on June 1, 2009, continues to be an inspiration to so many of us. In The Universe Story, Thomas and Brian Swimme write that in order to “tell the full story of a single particle we must tell the story of the universe, for each particle is in some way intimately present to every other particle in the universe” (p. 29). In this same spirit, we find Thomas’ thought present in our lives and scholarship. To celebrate his birth and his influence on us all, we have made several new resources available for your use. The Thomas Berry Foundation website now includes a number of videos and audio recordings, as well as transcriptions of several of Thomas’ lectures.

Visit to view videos from the library of Lou Niznik thanks to the generous gift of Jane Blewett. We thank Don Smith and Wes Pascoe for making these videos available online. This page also includes an excerpt from Thomas Berry Speaks, produced by Marty Ostrow.

Visit to listen to recordings and read transcriptions of reflections that were delivered at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City where Thomas was a Canon and an advisor to the Dean James Parks Morton. We extend gratitude to the Cathedral Archivist, Wayne Kempton, for making these available and to Wes Pascoe for updating them for the Internet.

Visit to listen to recordings and read transcriptions of lectures given by Thomas.

We have also posted several high resolution photos of Thomas on the website. To view and download these photos, visit:


4. Climate Stewardship Summit and the Hartford Declaration

Hartford Hosts Multifaith Summit On Climate Thursday”
By Bernard T. Davidow
The Hartford Courant
November 6, 2013

HARTFORD — Buddhists, Baptists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Unitarians and others are gathering in Hartford on Thursday for an unusual interfaith meeting on the world climate — a topic that has been emerging as an ecumenical cause in recent years.

“We cannot allow it to be simply a political issue,” said Terri Eickel, an organizer of the Climate Stewardship Summit. She called care of the Earth “a moral issue, an ethical issue, a spiritual issue.” Eickel is executive director of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, the event’s sponsor.

At least 150 people are expected at the daylong meeting, which will be held at Asylum Hill Congregational Church.

Read full story:,0,1275019.story


The Hartford Declaration
A Call for Action on Climate Change by Connecticut’s Interfaith Community
Adopted at the Climate Stewardship Summit
Held at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford, CT
November 7, 2013


It’s time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks
Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
November 11, 2013

Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw – calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country at the weekend.

For a full transcript of his speech, visit:


An Open Letter of Support to the Representative of Philippines
By Climate Stewardship Summit Interreligious Eco-Justice Network
November 12, 2013

Dear Mr Yeb Sano

We wish to inform you, that in deep sympathy and solidarity with the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and in strong support of your opening statement at the Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, we the undersigned will join you by voluntarily taking part in fasting as reflective and prayerful witness to the current negotiations at the COP meeting.

Read the open letter:

5. Jordan River Faith Based Advocacy Program and Conference

The Lower Jordan River is a site of world recognized cultural and natural heritage. Sadly, today the river has been all but destroyed. 96% of its flow has been diverted and what little water remains is polluted with saline and untreated sewage. The valley’s wetlands have dried up, its springs are failing, and half its biodiversity has been lost. Regional governments are starting to take positive steps to stop the complete destruction of the river, including the Israeli government’s first release of fresh water in 49 years (!!) but need to know that this issue is important the world over.

In recent years faith based communities and networks in the region and in the international community have formally engaged with local and global environmental groups, becoming strong champions for the rehabilitation of the world’s natural heritage. Numerous faith based leaders have become vocal advocates for environmental stewardship and repair, calling on their communities to support environmental causes.

While faith-based communities often have strong symbolic associations to the Jordan River, rarely is the contemporary reality of the river a point of discussion in their communities. FoEME is undertaking this campaign with the aim of bringing the reality of the Jordan River to the forefront of community discussion and encourage action-based community responses on this issue.

By engaging Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities in Jordan, Palestine and Israel as well as internationally, we aim to advance the creation of larger stakeholder circles supporting the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River.

FoEME is partnering with individuals and communities to champion the cause of the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River through tours and events in the region and in the international community.

