You are here

Religion and Ecology Unit

Call for Proposals

The Religion and Ecology Unit seeks individual paper and complete panel proposals relating to a wide range of themes in religion and ecology, including proposals that resonate with the 2023 thematic emphasis on “La Labor de Nuestras Manos” – the work of our hands. What is the work of our hands as the field of religion and ecology? How does climate change and environmental destruction inform religious efforts? Whose hands and whose labor should scholars of religion be interpreting, studying, or advocating for? Topics include, but are not limited to, questions such as:

  • What is the role of religion in civil disobedience and protest movements as well as legal battles and policy reform? How have religious laws influenced the environment and environmental initiatives? 
  • What connections are there or should there be between religion and labor, especially those who work with landscapes—from agriculture, to architecture, to energy projects, to aesthetic projects? How do religious accounts of environmental labor either frame and interpret work or inform approaches and objectives?
  • Pedagogies of Religion and Ecology: what pedagogies are effective for teaching religion and ecology? How can the teaching religion benefit by using different approaches that range from project-based learning to outdoor education to land-based teaching?
  • Contributions to Religion and Ecology in non-English languages: what are the sources, movements, or communities who are working on environmental initiatives, research, or teaching in languages other than English?


We also acknowledge the interdisciplinary nature of and multifaceted approaches to research on the connections between religion and ecology. We especially welcome new contributions to religion and ecology intended to develop and push the field in methodology, topics, themes, texts, authors, objectives, and/or audience.


The Religion and Ecology Unit is also pursuing possible co-sponsored sessions with the following Units:

  • The Native Traditions in the Americas Unit: “Religion and Climate Justice.” We invite papers considering climate justice for Indigenous communities, and how traditional ecological knowledge can inform climate policy, green energy expansion, and moves toward climate resiliency. We are interested in engaging academics, activists, and scholar-practitioners working on these issues in the academy and on the ground.
  • The Women of Color Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism Unit and Religion and Human Rights Unit: “Religious activism, human rights, and resilience.” Keeping in mind the presidential theme “La Labor de Nuestras Manos” and our meeting location in Texas, we invite papers that consider the following: 
    • Religion and human rights “on the ground”: we seek proposals on the conversation and practice of human rights within grassroots communities, especially in dialogue with religious thought and scholarship of religious studies;
    • The co-creation of “sacred spaces” in the community-engaged work of scholars, laborers, and activists; how do practices of rest and resistance foster such spaces?
    • Ecology and resilience: How might faith traditions and practices that emphasize relations with the natural world bolster our capacity to build just and flourishing communities and ecosystems? How does the 'work of our hands' to achieve climate justice bolster our capacity to build just and flourishing communities and ecosystems?
    • Intersectional approaches to climate change and environmental justice. We are especially interested in considering intersectional vulnerabilities; centering survival for people of color and the global South in climate justice efforts.

    Statement of Purpose

    This Unit critically and constructively explores how human–Earth relations are shaped by religions, cultures, and understandings of nature and the environment. We are self-consciously inter- and multi-disciplinary and include methods from a variety of social sciences such as those found in the work of theologians, philosophers, religionists, ethicists, scientists, activist-scholars, sociologists, and anthropologists, among others. We also strive to be a radically inclusive unit and welcome papers that challenge the dominant Eurocentric environmental discourse while envisioning new conceptual frontiers.


    Steering Committee Members





    Review Process

    Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members