Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama are among world religious leaders who have called the faithful, as well as political leaders, to address Earth’s changing climate. Will this help to shift attitudes and behaviors? Some scholars of religion and ecology believe this is exactly what’s needed. Others are not so sure. In this course we’ll explore connections between the world’s religious traditions and the environment, and the role of beliefs, practices and cultural contexts in shaping human/other-than-human relationships. We’ll also study recent events and documents to learn what trends are emerging that might affect the future. Class will include readings, discussions, written assignments, guest lectures, research and forays into the community beyond UVM. Several types of contemplative practices and traditional storytelling will be integrated throughout.
ENVS 001, ENVS 002, or NR 2; REL 020 or 021 preferred, sophomore standing