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New Faculty to Explore Religion, Environmental Ethics

Two prominent scholars in the fields of religion, ecology and environmental ethics have been granted five-year appointments at Yale University.

Mary Evelyn TuckerMary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will work on developing the field of religion and ecology at the university, including bringing scholars in pertinent fields to Yale and developing research in the area of cosmology and ecology of religions. They will serve as senior lecturers and senior research scholars at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), Yale Divinity School, and the Yale Department of Religious Studies.

Tucker and Grim will also teach courses and collaborate with faculty at the Center for Bioethics, Divinity School, Religious Studies Department, Institution for Social and Policy Studies and F&ES to explore topics such as environmental values, ethics and eco-design.

Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge said, "Yale is fortunate to have scholars of the caliber of Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim exploring the important synergies that exist--and that can be developed--between religion and the environment. I believe their work here will have a significant impact not only on the academy but on the broader religious and environmental communities as well."

"This is wonderful news for all of us who believe that there is a significant role for religion, values and ethics in the response to the environmental crises we humans, as well as the members of all other species, will increasingly face in the years ahead,"said F&ES Dean Gus Speth.

Before coming to Yale, Tucker and Grim organized a three-year conference series at Harvard on world religions and ecology, which resulted in 10 edited volumes available from Harvard University Press. They are the founders of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, which arose from the series and was announced at culminating conferences at the United Nations and the American Museum of Natural History.

Tucker is the author of Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (2003) and Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (1989). She co-edited Hinduism and Ecology (2000); Confucianism and Ecology (1998); and Buddhism and Ecology (1997). She also co edited with Grim Worldviews and Ecology: Religion, Philosophy, and the Environment (1994) and a Daedalus volume, Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). This year she published The Philosophy of Qi: The Record of Great Doubts (Translations from the Asian Classics) from Columbia University Press, and edited a book of Thomas Berry's essays, Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community, published by the Sierra Club.

John GrimTucker received her Ph.D. in East Asian religions, with a concentration in Confucianism in China and Japan, from Columbia University. Until 2005, she was a professor of religion at Bucknell University, where she taught courses in Asian religions and religion and ecology. From 1993 to 1996, she was a National Endowment for the Humanities Chair at Bucknell. She is currently a research associate at the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard.

Grim was a professor in Bucknell Universityís Department of Religion from 1989 to 2005 and a research fellow with Tucker at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley from 2001 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2006. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of religions from Fordham University, and has published The Shaman (1983) and Indigenous Traditions and Ecology (2001). He is developing two forthcoming books: Living Cosmologies: An Approach to the Study of Religion and Ecology (with Tucker) and A Reader in Indigenous Religions, which will be a collection of articles illustrating religious thought and practice among indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas and the Pacific region.

The V.K.F. Rassmusen Foundation, Germeshausen Foundation and Kendeda Sustainability Fund are helping to support their appointments.



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