The purpose of this Special Issue is to assess the current state of religious involvement to address climate change and the effects we are already experiencing. What are religions actively doing to combat climate change and has it made a difference? What are the limits on religions’ involvement in and work towards climate justice? Why have some religions taken action to combat climate change while others refuse to engage? The Special Issue aims to assess the current explanations for the role of religion in addressing climate change and offer new analyses about religion and climate change from the perspectives of social sciences and humanities.
As the pace and intensity of climate changes increases, so too does the peril it poses to earth and all who live in it. Many religions follow an ethic of caring for those most strongly impacted by the effects of events like climate change and bear the moral legitimacy to mobilize millions to act in order to ameliorate climate change. Historically, many religions have been silent, indifferent, and even hostile to environmentalism, but over the past 25 years, religious communities and organizations have developed green theologies, ethics, and rituals, and have spoken prophetically in defense of nature. But how effective have religions been in mobilization action and persuading individuals, communities, and governments to take action against climate change?
The purpose of this Special Issue is to assess the current state of religious involvement to address climate change and the effects we are already experiencing. What are religions actively doing to combat climate change and has it made a difference? What are the limits on religions’ involvement in and work towards climate justice? Why have some religions taken action to combat climate change while others refuse to engage? The issue will be comparative in scope on several dimensions: From local religious congregations to national bodies; from religions of the book to dark green and eco-spirituality communities; from the developed west to the developing south. Contributions from a variety of disciplines that focus on assessing and explaining the role of religions in addressing climate change are welcome.
Prof. Stephen Ellingson
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