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Pathways of Religious Environmentalism
An interdisciplinary conference at Yale Divinity School
February 28-March 2, 2008
Organized by The Forum on Religion and Ecology
Raised in the hills of East Tennessee, Sanjana's interest in environmental issues began in the fourth grade when her class met with the director of the city's recycling program. Since then, this interest has continued in both her personal and professional life.
Sanjana recently completed her Masters in Public Policy with an environmental policy concentration at the University of Maryland and currently works at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change on transportation and domestic policy.
In her spare time, Sanjana tries to take her activism to the community level. As an undergrad, she was part of the national Ramadan Fast-a-thon, an initiative to bring awareness to the issues of fasting, hunger and homelessness. Over the past year, she has been working with a group of "green muslims" in the Washington, DC area to explore the Islamic basis for environmental awareness and activism. The DC Green Muslims hopes to encourage dialogue and action about these issues to create more sustainable future for us all.
Kelly D. Alley
Kelly D. Alley is Alumni Professor of Anthropology at Auburn University and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work. She received her BS from Cornell University and her PhD. From the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She has written extensively on cultural, activist and scientific interpretations of the River Ganga (Ganges) in India and is the author of: On the Banks of the Ganga: When Wastewater Meets a Sacred River (University of Michigan press, 2002).
Paul T. Anastas joined Yale University as Professor in the Practice of Green Chemistry with appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Chemical Engineering. In addition, Prof. Anastas serves as the Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale. From 2004 -2006, Paul Anastas served as Director of the Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C. He was previously the Assistant Director for the Environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he worked from 1999-2004. Trained as a synthetic organic chemist, Dr. Anastas received his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and worked as an industrial consultant. He is credited with establishing the field of green chemistry during his time working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the Chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and as the Director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program. Dr. Anastas has published widely on topics of science through sustainability, such as the books Benign by Design, Designing Safer Polymers, Green Engineering, and his seminal work with co-author John Warner, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice.
Frédérique Apffel-Marglin is Professor Emerita, Dpt. of Anthropology at Smith College. She is a board member of Living Routes and directs their Peru January program. She is a member of the editorial team of the journal InterCulture of the Intercultural Institute of Montreal. She has spent years in India and Peru working with indigenous peoples and with farmers and campesinos. She was a research associate at the World Institute for Development Economics (WIDER) in Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University, for several years in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Along with the Harvard economist Stephen A. Marglin, she has directed several research projects questioning the dominance of the modern paradigm of knowledge. She has authored as well as edited ten books, three of them resulting from the work at WIDER: Dominating Knowledge: Development, Culture and Resistance, and Decolonizing Knowledge: From Development to Dialogue, both with Clarendon and both co-edited with S.A. Marglin; the 3rd book out of the WIDER work is Who Will Save the Forests? co-edited with Tariq Banuri.
For the past fifteen years she has collaborated with activist/intellectual groups in Peru and with one of them, PRATEC, has published The Spirit of Regeneration: Andean Culture Confronting Western Notions of Development. She is currently finishing a book based on her work in Peru entitled Subversive Spiritualities and Science: Beyond Anthropocentrism. She is currently working with a Fair Trade Organic Coffee Cooperative in the Peruvian High Amazon.
Note on Personal Journey
Born in France but raised in Tangier, Morocco, Frédérique went to the US with her parents after completing the lycée. She became a dancer and studied Orissi dance in Delhi in the late 1960’s. She then went to graduate school in anthropology at Brandeis University and did her first fieldwork in Puri, Orissa on the Devadasis of Jagannath temple. Her years in India were profoundly transformative. In the early 1990’s she decided she could no longer continue doing ethnographic fieldwork – which she had continued doing in Orissa – for moral and political reasons. Through the mediation of Kalpana Das, the director of the Intercultural Institute of Montreal, she met the Peruvian intellectual-activist group PRATEC in 1992 and they invited her to teach in the graduate course they offer in Lima, Peru. She did this for 10 years. This too became a profoundly transformative experience. For the past two years she has been working with a Fair Trade Organic Coffee Cooperative in the Peruvian High Amazon where she teaches a January Term course in collaboration with that cooperative and continues to cooperate with them on environmental, economic, cultural and spiritual matters.
Harold W. Attridge, Dean of Yale Divinity School and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament. Dean Attridge has made scholarly contributions to New Testament exegesis and to the study of Hellenistic Judaism and the history of the early Church. His publications include Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, First-Century Cynicism in the Epistles of Heraclitus, The Interpretation of Biblical History in the Antiquitates Judaicae of Flavius Josephus, and Nag Hammadi Codex I: The Jung Codex, as well as numerous book chapters and articles in scholarly journals. He has edited eleven books, most recently, with Margot Fassler, Psalms in Community. He has been an editorial board member of Catholic Biblical Quarterly, the Harvard Theological Review, the Journal of Biblical Literature, and the Hermeneia Commentary Series. He has been active in the Society of Biblical Literature and served as president of the society in 2001.
Carol Bartlett, Co-founder of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light and Chair of the Audit Committee. – Carol is an educational consultant. She has taught English at Georgia State University and DeVry University and worked at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Georgia Tech. She currently teaches at Shorter College and does consultations with schools and nonprofit groups. She has a lifelong interest in the environment and was the chair of the first Earth Day celebration at Muscatine Community College in 1970 where she taught at that time. She is an Episcopalian.
The Rev. Woody Bartlett
The Rev. Woody Bartlett, Co-founder of Georgia Interfaith Power& Light, Chair of the Steering Committee and the Grants Committee. – Woody is a retired Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Atlanta. During his career, Woody had an active interest in involving the church in the world around it, particularly in the issues of poverty and homelessness. For the past 20 years he has focused more on the relationship between human beings and the creation. He is the author of Living By Surprise: A Christian Response to the Ecological Crisis, published in 2003 by Paulist Press.
Whitney A. Bauman
Whitney received his PhD in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union in May of 2007. He is currently the Research Associate for the Forum on Religion and Ecology, a steering committee member of the Religion and Ecology Group of the American Academy of Religion, the Book Review Editor for Worldviews, and a member of the Graduate Student Task force for the American Academy of Religion. His research interests lie at the intersection of post-foundational philosophy, environmental ethics, and theology.
Miriam Benhaim, Ph.D.
As Clinical Director of the Center for Loss and Renewal and a Clinical Psychologist I have spent the last 25 years helping individuals and families find hope and renewal after various losses whether through death, loss of livelihood, or loss of self esteem. This work has been extremely rewarding and meaningful. In addition, I was brought up an Orthodox Jew and attended parochial school for 13 years. Our household was extremely spiritual and an emphasis was placed on the biblical dictum that the earth was given to man to “work it and to guard it”. We were taught not to be wasteful, and a premium was placed on viewing the entire earth as our own home; throwing a gum wrapper on the ground was unheard of. My parents’ idea of a relaxing day off was to enjoy the beauty of the parks of New York either by taking a walk in the Botanical Gardens, or viewing a sunset on the Boardwalk in Brighten Beach. The world was our home and all the people in it our family and community. A great emphasis was placed on caring for your neighbor as you would care for yourself and my parents were dedicated, participatory community members. I have carried this attitude toward the world and people into my current life and family. My husband and I belong to a temple and participate in its governance and the running of community programming and services. Our children raise money for charities and we have taken them to numerous rallies be it for Soviet Jewry or to Washington for Darfur. Our daughter recently donated Bat Mitzvah money to help orphan children in Rwanda. The Bible is explicit in providing commandments about protecting the earth, for example, rules about a sabbatical year for the land. I feel it is time to integrate and expand my devotion to helping people find renewal in their personal lives with behaving spiritually, as a being created in god’s image, by working towards renewing the planet.
Teresa Berger holds doctorates in both dogmatic theology and in liturgical studies. Berger grew up in post-World-War II Germany and studied at St. John's College , Nottingham , and the Universities of Mainz, Heidelberg , Muenster, and Geneva . Her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of liturgical studies, gender theory, theology, and cultural studies. Berger has written extensively on liturgy and women's lives. Her recent publications include Women's Ways of Worship: Gender Analysis and Liturgical History (1999), Dissident Daughters: Feminist Liturgies in Global Context (2001), and Fragments of Real Presence (2005). The latter received two Catholic Press Awards in 2006. Berger has also published monographs on the hymns of Charles Wesley, on the 19th-century Anglo-Catholic revival, and on ecumenical readings of the Scriptures. In the spring of 2006, she co-edited an issue of the subaltern web dossier Worlds & Knowledges Otherwise, entitled The Poetics of the Sacred and the Politics of Scholarship.
Ellen Bernstein is founder and former director of Shomrei Adamah-Keepers of the Earth, the first Jewish environmental organization. She is author of The Splendor of Creation: A Biblical Ecology, the editor of Ecology and the Jewish Spirit: Where Nature and the Sacred Meet, and the co-author of Let the Earth Teach You Torah.
Dr. John H. Berthrong
Dr. John Berthrong, educated in Sinology at the University of Chicago, has been the Associate Dean for Academic and Administrative Affairs and Associate Professor of Comparative Theology at the Boston University School of Theology since 1989. Active in interfaith dialogue projects and programs, his teaching and research interests are in the areas of interreligious dialogue, Chinese religions and philosophy, and comparative philosophy and theology. His published and forthcoming books are All under Heaven: Transforming Paradigms in Confucian-Christian Dialogue (SUNY Press [Chinese Translation from Renmin Chupanshe 2006]), The Transformations of the Confucian Way (Westview Press), and Concerning Creativity: A Comparison of Chu Hsi, Whitehead, and Neville (SUNY Press). He is co-editor with Professor Mary Evelyn Tucker of Confucianism and Ecology: The Interrelation of Heaven, Earth, and Humans published by Harvard University Press in 1998. In 1999 he published The Divine Deli (Orbis Books), a study of religious pluralism and multiple religious participation in North America. He also collaborated with Evelyn Nagai Berthrong on Confucianism: A Short Introduction (2000, OneWorld), which has been translated into Italian and Russian. He most recently co-edited, with Liu Shu-hsien and Leonard Swidler, Confucianism in Dialogue Today: West, Christianity & Judaism (2004) and has Expanding Process: Exploring Philosophical and Theological Transformations in China and West forthcoming in 2008 from SUNY Press.
Harry Blair, Ph.D., Duke University, 1970, Associate Department Chair, Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in Political Science. This year he is teaching senior seminars in Promoting Democracy in Developing Countries and World Food Issues. Previously he has taught at Bucknell, Colgate, Cornell and Rutgers Universities. His research interests currently focus on democratization in developing countries, particularly on civil society, and decentralization. His articles have appeared in American Political Science Review, Comparative Politics, Journal of Development Studies, and World Development among others.
Raised in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains of Western Pennsylvania, Beth Blissman currently serves as director of the Oberlin College Bonner Center for Service & Learning (www.oberlin.edu/csl). Beth has been at Oberlin since 2000, advising and working closely with faculty, students, community partners and alumni who are interested in connecting academic work with appropriate community-based needs. She has raised over $500K in new funding for the Center, and recently led an effort to obtain a $4.5M endowment for a community service scholarship program at Oberlin. One of Beth's goals is to create the greenest, most ecologically-sustainable Center for Service & Learning possible, and she
currently collaborates with several students bent on modeling office-based carbon neutrality.
With a broad network of contacts across education and government sectors, Beth is known for her ability to creatively link appropriate solutions with organizational goals, leading to increasingly collaborative approaches to civic engagement that are both ecologically sustainable and supportive of an emerging multicultural democracy. Her academic
background is interdisciplinary, and includes doctoral work in Religion & Social Change at the University of Denver / Iliff School of Theology. Beth’s research interests include the intersection of religious traditions with ecosocial transformation, especially as that intersection applies to emerging ethical frameworks among women religious and in higher
education. She enjoys organic gardening and serving on several non-profit boards and committees, especially the New Agrarian Center (www.gotthenac.org) and Santuario Sisterfarm (www.sisterfarm.org).
