Religious Studies | Religion, Ethics and the Environment
R202 | 3631 | Ann Mongoven


This course explores the relationship between religion and
environmental ethics. A framing question of the course is: what is
the relationship between cosmogony (“religion” broadly understood)
and environmental ethics? The course begins by raising that central
question, looking at different answers to it, and then considering
the question in relationship to Jewish and Christian traditions. We
will reflect upon some central stories, conceptual categories, and
ritual practices from those traditions and see how interpreters
disagree as to their environmental implications. While not the focus
of the course, materials from Eastern religions may provide
comparative material. We will also consider popular culture
as “religion,” using religious studies approaches to explore the
environmental impact of secular myths and rituals. We will conclude
the course by considering recent tree-sits in Bloomington to invite
ethical analysis of various responses to environmental degradation.