What does religion have to do with the environment? Actually, quite a lot! There are many religious traditions that regard nature as sacred. And even those religious belief systems that do not claim the sanctity of the environment tend to provide guidelines on how we are supposed to treat nature.
The very way we talk about the environment reveals a lot about our attitudes towards it. What does it mean to call nature "creation?" Is stewardship a real thing? How does the belief that God is nature affect our moral values and public policies?
Our department offers courses in environmental ethics in addition to courses that explore general attitudes of religious thinkers and practitioners around the globe towards nature. We explore questions such as what kind of religious beliefs justifies the exploitation of our planet and which religious beliefs encourage us to care for the environment.
The study of religion helps us understand where our attitudes towards the environment come from and how to examine these attitudes more critically.