Beth has been a co-member of the Loretto Community (www.lorettocommunity.org) for over twelve years, and is also a Companion of the Green Mountain Monastery
(www.greenmountainmonastery.org)and a member of the Empty Field (Zen Buddhist) Sangha in Oberlin, OH. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contacted at (440) 775-8055.
Bernadette Bostwick is co-foundress of Green Mountain Monastery and the Thomas Berry Sanctuary in Greensboro, Vermont which is 21st century monastery in the Catholic tradition dedicated to the healing and protection of Earth and its life systems.
Bernadette is also an artist with an interest in Iconography. Her Icon entitled: Mary of the Cosmos, which has appeared in numerous publications and books, is a visual representation of an ancient traditional form broken open to reveal new meaning within a cosmological context.
Dean Britton has extensive pastoral experience in parishes of the Episcopal Church in the United States and Europe. He served as Canon Missioner of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe and was the founding director of the Institute of Christian Studies. With wide involvement in ecumenical relationships, he has a particular academic interest in piety as the synthesis of religious faith and practice in the lives of believing men and women. As an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow, he completed a dissertation on “Piety as Participation in the Divine Concern: The Mystical Realism of A. J. Heschel.” Dean Britton is associate editor of the Anglican Theological Review and a member of the Standing Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Episcopal Church. He has published articles in The Anglican Theological Review, Sewanee Theological Review, and Anglican and Episcopal History.
Dr. Brown joined the faculty of the Religious Studies Department of Iona College in the fall of 1987, specializing in the History of Religions. He is currently Associate Professor and teaches Iona's core course in Religious Studies, RST 203 Introduction to the Study of Religion. His approach examines the phenomenon of religion from a variety of common themes using salient aspects of religious traditions to illustrate and exemplify.
Joan Brown is a Franciscan sister who works in Ecology Ministry through the Partnership for Earth Spirituality. She is the co-founder of the sustainable strawbale community Tierra Madre. Kansas farm roots, living and working with the economically poor, the inspiration of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, Thomas Berry, and Master’s Degree in Cosmology, Religion and Philosophy from the California Institute of Integral Studies form her thought and work.
Rev. Clare Butterfield
Rev. Clare Butterfield is the Director of Faith in Place, an interfaith environmental ministry in Chicago that gives religious people tools to become better stewards of Creation. Faith in Place congregations work together to support renewable energy, conserve energy, build markets for local sustainable agriculture and fair trade products, and train the next generation of stewards of the earth through urban agriculture with youth. Rev. Butterfield is an ordained Unitarian Universalist community minister. She has an M.Div. from Meadville Lombard Theological School (2000), a J.D. (University of Illinois College of Law, 1983) and a B.A. in History (University of Illinois, 1980), and is currently enrolled in the D.Min program at Chicago Theological Seminary in with a focus on faith and the environment.
Christopher Key Chapple
Chris Chapple serves as Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and as editor of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology. He has published several books in the area of religion and ecology, including Ecological Prospects; Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions; Hinduism and Ecology (co-edited with Mary Evelyn Tucker); and Jainism and Ecology. His current research includes translating chapters from the Yogavasistha, an 11th century Sanskrit text, that extol the power and beauty of nature.
I am Assistant Professor of Religion at Ohio Northern University, where I teach classes in contemporary theology, ethics, and the history of Christian thought. Greatly influenced by hermeneutics and continental philosophy—in particular by Ricoeur, Heidegger, and Tillich—my research focuses on how Christian philosophical theology can understand and interpret nature in a scientific and pluralistic world. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in August 2005; my dissertation explored a philosophical theology of nature by researching the ways we can identify a religious depth in models of particular places. Building on this, my recent research has been on how traditional Christian theological concepts like pilgrimage, the Book of Nature, and Heaven can be fruitfully reimagined for a better understanding of the natural world. I also have been working on how theological conceptions of culture (literature, art, and music, for example) act as dialogue partners for a better understanding of the environment.
Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener is the spiritual leader of Congregation Pnai Or of Central Connecticut and the director of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network. As a teacher, rabbi and community organizer, Andrea has practiced the art of bringing a spiritual perspective to problem solving for two decades. She has practical skills in communication and dialogue, environmental activism and personal growth. Theatre and musical concerts, educational forums, profound community building, writing and lobbying are among the tools that she has brought to bear in this field.
Lorna Collingridge, Ph.D., began composing music as part of her music degree at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, in Sydney, Australia. Since then, she has taught composition and more recently, begun composing music for religious events. Her first CD "Walking in the Wilderness" was published in 2001. She has composed music for various occasions; a number of these compositions appear in Teresa Berger's book "Fragments of Real Presence". (2005) Her latest publication with Teresa Berger, "Ocean Psalms", is a multimedia CD-ROM of meditations, prayers, songs, and blessings from the sea (February 2008). Currently she is directing the music program at Immaculata School, Durham, North Carolina. Lorna Collingridge's PhD (2004) focused on the songs of Hildegard of Bingen.
Collins is a CSEE curriculum consultant and frequent workshop presenter, and is one of the most progressive and best known secondary school teachers of religion in the United States. He is co-director of Religious Studies in Secondary Schools, and director of the secondary school project for the Forum on Religion and Ecology.
Anne Marie Dalton
St. Mary’s University
Dr. Anne Marie Dalton has spent the last five years in the forefront of the Community-Based Conservation Management in China and Vietnam Project, a unique initiative supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Barbara Darling-Smith is Assistant Professor of Religion at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where she teaches courses in religion and society. Her favorite courses are Religion & Ecology and Religion & Animals! She is a member of the steering committee of the Animals and Religion Consultation of the American Academy of Religion and an active participant in the AAR’s Religion and Ecology Group. She is also involved in environmental advocacy in her denomination, the United Church of Christ, serving on both their national-level Environmental and Energy Task Force and their Massachusetts Conference Environmental Ministries Task Team. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Boston University and her B.A. from Spring Arbor College (Michigan).
Rev. Marjorie H. Davis
Rev. Marjorie H. Davis has a M.S. from Cornell University in neurology; and a M. Div. from Yale Divinity School. She has been a Pastoral Counselor for 22 years and an Interim Minister in the United Church of Christ. She is a Past President of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and has special interests in peace, justice and the dynamics of both internal and external systems.
Jane Dixon’s research interests include environmental health promotion and engagement in environmental health; instrument development and validation; creating research method
Ecological anthropologist; over twelve years field experience in Indonesia and Pakistan with the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the East-West Center, USAID, Stanford University, and the Winrock Institute; current research and teaching interests (1) the theory of sustainable development and resource-use, (2) biodiversity and human society, (3) contemporary and historical environmental relations in South and Southeast Asia, (4) human use of tropical forests and grasslands, (5) resource-based linkage of local communities to global systems, (6) the study of developmental and environmental institutions, discourses, and movements, (7) the sociology of resource-related sciences.
St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
Stephen Dunn is the founder and former director of the Elliott Allen Institute for Theology & Ecology and continues directing the Centre for Ecology and Spirituality. Before starting the Institute, he was a director at the Passionists' Holy Cross Retreat Centre in Port Burwell, Ontario, Canada. In the late 1970s, the retreat centre focussed on the work of Thomas Berry and the emerging voices in eco-theology, eco-feminism, eco-justice and the new cosmology as it brought religion and ecology into dialogue. This collaborative and cross-disciplinary work was gradually introduced into the curriculum at the faculty of theology at the University of St. Michael's College, resulting in the formation of the Elliott Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology. Although Dr. Dunn recently retired from his full-time professor position at St. Michael's College in spring of 2002, he continues to assist doctoral students with their thesis work and welcomes the participation of the EAITE in the work of the Passionist Centre for Ecology and Spirituality. He and the new director of the EAITE, Dr. Dennis O’Hara, continue to collaborate on the monthly Eco-Sabbath gatherings and the annual Advent Solstice retreat and the annual Triduum Retreat held at St. Gabriel’s Parish in Toronto.
Dr. Heather Eaton, Professor, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in ecology, feminism and theology from the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto School of Theology, and a Master's of Divinity. Engaged in religious responses to the ecological crisis, particularly the relationship between ecological, feminist and liberation theologies. Committed to inter-religious responses to ecological crisis. Taught courses in these areas at St Michael's College, T.S.T.; Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University; and Saint Paul University. Involved in numerous conferences, workshops, teaching and publishing in these areas. Dr. Eaton is the co-founder of the Canadian Forum on Religion and Ecology.
Susan Drake Emmerich Ph.D.
Dr. Susan Drake Emmerich, Ph.D, is a nationally known speaker and writer on biblically-based environmental stewardship and an environmental documentary filmmaker. Currently, she is the CEO of Emmerich Environmental Consulting and the director of the Creation Care Program of The Center for Law and Culture. She is a Harvey Fellow and is best known for her faith-based environmental stewardship and action research work among the Christian watermen community of Tangier Island and Pennsylvania farmers of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the subject of her most recent Redemptive Film Award winning video entitled "When Heaven Meets Earth: Faith and the Environment in the Chesapeake Bay," and her PBS Telly Award winning film, "Between Heaven and Earth: The Plight of the Chesapeake Bay Watermen." Emmerich was also a professor of environmental science at Trinity Christian College where she led a partnership effort between the City of Palos Heights and the College to save and revamp Lake Katherine Nature Preserve.
Emmerich spent 10 years in the federal government—1986-1996—as a U.S. Delegate to the U.N. for the Dept. of State where she contributed to the first resolution establishing the 1992 Earth Summit and later was a negotiator throughout the Earth Summit. She also participated as a negotiator of the early drafts of the Biodiversity and Climate Change Conventions and was a negotiator for other conventions such as the Basel Convention on Toxic Chemicals. She served on the board of the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies for six years. Dr. Emmerich lives in Palos Heights, Illinois with her husband Charlie and daughter, Lydia, from China.
Margaret A. Farley
The recipient of eleven honorary degrees, the John Courtney Murray Award for Excellence in Theology, and a Luce Fellowship in Theology, Professor Farley is a past president of the Society of Christian Ethics and the Catholic Theological Society of America. She is the author or editor of six books, including Personal Commitments: Beginning, Keeping, Changing and most recentlyJust Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics. She has published more than eighty articles and chapters of books on medical ethics, sexual ethics, social ethics, historical theological ethics, ethics and spirituality, and feminist ethics. She has served on the Bioethics Committee of Yale–New Haven Hospital and on the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and served for eight years as co-director of the Yale University Interdisciplinary Bioethics Project. Professor Farley directs and co-directs two projects relating to women, theology, and response to HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Martha Gardner has served as consultant in environmental ministries at the national offices of The Episcopal Church since 2000. In this capacity, she provides resources and support to congregations and dioceses across the country, especially based on the environmental resolutions passed by the church’s General Convention. While serving as consultant, Martha has co-chaired the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Working Group for four years, serves on the board of Church World Service and represents The Episcopal Church both at the United Nations and on the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.
Cary Gaunt is a Doctoral Candidate in environmental studies from Antioch University New England. Her research focuses on the formation of Christian sustainability role models. Using interviews and content analysis she is studying the formative experiences and transformative processes of individuals who are considered by others to be outstanding examples of ecologically awakened and responsible citizens. Cary's doctoral work complements her extensive environmental consulting practice where she focuses on watershed issues and conducts policy, program evaluation, planning, and community outreach projects around the country. She has a special focus on her childhood watershed—the Chesapeake Bay. Cary also works as a wilderness rites of passage guide and Centering Prayer (meditation) leader. She is part of the School of Lost Border's Mentoring Program and the Animas Valley Institute Soulcraft Apprenticeship and Initiation Program (SAIP). She blends her expertise in natural history, environmental studies, Soulcraft™, rites of passage, contemplative practice, and voluntary simplicity to protect and restore the inner and outer ecology of people and places.
Norman Girardot is the University Distinguished Professor in the Religion Studies Department. Trained in the comparative history of religions under Mircea Eliade at the University of Chicago, he taught at Notre Dame University and Oberlin College before coming to Lehigh. His special research areas include Chinese religious tradition, especially Daoism, popular religious movements, and the relation of religion and outsider or visionary art. Among his most recent publications are two forthcoming books — Daoism and Ecology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions) and The Victorian Translation of China. James Legge’s Oriental Pilgrimage (Los Angeles, Berkeley, and London: University of California Press). Working closely with the Lehigh University Art Galleries, he has co-curated a number of exhibitions of outsider/visionary folk art, the most recent of which was entitled “Four Outsider Artists: The End is a New Beginning.” While at Lehigh he has also developed a number of exceedingly strange, yet curiously refreshing, courses and quasi-shamanistic performance events — including such courses and events as Deep Play: Doing Myth and Ritual at Lehigh; The Daoist Phantasmagoria; Jesus, Buddha, Mao, and Elvis; Raw Vision: Shamans, Mystics, and Outsider Artists; the levitation of Rauch Business school, the Blessing of the Hounds, Dao Day, Zac Day, the First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine Campus Revival; and the construction of the Lehigh Concrete Millennial Folk Arch. It has also been noted that he has a peculiar, and seemingly perverse if not obscene, fondness for gourds.
Jesse Glickstein is the executive director of Faiths United for Sustainable Energy. We believe that energy consumption is at the core of the most pressing issues that confront people and governments all over the world. FUSE was founded with the belief that faith and spiritual leaders have a unique opportunity to take the lead in promoting sustainable energy solutions. Faith leaders are in a unique position to raise the level of public discourse because of our history of social action and our religious commitments to compassion, peace, and justice. Our mission is to educate, mobilize and unite faith and spiritual leaders to act on the increasingly harmful effects of our society's dependence on fossil fuels. Our vision is for faith and spiritual leaders to be catalysts in the movement towards clean and sustainable energy.
Roger S. Gottlieb
Roger S. Gottlieb is professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has written or edited fourteen books and more than 100 articles and reviews on environmentalism, religious life, contemporary spirituality, political philosophy, ethics, the Holocaust and disability.
Gottlieb is editor of six academic book series which have collectively published more than 50 titles. He serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals, is contributing editor to the national magazine Tikkun, and has served as book review editor for Social Theory and Practice and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A Journal of Socialist Ecology.
His writings have appeared in top academic journals such as the Journal of Philosophy, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Conservation Biology, and Ethics; in popular publications such as E Magazine online, The Boston Globe, and Orion Afield; in various anthologies focused on the best of recent Jewish writing, environmental ethics, religious life, spirituality, the Holocaust, and disability; and in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
For the last fifteen years he has become internationally known for his work as a prominent analyst and exponent of religious environmentalism, for his account of spirituality in an age of environmental crisis, and for his innovative and humane description of the role of religion in a democratic society.
His anthology This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment (1996, second edition 2003) is known internationally as the first comprehensive collection on the topic. His 1999 book, A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart and Protecting the Earth, was called by Protestant theologian John Cobb "a true spiritual guide for our day," praised by Elie Wisel, and excerpted in Tikkun and Orion Afield. His 2002 book Joining Hands: Politics and Religion Together for Social received advance praise from Harvey Cox and Bill McKibben. Two other edited books, Deep Ecology and World Religion (co-edited with David Barnhill) and The Ecological Community, focus on ecotheology and environmental ethics respectively.
His recent work, A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and our Planet's Future and The Oxford Handbook on Religion and Ecology,establishes him as a leading commentator and advocate of this unprecedented political, environmental, and religious movement. Bob Edgar, head of the National Council of Churches, said the book provided "a bright picture of the faith community’s capacity for caring for God’s creation" and that following its lead would help us "go a long way toward being more effective stewards of our fragile planet." Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, called it a "seminal book examining the emerging debate on environmental ethics among the world’s great faith traditions." Thomas Berry, one of the world’s leading ecotheologians, said it offers "superb insight" and is a "most needed guide".
Rebecca Kneale Gould
Rebecca Kneale Gould is Associate Professor of Religion and Affiliate in Environmental Studies where she teaches courses in American Religious History, Religion and Nature, Religion and Social Change in America, and Simplicity in American culture. Her book, At Home in Nature: Modern Homesteading and Spiritual Practice in America, has recently been published by The University of California Press (2005). At Home in Nature is an ethnographic and historical study of back-to-the-land experiments based on research she conducted while living and working at the homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing. She is currently engaged in a research project entitled "Religion on the Ground: The New Environmentalism of Religious Institutions," funded by the Louisville Institute. She is a fellow in the Young Scholars Program of the Center for American Religion at IU-IUPUI. She is a Board Member of two national non-profit initiatives: The Simplicity Forum and Take Back Your Time.
Church Divinity School of the Pacific
I teach theology at an Episcopal Seminary in California and do research on theology and economy, soteriology, environment, colonialism and postcolonial theological developments.
Jeanie Graustein is the Environmental Justice Ministry Coordinator for the Office of Urban Affairs of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. She invites parishioners to reflect on the moral nature and interconnectedness of social, economic and environmental justice issues. Drawing on scripture, tradition and the expanding social teaching of the Church, she helps Catholics understand that the Gospel imperative for care of neighbor, especially the most vulnerable, can’t be separated from care of God’s creation. Programs for parishes and diocesan-wide conferences have focused on issues of clean air and water, children’s environmental health, the environmental consequences of sprawling development and smart growth, and global warming. She participates in meetings and work of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.
Jeanie is a former docent at Yale’s Peabody Museum, and a member of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS), for which she co-chaired the 2004 annual conference, “Earth’s Waters in Crisis: a Scientific, Spiritual and Moral Challenge.” She has a B.A. in anthropology from U. of California, Berkeley; M.Ed. from U. of Utah; and M.Div. from Yale Divinity School.
Donald P. Green
Donald P. Green is A. Whitney Griswold Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he has taught since 1989. Since 1996, he has served as director of Yale's Institution for Social and Policy Studies, an interdisciplinary research center that emphasizes field experimentation. His research interests span a wide array of topics: voting behavior, partisanship, campaign finance, rationality, research methodology, and hate crime. His recent books include Partisan Hearts and Minds: Political Parties and the Social Identities of Voters(Yale University Press 2002) and Get Out the Vote!: How to Increase Voter Turnout(Brookings Institution Press 2004). Green's current work uses field experimentation to study the ways in which political campaigns mobilize and persuade voters. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.
John Grim is currently a Senior Lecturer and Scholar at Yale University teaching courses that draw students from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale Divinity School, the Department of Religious Studies, the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, and the Yale Colleges. He is Coordinator of the Forum on Religion and Ecology with
Mary Evelyn Tucker, and series editor of "World Religions and Ecology," from Harvard Divinity School's Center for the Study of World Religions. In that series he edited Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: the Interbeing of Cosmology and Community (Harvard, 2001). He has been a Professor of Religion at Bucknell University, and at Sarah Lawrence College where he taught courses in Native American and Indigenous religions, World Religions, and Religion and Ecology. His published works include: The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians (University of Oklahoma Press, 1983) and he edited a volume with Mary Evelyn Tucker entitled Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994, 5th printing 2000), and a Daedalus volume (2001) entitled, "Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change?" John is also President of the American Teilhard Association.
I am interested in a wide range of South Asian religious traditions, and concentrate on the medieval and modern movements of northern India. I have spent the past two and a half decades focusing my research on the culture of Braj, an active pilgrimage site known for its lively temple festivals, performative traditions, and literary creations. My approach combines both textual research and anthropological field work. My Acting as a Way of Salvation (Oxford University Press, 1988) is a study of religious reality construction based on a close examination of a meditation technique devised by the theoreticians of Braj. I have published a book on the circular pilgrimage around Braj, entitled Journey Through the Twelve Forests (Oxford, 1994). I completed an annotated translation of a sixteenth-century Sanskrit text, The Bhaktirasamrtasindhu of Rupa Gosvamin (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 2003), which presents the religious experience of bhakti in terms of classical Indian dramatic theory. My current research involves a study of the Yamuna River of northern India, which for centuries has been worshiped as a goddess. As a student of the religious cultures of India, I am interested in investigating the effects the current environmental degradation is having on the traditional religious culture which views the immanent world of nature as permeated with divine presence; I am also interested in learning how this traditional theology is being employed by Indian environmental activists to resist environmental degradation. I am involved in the emerging field of religion and ecology and am currently on the Advisory Board of the Forum on Religion and Ecology based at The Harvard University Center for the Environment. Moreover, I am engaged in a project that investigates Western constructions of Hinduism with the aim of opening up the study of those regions of Hindu culture that have been previously denied. Other interests include the study of ritual theory and practice, and exploration of theoretical approaches to the study of religion, especially as regards that never-ending question: "What is religion?"
Since I first read Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition in graduate school, it has helped me to think about the role and tasks of the political arena in human social life. This book also has helped me to think about the relationship between the ethical and the political. It is a book that may be enjoyed simply for the clarity and beauty with which it is written. When I was at Union Theological Seminary, I took a course with Rubem Alves, a Brazilian theologian, right after he had finished his book, A Theology of Human Hope. The combination of the course and then the book were powerful for me and taught me essential things I have never forgotten about, for example, the relationships between ideology and theology and both the power and limitations of the Protestant imagination. Recently I enjoyed Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, a simple story, a novel, that is at the same time both entertaining and profound. A major theme of the book is human community.
Marah J. Hardt/Blue Ocean Institute
Marah is a new Research Fellow working at Blue Ocean Institute. She completed her doctorate work in April 2007, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, CA, where she studied the impacts of fishing on Caribbean coral reef communities. Her research interests include climate change impacts on marine ecosystems, fisheries impacts, coral reef ecology and conservation, and historical ecology. At Blue Ocean she is working to find creative ways to disseminate scientific findings about the health of marine ecosystems to a wider, public audience, helping people from diverse communities to understand how human actions, especially climate change, affect the life support systems of the planet. She is interested in helping to foster a sense of shared values among different communities in society with respect to sustainable stewardship of the environment.
Rev. Fletcher Harper
Fletcher Harper, an Episcopal priest, is Executive Director of GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental coalition based in New Jersey. An award-winning spiritual writer and nationally-recognized preacher on the environment, Harper preaches, teaches and speaks weekly at houses of worship from a wide range of denominations in New Jersey and beyond about the moral, spiritual basis for environmental stewardship and justice. A graduate of Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary, Harper served as a parish priest for ten years and in leadership positions in the Episcopal Church prior to joining GreenFaith. Among many honors, he was named the 2006 Environmental Leader of the Year in New Jersey by Gov. Jon Corzine.
Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is New Jersey’s interfaith coalition for the environment. GreenFaith inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse spiritual backgrounds to deepen their relationship with the sacred in nature and to restore the earth for future generations. At a time when religious conflicts dominate the headlines, GreenFaith unites people of diverse faiths toward the shared value of caring for the earth.
GreenFaith’s work flows from its core values of Spirit, Stewardship and Justice in relation to the earth. GreenFaith believes that
Through religious-environmental education programs, by greening the operation of religious institutions and the homes of their members, and through legislative advocacy and values-based environmental activism, GreenFaith helps religious institutions and people of all faiths put their belief into action for the earth and all its inhabitants.
Dr. Hart’s teaching interests are in the areas of social ethics, environmental ethics, liberation theology and ethics, and science and Christianity. His research interests and writing are focused particularly on issues of social and ecological justice, and on ecology as a bridge between science and religion. Internationally known for his work in social ethics and environmental ethics, he has given almost two hundred presentations, on four continents: in twenty-five U.S. states and in Canada, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, Nepal and England.
Dieter T. Hessel
Dieter T. Hessel, Ph.D., is a Presbyterian minister specializing in social ethics, who resides in Cape Elizabeth, ME, where he directs the ecumenical Program on Ecology, Justice and Faith, and , in 2007, taught at course on eco-justice ethics at Bangor Theological Seminary. From 1965-1990, he was the social education coordinator and social policy director of the Presbyterian Church (USA). His recent books include: Earth Habitat: Eco-Injustice and the Church’s Response (Fortress, 2001); Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans (Harvard, 2000); Theology for Earth Community: A Field Guide (Orbis, 1996).
Karen McLean Hessel
Karen McLean Hessel, M.Div., Union Theological Seminary, NY, is former Program Director, Justice for Women, National Council of Churches, and former Board Member of the Sister Fund.
Currently is a Consultant in Ecumenical Women’s Leadership, a Board Member of Interfaith Worker Justice; and Advisor to Caring Resources for Living, a small new non-profit in Maine.
Joshua Ashton Hill
Joshua Ashton Hill is a second year M.Div. student at YDS who has been tailoring his coursework toward the ways that faith intersects with environmental issues. Having grown-up in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Josh has always appreciated time spent outdoors and fostering his relationship with God through encounters with nature. Hill became serious about studying these issues after teaching at a United Methodist Camp that ran a full-time environmental education program for 5th grade public school students. That experience propelled him to the Appalachian Trail, where he, his wife, and dog have walked 1,200 miles so far.
Katy Hinman is the Executive Director of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light. She is in her final year of the Masters of Divinity program at the Candler School of Theology and is a candidate for ordination in the United Methodist Church. She has a PhD in Ecology and Evolution from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and, prior to coming to Candler, worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Laura Hobgood-Oster holds the Paden Chair in Religion at Southwestern University in Austin, Texas. She chairs the Program in Environmental Studies and the Department of Religion and Philosophy. Hobgood-Oster’s primary research focus is Animals and Religion, specifically animals in the history of the Christian tradition. Her most recent publication is Holy Dogs and Asses: Animals in the Christian Tradition (University of Illinois Press). She co-chairs, with Paul Waldau, the Animals and Religion Consultation of the American Academy of Religion. Hobgood-Oster’s current project examines the shifting role of Animals in the U.S. religious context. The book (in process), Culture of Sacrifice, is geared to both academic and religious audiences. Blessings of animals, animals as food in an agricultural-industrial complex, animals as pets/companions, and the responses of religious communities to these, and other, shifting relationships between humans and other animals is the focus of this research project. As part of her ecofeminist praxis, Hobgood-Oster is involved with dog rescue and consciousness raising around the issues of factory farming and puppy mills.
Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, and later educated at Cook College, the land grant school of Rutgers University where she double majored in Environmental Policy and Religion, Rachel is proud to call herself a ‘Jersey Girl.’ She became engaged in environmental activism after seeing many of New Jersey’s beautiful natural resources disappear with suburban sprawl, and then later when she experienced first-hand the human health impacts of environmental pollutants. As a Catholic woman, Rachel acknowledges her responsibility and privilege to care for ‘other’ – human and nonhuman – and has devoted her life to the promotion of environmental justice. Her calling came to her while on a trail ride with her uncle in the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness area in Colorado.
Stephen Hudspeth, Lecturer in Law and Becton Fellow, Yale School of Management; also teaches a course on law and social justice at Union Theological Seminary in New York City; served for a dozen years as chair of the litigation department of a large international law firm until his retirement to enter teaching three years ago, and also headed during that time the firm’s pro bono program; continues with pro bono legal work with a special focus on child welfare generally and foster care reform specifically, and also continues with a limited amount of commercial law work; serves on for-profit and nonprofit boards; newspaper editorial columnist, and author of articles and co-author of a book on subjects in the fields of antitrust, intellectual property, transfer pricing, and litigation and dispute resolution.
Raised in South Carolina as a Russian Orthodox, Peter graduated from Rhema Bible College where he earned credentials as an evangelical minister. He spent nine years serving as a pastor in Foursquare churches in Portland, OR and Yakima, WA. Peter returned to school for an undergraduate degree in marketing. Upon graduation, as a sabbatical, Peter took two llamas on a four-month, 1,000 mile trek through the Cascades, which set the long-distance record for llama packing.
Christopher Ives is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Stonehill College. His scholarship focuses on modern Zen ethics. Recently he has been working on Buddhist environmental ethics, with a focus on philosophical issues in the environmental ethics formulated by “Engaged Buddhists.” In an upcoming sabbatical he will explore traditional East Asian Buddhist views of nature relative to popular images of the Zen “love of nature,” the environmental ethics advanced by several American Zen teachers and Gary Snyder, and the resources that East Asian Buddhism offers for formulations of Buddhist environmental ethics more rigorous and effective than what we have seen thus far.
In 2007 Ives finished writing A Path of Least Resistance, a book on Zen social ethics in light of Zen nationalism, especially as treated by Zen ethicist Ichikawa Hakugen. His publications include Zen Awakening and Society (1992); a translation of philosopher Nishida Kitaro’s An Inquiry into the Good (co-translated with Abe Masao, 1990); a translation of Hisamatsu Shin’ichi’s Critical Sermons of the Zen Tradition (co-translated with Tokiwa Gishin, 2002); The Emptying God (co-edited with John B. Cobb, Jr., 1990), and Divine Emptiness and Historical Fullness (edited volume, 1995), as well as book chapters and articles in the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, the Eastern Buddhist, the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, and elsewhere. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.
Willis Jenkins is Margaret A. Farley Assistant Professor of Social Ethics. His research focuses on environmental ethics, sustainable communities, and moral theologies. He is author of Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology (Oxford, 2008), and has published articles in journals such as Environmental Ethics, Anglican Theological Review, Worldviews, and the Journal of Religion. Professor Jenkins has taught at the University of Virginia and at a rural campus of Uganda Christian University. He has significant international experience in community development initiatives, was co-founder of the Episcopal Young Adult Service Corps, and served on the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on World Mission (2000 to 2006).
James E. Jones
James (Jimmy) E. Jones is President of Masjid Al-Islam (New Haven CT) and Chair / Associate Professor of World Religions with a concurrent appointment in African Studies at Manhattanville College (Purchase NY) where he is also co- chairs the Center for Middle East Understanding. Dr. Jones is also a Visiting Professor of Comparative Religions at Cordoba University's Graduate School of Islamic and Social Science (Ashburn VA). He is has also currently the Academic Director of the Summer Arabic/Quran Immersion Program at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University where he has served for the past 3 years
Professor Jones’ writing, research and lecture activities are focused on Muslim American identity development and conflict resolution. Internationally, Dr. Jones has lectured at, taught in or consulted to institutions in Bahrain, Bermuda, Bosnia, Egypt, Great Britain, Jerusalem, Qatar, Trinidad-Tobago, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and throughout the United States. A member of the American Academy of Religion, Dr Jones holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampton Institute, a master’s degree from Yale University Divinity School and a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Hartford Seminary. Born in Baltimore MD, Jimmy Jones embraced Islam in 1979. He lives in New Haven CT with his wife where they are active members of Masjid Al-Islam’s community development project.
Elaine Kahn is a graduate student in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. A journalist for many years, she is particularly interested in what results at the interface of differing cultures or when the local meets the global.
Tim Kautza is science and environmental specialist with the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, and founding coordinator of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light. Early growth and development in rural Wisconsin, liberal arts higher education, followed by more than 30 years of marriage and (grand)parenting, professional sustainable agriculture and education experience, a like number of years leading parish faith formation ministry at all developmental levels, and the past seven years applying Catholic social teaching, form his current thought and work.
University of Vermont
Stephanie Kaza is Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont, serving the Environmental Program with an appointment through the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. She teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate students with a concentration in the environmental humanities. Her courses include: Religion and Ecology, Ecofeminism, Unlearning Consumerism, and Introduction to Environmental Studies. Dr. Kaza’s interdisciplinary approach is reflected in her academic training: Ph.D. in Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz; M.A. in Education, Stanford University; M.Div., Starr King School for the Ministry; and B.A. in Biology, Oberlin College. As co-chair of the UVM Environmental Council, Professor Kaza has been actively engaged in campus sustainability initiatives to reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote environmental values.
Drew Theological School
My teaching interests include the interplay of religion(s) in social change, particularly issues of racism, sexism, sexuality and globalization; social movements in general, and non-violent and ecological movements in particular; the religious landscape of the U.S., with particular interest in the religious expressions of women, new immigrant groups and people of color; feminist and environmental sociology; and religion and ecology, with a particular interest in eco-justice and environmental racism. I also serve in the Environmental Studies and Women's Studies programs.
Catherine Keller has taught at the Theological School of Drew University since 1986, where as Professor of Constructive Theology she teaches courses in systematic, process, ecological, postcolonial and feminist styles of theology. She is the author of From a Broken Web: Separation, Sexism and Self (Beacon: 1986) and Apocalypse Now and Then: A Feminist Guide to the End of the World (Beacon: 1996). Her current book project, which she hopes to complete in the Summer of 2000, is The Face of the Deep, which explores the repressed chaos of the biblical creation narrative, especially in Genesis 1 and in Job 41f. Also, a set of essays moving from Apocalypse to Genesis will soon be published by Fortress Press. Her doctorate comes from Claremont Graduate School, where she studied with John B. Cobb, Jr. She worships at St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Manhattan.
Stephen R. Kellert
Professor Kellert's work focuses on understanding the connection between human and natural systems with a particular interest in the value and conservation of nature and designing ways to harmonize the natural and human built environments.
His awards include the National Conservation Achievement Award (1997, NWF); Distinguished Individual Achievement Award (Society for Conservation Biology, 1990); Best Publication of the Year Award (International Foundation for Environmental Conservation, 1985);Special Achievement Award (NWF, 1983); Fulbright Research award; as well as being included among 300 individuals listed in \"American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present.\" He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences, is a member of IUCN Species Survival Commission Groups, and has been a member of the board of directors of many organizations.
Fran Hall Kieschnick
Frannie was ordained 23 years ago at All Saints in Pasadena, a church renowned for its prophetic and progressive Beatitudes spirit. Having served at All Saints for five years, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Michael, to raise their family. She served in various parochial positions, including Interim Rector, for the next 10 years before moving on to found alternative, informal, interfaith and family friendly congregations within two parish communities. Reaching out to those questioning the relationship between their faith and the rest of their lives, these faith communities ask what it means to be a follower of Jesus in today's world. A graduate of Yale University and the Episcopal Divinity School, Frannie now serves on the Advisory Board of the Yale Divinity School. She is the Founding Director of The Beatitudes Society and parent of two teenagers.
Rick is the founding faculty member of the MA program in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University in Victoria BC Canada. We consider our program to be transdisciplinary and quite quirky, bringing together studies in education and communication, systems theories, worldviews and ethics and environmental science, to an eclectic range of learners. My interests range from broadly, with my dissertation looking at the issue of the relationship between knowledge and action in the realm of education. At present, I'm interested in the emotional aspects of the environmental crisis as it relates to environmental education.
Paul F. Knitter
Union Theological Seminary
Emeritus Professor of Theology at Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, Paul Knitter received a licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1966) and a doctorate from the University of Marburg, Germany (1972) Most of his research and publications have dealt with religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue. Since his ground-breaking 1985 book No Other Name? he has been exploring how the religious communities of the world can cooperate in promoting human and ecological well-being. This is the topic of: One Earth Many Religions: Multifaith Dialogue and Global Responsibility (1995) and Jesus and the Other Names: Christian Mission and Global Responsibility (1996). He has recently published a critical survey of Christian approaches to other religions: Introducing Theologies of Religions (2002). He is also General Editor of Orbis Books' series "Faith Meets Faith."
Kenneth Kraft, Professor of Religion Studies at Lehigh University, is a scholar of Japanese Zen and socially engaged Buddhism. He received his B.A. from Harvard University, his M.A. from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. In 1984-85, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. At Lehigh, he has served as chair of the Religion Studies department and as director of the College Seminar Program. In 2005, he received a Lindback Foundation Award for distinguished teaching by a senior member of the faculty. Kraft has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, and the Stanford University Japan Center in Kyoto. He has lived in Japan for five years and traveled widely in Asia.
Kraft’s book Eloquent Zen: Daito and Early Japanese Zen (1992) was selected as an “Outstanding Academic Book” by Choice magazine. His anthology of present-day Zen masters and scholars, Zen: Tradition and Transition (1988), is widely used in college courses; the book was translated into French in 1993. In The Wheel of Engaged Buddhism: A New Map of the Path (1999), he explores spiritually based responses to social and environmental issues; a Spanish edition was published in 2001. Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism (2000), coedited with Dr. Stephanie Kaza, brings together ancient and contemporary Buddhist teachings about human/nature relations. Kraft’s other edited books include Inner Peace, World Peace: Essays on Buddhism and Nonviolence (1992) and Zen Teaching, Zen Practice: Philip Kapleau and the Three Pillars of Zen (2000).
Karin Lauria is the founder of Lauria Consulting (lauriaconsulting.wordpress.com), a provider of comprehensive editorial services for a variety of publications, ranging from web content and newsletters, to case studies, whitepapers, user documentation, and academic articles. She is a contributing author to the Practical Ethics Blog (practicalethics.net/blog), and writes regularly about theological issues on her own blog, Gospel of Karin (gospelofkarin.wordpress.com).
In 2007, Karin earned her masters degree in theological studies from Boston University, with concentrations in ethics, philosophy, and hermeneutics. As an independent scholar, her research interest is theologies of animals, especially as they relate to ethics and science. She is currently writing a practical theology of animals based on the theological hermeneutics of Donald S. Browning and the practical ethics of Mary Midgley.
Nathan Lemphers, originally from Vancouver, Canada, is currently a Masters student in City Planning, Environmental Policy and Planning Group, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to his move to Boston this fall, he worked in Arles, France as the Assistant to the International Director of A Rocha, a global Christian environmental non-profit committed to biodiversity conservation through community based projects in 18 countries worldwide. Nathan also has a BSc in Conservation Biology, from the University of Alberta with experience in conservation field research, environmental education and adventure guiding in the Rocky Mountains.
Lois Ann Lorentzen
Lois Ann Lorentzen is Professor of Social Ethics in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at the University of San Francisco (USF), Chair of the Theology and Religious Studies Department, Co-Director of the Center for Latino Studies in the Americas (CELASA), and Principal Investigator for The Religion and Immigration Project. Professor Lorentzen received her PhD in Social Ethics at the University of Southern California.
Professor Lorentzen is the author of Etica Ambiental (Environmental Ethics) and Raising the Bar and co-editor of On the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana: the intersection of religion, politics, and identity in new migrant communities (forthcoming); Ecofeminism and Globalization: Exploring Culture, Context, and Religion; Religion/Globalization: Theories and Cases; The Women and War Reader; Liberation Theologies, Postmodernity and the Americas; and, The Gendered New World Order: Militarism, the Environment and Development. She is Associate Editor for the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature and the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, and has written numerous articles in the fields of women and war, religion and violence, religion and immigration, and gender and the environment.
Professor Lorentzen’s research and teaching interests include: environmental ethics, gender/ecofeminism and the environment, and immigration. She has conducted research in El Salvador and Mexico. She is a former wilderness guide and misses it desperately.
Christine Loughlin, a Dominican Sister, lives and works at Crystal Spring Center for Earth Learning in Plainville, MA. Crystal Spring supports small scale local agriculture, land conservation, and local efforts toward becoming a living embodiment of a bioregionally appropriate culture in all of its aspects. With an MA in English Literature from St. John's University, NY and an MTS from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, it is her years as a student of the teachings of Thomas Berry that urges her action in the world. The Religious Lands Conservancy Project is an innovative partnership with the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition to develop tools to preserve common values that protect and conserve land.
Mandated by an abiding passion for the environment, a profound concern for the future, and a fierce determination to uncover climate change solutions, the Paul Lussier Company develops and deploys media platforms that are uniquely designed to bridge the current gap between scientific data, public policy jargon and popular culture for climate change awareness and action.
Mary N. MacDonald
Mary N. MacDonald is a professor of History of Religions at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. Originally from Australia Mary worked for eight years in adult education in Papua New Guinea and has written on the religion of the Kewa people of the Southern Highlands of that country. At Le Moyne she teaches courses on indigenous religions and a course on Religion and Ecology. She is a member of the recently established Greening Le Moyne Initiative. Mary serves on the Education Committee of InterFaith Works of Central New York and is a member of SAMED (Syracuse Area Middle East Dialogue Group). She has belonged to the Forum on Religion and Ecology since its inception.
Professor of Philosophy at the University of New Haven. My current research focus is animal ethics. I have long pondered the nature of ethics, in particular the theoretical controversy between utilitarian and nonconsequentialist bases of right conduct and living. Meanwhile, the plight of nonhuman animals on an increasingly human-dominated planet has touched my heart as well as my mind. I have now come to believe that ethics itself needs to be reconceived as animal-based rather than human-based (counting humans as one kind of animals, albeit a very special kind, namely, the only ones who may be capable of bearing moral responsibility). The connection to matters of concern to both religion and ecology is patent. In a word the issue is anthropocentrism. That this is an issue not only for some religions of the world but also for the environmental movement may come as a surprise, given the historical affinity of the environmental and animal welfare/rights movements. However, close inspection of environmentalist statements and actions suggests that at best there is much confusion on this score, at worst that environmentalism has in the main become simply another form of anthropocentrism. The question is, I think: whose environment is environmentalism about – only the human one, or that of all sentient beings or even all living things?
My research interest is the development of an ecological pneumatology by Christian theologians and how Spirit and sacredness is experienced and expressed in American nature writers. I'm interested in where ecological pneumatology and spiritual nature writing intersect and inform each other. My inquiry of an ecological pneumatology is through a hermeneutic phenomenology theoretical framework.
Dr. McFague holds a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) from Smith College, a Bachelor of Divinity (magna cum laude) from Yale Divinity School and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Yale University. Dr. McFague also holds an Honourary Doctor of Letters from Smith College.
She has retired as Carpenter Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is presently Distinguished Theologian in Residence at the Vancouver School of Theology in Vancouver, BC. She is a prolific author. Her books include: Metaphorical Theology, Models of God, The Body of God, and Super, Natural Christians. Dr. McFague's most recent book is Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril.
In the spring of 2008, she will publish A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (Fortress Press).
Father Charles Morris
Father Charles Morris is the Executive Director of the 124-member Michigan Interfaith Power and Light (MiIPL), the state affiliate of Interfaith Power and Light.
MiIPL’s mission is to involve communities of faith in helping to stop global warming through energy efficiency, energy education, renewable energy use and related sustainable practices.
MiIPL partners with state government, the business community and environmental and clean energy advocates to promote a sustainable future.
Sandra Divack Moss
Sandra Divack Moss currently serves on the Environmental Commission of the Borough of Tenafly, New Jersey following eight years on the Tenafly Zoning Board of Adjustment. She is co-President of the Business and Professional Women’s Division of the United Jewish Appeal of Northern New Jersey and is a member of three synagogues - spanning a wide range of Jewish practice. A graduate of Columbia University Business School, she also studied economics and educational planning at Teachers College and is presently enrolled in the Center for Environmental Sustainability at Bronx Community College.
Building upon early career achievements at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Citizen’s Committee for New York City, she spearheaded the development of Project DOROT on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, serving as its founding executive director and establishing DOROT as a model intergenerational community service organization. In1986, she established Sandra Divack Moss, Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations to develop strategies to grow. In this capacity, she worked with the leadership of the North American Jewish community; traveled frequently to Israel and the Caribbean; helped establish lasting programs of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and American Jewish World Service; and assisted historic preservation activists in rescuing the Eldridge Street Synagogue and positioning it as a site where diverse cultural communities can learn about immigrant Jewish life on New York City’s Lower East Side.
She is presently exploring developing an initiative that would help spur adoption of solar energy in synagogues and churches.
Philip A. Muntzel, Ph.D., professor of theology and director, Center for Ethics and Public Life
Julie Newman is the Director of the Yale University Office of Sustainability. She comes to Yale from the University of New Hampshire, Office of Sustainability Programs (OSP) where she assisted with the development of the program since its inception in 1997. Julie pursued her interest in sustainable development by working as an environmental management volunteer with the Peace Corps in Guatemala. Julie holds a BS in Natural Resource Policy and Management from the University of Michigan, an MS in Environmental Policy and Biology from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of New Hampshire.
Masters of Environmental Management, 2009, concentrating in Coastal Environmental Management. Interests include community-based conservation and management, how religion plays a part in conservation actions, especially in fisheries, coral reef conservation and marine protected areas in the Indo-Pacific region.
Beth Norcross has had a long career in the environmental field, including work with the U.S. Senate National Parks and Forests subcommittee, as well as with American Rivers as Vice-President for Conservation. In 2005, she completed a Master of Theological Studies degree from Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in eco-theology. Since graduation, she has developed a consulting ministry in eco-theology and has recently been involved with projects for the National Council of Churches, American Rivers and Earth Ministry. Beth has led several courses, workshops and retreats on nature and spirituality as well as developing spirit/nature curricula. In addition to her theological training, Beth received a Masters of Forestry degree from Duke University. Beth has three grown children and lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband. She loves to spend whatever time possible in the natural world, either hiking, biking, skiing or kayaking through it. She also is the founder of Babes on Bikes, a women's biking group in Washington DC. with a membership of over 125 women.
Rock Spring Congregational UCC
Rev. Dr. Janet Parker began serving at Rock Spring in September of 2005. She is an ordained Presbyterian minister who is seeking privilege of call within the United Church of Christ. She graduated with her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1989 to serve a Taiwanese/Chinese UCC congregation in Staten Island, NY. Subsequently, she pastored two Presbyterian churches part-time while pursuing a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York, which she completed in 2001. Following the September 11th attacks, Janet served the Presbytery of New York City as Coordinator for Disaster Relief.
From 2002-2004, Janet taught Christian ethics at Chicago Theological Seminary. And during the 2004-2005 academic year, she worked on a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University's Center for the Study of Religion. For the past several years, Janet has served on a theological advisory team accompanying the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence initiative.
Bobbi Patterson, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religion at Emory University. She is a faculty Associate of the Office of Sustainability at Emory University. Her current research and teaching focus on the intersections of place, contemplative practices, and ethics of sustainability. Studying and reimagining notions of place rooted in the Piedmont forests and water systems of the South, she works with local communities creating spaces of belonging and participation rooted in the natural world. Using a contemplative pedagogy approach, she engages and analyzes ideas using practices of pause, stillness, and mindful attention. Drawing from early Christian and Tibetan Buddhist traditions, she integrates historical and theological/philosophical ideas about and approaches to the biotic and abiotic worlds aiming toward understanding and enacting sustainable ethics, including actions of eco-justice. Programmatically, she is leading the development of a series of felt experiences for the campus community connecting our histories, cultures, and values of place in an effort to engender insight and valuing of our distinct and interdependent belongings and responsibilities.
Dr Kusumita Pedersen was the “observer” for the Council for a Parliament of World’s Religions (CPWR). She is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies of St. Francis College in New York, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions and of the Interfaith Center of New York.
Karl E. Peters
Karl E. Peters (Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Columbia University) is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at Rollins College. He is coeditor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science; Adjunct Professor at Meadville Lombard Theological School; President of the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science; and a Past President, and currently Vice President for Conferences, of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science.
For nearly forty years he has lectured and published on issues in science and religion, with a special interest in understanding how religion and science can be related to everyday living. A major theme in many of his writings is how humans might be motivated to live well in harmonious relations with the rest of the natural world. Many of his reflections are in articles in Zygon and in Dancing with the Sacred: Evolution, Ecology, and God (Trinity Press International 2002), and Spiritual Transformations: Science, Religion, and Human Becoming (Fortress Press July 2008).
Jenny Phillips (M.Div.) is writer and educator developing resources to help faith communities incorporate creation care into their practices. She writes for the American Bible Society, the National Council of Churches (USA), GreenFaith, New Earth, and others. A 19-year veteran of United Methodist camping ministry, Jenny is co-author of the forthcoming book, Teaching Campers to Care for God's Creation, to be published by Healthy Learning in 2008. Jenny preaches and teaches in a variety of settings, from local churches to seminaries. She was awarded a Young Adult Eco-Justice Fellowship by the National Council of Churches (USA) in 2007. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Katharine M. Preston
Katharine M. Preston graduated from Yale F&ES in 1974 and spent more than 20 years working for government, non-profits and academia in the environmental field. She received an M.Div in May 2000 from Andover Newton Theological School, in Newton, MA, where she studied and explored the integration of ecological concepts with theology, ethics, biblical studies and pastoral counseling and co-founded the Ecology Ministry program.
Her article, “The Green Gospel”, concerning the training of seminary students for work in an age of environmental crisis, recently appeared in Sojourners magazine.
Preston’s lay ecumenical “ecology ministry" is in creation awareness and care. Influenced by current science, she seeks to help others sort through the theological and pastoral implications of the place of humans in creation. Through guest preaching, retreats and writing, she journeys with people of faith who seek new ways to respond to and to enhance - through action, ritual and prayer - our relationships throughout the Earth community.
Katharine and her husband, John Bingham, live on a farm in Essex, NY, alongside the Adirondack Mountains. They grow certified organic hay and much of their own food.
Rusty Pritchard (Ph.D.) is a natural resource economist, and since 2006 he has been the National Director of Outreach for the Evangelical Environmental Network and the editor of Creation Care magazine, a Christian environmental quarterly. Prior to coming to EEN he was a full-time faculty member at Emory University in Environmental Studies, a program he helped create in 1999, where he maintains an adjunct affiliation. He has worked with hunter/angler and forestry organizations on developing voluntary, market-based programs for conservation on private agriculture and forestry lands. From 1994 to 1999 he was a program officer with an international global change research program studying the effects of land-use and land-cover changes on the atmospheric system. He lives in inner-city Atlanta with his wife and three children, where they serve in a multi-racial church doing church-planting, neighborhood organizing, and community development.
Prof. Promey comes to Yale from the University of Maryland, where she was professor and chair in the department of art history and archaeology. Her scholarship explores relations among visual culture and religions in the United States from the colonial period through the present. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete a book titled Religion in Plain View, a history of the public display of religion in the United States. Her monograph Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent's "Triumph of Religion" at the Boston Public Library (Princeton, 1999) received the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion. An earlier book, Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism (Indiana, 1993) was awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art. Among recent articles and book chapters are essays titled “Seeing the Self ‘in Frame’”: Early New England Material Practice and Puritan Piety”; “Taste Cultures and the Visual Practice of Liberal Protestantism, 1940-1965”; “Situating Visual Culture”; and “The ‘Return’ of Religion in the Scholarship of American Art.” Prof. Promey is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including two Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowships (2003 and 1993) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, a residential fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2000), and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers (1997). In 2001 she was recipient of the Regents’ Faculty Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity from the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland; in 2002 she received the Kirwan Faculty Research and Scholarship Prize of the University of Maryland.
The Rev. Carla Valentine Pryne
The Rev. Carla Valentine Pryne (Yale Divinity ’79, Bowdoin College, ’76) is an Episcopal priest living in Seattle Washington. Since l981, Carla has served 5 congregations, including as Canon Pastor at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Since l988, she has found as many ways as she can to combine the two areas of ministry she loves most – parish ministry and environmental ministry. She is the co-founder of Earth Ministry, was its first Executive Director, and continues to serve that organization in a number of areas. Having recently completed a position as Interim Rector at St. Alban’s in Edmonds, currently she is on the national Board of Directors of the Trust for Public Land, she is an advisor for the documentary film “Renewal”, and she is a pilgrimage leader of upcoming environmental journeys to the Holy Land and Ireland. She is the mother of two college-age sons, Kai and Bjorn Berkedal, and she is married to Eric Pryne.
Ruth B. Purtilo is Director of the Ethics Initiative and Professor of Ethics at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts. She serves on the Ethics Leadership Group of the Partners Healthcare System.
Sustained research and commitments include ethical practices and policies related to disability and rehabilitation, conditions promoting social justice for marginalized groups, and moral courage. She considers herself a “translational” ethicist whose passion is to help integrate foundational ethics concepts and reasoning into everyday lives.
In 1979 Dr. Purtilo received a PhD degree in Religious Studies (focus on ethics) from the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1972 to1975 she attended Harvard Divinity School where she earned a Master of Theological Studies degree in ethics. During her graduate study she was a Joseph P Kennedy Fellow in Medical Ethics in the Harvard Interfaculty Program in Medical Ethics for four years. She holds a BS degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Minnesota and has practiced as a physical therapist clinician in the USA, Swaziland, Africa, and as a Project Hope volunteer in Colombia, South America.
She holds four honorary doctorates for her contributions to professional ethics. Among her recognitions, in 1983 she was awarded the Nellie Westerman Prize for Research in Ethics by the American Federation for Clinical Research for her article predicting major medical ethical challenges that the new disease, AIDS, would pose. She was the 1991 recipient of the Harvard Divinity School Distinguished Alumni Award (The Katzenstein Award) for “her commitment to healing and persistence in championing the patient as a person”. In 2000 she received the McMillan Lectureship Award heralded as “the highest honor bestowed on a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.”
Glenmary Father John Rausch wears many hats as part of his ministry based in Stanton, Ky. Syndicated columnist. Frequent contributor to Glenmary Challenge. Economic advisor. Tour guide. Co-op developer/consultor. Human rights advocate. Gourmet chef.
Matthew Riley is the Renewing Hope Conference Student Volunteer Coordinator and a student in the MAR Ethics program at Yale Divinity School. He has recently submitted his applications to various PhD programs in ethics and hopes to begin work on his doctoral degree this coming fall. As a former middle school biology teacher and union organizer with the Teach for America program, Matt is interested in continuing to teach at the university level. With a background in science and education as well as a rich family history of religious involvement, Matt feels that the linkage between religion and ecology is the most important moral/spiritual issue of our time. He hopes, as many of us do, that our work here will inspire others to seriously reflect on - and engage with - a multitude of religious traditions. In addition to his work as the student coordinator for the Renewing Hope Conference, Matt is also actively involved with the Yale Earth Care Committee.
Established the environmental law specialization for Pace University School of Law.
Chaired the Commission on Environmental Law for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) from 1996-2004); founded the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law and served as its first Chair (2004-2007).
Deputy Commission and General Counsel of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (1983-85) and Chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee for NY Governor Mario Cuomo (1983-94).
Jonathan Rose Co.
The Jonathan Rose Co. assists academic institutions, foundations, and other not-for-profits to plan, build, and manage their facilities. These days we are deeply involved in the development of green office buildings for foundations, extraordinary theaters, and cultural centers.
Carole Rossi, a Dominican Sister, lives and works as administrator at Crystal Spring Center for Earth Learning in Plainville, MA. She holds an M.Ed. from DePaul University and and M.Div. from Andover-Newton School of Theology. Her abiding interests are Earth Literacy, vegetarian cooking, mindfulness meditation and developing deeper relationships with the whole community of life.
Barbara R. Rossing
Barbara R. Rossing is professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where she has taught since 1994.
Ordained in 1982, she served as pastor of a congregation in Minnesota, director for Global Mission Interpretation for the American Lutheran Church, pastor at Holden Village Retreat Center, Chelan, Wash., and chaplain at Harvard University Divinity School.
Rossing has lectured and preached widely, including synod assemblies and global mission events for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), as well as ecumenical theological conferences. She serves on the executive committee and council of the Lutheran World Federation, where she also chairs the Lutheran World Federation's theology and studies committee.
Her publications include The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation (Basic Books, 2004), a critique of fundamentalist “Left Behind” theology; The Choice Between Two Cities: Whore, Bride and Empire in the Apocalypse (Trinity Press, 1999); two volumes of the New Proclamation commentary for preachers (Fortress Press, 2000 and 2004) and articles and book chapters on the Apocalypse and ecology.
An avid environmentalist, Rossing is involved with environmental initiatives at the seminary. Rossing received the bachelor of arts degree from Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., the master of divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School and the doctor of theology degree from Harvard University.
University of Florida
Whitney Sanford received her BA in English and Philosophy from Bowdoin College and M.A. and PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in north Indian devotional traditions.
She teaches and researches in two main areas: Religion and Nature and Religions of Asia. In the area of Religion and Nature, she focuses on religious attitudes towards agricultural sustainability, particularly in South Asia. Her second book /Food, Fertility, Famine: Hindu Narrative and Ecological Imagination/ explores how Hindu agricultural narratives provide the foundation to expand the ecological imagination in terms and rethink agricultural practice. She conducted fieldwork in Baldeo, India, examining narratives and practices related to Balaram, a deity associated with agriculture. Current research interests include the relationship between agricultural biotechnology and forms of neo-colonialism, particularly in Latin America and India. Her new project "Gandhi's Environmental Legacy: Food Sovereignty and Social Movements" investigates Gandhi's influence on sustainability and food and water sovereignty movements.
In the Religions of Asia area, she focuses on Braj devotional traditions. Her first book /Singing Krishna: Sound Becomes Sight in Paramanand's Poetry/ (SUNY 2008) explores the role of devotional poetry in ritual practice. She has published articles in JAAR, /International Journal of Hindu Studies/ and /Alternative Krishnas/, edited by Guy Beck (SUNY Press, 2005).
Additionally, she is interested in how participation in outdoor recreation activities functions as religious experience and to what extent this participation leads to a practiced environmental ethic.
H. Paul Santmire
A frequent speaker at church assemblies and in college, university, and seminary settings, H. Paul Santmire has been a leader in the field of ecological theology for more than thirty-five years, beginning with his groundbreaking book, Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis (1970).
Dr. Santmire’s historical study of Christian theologies of nature, The Travail of Nature: the Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology (1985), was praised by critics and leaders in the field such as Lynn White, Jr. and John B. Cobb, Jr. He outlined his own theology of nature in Nature Reborn: the Ecological and Cosmic Promise of Christian Theology (2000). His forthcoming book, Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis (2008), explores the ecological meanings of Christian worship practices.
A Harvard-educated teacher and practitioner, Dr. Santmire has served as Chaplain and Lecturer in Religion and Biblical Studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, as the Pastor of an inner-city congregation in Hartford, Connecticut, and as the Senior Pastor of a historic metropolitan church in Akron, Ohio. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he is now retired, and lives and writes in the Boston area.
Neal Seaborn/MassReLeaf Ministry
The MassReLeaf Ministry is a partnership between the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation established on April 30, 2004 to help minister to the physical and mental health, emotional stability and community spirit of people living in deforested urban and blighted areas across the state of Massachusetts.
This ministry offers religious organizations of any faith, working in coordination with their respective municipalities and other local organizations, unique opportunities to lead real, hands-on tree-planting projects on public lands to improve the quality of our shared environment and to enhance the lives of thousands of citizens living in population centers across Massachusetts. This ministry brings the idea of human environmental justice into the neighborhoods and lives of those most in need and others in our state.
To accomplish this, the MassReLeaf Ministry facilitates local religious organization led tree-planting projects by providing money to purchase trees (200 to 350 pounds each) needed to conduct tree-planting projects. This money is only available to local religious organizations. In addition, the MassReLeaf Ministry provides technical personnel to local religious organizations to support project planning efforts, tree-planting technique training of local religious organization personnel and technical support during the conduct of a local tree-planting project.
To conduct a MassReLeaf Ministry project costs a local religious organization nothing, other than the desire and effort to plan and conduct a tree-planting service project, similar to the way that local religious organizations plan and conduct other local service projects in their communities. As a consequence, the MassReLeaf Ministry is truly making a difference in Massachusetts by facilitating wonderful tree planting projects, led by local religious organizations, which will benefit tens of thousands of the neediest people and others in Massachusetts for many years to come.
Nili Simhai serves as the Director of the Teva Learning Center, North America's foremost Jewish environmental organization, running programming for thousands of students annually from Jewish day and congregational schools, as well as family and youth retreats. Passionate about all of Creation, Nili’s background includes study and work in ecological concerns ranging from wildlife conservation, wetland remediation, and entomology (Ohio State University) to ornithology (International Birdwatching Center in Eilat, Smithsonian Institute) and natural history (Natural History Museum of Cleveland, Cleveland MetroParks). Nili has been teaching in the field of Jewish Education since she became a Bat Mitzvah. Using her skills as an educator, Nili has blended her various interests and become a strong leader, pioneering experiential environmental education geared specifically to Jewish life. She is proud of her role in the creation of Teva’s Shomrei Chayyot, Yitziah, and “Bringing It Back to Our Schools” programs, as well as her contribution to the development of several Teva curricula. These days, Nili plumbs the ecological mysteries of her lawn in the sustainably designed house that she built with her husband, Yosh Schulman.
The final chapter of the book I am co-authoring with Anne Marie Dalton, Ecology and the Practice of Hope, is titled “Living As If.” One part of it connects directly to my special interests in ecology and religion, namely the connection between environmental concerns and older adults and aging communities of faith.
Evolutionary psychology and evolutionary biology are resources we use to preface and frame our study of intentional groups as living texts of hope. From evolutionary psychology we argue that the default position for groups is to take care of its own. This is both a force for groups to not care for a larger world and a precise point of departure for change.
From evolutionary biology we consider the “grandmother hypothesis” that helps us make sense of the way in which aging congregations and intentional gatherings of elders can function to preserve the species. Both social science literature on grandparenting and theological literature on aging as a counter-cultural vocation give contemporary insights into the role of elders in environmentally sustainable practices of hope.
We also use insights from congregational studies. We explore resources from that identify the eras in which churches (places of worship for Christian congregations) were built. This is important because, as is obvious from observation, it is easier to build green than it is to re-build or renovate green. We examine the argument that congregations are the appropriate places for environmental action because of their structure, size, and ways of operating. Lastly, we look at recent literature on congregations that argues that members must be part of a group that is 15 or less, a group that is 50 or less, and, in case of large churches, one that is 150 or less. These studies link closely with findings from evolutionary psychology. Together, evolutionary and congregational insights shape the context within which we present living texts that are practices of hope.
J. Matthew Sleeth, MD
J. Matthew Sleeth, MD, a former emergency room physician, felt like he was straightening deck chairs on the Titanic saving one patient at a time while the whole ship (Earth) was going down. Together with his wife and two teenaged children, he began to bring his lifestyle in line with his values, cutting back on their fossil fuel by two thirds and electricity use by nine tenths. Following a new calling, Dr. Sleeth resigned from his position as chief of the medical staff and director of the ER to teach, preach, and write about faith and the environment throughout the country. His book, Serve God and Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action, was released in softcover by Zondervan Publishing in April 2007. Dr. Sleeth is a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine and has two post doctoral fellowships. He is currently the executive director of Blessed Earth. For more information on the Sleeths’ spiritual and environmental journey, please visit www.servegodsavetheplanet.org
The Rev. William Somplatsky-Jarman has served as the Associate for Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) and Environmental Justice of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) since 1984. He is staff director for the elected volunteer MRTI Committee, which implements General Assembly policies on socially responsible investing through dialogue with corporations whose stock the church owns. He has coordinated numerous corporate dialogues, spoken at shareholder meetings and written articles and study guides on corporate responsibility. He also oversees PC(USA) involvement in environmental issues.
He has served on the board of directors of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and for a decade has represented U.S. Protestant churches in United Nations Climate Change negotiations. He also serves on the board of directors of the Ceres Coalition.
The Rev. Somplatsky-Jarman has published articles in journals including Christianity & Crisis and The Disciple and has written chapters of two books: The Social Investment Almanac and Christianity and Ecology.
David H. Smith
David Smith joined the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington in 1967 and retired in 2003. He won teaching awards twice, one voted by students and the other awarded by faculty. In the early 1970s in one semester more than 700 students were enrolled in his two courses within one semester.
In 1983 Smith became Director of the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions. During his twenty year tenure the Center received funding from the Lilly Endowment, the Exxon Educational Foundation, FIPSE, NIH, and NSF. Center projects focused on the teaching of ethics, care for the dying, research ethics, ethics and genetic testing, and corporate responsibility.
In 2003–4, immediately after his retirement from Indiana University, Smith served as Visiting Professor of Bioethics at Yale. From 2004 through 2006 he was Frederick Distinguished Visiting Professor of Ethics at Depauw University, where he helped start the Janet Prindle Institute of Ethics. In the 1980s and 1990s he wrote Health and Medicine in the Anglican Tradition and Entrusted: The Moral Responsibilities of Trustees; he was the first author of Early Warning:Cases and Ethical Guidance for Presymptomatic Testing in Genetic Diseases. More recently he is lead editor of A Christian Response to the New Genetics and Good Intentions: Moral Obstacles and Opportunities. His Partnership with the Dying, completed while at Yale in 2003–4, was published in 2005 by Rowman and Littlefield.
Director of the Center for Coastal & Watershed Systems
James Gustave Speth
James Gustave Speth is the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy. He has a B.A. from Yale University, an M.Litt from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale University.
From 1993 to 1999, Dean Speth served as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Insti-tute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality; and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council.
Throughout his career, Dean Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment. Among his awards are the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Environmental Law Institute, and the Blue Planet Prize. Publications include Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment; Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment; and articles in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Environmental Science and Technology, the Columbia Journal World of Business, and other journals and books.
Sara Spoonheim is the Assistant Director of Faith in Place in Chicago . Faith in Place gives religious people the tools to become good stewards of the earth. Since 1999, they have helped more than 300 Illinois congregations— Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian, and Zoroastrian--promote clean energy and sustainable farming. Sara expanded Faith in Place’s programs to promote sustainably grown foods to congregations statewide and she helped her church become the first in Chicago to go solar. She also helped launch shopIPL.org, an on-line energy store for congregations nationwide. Before joining Faith in Place in 2004, she developed nationally-acclaimed sustainable housing for low-income Montana families at homeWORD. In 2003, Sara was named one of the country's most promising environmental leaders by the Environmental Leadership Program. She has a B.A. in Economics and Government from Connecticut College (1995) and Masters degrees in theology and community development from North Park Theological Seminary (2004).
Sacred Heart University
Brian Stiltner, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, BA, John Carroll University; MA, Ph.D., Yale University. Dr. Stiltner's research interests focus on Catholic social ethics, the ethics of war and peace, and role of religion in democratic public life. His teaching responsibilities include bioethics, war and peace, historical and contemporary Christian ethics, and Catholic social thought. In 2007, Stiltner published Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War with David L. Clough (Georgetown University Press; more information at www.faithandforce.com).
He previously directed the Hersher Institute for Applied Ethics (1998-2003) and the Center for Catholic Thought, Ethics, and Culture (2003-2006), which he helped establish. Dr. Stiltner has been a member of the Religious Studies Program at Sacred Heart University since 1998; he has served as chair of the department since 2006.
David Streight is executive director of the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, a national organization that provides resources and educational opportunities to elementary, middle, and secondary schools for the moral and spiritual development of children and for high-quality instruction about the world's religious traditions. He has also served as co-director of Religious Studies in Secondary Schools, a coalition of teachers in public, private, and Catholic schools working to upgrade the quality of teaching about religions. A nationally certified school psychologist who spent three decades teaching in public, Catholic, and private independent schools, he has also translated a half-dozen books, primarily on Islam, for academic presses. In 1990 the National Endowment for the Humanities named him one of 50 "teacher-scholars" in the United States. David serves as host/ master teacher for the teacher section of the web site for the Public Broadcasting System and WNET (New York) http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/teachers/index.html
Phyllis is a brain fitness coach and a leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona’s Nature and Spirituality Program and the Episcopal Ecological Network. She is the author of “The Richest of Fare: Seeking Spiritual Security in the Sonoran Desert,” winner of the 2005 Independent Publisher Book Award for the best New Age/Mind-Body-Spirit book (www.desertspirituality.com)
Currently Phyllis serves on the faculty of the CREDO Episcopal Clergy Wellness Program and the Chautauqua Institution in New York. From 1988-2007, she worked as a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual, specializing in insurance and benefit products. From 1982 until 1988 she held financial management positions at Dun & Bradstreet and Equitable Life in New York. An EFM mentor from 2000-2007, Phyllis earned a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, and CLU/CHFC designations from the American College.
Sarah McFarland Taylor
Sarah McFarland Taylor, associate professor, specializes in the study of religion and American culture, gender studies in religion, and religion and ecology. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Brown University, a Master's degree from Dartmouth College, and earned her doctorate in Religion and American Culture (with additional Ph.D. emphasis in Women's Studies) from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Taylor has held an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Louisville Institute Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, a Wabash Center Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship, and was selected as one IUPUI’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture’s “Young Scholars in American Religion.” She has received a Joseph H. Fichter Award for the study of Women and Religion and the Albert C. Clark Prize for her work on African American religions.
Nora Tubbs Tisdale
Professor Tisdale teaches the theory and practice of preaching, with research interests in congregational studies and preaching, women’s ways of preaching, and prophetic preaching. She is the author or editor of five books including Preaching as Local Theology and Folk Art; Making Room at the Table: An Invitation to Multicultural Worship; and three volumes of The Abingdon Women’s Preaching Annual. She also wrote the chapter on the Riverside Church preachers in The History of the Riverside Church in the City of New York, and is currently co-editing a book for teachers of preaching. A former president of the Academy of Homiletics, Professor Tisdale has served on the faculties of Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (now Union-PSCE) and Princeton Theological Seminary, and as adjunct faculty at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She also served on the pastoral staff of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, where she provided theological oversight for the Center for Christian Studies, an innovative lay theological academy offering courses for over 2,000 people in the greater New York area.
Rabbi Lawrence Troster
Rabbi Lawrence Troster is Director of the Fellowship program and Rabbinic Scholar-in-Residence for GreenFaith, the interfaith environmental coalition in New Jersey. He is also the Jewish Chaplain of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and an Associate of Bard’s Institute of Advanced Theology. Rabbi Troster co-chairs the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment of UNEP (United Nations Environment Program). He is also pursuing a D. Min. in Ecological Ministries at Drew Theological School.
Rabbi Troster also teaches in the Florence Melton Adult Mini School of the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey. Previously he was the Rabbinic Fellow of the Coalition On the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). He was also the Advisor to Students and Adjunct Lecturer in Professional Skills in the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Program Officer/Educator at the Jewish Life Network, a Steinhardt Fellow at CLAL, and has served as the rabbi of several congregations in New Jersey and Toronto, Canada. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his M.A. and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City.
He is also member of the editorial boards of the journals Conservative Judaism, Judaism, and is a member of the Board of Directors of CrossCurrents.He has published numerous articles and has lectured widely on theology, environmentalism, liturgy, bio-ethics and Judaism and modern cosmology. His most recent publications are “Hearing the Outcry of Mute Things: Towards a Jewish Creation Theology,” in: Laurel Kearns & Catherine Keller, eds., Eco-Spirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth, (Fordham University Press, 2007); “The Order of Creation and the Emerging God: Evolution and Divine Action in the Natural World,” in: Geoffrey Cantor & Marc Swetlitz eds., Judaism and the Challenge of Darwinism, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006); “Caretaker or Citizen: Hans Jonas, Aldo Leopold and the Development of Jewish Environmental Ethics,” in Hava Tirosh-Samuelson & Christian Wiese, eds. Judaism and the Phenomenon of Life: The Legacy of Hans Jonas—Historical and Philosophical Studies, (forthcoming Spring, 2008).
Rabbi Troster has appeared on television and radio and in newspapers. He was recently one of the keynote speakers at the Interfaith Creation Festival in Seattle, WA, and in May 2005 presented a paper at a UNEP conference in Tehran, Iran entitled, “The Mountain and the River Valley: Environmentalism as the Foundation of Dialogue Between Civilizations.” (available at www.resurgence.org) He has also been featured on Air America’s environment program “Eco Talk.”
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Mary Evelyn Tucker is Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for Bioethics. She is a co-founder and co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Together they organized a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. They are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. She is also Research Associate at the Harvard Yenching Institute and at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard.She is the author of Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003), Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). She co-edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994), Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000) and When Worlds Converge (Open Court, 2002). With Tu Weiming she edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2004). She also co-edited a Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). She edited Thomas Berry's book, Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community (Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006). Since 1987 she has been a member of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She served as a member of the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and is currently a member of the Earth Charter International Council.
Mary Tyrrell became Executive Director of the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry in June 2004, after serving as Associate Director for a year. She is also the Director for the Global Institute's Program on Private Forests, and Program on Forest Health. Her main interests are forest ecology, natural history, and conservation of forestlands. Before joining YFF in July 2000, she was the Program Director at FES' Center for Coastal and Watershed Systems where she managed applied research programs and community outreach activities. Prior to 1995, when she launched into a new career working for the environment, she spent many years in international electronics manufacturing management.
Lauren Van Ham
Lauren Van Ham is an Interfaith minister, who practices Vipassana. She is the Program Director for Green Sangha, a non-profit organization committed to spiritually based environmental activism. Green Sangha is an affiliate of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.
Scott Walker, M.D. is board certified in general psychiatry with added qualifications in addiction psychiatry. While on the faculty at the University of New Mexico he received a grant from the newly formed National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine to study prayer and alcoholism. He is now creating a project to engage global humanity in prayer for the world’s ecosystems. At this conference he hopes to network with individuals from diverse perspectives for this project. He attends the Mennonite Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is involved in healing ministries. He is sponsoring a tour to Tibet this June.
Gretel A. Van Wieren
Gretel A. Van Wieren is currently a doctoral candidate in Religious Studies (Ethics) at Yale University. She earned her M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School (2001), and is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America (RCA). She has a M.P.S. in International Development from Cornell University (1998) and a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from St. Olaf College (1993).
Prior to returning to Yale for doctoral studies, Van Wieren worked as a community development volunteer in Uganda where she lived on a sustainable community-based farm that also served as a transitional home for orphaned children, many of whom lived with HIV/AIDS. Upon returning to the United States, she worked in Washington D.C. as a grassroots organizer for Bread for the World. After divinity school, she served as a parish pastor to two rural congregations in upstate New York. From 1997-2004, Van Wieren served as member of the Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth task force of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (in collaboration with the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation) whereby she participated in consultations on economic and ecological justice related issues in over 10 countries. Currently, she is the North American coordinator of the Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth Working Group.
Van Wieren’s research focuses on the areas of environmental ethics, moral theologies, social justice, globalization, and spirituality and morality. She has published articles in Perspectives, Reformed World, and Earth Letter. Her dissertation explores the ethics, politics, and spirituality of ecological restoration, and, in turn, its implications for Christian environmental ethics.
Born and raised in Michigan, Van Wieren grew up fly-fishing the steelhead and salmon rivers of the Great Lakes. Her home river is the Little Manistee River which flows through the Manistee National Forest in northern Michigan. During divinity school, Van Wieren worked as a fly-fishing guide on the Housatonic River in northern Connecticut.
Van Wieren is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Christian Ethics, and the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture.
Director, Center for Animals and Public Policy
Department of Environmental and Population Health
An Associate Professor in the Department of Religion and member of the Interpretation Theory Committee and the Environmental Studies Committee at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. My teaching and research interests focus on the intersections between Christian theology, critical theory, environmental studies, and postmodernism. I received a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1978), an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary (1982), and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1986).
I am the author of Finding God in the Singing River: Christianity, Spirit, Nature (Fortress, 2005), Fragments of the Spirit: Nature, Violence, and the Renewal of Creation (Continuum, 1996; Trinity, 2002), The Second Naïveté: Barth, Ricoeur, and the New Yale Theology (Mercer University Press, 1990, 1995), editor of Paul Ricoeur's Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative, and Imagination (Fortress, 1995), and co-editor of Curing Violence: Essays on René Girard (Polebridge, 1994).
I am a member of the Constructive Theology Workgroup and the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, and active in the environmental justice movement in the Philadelphia area.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow has been one of the creators and leaders of Jewish renewal since writing the original Freedom Seder in 1969. In 1983, he founded and has since been director of The Shalom Center <www.shalomctr.org> -- a prophetic voice in Jewish, multireligious, and American life that draws on Jewish and other spiritual and religious teachings to work for justice, peace, and the healing of our wounded earth.
In 1996 Rabbi Waskow was named by the United Nations one of forty “Wisdom Keepers” -- religious and intellectual leaders from all over the world who met with the Habitat II conference in Istanbul. In 2005, he was named one of the "Forward Fifty" by the Forward, a leading American Jewish newspaper. In 2007, Newsweeknamed him one of America's fifty most influential rabbis.
Waskow's books Seasons of Our Joy on the Jewish festival cycle; Godwrestling -- Round 2 on new interpretations of the Bible; Down-to-Earth Judaism on the changes in Jewish relationships with the earth in every-day life over the last three thousand years; (with his wife Rabbi Phyllis Berman) A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven on the Jewish life-cycle; together with two books he edited -- Trees, Earth & Torah and Torah of the Earth (2 vols) -- have all pioneered in developing the theology and practice of Eco-Judaism. .
Rabbi Waskow is now leading the Shalom Center Green Menorah Covenant campaign to combat the danger of global climate crisis, involving religious communities in addressing both the personal and household addiction to oil and the political and economic structures that feed and intensify this addiction.
Waskow was legislative assistant to a US Congressman from 1959 to 1961; then a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC till 1977 and of the Public Resource Center till 1982. During those years he wrote seven books on US public policy in foreign affairs and military strategy, race relations, and energy policy, and was among the leaders of the movement to end the Vietnam War.
He taught at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College from 1982 till 1989 and has taught as a Visiting Professor in the departments of religion at Swarthmore, Vassar, Temple University, and Drew University, including courses on religion and the environment.
Rev. Dr. Fred Weidmann
Rev. Dr. Fred Weidmann is Director of the Center for Church Life and Professor of Biblical Studies at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City.
Carey Weiss is currently a member of the Loyola Church community in Manhattan which is the largest Jesuit parish in the region. She spent 20 years actively involved with management of environmental policy and air, water and toxic waste issues at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Transit Authority, and as president of her own management consulting firm, Weiss Environmental Mgmt, Inc. In addition, she is a photographer and has documented and exhibited images of New Orleans both before and after the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Her husband, J. Kevin Healy, is an environmental attorney practicing in NYC who has organized and led numerous climate change committees and conferences for the past 15 years.
Gay Welch is the Director of Religious Life (aka University Chaplain) at Vanderbilt in Nashville Tennessee.
She is a faculty member in the Religious Studies department where she teaches courses in Religion and Gender, Ethics and Feminism and Ecological Ethics. She is especially interested in the intersections of gender, theology and ecology, and how "progressives" might make fruitful eco-alliaces with evangelical Christians.
As a fellow in Vanderbilt's Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, she is part of the "Ecology and Spirituality" group. see http://www.vanderbilt.edu/csrc/re.html
The project is described below:
"The starting point for our project is concern about a consumer culture in which individuals try to satisfy non-material needs through material consumption. We seek to understand how patterns of ever-increasing consumption driven by desires for personal empowerment, social status, and spiritual and social connection might be redirected into forms more satisfying to individuals and less harmful to the environment and local and global political economies. In essence, we see consumer culture as an eco-spiritual problem. Our goal is to explore how contemporary American values, public discourses, and social and material practices might be reframed and reoriented to transform the dynamics of consumer culture from an eco-spiritual problem into an eco-spiritual resource."
Ms. Wheeler is a co-chair of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s Committee on the Stewardship of Creation. A retired Foreign Service Officer with substantial experience in international environmental policy, she holds a Master of Science in Environmental Earth Science and a law degree. She has lived in Vermont, Washington, New York, China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Russia and currently resides in Virginia where she is in discernment for ordained ministry.
Norman Wirzba is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Georgetown College, KY, where he teaches courses in the history of philosophy and theology, environmental ethics, environmental theology, and agrarian thought. His books include: The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age (Oxford University Press), and Living the Sabbath (Brazos), and the edited collections The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land (Shoemaker & Hoard) and The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry (Shoemaker & Hoard). He is currently working on two book projects: the one is focused on eating as a spiritual practice, and the other is a re-description of key theological categories from the perspective of place.
Leslie G. Woods
Leslie G. Woods is a 2005 graduate of Yale Divinity School, MAR in Hebrew Bible, magna cum laude. Leslie currently serves as the Representative for Domestic Poverty and Environmental Issues for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office. In this capacity, she advocates on behalf of the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on matters related to poverty, hunger, health, human needs, federal budget, and environmental issues. Leslie serves as co-chair of the Inter-religious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs and as the leader of the 2008 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Domestic Track. Leslie also represents the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Working Group and is a recipient of the NCC Eco-Justice Young Adult Fellowship for the development of young professionals doing environmental justice work.
Gail Worcelo is co-foundress of Green Mountain Monastery and the Thomas Berry Sanctuary in Greensboro, Vermont which is 21st century monastery in the Catholic tradition dedicated to the healing and protection of Earth and its life systems. Gail began studies with Thomas Berry during her novitiate with the Passionist Community in 1984 in the areas of cosmology and the history of religious life. Her particular focus has been the refounding of religious life in light of new understandings of the universe story. Through the founding of Green Mountain Monastery she hopes to contribute to bringing the Catholic tradition into its cosmological and planetary phase.
Gail has been giving lectures and retreats on this theme for the past 20 years and continues to share her insights with groups throughout the United States and around the world. She has been a workshop presenter and speaker at gatherings! such as the national assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Congregational Chapters of Men and Women, Sisters of Earth, Spiritual Directors International, Catholic Theological Union, the International European Passionists Gathering and the Network of Religious Congregations in Melbourne, Australia.
The Rev. Nancy G. Wright
The Rev. Nancy G. Wright earned the M. Div. at Union Theological Seminary, New York, in 1973 and a Masters Degree in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University in 1987. She worked for a total of nine years at two ecumenical agencies with a focus on stewardship of Creation: CODEL (Coordination in Development), which served people in poor communities internationally through 38 Christian organizations, and Earth Ministry, in Seattle, which coordinates the environmental efforts of about one hundred churches. She coauthored Ecological Healing: A Christian Vision (Orbis, 1993) and has published in the area of ecology and spirituality. She is pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, Burlington Vermont, and serves on the board of directors of Vermont Interfaith Power and Light.
Dr. Julie Beth Zimmerman is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed to the Department of Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering Program and the School of Forestry and Environment. She is also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Virginia. Her research interests include green engineering, environmentally benign design and manufacturing, and the fate and impacts of anthropogenic compounds in the environment as well as appropriate water treatment technologies for the developing world. Dr. Zimmerman's research is aimed at designing and developing innovative science, technology, and policy to advance sustainability. through her engineering research, Julie is working towards the next generation products, processes, and systems based on efficient and effective use of benign materials and energy to advance sustainability. to enhance the likelihood of successful implementation of these next generation designs, Dr. Zimmerman studies the effectiveness and impediments of current and potential policies developed to advance sustainability. Together, these efforts represents a systematic and holistic approach to addressing the challenges of sustainability to enhance water and resource quality and quantity, to improve environmental protection, and to provide for a higher quality of life.
St. Thomas University
Healing the Earth Center, housed within the Institute for Pastoral Ministries at St. Thomas University, was founded on the premise that all Creation is sacred. Grounded within the Catholic tradition of incarnational, sacramental, and revelatory dimensions of the natural world, and within contemporary scientific understandings of the emerging Universe, the Center serves as a catalyst for ecological, humanitarian, and spiritual education. It provides a variety of classes and forums for bringing students and community participants together to explore the role of humans within the Earth community at a time of grave ecological crisis and opportunity.
Serious ecological challenges abound throughout the Earth community. Pollution of air, soil, and water; the loss of protective wetlands; increased toxins, pesticides, herbicides and nuclear waste; depletion of the ozone layer; global warming and deforestation are but some examples. These and other environmental crises threaten the survival of all species, including the future generations of our children, families, and eco-systems. These challenges create major issues for our day.