September 2015

The Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter
9.9 (September 2015)



1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally

2. “Ecology, Economy and Ethics: Mobilizing for a Just Transition” (September 16, 2015 at Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, USA)

3. Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change

4. Journey of the Universe Workshop at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting

5. Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship

6. New Publications

7. Calls for Papers

8. Events

9. Environmental Justice Atlas

10. Powerful Sneak Preview - Love Thy Nature

11. “Becoming Indigenous – Finding Our Way Home” (Course at Schumacher College, September 7, 2015 – July 17, 2016)

12. Video of Thomas Berry: “Where We Go From Here”

13. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology


1. Overview, by Elizabeth McAnally


Welcome to the September 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, and more.

On June 18, the Vatican officially released the Papal encyclical on the environment: “Praised Be: On the Care of Our Common Home” (Laudato Si’). This is a crucial moment in the religion and ecology movement, as this is the first encyclical in the history of the Church to address environmental concerns. In the encyclical, Pope Francis highlighted issues of “integral ecology,” namely concerns for people and the planet. He addressed both the degradation of the environment and the challenge of climate change along with how this is impacting the poor and most vulnerable. Social and economic justice is an important theme along with care for Earth and for present and future generations. This teaching document could serve as a motivating force for the over one billion Catholics of the world and many other people of spiritual and environmental conviction. There are a number of resources on the Forum site ( to provide you more information on the encyclical, including “Frequently Asked Questions on the Papal Encyclical,” a video recording and transcript of the Yale panel discussion entitled “Pope Francis and the Environment: Why His New Climate Encyclical Matters,” related news articles, and more.

We want to let you know about an important event entitled “Ecology, Economy and Ethics: Mobilizing for a Just Transition” that will be held on September 16, 2015 at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. This event will be live streamed through Twitter and Facebook when available. The Forum on Religion and Ecology is one of the co-sponsors of this event, along with the Center for Earth Ethics, GreenFaith, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, and Forum 21 Institute. Mary Evelyn Tucker will participate in the session on “Religions for the Earth: The Road to Paris.” You can see the agenda and the link to the registration page here:

Also, we are very excited to share news with you about the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change that was launched at the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul on August 17-18, 2015. See below for more information, including links to the declaration and related news articles.

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. “Ecology, Economy and Ethics: Mobilizing for a Just Transition” (September 16, 2015 at Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, USA)

Union Theological Seminary
3041 Broadway
New York, NY, USA

September 16, 2015

About one year after the Religions for the Earth conference brought more than 200 world religious leaders to New York during the UN Climate Summit, leaders of religious and spiritual traditions will reconvene for a one-day summit on where we are now. This conference, almost exactly between the release of the papal encyclical on the environment and the COP21 climate change summit, will cover topics from divestment to energy ethics to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and with a special session on linking locally-rooted struggles to our broader climate movement.

If you cannot join us in person, you are welcome to join us online. We will share information about the live stream of our event through Twitter and Facebook when available.

Event Partners: The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, Center for Earth Ethics, GreenFaith, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, Forum 21 Institute

Note: Mary Evelyn Tucker will participate in the session on “Religions for the Earth: The Road to Paris.”



3. Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change

The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change was launched by Islamic leaders from 20 countries at the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul on August 17-18, 2015. The Declaration presents the moral case, based on Islamic teachings, for the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims and people of all faiths worldwide to take urgent climate action.

Read the declaration:

Related News Articles:

Major Islamic Climate Change Declaration Released”
Press Release, August 18, 2015

Can Islamic scholars change thinking on climate change?”
By Davide Castelvecchi, Quirin Schiermeier, & Richard Hodson, Nature, August 19, 2015

The Islamic Climate Change Declaration Could Be More Effective Than Pope Francis’s Encyclical”
By Emma Foehringer Merchant, New Republic, August 19, 2015

4. Journey of the Universe Workshop at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting

Journey of the Universe: Hope for the Future”

American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA, USA

November 20, 2015

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.

5. Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship

We are looking for individuals who have the potential to be catalysts for change and recognize the need to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of interconnectedness, service, stewardship, and reverence for nature. The Spiritual Ecology Fellowship encourages emerging young leaders, ages 22-30, based in the United States to apply. The program is designed to offer an experience of deep study, reflection, and practical development and will incorporate the principles of Spiritual Ecology. A central component of the program will be the exploration of how these foundational values can be implemented into projects that can create lasting change. Participants are given full scholarships for travel and program costs. At the end of the program, fellows will be given the opportunity to apply for seed funding for their projects developed during the program.

Begins in Summer 2016

Application deadline: December 15, 2015

6. New Publications

Sierra Club is no longer publishing books, and thus Thomas Berry’s two Sierra Club books will be reissued by Counterpoint Press. This press, now based in Berkeley, publishes Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, Wes Jackson, and many others noted in the environmental world.


The Dream of the Earth
By Thomas Berry
Foreword by Brian Swimme
New Preface by Terry Tempest Williams
Counterpoint Press, 2015
(First published by Sierra Club Books, 1988)

This landmark work has established itself as a foundational volume in the ecological canon. In it, noted cultural historian Thomas Berry provides nothing less than a new intellectual-ethical framework for the human community by positing planetary well-being as the measure of all human activity. Drawing on the wisdom of Western philosophy, Asian thought, and Native American traditions, as well as contemporary physics and evolutionary biology, Berry offers a new perspective that recasts our understanding of science, technology, politics, religion, ecology, and education. He shows us why it is important for us to respond to the Earth’s need for planetary renewal, and what we must do to break free of the “technological trance” that drives a misguided dream of progress. Only then, he suggests, can we foster mutually enhancing human-Earth relationships that can heal our traumatized global biosystem.


Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community
By Thomas Berry
Edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker
Counterpoint Press, 2015
(First published by Sierra Club Books, 2006)

Among the contemporary voices for the Earth, none resonates like that of noted cultural historian Thomas Berry. His teaching and writings have inspired a generation’s thinking about humankind’s place in the Earth Community and the universe, engendering widespread critical acclaim and a documentary film on his life and work. This new collection of essays, from various years and occasions, expands and deepens ideas articulated in his earlier writings and also breaks new ground. Berry opens our eyes to the full dimensions of the ecological crisis, framing it as a crisis of spiritual vision. Applying his formidable erudition in cultural history, science, and comparative religions, he forges a compelling narrative of creation and communion that reconciles modern evolutionary thinking and traditional religious insights concerning our integral role in Earth’s society. While sounding an urgent alarm at our current dilemma, Berry inspires us to reclaim our role as the consciousness of the universe and thereby begin to create a true partnership with the Earth Community. With Evening Thoughts, this wise elder has lit another beacon to lead us home.


The COEJL Guide to Jewish-Catholic Dialogue and the Environment”
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL)
Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)
June 2015

This resource guide provides background on Jewish-Catholic relations and interfaith dialogue; Jewish texts and values informing a response to climate change; Catholic environmental resources (including information on the papal encyclical); some of the basic climate science which has long driven both Jews and Catholics toward immediate action; and more.


Between the Species
An Online Journal for the Study of Philosophy and Animals
Volume 18, Issue 1 (2015)

In this issue of Between the Species, Joel Marks explores ways in which language itself promotes the domination of nonhuman animals. Matthew Altman examines ways in which anthropocentric biases color research on animal cognition and offers a potential remedy to such biases. Standard Utilitarian or deontological theoretical bases for animal ethics are rejected by Robert M. Causey, who suggests a Humean approach to these issues. Finally, Chelsea Haramia argues against the practice of breeding pedigreed animals. The issue also contains five book reviews on contemporary philosophical works on animals, a short story by Josephine Donovan, and some poetry by Mary de la Valette.

7. Calls for Papers

Institute for Critical Animal Studies Annual Conference
ROAR SOC, Rhodes University Grahamstown, South Africa
September 26-27, 2015
Submission Deadline: none listed

Religion, Science and the Future”
A conference sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (celebrating its 10th anniversary)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
January 14-17, 2016
Submission Deadline: September 10, 2015

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 24, 2015

Between the Species
Peer-reviewed electronic journal for the study of philosophy and animals
Submission deadline: December 31, 2015

8. Events

Global Day of Prayer for Care of the Creation”
September 1, 2015

Film Screening - Thomas Berry: The Great Story
Yale University, ISPS Building, 77 Prospect St., Room A002, New Haven, CT, USA
September 2, 2015 at 4:00pm

Integral Ecology: Concern for Environmental and Economic Justice”
Presentation by Mary Evelyn Tucker with respondent Fr. John Coleman
University of San Francisco, Xavier Hall, San Francisco, CA, USA
September 3, 2015 at 7pm

Laudato Si’ - Catholic and Multi-Faith Perspectives” (Webinar Series)
September 3 and September 10, 2015
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. ET
Register even if you can’t join, and you will get the recording link.

Spaciousness: De-cluttering Our Minds, Speech, and Daily Actions”
With Chris Ives
Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, Barre, MA, USA
September 6, 2015

Care for Creation: Scripture, Science, and Ethics”
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL, USA
September 8 - December 1, 2015

Caring for Our Common Home: Conversations on Ecology & Justice”
Loyola University, Chicago, IL, USA
September 9, 2015

The Sacred Mundane: A Conference on Religion and Ecology”
Emory University Center for Ethics, Atlanta, GA, USA
September 10-11, 2015
More information can be found under the “Events” link at:

Place-based Activism and Spiritual Practice”
2nd Convergence of the Salish Sea Spiritual Ecology Alliance (SSSEA)
Vancouver, BC, Canada
September 13, 20, 26, and October 4, 2015

EcoSattva Training”
Online, interactive training on Buddhist responses to climate change
Featuring Joanna Macy, rev. angel Kyodo Williams, and others
September 13 - November 15, 2015

Moral March for Climate Justice”
Washington, DC, USA
September 24, 2015

Justice and Climate Transitions”
Institut d’études avancées de Paris
September 24-25, 2015

Climate Investing: Transition to a low carbon world”
University of Notre Dame, IN, USA
September 29-30, 2015

Integrity of Creation: Climate Change”
Inaugural Presidential Conference 2015
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
September 30 – October 2, 2015
This free event has limited seating. Register at:—climate-change

Pope Francis’ Encyclical: Climate Change Evokes Moral Change”
Panel discussion with John Grim, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Theresa Berger, and Joanna DaFoe
Saint Thomas More, Lecture Hall, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
October 1, 2015 at 4:30pm

Building and Sustaining Nonviolent Communities: What is Our Future?”
The Agape Community’s Annual St. Francis Day Event
Keynote: Michael Baxter
Agape Community, Ware, MA, USA
October 3, 2015

Celebrating Pope Francis’ Encyclical”
Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) Convocation
An Ecumenical and Interfaith Convocation Celebrating Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL, USA
Please register by September 8, 2015.
October 3, 2015

Feast of St. Francis”
October 4, 2015
Register to host an event in your community:

Parliament of the World’s Religions”
Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
October 15-19, 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

For more events, visit:

9. Environmental Justice Atlas

The Environmental Justice Atlas is a teaching, networking and advocacy resource that documents and catalogues social conflict around environmental issues. Strategists, activist organizers, scholars, and teachers will find many uses for the database, as well as citizens wanting to learn more about the often invisible conflicts taking place. The atlas collects stories of communities struggling for environmental justice from around the world. It aims to make these mobilization more visible, highlight claims and testimonies and to make the case for true corporate and state accountability for the injustices inflicted through their activities. It also attempts to serve as a virtual space for those working on Environmental Justice issues to get information, find other groups working on related issues, and increase the visibility of environmental conflicts.

10. Powerful Sneak Preview - Love Thy Nature

Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, the new award-winning film, Love Thy Nature, will soon hit theaters, but the filmmakers are offering the chance to host a sneak preview in your community! A stunning cinematic journey, Love Thy Nature explores how a renewed connection with nature holds the key to a highly advanced and conscious new ecological era. View the powerful 2-min trailer:

Hosts can use the film to promote their initiatives, invite speakers and even fundraise. The film leaves crowds moved, inspired and ignited to act. The Official Selection at 26 film festivals and winner of 19 awards (including “Excellence” and “Outstanding Achievement” awards), Love Thy Nature has attracted a rapidly growing community with over 27K Facebook fans at this early pre-release stage.

Please contact Matthew Chandler at for screening details.

11. “Becoming Indigenous – Finding Our Way Home” (Course at Schumacher College, September 7, 2015 – July 17, 2016)

Schumacher College
The Old Postern, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, UK

September 7, 2015 – July 17, 2016 (Includes 4 month residential)

Convened by Colin Campbell, Pat McCabe and Mac Macartney. With Special Guests Atossa Soltani, Drew Dellinger, Bill Plotkin, Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook, Martin Shaw, Lucy Hinton and many more to be confirmed.

This programme will bring together teachers, thinkers, elders, ceremonialists from both western and indigenous cultures to consider what it means to be indigenous in the 21st Century.

12. Video of Thomas Berry: “Where We Go From Here”

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.

This month we would like to share with you a video of Thomas Berry speaking on the topic of “Where We Go From Here” at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on June 24, 1997.

Watch this video:

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 ( and W.J.N. Lee (prod./dir.) (Review by Erin Weston)

To download this newsletter as a PDF, visit:

For the archive of previous Forum newsletters, visit: