CFP: Special Issue on Right-Wing Religious Ecologies

Robin Veldman's picture
Call for Papers
January 15, 2022
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, American History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, Social Sciences, Sociology

Call for Papers

Special Issue: Right-Wing Religious Ecologies

Robin G. Veldman, Texas A&M University, USA
S. Jonathan O’Donnell, Queens University Belfast, UK
Matthew Hartman, Graduate Theological Union, USA

With right-wing movements on the rise globally, scholars and journalists have increasingly taken note. The environment has not typically been at the center of these inquiries, but as we enter a century of growing climate instability, researchers have increasingly begun to explore what these movements portend for environmental politics and policy (e.g., Kulin et al., 2021; Malm et al., 2021; Forchtner, 2019; Bjork-James, 2020; Lockwood, 2018). Building on this literature, our special issue will explore what we are calling right-wing religious ecologies, or right-wing religious teachings, beliefs and practices that reference or conceptualize the natural world and/or ecological relationships.

Many right-wing movements have religious affinities, but thus far there has been little systematic research exploring how these affinities shape members’ environmental views. Instead, terms like “spiritual ecology” and “religious ecology” have most commonly been invoked in reference to environmentalisms that are linked (sometimes implicitly) to the political left (e.g., Sponsel, 2012; Grim and Tucker, 2014; Gottlieb, 2006; but see Griffin, 2005; Shnirelman, 2005). Flowing from this assumption, existing scholarship on religion and ecology has typically envisioned religion as a vehicle for increased environmental concern (e.g., Grim and Tucker, 2014: 11). Right-wing movements disrupt this expectation in several ways. They may employ environmental tropes, for example, but harness them toward different political ends than are typically sought by the mainstream environmental movement (e.g., Taylor, 2020). Other right-wing religious ecologies, such as the US-based evangelical climate denial movement, explicitly oppose left-wing secular and religious environmental movements (Alumkal, 2017; Veldman, 2019). Exploring religious ecologies that exist across the political spectrum will enable us to paint a more nuanced portrait of religion and environmental attitudes.

To create as broad and generous a conversation as possible, we invite contributions from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. Papers covering any geographical region and type or angle of religiosity are welcome. While we are particularly interested in contemporary movements, historical works shedding light on the origins or nature of contemporary movements are also welcome. Proposals should be less than 500 words, and clearly indicate the author(s) title, methods and argument. Please include a CV or short description of your scholarly background. Paper proposals should be submitted by January 15, 2022, with an eye toward a July 15, 2022 completion date. Authors should expect to prepare manuscripts of approximately 8,000 words. The special issue will be submitted to the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal.

Proposals should be submitted by email to Inquiries are welcome. Please communicate with all three co-editors at,, and

Alumkal, Antony. (2017). Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality. NYU Press.
Bjork-James, Sophie. (2020). Americanism, Trump, and Uniting the White Right. In Beyond Populism: Angry Politics and the Twilight of         Neoliberalism, edited by J. Maskovsky and S. Bjork-James. West Virginia University Press.
Forchtner, Bernard (Ed.). (2020). The Far Right and the Environment: Politics, Discourse and Communication. Routledge.
Gottlieb, Roger. (2006). A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet's Future. Oxford University Press.
Griffin, Roger. (2005). Fascism. In B. R. Taylor (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (pp. 639-644). Continuum.
Grim, John and Mary Evelyn Tucker. (2014). Ecology and Religion. Island Press.
Kulin, Joakim, Ingemar Johansson Sevä & Riley E. Dunlap. (2021). Nationalist ideology, rightwing populism, and public views about climate change in Europe, Environmental Politics, DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2021.1898879
Lockwood, Matthew. (2018). Right-wing populism and the climate change agenda: exploring the linkages. Environmental Politics, 27:4, 712-732, DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2018.1458411
Malm, Andreas and the Zetkin Collective. (2021). White Skin, Black Fuel: On the Danger of Fossil Fascism. Verso.
Sponsel, Leslie. (2012). Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution. Praeger.
Shnirelman, Victor. (2005). Neo-paganism and Ethnic Nationalism. In B. R. Taylor (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (pp. 1186-1188). Continuum.
Taylor, Blair. (2020). Alt-Right Ecology: Ecofascism and far-right environmentalism in the United States. In B. Forchtner (Ed.), The Far Right and the Environment (pp. 275-292). Routledge.
Veldman, Robin Globus. (2019). The Gospel of Climate Skepticism: Why Evangelical Christians Oppose Action on Climate Change. University of California Press.



Contact Info: 

Robin G. Veldman, Texas A&M University, USA (
S. Jonathan O’Donnell, Queens University Belfast, UK (
Matthew Hartman, Graduate Theological Union, USA (


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