As part of this effort FoEME has developed materials to help faith based communities advance understanding, awareness and action surrounding the Lower Jordan River’s rehabilitation.

Download printable copies of the materials:

Christian briefing document$%5E~ChristianBrief.pdf

Muslim briefing document$%5E~BriefIslam.pdf

Jewish briefing document$%5E~JewishBrief.pdf

For more information or to learn how your community can get involved, please contact FoEME at or visit:


“Rehabilitation of the Jordan River: A Commitment of Faith”
Jordan River Faith Based Advocacy Campaign Regional Conference

EcoPeace/ Friends of the Earth Middle East will host the regional launch of our Jordan River faith based advocacy campaign in mid November 2013 in Jordan. The launch conference will bring together faith based leaders and community representatives from the region and from around the world to discuss the critical role of faith based congregations in advancing support for the rehabilitation of the Lower Jordan River.

To support this effort FoEME will release a series of publications at the conference that aim to support communities of faith in drawing the connections between Christianity, Islam and Judaism and the need to rehabilitate the Lower Jordan River. These publications highlight the rich biblical connections that the Abrahamic faiths have to the Lower Jordan River as well as poems, songs and other spiritual connections. They also suggest actions that communities can take to support regional efforts to rehabilitate the Jordan River.

For more information please visit or contact FoEME at

6. New Publications

Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation
Edited by March Bekoff
University of Chicago Press, 2013

For far too long humans have been ignoring nature. As the most dominant, overproducing, overconsuming, big-brained, big-footed, arrogant, and invasive species ever known, we are wrecking the planet at an unprecedented rate. And while science is important to our understanding of the impact we have on our environment, it alone does not hold the answers to the current crisis, nor does it get people to act. In Ignoring Nature No More, Marc Bekoff and a host of renowned contributors argue that we need a new mind-set about nature, one that centers on empathy, compassion, and being proactive.


Wilderness in Mythology and Religion: Approaching Religious Spatialities, Cosmologies, and Ideas of Wild Nature
Edited by Laura Feldt
De Gruyter, 2012

Wilderness is one of the most abiding creations in the history of religions. It has a long and seminal history and is of contemporary relevance in wildlife preservation and climate discourses. Yet it has not previously been subject to scrutiny or theorising from a cross-cultural study of religions perspective. What are the specific relations between the world’s religions and imagined and real wilderness areas? The wilderness is often understood as a domain void of humans, opposed to civilization, but the analyses in this book complicate and question the dualism of previous theoretical grids and offer new perspectives on the interesting multiplicity of the wilderness and religion nexus. This book thus addresses the need for cross-cultural anthropological and history of religions analyses by offering in-depth case studies of the use and functions of wilderness spaces in a diverse range of contexts including, but not limited to, ancient Greece, early Christian asceticism, Old Norse religion, the shamanism-Buddhism encounter in Mongolia, contemporary paganism, and wilderness spirituality in the US. It advances research on religious spatialities, cosmologies, and ideas of wild nature and brings new understanding of the role of religion in human interaction with ‘the world’.


Special Symposium on “Religious Innovation for a Sustainable Future: Perspectives from Norway, Ghana, China and India”
Guest Editor: Nina Witoszek
Nature and Culture (Volume 8, Issue 3)
Winter 2013;jsessionid=1gbc80jr8oys0.victoria

* Introduction: Religion and Ecomodernity (By Nina Witoszek)
* Is Green the New Red? The Role of Religion in Creating a Sustainable China (By James Miller)
* Theology Inspiring Sustainability in Oil-Producing Norway (By Jens Bjelland Grønvold)
* Reclaiming Stewardship in Ghana: Religion and Climate Change (By Ben-Willie Kwaku Golo and Joseph Awetori Yaro)
* Inspiring Sustainability beyond Sustainability: Sustainable Development and the Ultimate Hindu Purpose (By Yamini Narayanan)
* Review Essay: Studying and Doing Energy Transition (By Daniel Breslau)


