P25
Religion, Morality and the Science of Climate Change

Convenors:
Richard Fraser (Cambridge University)
Discussant:
Hildegard Diemberger
Format:
Panels
Location:
Senate House - G21A
Start time:
28 May, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel explores the emerging intersection between religious and scientific engagement with climate change, and assesses the moral, political and cultural dimensions in the context of a broader process of environmental re-enchantment and critique of capitalism.

Long abstract:

In 2015 Pope Francis called for an ethical and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality. In an unprecedented encyclical on the subject, the pontiff argued that humanity's exploitation of the planets resources had crossed the Earths natural boundaries. Soon after, thousands of campaigners and religious leaders marched through Rome backing Pope Francis's message ahead of a Vatican conference on climate change, urging world leaders to take action in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris. This panel explores the intersection between religious and spiritual engagement with climate change and assesses the moral, political and cultural dimensions in the context of a broader process of environmental re-enchantment and critique of capitalism. Across the world anthropologists have noted a growing chorus of voices suggesting that religious and spiritual voices should become more prominent in the climate change debate, particularly in light of international paralysis on the issue. The Pope's recent intervention has been has been echoed by religious leaders such as the Dalai Lama, and a number of important indigenous figures. Here we invite papers to reflect upon the relationship between religion, spirituality, and climate change, and ask: - what impact is religion having, what barriers is it running into or creating? - what does religious intervention mean for neoliberal capitalism? - what are the cultural implications of this environmental-religious message in terms of indigenous knowledge? - how does religion affect millennial visions and the imagination of climate change?