Special Issue "Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Evan Berry

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 202-885-2493
Interests: Theology and environmental ethics; religious movements; global ethics; religion and politics; religion and secular culture; religious pluralism in the Americas

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on two interrelated questions. First, in what ways is religion relevant to contemporary environmental issues, especially climate change? Second, how ought we understand the complex relations between religion, nature, and politics in present era? Under the mounting social, economic, and ecological pressures attendant of a changing climate, these and related questions are increasingly pressing themselves on scholarly work across a variety of fields, from religious studies to environmental history, from environmental humanities to international relations.

Despite well-developed literature examining the relationship of religion and environment in the United States, and a rapidly expanding body of regionally focused scholarship of a similar type, there remains an acute need for theoretically sophisticated, empirically grounded research on religion and nature in a globally comparative frame. This Special Issue of Religions addresses that need by advancing knowledge about religious engagements with environmental issues and identifying gaps in the existing scholarly literature.

Dr. Evan Berry
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.



References:

Corner, A., Markowitz, E. and Pidgeon, N. (2014)  Public Engagement with Climate

Change: the Role of Human Values. WIREs Climate Change 5(3), 411–422

Gerten, Dieter and Sigurd Bergmann. (2012). Religion in Environmental and Climate Change:

Suffering, Values, and Lifestyles. London and New York: Continuum.

Hulme, Mike. (2009). Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Opportunity, Inaction,

Jenkins, W. & Chapple, C.K. (2011). Religion and Environment. Annual Review of Environment and

Resources 36: 441-463.

Taylor, Bron. (2015) Religion to the Rescue? Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture

9(1), 5-11.

Veldman, R., A. Szasz and R. Haluza-deLay, eds. (2014). How the World’s Religions are Responding

to Climate Change: Social Scientific Investigations. London: Routledge.

Wolf, Johanna and Susan Moser. (2011) “Individual understandings, perceptions, and engagement with climate change.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 2:4. 547–569.

Keywords

  • religious environmentalism
  • climate change
  • religious movements
  • religion and politics
  • globalization
  • human values

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World
Religions 2017, 8(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8030032
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Despite the recent series of electoral victories by populists seeking to capitalize on antipathy about globalization, our world remains radically interconnected.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Re-Territorializing Religiosity in Wholesome Muslim Praxis
Religions 2017, 8(7), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8070132
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
Despite distorting narratives about extremism, specific individuals and communities of Muslims in America ground themselves in wholesome relationships among people and in the places where they find home. Between 2001 and 2009, Taqwa Eco-food Cooperative designed eco-halal food education and distribution for Chicago [...] Read more.
Despite distorting narratives about extremism, specific individuals and communities of Muslims in America ground themselves in wholesome relationships among people and in the places where they find home. Between 2001 and 2009, Taqwa Eco-food Cooperative designed eco-halal food education and distribution for Chicago Muslims, promoting ethical praxis with local animals, lands, waters, farmers, farm workers, and fellow consumers. Founded and funded by an interfaith non-profit organization, Taqwa generated pluralistic community with an internally diverse Muslim community, local farmers, and interfaith partners. Amidst popular contempt for terrorism, Taqwa leaders reasserted wholesome Muslim identity by re-territorializing religiosity, enhancing care-based relations in local foodscapes. Concurring with religious studies scholarship on ecology, lived religion, and pluralism, Taqwa grounded religious meaning in materially significant, personal relationships in their local community of life. Responding to lived religious meaning nested in an ecologically holistic sense of place, Taqwa leaders crafted a purity-oriented project, inscribing identity through its beneficial relations with land and home, despite instances of migratory displacement, diasporic considerations, and externally produced problematic distortions of what it means to be Muslim in America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Cultivating an Academy We Can Live With: The Humanities and Education for Sustainability1
Religions 2016, 7(10), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7100120
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 28 September 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many facets of the university system in North America are fundamentally unsustainable, developing and perpetuating knowledge practices that not only do not sustain the biospheric conditions in which our species evolved, but actually defray them. This analysis proceeds in three ways: (a) highlights [...] Read more.
Many facets of the university system in North America are fundamentally unsustainable, developing and perpetuating knowledge practices that not only do not sustain the biospheric conditions in which our species evolved, but actually defray them. This analysis proceeds in three ways: (a) highlights the historical entanglement of religion and sustainability discourse and the now global concern over climate disruption; (b) it interrogates assumptions regarding whether, when, and to what extent scholars of religions should advance politically significant arguments; (c) explores problem-based learning and integrative curricular development, which may be fostered by focusing on complex wicked problems such as climate disruption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Shmita Revolution: The Reclamation and Reinvention of the Sabbatical Year
Religions 2016, 7(8), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7080100
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
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Abstract
Jewish observance of shmita (alternatively spelled shemitah)—the sabbatical year, or seventh (sheviit) year—is changing. Historically rooted in agriculture, modern Jewish environmentalists are seizing upon the long-ignored environmental and social justice (tikkun olam) aspects of shmita as originally described in the five books of [...] Read more.
Jewish observance of shmita (alternatively spelled shemitah)—the sabbatical year, or seventh (sheviit) year—is changing. Historically rooted in agriculture, modern Jewish environmentalists are seizing upon the long-ignored environmental and social justice (tikkun olam) aspects of shmita as originally described in the five books of Moses, the Torah in the Hebrew Bible, the basis of Jewish law. Primary research was conducted through key-stakeholder interviews with leading American and Israeli Jewish environmentalists and thought leaders. They see shmita as a core Jewish value—one that, like Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath, has the power to transform society. Their work has brought shmita from an obscure law dealt with mainly by Israel’s Orthodox to a new Jewish ethos being discussed across the United States, Europe, Israel, and even on the floor of Knesset, Israel’s parliament. This article also describes shmita as delineated in the Torah and through the rabbinic canon of halacha (Jewish law), and explains shmita practice from biblical times to the present day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Climate Change, Politics and Religion: Australian Churchgoers’ Beliefs about Climate Change
Religions 2016, 7(5), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7050047
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
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Abstract
A growing literature has sought to understand the relationships between religion, politics and views about climate change and climate change policy in the United States. However, little comparative research has been conducted in other countries. This study draws on data from the 2011 [...] Read more.
A growing literature has sought to understand the relationships between religion, politics and views about climate change and climate change policy in the United States. However, little comparative research has been conducted in other countries. This study draws on data from the 2011 Australian National Church Life Survey to examine the beliefs of Australian churchgoers from some 20 denominations about climate change—whether or not it is real and whether it is caused by humans—and political factors that explain variation in these beliefs. Pentecostals, Baptist and Churches of Christ churchgoers, and people from the smallest Protestant denominations were less likely than other churchgoers to believe in anthropogenic climate change, and voting and hierarchical and individualistic views about society predicted beliefs. There was some evidence that these views function differently in relation to climate change beliefs depending on churchgoers’ degree of opposition to gay rights. These findings are of interest not only for the sake of international comparisons, but also in a context where Australia plays a role in international climate change politics that is disproportionate to its small population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
Open AccessArticle The Changing Landscape of Sacred Groves in Kerala (India): A Critical View on the Role of Religion in Nature Conservation
Religions 2016, 7(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel7040038
Received: 4 February 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 19 March 2016 / Published: 9 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sacred groves are an age-old and world-wide phenomenon, traditionally consisting of forest zones, protected by people based on their spiritual relationship with the deities or ancestral spirits believed to reside there. India alone counts nearly 50,000 sacred groves, with 2000 in Kerala where [...] Read more.
Sacred groves are an age-old and world-wide phenomenon, traditionally consisting of forest zones, protected by people based on their spiritual relationship with the deities or ancestral spirits believed to reside there. India alone counts nearly 50,000 sacred groves, with 2000 in Kerala where they are known as kaavu. Presently, the sacred groves are under serious threat with numbers of groves reducing drastically. In this article, the authors challenge one of the dominant theories that sacred groves, while previously protected by religion, now disappear due to the loss of traditional beliefs. Starting from the observation that the destruction of sacred groves has less to do with a loss of faith but more with a change of faith, the article focuses on the ambivalent role of religion and the impact the commercial offer of some specific Hindu rituals has on the declining number of sacred groves. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork among grove-owners in Kerala, the authors argue that it may be true that religious perceptions maintained the sacred groves for centuries, but that the same religious tradition now provides both justifications and marketable rituals for cutting them down. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Nature in a Globalizing World)
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