Are religion and ecology related?
How do belief and spirituality shape our attitudes toward the planet?
And how can I apply these concepts in my own life?
These are the fundamental questions that ENR 3470 hopes to address.
What is ENR 3470 about?
In “Religion and Environmental Values in America,” students will examine the development and influence of religious thinking about the environment across the United States. Students will explore religious and spiritual contributions to ecological values in American culture through lecture, films, discussion, assignments, and more.
In the early weeks of the course, we will explore some of the fundamental questions underlying our intellectual emphases, loyalties, affections, and convictions about religious and environmental citizenship.
What is Nature? Science? Religion? Ethics?
We will also examine the debate about whether Western Judeo-Christian traditions are responsible for modern ecological crises and for generating negative environmental attitudes, and examine social science evidence and other scholarly arguments that address these questions.
The middle part of the course will highlight a range of religious environmental expressions in America, from secular environmentalism itself, to expressions in Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian traditions.
At the end of the course, we will reflect on how these diverse religious influences contribute to the variables affecting environmental citizenship behavior.
No matter what spiritual tradition we identify with, how do we reconcile our deepest values and beliefs with ecological facts, social realities, economic forces, and hopes for sustainability?
In the end, we are left with many good answers–but always more questions too.