Religion and Ecology
How does religion shape human understanding of, and participation in, ecological systems? This course examines some of the diverse ways that people have developed for interacting with animals, plants, weather, water, air, and land, and how those behaviors work in tandem with religious ways of knowing. Recognizing that current human interactions with the global ecosystem, and of the numerous ecosystems within it, are unsustainable, the class will have a substantial focus on environmental ethics. We will think hard about how different religious systems might contribute to either or both environmental degradation and solutions to environmental problems. Traditions sampled will include Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Daoism, Buddhism, Jainism, and a number of indigenous lifeways.