International Conference: Religion and the Natural Environment
The Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters (CSoC) at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has chosen "Religion and the Natural Environment" as its annual theme for the 2022-2023 academic year, and as the subject of its annual international conference, acknowledging its current global relevance for researchers in the humanities and social sciences, political activists, and the general public.
We wish to address this topic across boundaries between religious beliefs and spiritual traditions, from a variety of disciplines and perspectives, privileging comparative approaches. Over the course of the proposed conference, we hope to discuss in depth perceptions of the natural environment as reflected in scriptures, mythology, religious law, mysticism, theology and ethics, as well as attitudes towards the natural environment and natural elements such as water, as performed in religious rituals and magic practices. We will also address the impact of religion on the treatment of animals, plants and land, and non-anthropocentric themes in religious thought – monotheistic and other. Finally, we will devote our attention to environmentalism within contemporary religious traditions and communities. Here we expect the contribution of some members of the newly established interdisciplinary School of Sustainability and Climate Change at BGU, who will undoubtedly raise different perspectives and insights. We will address this theme, as well as international cooperation around environmental issues also during a fieldtrip to sites along the Dead Sea and at the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River, with EcoPeace Middle East.
To the best of our knowledge this will be the first conference to address such an assemblage of issues pertaining to religious perspectives of nature and ecology, and to engage scholars from the humanities and social sciences in discussion with environmental scientists.
Host: The Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters (CSoC)
Location: The Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Marcus Campus, Be'er Sheva, Israel.
Date: Monday 9th January – Wednesday 11th January, 2023.
CSoC International Conference - January 2023 - Bios' Booklet.pdf
CSoC International Conference - January 2023 - Abstracts' Booklet.pdf