When: October 17-19, 2017
Where: Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware, OH
We were pleased to partner on The Midwest Symposium on Ecologically Informed Theological Education, which was held on the Methodist Theological School in Ohio’s (MTSO) campus in Delaware, Ohio from October 18th to 19th with 75 people in attendance from seminaries around the Midwest and beyond.
The Symposium began with an optional morning tour of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at The Ohio State University. Participants walked through freezers and saw first-hand the climate record of the past million years contained in glacial ice core records. Dr. Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished Professor of Earth Sciences at OSU and one of the leading climate scientists in the U.S., provided a keynote address on climate science. For many faculty it was the first time they heard from a climate scientist in-person.
The symposium continued with a five-person panel of scientists on other ecological issues like algal blooms in Lake Erie and food security in Ohio.
The second day began with an interfaith panel with representatives from Islam, Judaism, Shinto, Unitarian Universalism and indigenous traditions. The third panel explored strategies for integrating ecological themes into theological education. It involved Christian professors of eco-theology and others.
The symposium also included two series of breakout workshops on place-based education, mountain top removal, the Earth Charter, urban farming, and other topics. The symposium concluded with a keynote by MTSO Dean Valerie Bridgeman, focusing on theological education in the context of ecological challenges.
The Symposium was co-organized by MTSO, the Green Seminary Initiative, and our organization, based on support from the Henry Luce Foundation and The Julia Burke Foundation.
Our next symposium will be held in March 2018 at the Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia (near Atlanta, GA). Click here for more information.
Faith & Eco Symposium Southeast 2018
Nazek Hapasha, full-time grad student and mum of two, who is member of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center for more than 10 years where she has done all sorts of youth projects.
She introduced the Faith & Environmentalism Summer program about 6 years ago. A journey that she never really planned or foreseen.
Ken Kitatani currently serves as the Executive Director of the Forum 21 Institute.
He is an ordained minister of Sukyo Mahikari Centers for Spiritual Development and is the Chief Administration Officer of their UN NGO (with special consultative status with UN ECOSOC).
Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina is the Scholar in Residence for the Center for Earth Ethics.
She is a member of the Otomi-Hñahñu Regional Council in Mexico, and a professor of ethnoecology.
Her research focuses on archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy, particularly on ancestral and current ways of measuring and conceiving time and natural cycles in Mesoamerica, especially among Maya, Nahua and Otomian cultures.
Rev. Abby Mohaupt is a Presbyterian minister and a PhD student at Drew University in climate change and ecofeminist theology. She splits her time between California and New Jersey.
Keynote Lonnie Thompson on climate change
Lonnie G. Thompson is a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and a Research Scientist in the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University.
His research has propelled the field of ice core paleoclimatology out of the Polar Regions to the highest tropical and subtropical ice fields.
Laurel Kearns is Associate Professor of Sociology of Religion and Environmental Studies in the Theological School and Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University. She is assistant editor and contributor to the "Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature".
Greg Hitzhusen is a Lecturer in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University (OSU).
He was the founding Director and now serves as Board Chair of Ohio Interfaith Power and Light.