November 2015


The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
9.11 (November 2015)


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. Journey of the Universe Events

3. 2015 Snead Lecture by Tom Steyer: “From Business to Climate: A Personal Journey” (November 6, 2015 at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA)

4. Videos of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions (Salt Lake City, UT, USA)

5. Videos of Prairie Festival 2015 (The Land Institute, Salina, KS, USA)

6. Religious Leaders Urge Ambitious Climate Agreement

7. New Publications

8. Calls for Papers

9. Events

10. Job Openings and Fellowships

11. Videos of Thomas Berry: “The Universe Story – An Epic for our Time” (Holy Cross Centre in Port Burwell, Ontario, Canada in 1994)

12. 2016 Living Cosmos Calendar

13. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the November 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, calls for papers, events, job openings and fellowships, and more.

We are happy to let you know that the upcoming American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, USA will include a special workshop entitled “Journey of the Universe: Hope for the Future.” Heather Eaton, Nancy Menning, and Mary Evelyn Tucker will preside at this workshop on November 20, 2015 at 2-5pm. For more, see below or visit: For more Religion and Ecology events at the AAR, visit:

Also, we are excited to let you know about an upcoming talk by Tom Steyer entitled “From Business to Climate: A Personal Journey.” This is the 2015 Snead Lecture and will be held November 6, 2015 at 10:00-11:15am at Yale University in Linsly Chittenden Hall #102 (63 High Street, New Haven, CT, USA). See below for more information or view the flyer at

In addition, we would like to share videos with you of two important events that happened recently: 1) the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions that was held October 15-19, 2015 at Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and 2) Prairie Festival 2015 that was held September 25-27, 2015 at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, USA. Please see below for more about these events and for links to the videos.

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 here:

Journey of the Universe also has a Facebook page that we invite you to visit: Journey of the Universe Conversations is available on Vimeo for streaming and downloading. You can access the individual episodes or the complete collection here: For a list of stores where the Journey project is available, visit:

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

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

2. Journey of the Universe Events

Journey of the Universe: Hope for the Future”

Workshop at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Annual Meeting

Hilton Crystal Ballroom CD
Atlanta, GA, USA

November 20, 2015 at 2-5pm

Heather Eaton, Nancy Menning, and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Presiding

Journey of the Universe narrates the history of the cosmos in a mythic mode richly informed by contemporary science, bringing religion and science together in compelling ways. In this workshop we will explore the pedagogical potential of this universe story, at the cosmological as well as more localized scales. We will examine the ways in which this narrative shapes our understanding of the long arc of history, defines our human place in the grander ecological or cosmological journey, and suggests possibilities for ethical action. The goal of the workshop is to strengthen our capacity to awaken awe and wonder in the classroom with implications for our students’ capacity to participate effectively in much-needed environmental activism. Focusing on hope and working with the Journey of the Universe curricular materials we will develop skills in analyzing the emotional resonance of this narrative structure, the ways the materials will engage students, and how this contributes to an effective pedagogy.

The cost for this Religion and Ecology workshop is $35, which includes the entire afternoon of sessions and a coffee break. Registration is limited to the first 120 participants.

View the draft of the workshop schedule:

For more Religion and Ecology events at the AAR, visit:


Journey of the Universe Film Screening
Burlington Central Library, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
November 4, 2015 at 7pm
Admission is free but organizers will accept $5 donations to support event costs.
This event is part of the BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association 2015 Eco-film Festival.


Journey of the Universe Film Screening and Workshop
A Lab., Overhoeksplein 2, 1031 KS, Amsterdam, Netherlands
November 5, 2015 at 6:30-10pm
International dialogue with Mary Evelyn Tucker
This event will include a potluck, so please bring food and drinks to share.
Facebook event page:

3. 2015 Snead Lecture by Tom Steyer: “From Business to Climate: A Personal Journey” (November 6, 2015 at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA)

“From Business to Climate: A Personal Journey”

The 2015 Snead Lecture by Tom Steyer

Friday, November 6, 2015

Yale University
Linsly Chittenden 102
63 High Street
New Haven, CT, USA

Tom is a California business leader, philanthropist and clean energy advocate. He is actively engaged in climate politics, and works to promote economic development and environmental protection in California and across the country. Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and other high-wealth Americans in the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes.

Hosted by the Episcopal Church at Yale in collaboration with Berkeley Divinity School, the Chaplain’s Office, the St. Thomas More Center, the Slifka Center for Jewish Life, the Muslim Community at Yale, Luther House, and the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.

For the flyer, visit:

4. Videos of the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions (Salt Lake City, UT, USA)

The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions was held October 15-19, 2015 at Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Parliament is the oldest, the largest, and the most inclusive gathering of people of all faith and traditions. The first Parliament took place in 1893 in Chicago, IL, USA. This historic event has also taken place in the following cities: Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Melbourne, Australia; and now in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. For more about this important event, visit:

Many of the panels from the 2015 Parliament were recorded. To watch these videos, visit:

We want to draw your attention to a few videos in particular:

The Dynamic Nature of Christianity and Ecology: Changes Over 20 Years”
Talks by John Grim speaking on Teilhard de Chardin and Mary Evelyn Tucker speaking on Thomas Berry

The Earth Charter and the New UN Development Agenda”
Talk by Mary Evelyn Tucker

Shakti & Prakriti: The Power of the Divine Feminine for Sustainability and Preservation of Mother Earth and Mother Nature”
Talks by Vandana Shiva, Grove Harris, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Kiran Bali, and Marianne Williamson

For more videos from the Parliament, visit:

5. Videos of Prairie Festival 2015 (The Land Institute, Salina, KS, USA)

The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas was founded and directed by Wes Jackson for nearly 40 years. It is focused on developing perennial crops, such as wheat, as a means of nourishing people around the world and as an antidote to the problems of modern industrial agriculture.

The Prairie Festival 2015 was held at the Land Institute on September 25-27, 2015. For more about this event, visit:

We are happy to let you know that videos of the festival are available to watch at

We want to highlight the following videos:

Talk by Wes Jackson

Talk by John Cobb

Talk by Mary Evelyn Tucker

6. Religious Leaders Urge Ambitious Climate Agreement

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Reporting Services
October 20, 2015

UNFCCC Executive Director Christiana Figueres received a statement from a delegation of 154 faith and spiritual leaders representing different faith groups, headed by South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, calling for an ambitious climate agreement, reminding governments to commit to emission cuts and climate risk reduction, and pledging contributions from their own faith communities, including fossil fuel divestment.

The statement calls for the UNFCCC COP 21 to: translate ecological stewardship into concrete climate action; show inter-generational responsibility; ensure climate justice; and initiate individual and structural transformation.

More specifically, it calls for: phasing out fossil energies and reaching zero emissions by mid-century; a robust mechanism to review and ratchet up ambitions, transparency and accountability rules applicable to all; and the provision of finance and support to poor and vulnerable countries.

The religious leaders also call for delivery of the internationally agreed US$100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020, and express support for the goal of 100% renewable energy worldwide by 2050.

The statement builds on a number of recent calls from faith groups, notably Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, the declaration of the New York Interfaith Summit, the Lambeth Declaration and the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, according to the ACT Alliance, one of the coordinators of the statement.

Read the statement:

Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders on the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 in Paris in December 2015”

7. New Publications

Anne Frank’s Tree. Nature’s Confrontation with Technology, Domination, and the Holocaust
By Eric Katz
The White Horse Press, 2015

In this highly original interdisciplinary work, environmental philosopher Eric Katz explores technology’s role in dominating both nature and humanity. He argues that technology dominates, and hence destroys, the natural world; it dominates, and hence destroys, critical aspects of human life and society. Technology causes an estrangement from nature, and thus a loss of meaning in human life. As a result, humans lose the power to make moral and social choices; they lose the power to control their lives. Katz’s argument innovatively connects two distinct areas of thought: the fundamental goal of the Holocaust, including Nazi environmental policy, to heal the degenerate elements of society; and the plan to heal degraded natural systems that informs the contemporary environmental policy of “ecological restoration.” Katz’s work is a plea for the development of a technology that does not dominate and destroy but instead promotes autonomy and freedom. Anne Frank, a victim of Nazi ideology and action, saw the titular horse chestnut tree behind her secret annex as a symbol of freedom and moral goodness. In Katz’s argument, the tree represents a free and autonomous nature, resistant to human control and domination. Anne Frank’s Tree is rooted in an empirical approach to philosophy, seating complex ethical ideas in an accessible and powerful narrative of historical fact and deeply personal lived experience.


Thinking Through Animals: Identity, Difference, Indistinction
By Matthew Calarco
Combined Academic Publishers, 2015

The rapidly expanding field of critical animal studies now offers a myriad of theoretical and philosophical positions from which to choose. This timely book provides an overview and analysis of the most influential of these trends. Approachable and concise, it is intended for readers sympathetic to the project of changing our ways of thinking about and interacting with animals yet relatively new to the variety of philosophical ideas and figures in the discipline. It uses three rubrics–identity, difference, and indistinction–to differentiate three major paths of thought about animals. The identity approach aims to establish continuity among human beings and animals so as to grant animals equal access to the ethical and political community. The difference framework views the animal world as containing its own richly complex and differentiated modes of existence in order to allow for a more expansive ethical and political worldview. The indistinction approach argues that we should abandon the notion that humans are unique in order to explore new ways of conceiving human-animal relations. Each approach is interrogated for its relative strengths and weaknesses, with specific emphasis placed on the kinds of transformational potential it contains.

8. Calls for Papers

“Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Nature and Environment in the Sacred Texts of World Religions”
International symposium
Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, USA
May 23-25, 2016
Submission Deadline: December 15, 2015


The Ethics of Eating Animals”
Third Annual Oxford Animal Ethics Summer School
St Stephen’s House, Oxford, UK
July 24-27, 2016
Submission Deadline: January 1, 2016


Call for Book Chapter Contributions
The Ethics of Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change
Editors: Kathrin Herrmann and Kimberley Jayne
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2016

9. Events

“How to think the Anthropocene? Anthropologists, philosophers and sociologists facing climate change”
Collège de France, Paris
November 5-6, 2015

Acting on Pope Francis’ Call: Divestment and Investment in Care for Our Common Home”
University of Dayton River Campus, Dayton, OH, USA
November 5-7, 2015

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA, USA
November 21-24, 2015

A Catholic Environmentalism: Laudato Si and Beyond”
St. Nicholas of Myra Conference on Catholic Social Thought II
Providence College, Providence, RI, USA
December 5-7, 2015

Religion, Science and the Future”
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture
The University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
January 14-17, 2016

Seventh Annual Earth Care Summit
University of Portland, Portland, OR, USA
January 31, 2016

For more events, visit:

10. Job Openings and Fellowships

Associate Director, Center for Earth Jurisprudence
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Orlando, FL, USA
Review of applications will begin on October 15, and will continue until the position is filled.
Starting Date: November 15, 2015 preferred


Professor of Religion, Nature, & Culture in South Asia (RNCSA)
University of Virginia, Department of Religious Studies, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Review of applications will begin on November 20, 2015.
The appointment start date will begin August 25, 2016.


Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship
Begins in Summer 2016
Application deadline: December 15, 2015


Postdoctoral and Senior Fellowships
Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
All successful applicants should plan to begin their fellowship between September 1, 2016 and December 1, 2017
Application deadline: January 31, 2016

11. Videos of Thomas Berry: “The Universe Story – An Epic for our Time” (Holy Cross Centre in Port Burwell, Ontario, Canada in 1994)

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 editing them and making them available online. We are also very grateful to Don for creating the summary and discussion questions for the videos.

Watch these videos:

The videos we are featuring this month include a series of talks entitled “The Universe Story – An Epic for our Time.” In this sweeping series of lectures given at Holy Cross Centre in Port Burwell, Ontario, Canada in 1994, Thomas Berry outlines why the contemporary cultural traditions in the areas of religion, education, science and law/politics are “incompetent” to assist with “The Great Work” of our time and what contextual perspectives, particularly in the area of religion, might be helpful in order to revitalize these traditions as we move towards an Ecozoic Age. For Thomas, the Universe is the only “context without a context”. He suggests that we detach from, without negating, our cultural traditions and see them anew in light of the Universe Story, then return to them to see what wisdom emerges from this new perspective.

Watch this video series:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

For a summary of the videos and discussion questions, visit:

12. 2016 Living Cosmos Calendar

2016 Living Cosmos Calendar illustrates the Universe Story with inspiring prose and beautiful photos. Every month is a meditation on one of the themes of our creation story. Living Cosmos Calendar combines contemporary science with inspired passion. It is the heartwork of Peter Adair, with graphic design by Julia Jandrisits. The calendar was conceived, written, designed and printed in Vermont. Twelve stunning images illustrate Adair’s evocative prose, as the story unfolds one month at a time.

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 the online edition, visit:

Table of Contents for Volume 19, Issue 3 (2015):

• Islamic Attitudes towards Environmental Problems and Practices (Azman Ahmad)
• Homogenizing Violence, Isa 40:4 (and Luke 3:5) and MTR (Mountaintop Removal Mining) (Anne Elvey)
• The Post-Colonial Ecology of Siberian Shamanic Revivalism (Eleanor Peers and Lyubov’ Kolodeznikova)
• Theorizing Logger Religion within the Pacific Northwest Timber Conflict (Christopher Serenari; Nils Peterson and Brett Clark)
• “All My Means are Sane, My Motive and My Object Mad” (Daniel T. Spencer)
• Film Review: Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey, by M. Yeoh (exec. prod.) and W.J.N. Lee (prod./dir.) (Review by Erin Weston)

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit:

To download this newsletter as a PDF, visit: