September 2011


The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
5.9 (September 2011)

1. Editorial, by Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally
2. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings

3. Tar Sands Climate Protests 

4. Events

5. New Books

6. Forum Luncheon & Journey of the Universe Film Screening at the American Academy of Religion (November 18, 2011 in San Francisco, CA, USA)

7. St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor

8. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

1. Editorial, by Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the September issue of the newsletter for the Forum on Religion and Ecology. We are happy to share some of the recent developments in the field of Religion and Ecology, including film screenings, books, conferences, events, and more.

We are very excited to let you know that the Journey of the Universe project is flourishing. Many film screenings are scheduled for this month, which we have listed below. You can find the most up-to-date list of screenings, along with information on hosting a screening, on the Journey website:

The Journey Facebook page is a great way to connect with others and show your support for the project. Come “Like” us on Facebook!!/pages/Journey-of-the-Universe/179213572122084

Both the Journey film and book have both been released and are available to purchase. For ordering information, visit:  

A collaboration of Brian Thomas Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim, the Journey of the Universe project also includes an educational series (available October 19, 2011). Inspired by the New Story described by Thomas Berry, 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. The Journey project relies on your tax-deductible contributions. To help support this project, visit:

Please save the date to participate in the annual Forum luncheon held this year in San Francisco before the American Academy of Religion meetings. The luncheon will take place on Friday, November 18 at 11:30am. Later that evening at 7:30pm, the Journey of the Universe film will be shown. See below for more information on these events. 

We also want to give you an update about the tar sands climate protests.  Environmentalists and eco-justice leaders from North America including Bill McKibben, Wendell Berry, Gus Speth, and Jim Hansen have been protesting for the last two weeks against the construction of a 1700 mile oil pipeline connecting the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas near the Gulf of Mexico.  Over 1200 people have been arrested during the protests in Washington D.C.  See below for more information.

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

Warm wishes,
Sam Mickey & Elizabeth McAnally
California Institute of Integral Studies
Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale
Web Content Managers & Newsletter Editors 

2. Journey of the Universe Film Screenings 

Film Screening: San Rafael, CA (September 7, 2011)

Dominican University of California
Angelico Hall
50 Acacia Avenue
San Rafael, CA, USA
7 pm
Free lecture (no RSVP, but limited seating)
Brian Thomas Swimme will answer questions after the screening.
Voices of Dominican Choices Fall 2011 Leadership Lecture Series
Presented in cooperation with Dominican’s First Year Experience Big History.
Contact:, 415-485-3202


Film Screening: River Forest, IL (September 17, 2011)

Priory Campus, Dominican University
7200 Division Street
River Forest, IL, USA
9:30am – 12:00pm
Discussion afterwards with Mary Evelyn Tucker
$5 free will offering requested
Sponsored by the St. Giles Family Mass Community, Oak Park, IL
Contact: Annette Hulefeld,


Film Screening: Waterloo, IA (September 17, 2011) 

First Presbyterian Church
505 Franklin St.
Waterloo, IA, USA
Sponsored by Central Iowa Presbyterian Association on Science Technology & Christian Faith
Contact: Pastor Harold P. Martin, 319-342-3771,


Film Screening: Abingdon, VA (September 17, 2011)

Catholic Committee of Appalachia Annual Meeting
Sponsored by Appalachian Faith & Ecology Center
4H Center
Abingdon, VA, USA 
Time TBA
Contact: Jaculyn Hanrahan, CND,  


Film Screening: New Rochelle, NY (September 21, 2011)

Iona College
Romita Auditorium of Ryan Library
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY, USA
7:30 PM
Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker
Hosted by the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona College
Sponsored by the Iona Spirituality Institute
Contact Kathleen Deignan,


Film Screening: Brisbane, Australia (September 23, 2011)

Sponsored by Sisters of Mercy Earth Link
All Hallows’ School
547 Ann Street
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Time TBA
Contact: Mary Tinney,


Film Screening & Conference: Ottawa, ON, Canada (September 23-24, 2011)

Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Screening – Sept. 24 - 7pm
Conference – Sept. 24 – 9am-4:30pm
Screening Intro & Conference Keynote Address by Mary Evelyn Tucker


Film Screening: Orlando, FL (September 28, 2011)

Orlando Science Center
777 East Princeton Street
Orlando, FL, USA 
7pm screening followed by discussion with Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker
Reception and book signing following the screening
Organized by the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, Barry University School of Law
Contact: Patricia Siemen,


Film Screening: Seattle, WA (September 29, 2011)

Landmark Harvard Exit
807 E Roy St.
Seattle, WA, USA
7pm - reception
8pm - film screening
Brian Thomas Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and Patsy Northcutt will introduce the film.
Contact: Fritz Hull,  


