HUH Environmental Humanities Forum, August 27, 2019 (Tuesday),
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
we kindly invite you to the next Helsinki University Environmental Humanities Forum
August 27, 2019 (Tuesday), at 14.15- 15.45
Texas Tech University, USA
“Religion and Environmentalist Thought and Activism
in Europe and the United States”
Päärakennus (Main Building) Sali 7 (Lecture Hall 7), (3007)
Fabianinkatu 33, 3. krs.
Please kindly see Abstract and short Bio of Speaker below.
Looking forward to meeting/seeing you soon!
With kind wishes, Viktor Pál and Mikko Saikku
For some environmentalists, Christian theology and practice form an explicit inspiration for their activism. Most leading environmental thinkers and activists, however, as adults have not been associated with organized religion, although many profess spiritual motivation. Lynn White’s famous thesis in “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis” of 1967 that Christianity in fact was the root of the environmental crisis has not often been challenged.
But just beneath the surface, religion influences religious activism in fundamental ways. An extraordinary number of the environmental figures in any history of the movement grew up in religious homes. The parents or other close relative of an unusually high number were clergymen, church organists, or lay preachers. Even more striking is the fact that, until recently, a large proportion of environmentalists came out of a denomination in the Reformed Protestant (or Calvinist) tradition. This holds true in the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and even France. The historically Protestant regions of Europe in general (like Finland) have been much greener than Catholic nations. Within ostensibly secular people and countries, religious cultures continue to influence thought and action.
This talk will explore the reasons for Protestantism’s environmental power and how it has influenced the trajectory of environmental and Green movements and parties.
Mark Stoll is professor of environmental history at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, USA. His most recent book is Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is currently writing an environmental history of capitalism.