The collaboration represents “a transformative moment” for the field of religion and ecology, highlighting the moral and practical contributions of the world’s religions to addressing the planet’s mounting environmental challenges, said Mary Evelyn Tucker
and John Grim
, co-directors of the Yale Forum and senior lecturers and research scholars at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and Yale Divinity School (YDS).
“Even before COVID-19 we saw a renewed focus on humans’ relationship with, and dependence on, the environment, in churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques around the world,” said Tucker. “As the virus shows, clearly we can’t have healthy people on a sick planet. Environmental awareness is growing, as are calls for environmental justice for people and planet.”
More than two decades ago, Tucker and Grim launched the Forum on Religion and Ecology, an ambitious initiative that has helped create a new academic field that explores the relationship between the world’s religious and spiritual traditions and the environment. The Forum publishes books and articles, produces resources and annotated bibliographies for educators, and has created an Emmy Award-winning PBS film, Journey of the Universe
Today, religion and ecology is taught in colleges, universities, seminaries, and secondary schools across the world. Similar forums have emerged in Canada, Europe, and Australia. Yale has two unique programs in this area not replicated elsewhere: a joint master’s program in religion and ecology
at F&ES and YDS and a Master of Arts in Religion and Ecology
from the Divinity School.