Film Screening & Workshop: Langley, WA (October 1, 2011)

Clyde Theatre
Whidbey Island
Langley, WA, USA
9:00am - Film showing with intro by Brian Thomas Swimme & Mary Evelyn Tucker
10:30am-5:30pm - Daylong Workshop
6:00pm - Banquet Dinner and Fireside Chat with Brian and Mary Evelyn
Contact: Fritz Hull,


For more events related to Journey of the Universe, visit:



3. Tar Sands Climate Protests

For the past two weeks in Washington DC religious leaders joined environmentalists and eco-justice leaders, to protest the proposed construction of a tar sands oil pipeline from Alberta Canada to oil refineries in Texas. The Alberta tar sands project, which has been called “the most destructive project on Earth,” has decimated local ecosystems and directly affects the land and livelihood of first nation peoples in Canada. To extract oil from this once pristine boreal forest requires more water than a city of 2 million people and emits 36 million tons of carbon dioxide each day. For some articles on the tar sands and the pipeline protest, see the following:

Open letter drafted by Bill McKibben, Wendell Berry, Gus Speth, et al:

Appeal from Bill McKibben regarding the protests:

Tar sands climate protest to be held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on September 26, 2011:

Decision on Canadian tar sands pipeline is chance for Obama to fulfill an environmental promise”
By Russell Powell
New Haven Register
September 1, 2011

Sitting down, so Obama will stand up”
By Russ Powell
Yale Daily News
September 1, 2011

For Protesters, Keystone Pipeline Is Line In Tar Sand”
By Richard Harris
NPR: All Things Considered
September 1, 2011

Lessons From Central Cell Block”
By Bill McKibben
The Nation
August 29, 2011

Green groups add to pressure on Obama”
By Ben Geman
The Hill
August 24, 2011

Vermont Law School Professor and Middlebury Scholar Arrested at White House Protest”
By Kevin J. Kelley
Blurt: 7 Days Staff Blog
August 21, 2011

Tar Sands and the Carbon Numbers”
New York Times
August 21, 2011



4. Events

Global Solutions to Global Challenges: Think, Unite, Act”
Rights and Humanity’s Global Leaders Congress 2011
September 11 – 14, 2011
Liverpool, UK
Under the Patronage of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mrs Cherie Blair

Green Perceptions: Ecology and Texts”
St. Paul’s College, Kalakassery, Kerala, India
September 15-16, 2011

Living the New Story: Cosmology, Justice, Poetry and the Planet”
With Drew Dellinger
Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA, USA
September 23-25, 2011

Creativity and Harmony: The Way of Eco-Sophia for the Future of Civilization”
Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan
Herman Greene of the Center for Ecozoic Societies (CES) will be giving a plenary talk.
September 26-29, 2011

Tunza International Children & Youth Conference on the Environment”
Organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Government of Indonesia
Bandung, Indonesia
September 26-30, 2011

The Wisdom of Thomas Berry”
Knox United Church, 506 4th Street SW, Calgary, AB, Canada
Tuesday evenings, 7:00-9:00PM
September 27 – November 22, 2011

Big Society—Bigger Nature?”
The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK
October 1, 2011

For more events, visit:



5. New Books

Confronting the Climate Crisis: Catholic Theological Perspectives
Edited by Jame Schaefer
Marquette University Press, 2011

Can theologians respond meaningfully to the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activities are accelerating the temperature of Earth and adversely affecting people, other species, ecological systems, and the biosphere? Members of the Catholic Theological Society of America’s Interest Group on Global Warming have dug deeply into the biblical to contemporary traditions, reflected systematically, and produced seventeen original essays that demonstrate fruitful ways in which to approach the climate crisis so that current and predicted effects may be mitigated. Framing these essays are an overview of basic scientific findings that compelled this group effort and statements by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Benedict XVI.


Placing Nature on the Borders of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
Edited by Forrest Clingerman and Mark H. Dixon
Published in the series “Transcending Boundaries in Philosophy and Theology”
Hardback and e-book
Ashgate Publishing, 2011

The natural world has been “humanized”: even areas thought to be wilderness bear the marks of human impact. But this human impact is not simply physical. At the emergence of the environmental movement, the focus was on human effects on “nature.” More recently, however, the complexity of the term “nature” has led to fruitful debates and the recognition of how human individuals and cultures interpret their environments.

This book furthers the dialogue on religion, ethics, and the environment by exploring three interrelated concepts: to recreate, to replace, and to restore. Through interdisciplinary dialogue the authors illuminate certain unique dimensions at the crossroads between finding value, creating value, and reflecting on one’s place in the world. This book reflects on the intersections of environmental philosophy, environmental theology, and religion and ecology, stressing the importance of how place interprets us and how we interpret place. In addition to its contribution to environmental philosophy, this work is a unique volume in its serious engagement with theology and religious studies on the issues of ecological restoration and the meaning of place.


Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue
By Russell A. Butkus and Steven A. Kolmes
Theology in Dialogue Series
Orbis, 2011

A compelling “sign of the times” is that our human experience today is defined in part by increasing ecological degradation. Given the complexity of these environmental issues, this book argues that creative and strategic collaboration between theology and environmental science is necessary to find and implement practical solutions.

The authors argue a solid grounding in environmental science creates an understanding of the major environmental problems we face: global climate change, ozone depletion, depletion of the earth’s resources, collapse of biodiversity, overpopulation and over-consumption, the presence of persistent toxins, and the challenges of achieving sustainability. With humankind contributing to the source of many of these problems, the book also explores the many contributions theology can make to the healing of the world—including an understanding of God as creator and the roles of nature, grace, sin, and revelation.


Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Environment
Edited by Tobias Winright
Anselm Academic, 2011

From federal rebates for high-efficiency appliances to bottle deposits to “Meatless Mondays,” practices promoting sustainability are now incorporated into our daily lives. Due to the establishment of protection agencies and the efforts of activist groups, the wider public has become more conscious of the impact we humans make on the planet, and what we can do to preserve what we have.

Religious communities, long concerned with broad issues of social responsibility and justice, have naturally become full participants in this greening movement. In Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics, scholars from the fields of theology and the social and hard sciences discuss this development, and consider how a proactive approach to the earth’s welfare is, essentially, a moral obligation of Christians, and those of other faiths around the world.

Current and relevant, Green Discipleship will prompt students to think more widely about the earth, its stewardship, and how individual action is a fulfillment of duty.


Cultivating Unity within the Biodiversity of God
By Anne Primavesi
Polebridge Press, 2011

Scientific assertions about our shared origins with other species and shared dependence on global ecosystems are often resisted and even dismissed on the grounds that humans are different from all other beings in both degree and kind. We presume we are intellectually and morally superior to all other creatures. We might even be accused of worshipping humanity. Anne Primavesi looks at ways that the Christian inheritance has contributed to or limited respect for biodiversity and asks: How is our common perception of God at variance with Jesus own understanding of our Father’s kingdom? Would a better appreciation of the God of Jesus inspire us to cultivate unity through reverence for diversity? How do we respond to the fact that Jesus suffered a violent death but did not inflict violence on any living being?


Living Authentically: Daoist Contributions to Modern Psychology
Edited by Livia Kohn
Three Pines Press, 2011
Available in paperback and PDF

Living Authentically brings together classical scholars of Daoism, professors of psychology, practicing psychologists, medical doctors, and alternative practitioners (acupuncturists, qigong healers, pedagogues, and counselors) in an exciting new journey of discovery.

This fruitful venture, born during panels at several Daoist conferences, explores ways of living in the world, sustaining relationships, and educating children, in a stress-free, truly authentic way.

The book outlines different Daoist visions and concepts of the conscious and subconscious mind and its transformations; it correlates these to different schools of psychology today (psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, humanistic psychology, positive psychology); and it explores options on how we can best become fully authentic, allowing the universal power of Dao to flow freely through all our attitudes and actions.



6. Forum Luncheon & Journey of the Universe Film Screening at the American Academy of Religion (November 18, 2011 in San Francisco, CA, USA)

We would like to invite you to the annual Forum on Religion and Ecology luncheon to be held in San Francisco on Friday November 18, before the American Academy of Religion (AAR) meetings begin. The luncheon will take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Intercontinental Hotel, 888 Howard Street, in the Telegraph Hill Room.

Please RSVP for the luncheon to

If you have students or colleagues who may be interested in attending, feel free to pass the information along to them, but please ask them to RSVP as well, as we do need to know how many people will be in attendance. 

We are also pleased to announce that the film Journey of the Universe will be shown that same evening, Friday November 18, 7:30pm at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, 555 Fourth Street ((Room: Marriott Marquis Golden Gate A). The film is a collaboration of Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker who will be present to discuss the film along with Barbara Holmes (Memphis Theological Seminary) and Heather Eaton (St. Paul University). Don’t miss this opportunity to view the film that Catherine Keller has described as ”…stunning–visually mesmerizing, exquisitely situated, and persuasively narrated. It releases the quality of wonder that can change the world.”

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!


7. St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor

All across our country, Catholics are taking the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor and joining the Catholic Climate Covenant. The St. Francis Pledge is a promise and a commitment by Catholic individuals, families, parishes, organizations and institutions to live our faith by protecting God’s Creation and advocating on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change.  Celebrate the Feast of St. Francis (October 4) by taking the St. Francis Pledge.

For more information, visit:

To find resources to promote the St. Francis Pledge, visit:


8. 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: