Yale Conference To Examine Synergy of Religion and Environmentalism

A major conference exploring the emerging alliance of religion and ecology will be held at Yale, February 28–March 2.

A major conference exploring the emerging alliance of religion and ecology will be held at Yale, February 28–March 2.

Sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School, the conference will provide a setting for scholars and grassroots religious environmentalists to share ideas and strategies about work of mutual interest across the U.S. and Canada.  The organizers of the conference, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, are co-directors of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.

The conference, titled “Renewing Hope: Pathways of Religious Environmentalism,” comes at a time of increasing awareness of climate change and global warming, amid growing momentum to address these environmental challenges from within the religious traditions, note the organizers. Indeed, Pope Benedict XVI will address the moral dimensions of climate change at the United Nations in April, and the evangelical community in the United States has been lobbying to focus public attention on the particularly harmful effects of climate change on the poor.

“This conference promises to underscore how much common ground exists between the faith and environmental communities,” said Yale Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge.

Gus Speth, dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, said, “The religions have a key role to play in helping to moderate values and inspire action for environmental protection, restoration and renewal,” Speth will speak at the conference on how the synergy of religious communities, scientists and policy makers can help create a sustainable future.

Sallie McFague of the Vancouver School of Theology, who has written for many years on the subject of religion and the environment, will deliver the conference’s opening lecture, “A New Climate for Theology: God, the World and Global Warming,” at 6:30 p.m. on February 28.

Also highlighting the conference is a premiere of “Renewal,” a new film exploring the environmental work of several Jewish, Christian and Islamic communities. It will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on February 29.

McFague’s lecture and the screening of “Renewal” are both free and open to the public. Both will take place at Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St.

There will be live streaming of at least two of the conference sessions—McFague’s Thursday evening address and a panel presentation on Friday afternoon—on the Yale Divinity School website.

The full conference agenda can be seen on the web.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345