Teaching Religion and Ecology: Background and Overview
Issue Editors: Ellen Posman and Reid B. Locklin
Religious Studies News
Published by the American Academy of Religion
May 2011

* Teaching Religion and Ecology: From the Abstract to the Personal, From Despair to Hope
* Teaching Religion and Ecology: In the Classroom
* Teaching Religion and Ecology: In the World
* Spotlight on Teaching: “Religion and Ecology” (Guest Editor: Whitney A. Bauman)

7. Events

Fall Events with the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
October 16 - November 22, 2013

People of the Earth Address the Fukushima Crisis”
With Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Tillman Chapel, Church Center for the United Nations, New York, NY, USA
November 14, 2013

U.S. Energy and Climate Change: Science, Ethics, & Public Policies”
Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
November 14-15, 2013

The Energy Independence Boom: A Call for Religious Leadership”
Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY, USA
November 15, 2013

Exploring a Spirituality of Earth and Cosmos”
Weekend Retreat with Sister Miriam Therese MacGillis, OP
Mercy Center at Madison, Madison, CT, UA
November 15-17, 2013

The Many Sides of Peace”
Book Reading with Brayton Shanley
Yale Divinity School and St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Chapel
Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
November 18, 2013

Living Waters: An Interfaith Summit”
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA, USA
November 19, 2013

Mapping the Field of Religion and Ecology: Theories, Methods, and Future Directions”
Baltimore, MD, USA
November 22, 2013

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
Baltimore, MD, USA
November 23-26, 2013
For Religion and Ecology, Religion and Animals, and Related Events, visit:–AAR_SBL_2013.pdf

Fracking - How Should People of Faith Respond”
Cape Town, South Africa
November 27, 2013

3rd Annual European Conference for Critical Animal Studies
Karlsruhe, Germany
November 28-30, 2013

Environmental Justice: A Human Rights Issue—An Interfaith Perspective” (TeleSeminar)
December 10, 2013
7-8pm, by phone
For the flyer, visit:

Tantric Ecology: Planetary Regeneration with Indian and High Amazonian Practices”
A Workshop with Frederique Apffel-Marglin and Neela Bhattacharya Saxena
Sachamama Center, Lamas, Peru
January 4-11, 2014
Register by November 15, 2013.
For the flyer, visit:

For more events, visit:

8. Calls for Papers

Donner Symposium on Religion and Food”
26th international research symposium
Åbo/Turku, Finland
June 25-27, 2014
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2014

The Future of Science and Religion in a Globalizing World”
60th Anniversary Conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS)
Star Island, NH, USA
August 2-9, 2014
Submission Deadline: February 1, 2014

9. Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Sustainable Development

The Earth Institute seeks applications from innovative, doctoral candidates or recent Ph.D., M.D. and J.D. recipients interested in a broad range of issues in sustainable development.

The Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides scholars with the opportunity to acquire the cross-disciplinary expertise and breadth needed to address critical issues in the field of sustainable development such as food security, energy systems, climate change impacts, poverty reduction, potable water access, urbanization, disease and environmental degradation. Fellows will find many unique opportunities to acquire the breadth of expertise needed to address these critical issues and engage in programs at the leading edge of this rapidly expanding field.

The deadline to submit an application is November 15, 2013 for fellowships starting in the fall of 2014. Fellowships are 24-month appointments.

For more information about the program or to apply for a Fellowship, please visit or email

The program is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. All doctoral requirements must be fulfilled and the degree awarded within 5 years before the start of the fellowship.

Columbia University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

10. Summer Institute in Bioethics (June 2 – July 25, 2014 in New Haven, CT, USA)

Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics is again hosting its intensive Summer Institute in Bioethics for US and international participants June 2 - July 25, 2014. This eight-week immersion in bioethics consists of lectures, seminars, and research exploring concerns relating to medicine, law, religion, public health, animal ethics, and the environment.

The deadline for US applicants is January 15, 2014. International students are encouraged to apply by November 30, 2013.

For more information, visit:

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:

To download this newsletter as a PDF, visit: