Call for Abstracts: Roundtable on Religion and Climate Change

Marianna Pecoraro's picture
Call for Papers
January 21, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Environmental History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, Social Sciences

The Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University invites submissions for a two-day roundtable on “Religion and Climate Change,” to be held virtually on March 25-26, 2021. The goals of this roundtable are: (1) to map out the current state of scholarly research on these areas; (2) to foster new networks of exchange and collaboration; and (3) to inform potential directions of future research, programming and support by the Institute. Participants will not be asked to write a paper, but will present a brief summary of their ongoing work for discussion. The roundtable will be interdisciplinary and cover a range of methods and approaches in the humanities and social sciences.

The first roundtable invites scholars whose work addresses religious, spiritual and theological engagements with the climate crisis, broadly conceived. We ask how communities of faith articulate and interpret knowledge and experience of the climate crisis. How does religious expression get taken up or altered in responses to climate change, and what are the implications of these responses? What are the ethical responsibilities of the researcher in working with communities experiencing the climate crisis? This discussion will include but is not limited to: work with communities impacted by the climate crisis; projects addressing skepticism or denialism; questions of stewardship, dominion or care; notions of innocence; human/non-human relationships; and questions of climate justice as they relate to race, (post)colonialism, and indigeneity.

The second roundtable engages scholars examining the intersections, overlaps, or commonalities between science and/or environmentalism and religion and the ways in which beliefs are engaged. What can the study of religion contribute to the study of science and political activism? In what ways does the current discourse surrounding the climate crisis, environmental science or environmentalism resemble a “religion,” and how is it different? How do expressions of faith get taken up in the political debates surrounding climate change? This conversation will include, but is not limited to: scholars whose work investigates ecospirituality or spiritual ecology; explorations of religion and secularism; questions of time scale and temporality; and religious protest and/or climate justice activism.

Submission Guidelines:

Interested participants should submit a 300-word abstract and two-page Curriculum Vitae to Marianna Pecoraro at by January 21, 2021. Submissions from early career researchers (including PhD students) are especially encouraged.

Contact Info: 

Marianna Pecoraro, Program and Communications Manager

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