Season Three

You can also access the SPOTLIGHTS series as audio podcasts by going here
Watch all episodes of Spotlights from our archive page

Check back here (or on our homepage) each Monday for a new episode. 

Spotlights ~ Ep. 3.1 Joseph Wiebe and Kimberly Carfore on the Future of Religion and Ecology
This is the beginning of the third year of the podcast for the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. This new beginning intersects with another new beginning: the Religion and Ecology unit of the American Academy of Religion has two new co-chairs, Joseph Wiebe, PhD, and Kimberly Carfore, PhD. In this episode, they both reflect on the past, present, and future of the academic field and activist force of religion and ecology. We talk about the success of previous chairs and others who have contributed to the field, , especially the recent leadership of Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter. We also discuss some ways that the field of religion and ecology is opening to decolonial perspectives. You can learn more about Joseph Wiebe’s work here: https://apps.ualberta.ca/directory/pe… More information about Kimberly Carfore is available here: https://www.usfca.edu/faculty/kimberl…


Spotlights ~ Ep. 3.2 André Daughtry, Sketches for WILDERNESS

This episode of Spotlights features André Daughtry, an award-winning speculative social documentarian who explores contemporary expressions of the spiritual, mystical, and theological in the contexts of pluralistic democracies. He talks about his latest project, WILDERNESS, a speculative documentary photography, film and performance project that engages an integral ecological approach to sustainability and spirituality, specifically in relationship to Indigenous populations and their respective cosmologies and traditions. Captured in the Cauca region of southern Colombia, WILDERNESS attempts to share experiences that can bring us back to place. Visit this website to learn more about this project and watch a visual travelogue that sets the tone, “Sketches for WILDERNESS”: https://www.blackmountaincollege.org/… You can also learn more about André’s work here: https://www.andredaughtrystudio.com


Spotlights ~ Ep. 3.2 Andreas Karelas, Solar Energy, and the Inflation Reduction Act
This episode of Spotlights features Andreas Karelas, the founder and executive director of RE-volv, a nonprofit organization that empowers people around the country to help nonprofits in their communities go solar and raise awareness about the benefits of clean energy. He is also the author of Climate Courage: How Tackling Climate Change Can Build Community, Transform the Economy, and Bridge the Political Divide in America. Andreas talks about new developments in renewable energy, particularly in light of the Inflation Reduction Act in the USA. Signed into law in August 2022, the IRA includes almost $400 billion in spending on energy and climate change. Along with the IRA, Andreas discusses some new projects he is working on, including a partnership with Green The Church and Interfaith Power & Light, aimed at accelerating the deployment of solar energy in underserved communities by assisting BIPOC houses of worship around the country go solar. You can learn more about Re-volv here: https://re-volv.org/ More information about Climate Courage is available here: https://climatecourage.us Go here for more information about the Solar for BIPOC initiative: https://re-volv.org/solar-for-bipoc


Spotlights ~ 3.4, The Cosmic Common Good, with Daniel Scheid, PhD
This week’s episode of Spotlights features Daniel Scheid, PhD, the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Theology at Duquesne University. We talk about his work with comparative theology and ecological ethics, including questions of interreligious dialogue, the cosmological context of religion and ecology, and the enduring value of Catholic Social Teaching. We also talk about his book where many of these questions are raised, The Cosmic Common Good: Religious Grounds for Ecological Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2016). You can learn more about his book on the publisher’s website: https://global.oup.com/academic/produ… More information about his work can be found here: https://www.duq.edu/academics/faculty…


Spotlights ~ 3.5, Bruno Latour: In Memoriam
This episode of Spotlights pays tribute to the French philosopher and social theorist, Bruno Latour (1947-2022). His work has been widely influence for science and technology studies, philosophy, and ecological thought. Religion also figures into his work, although it is not as well known as his writings on science and ecology. Several good overviews of his life and thought have been published since his passing. Here is one from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/202…


Spotlights ~ 3.6, A Meeting with the Forum Team
This week’s episode of Spotlights features a short behind-the-scenes look at a team meeting for the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, with some brief remarks about the Forum from Tara Trapani, Elizabeth McAnally, Sam King, Anna Thurston, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim, including a final comment from our host, Sam Mickey. We hope you enjoy this little glimpse into our team meeting and get a better understanding of the way the Forum functions as a watershed for so many activities, projects, and resources that make up the field and force of religion and ecology.


Spotlights ~ 3.7, Eco-Anxiety
This episode of Spotlights features our host, Sam Mickey, discussing eco-anxiety, which is generally defined as a chronic worry, distress, or fear concerning ecological devastation. Struggles with eco-anxiety have increased in recent years, and they have been exacerbated by the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic. Sam reflects on two recently published anthologies that he edited with Douglas A. Vakoch, Eco-Anxiety and Pandemic Distress: Psychological Perspectives on Resilience and Interconnectedness (Oxford University Press, 2022), and Eco-Anxiety and Planetary Hope: Experiencing the Twin Disasters of COVID-19 and Climate Change (Springer, 2022). You can find more resources for understanding eco-anxiety at the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology website: https://fore.yale.edu/Resources/Eco-a…


Spotlights ~ 3.8, Radical Animism with Rowan Deer
This episode of Spotlights features Rowan Deer, PhD, author of Radical Animism: Reading for the End of the World (Bloomsbury, 2020), which brings together literary, philosophical, and scientific perspectives to rethink animism for the Anthropocene. She discusses the way her book juxtaposes authors like Virginia Woolf, Lewis Carroll, and William Shakespeare with the Copernican Revolution, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and Sigmund Freud’s theory of the unconscious. She also discusses the the role of deconstruction in her writing, correcting some common misunderstandings of deconstruction and Jacques Derrida. More information about her book is available on the publisher’s website: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/radical… Some other pieces of interest include her article on fungi and language, “Mycorrhizal Metaphors,” available open access at Ecozona here: https://ecozona.eu/article/view/4652 Another relevant essay is “Reading in the Dark,” published by Orion Magazine: https://orionmagazine.org/article/rea…


Spotlights ~ 3.9, Religion and Ecology at the American Academy of Religion
This episode of Spotlights features Kimberly Carfore, PhD, co-chair of the Religion and Ecology unit of the American Academy of Religion (AAR). The annual meeting of the AAR happened at the end of November. Dr. Carfore talks about the various panels hosted by the Religion and Ecology unit this year, including a panel on Dr. Christopher Carter’s book The Spirit of Soul Food, which was featured on this podcast earlier in the year. https://fore.yale.edu/blogs/entry/164…

Dr. Carfore also gives a preview of what the Religion and Ecology unit is putting together for the 2023 meeting of the AAR. Overall, they are continuing their efforts toward a more decolonial, international, and multicultural approach to studying the intersection of religion and ecology.


Spotlights ~ 3.10, Contemplative Posthuman Design, a Conversation with Sam Mickey & Kimberly Carfore
This episode of Spotlights features Sam Mickey and Kimberly Carfore in conversation with a topic Sam has been researching recently: contemplative posthuman design, which is a way of bringing design thinking into dialogue with contemplative studies and the ecological sensibilities of posthumanism. It is a design approach that works with contemplative practices to envision ways of harmoniously integrating humans with the more-than-human world. Sam draws connections between these ideas and the work of the contemporary German philosopher, Peter Sloterdijk.


Spotlights ~ 3.11, God and Gaia with Michael Northcott
This episode of Spotlights features Michael S. Northcott, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He talks about his new book, God and Gaia: Science, Religion and Ethics on a Living Planet (Routledge, 2023), which explores the overlap between traditional religious cosmologies and the scientific Gaia theory of James Lovelock. The book engages with traditional cosmologies from the Indian Vedas and classical Greece to Medieval Christianity, including case material from Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and Great Britain. He discusses how it is possible to repair the destabilizing impacts of contemporary human activities on the Earth community, particularly by drawing on sacred traditions and honoring the differential agency of humans and nonhumans. More information about the book can be found on the publisher’s website: https://www.routledge.com/God-and-Gai


Spotlights ~ 3.12, Psychedelics and Climate Activism, with Amber X Chen
This episode of Spotlights features Amber X. Chen, a freelance journalist from Southern California whose work focuses on environmental justice. She contributed to several publications, including the climate and culture magainze Atmos, where she recently wrote a piece about the relationship between psychedelics, climate change, and environmental justice, “Tripping for the Planet: Psychedelics and Climate Change.” She discusses the problems and promises that psychedelics hold for the climate action toolkit, noting the particular importance of prioritizing the Indigenous communities for whom sacred plant medicines are part of their culture. You can read the full story here: https://atmos.earth/psychedelics-plan