The complex nature of our global environment crisis is increasingly evident
as weather patterns are becoming more severe, as species are becoming
endangered and going extinct, as non-renewable resources such as oil
are being wantonly used up, as forests and fisheries are being depleted, and
as water is becoming polluted or scarce. The large-scale problem of climate
change is now more visible to a larger public, while the massive extent of
species extinction still remains invisible to most people. Yet these two
global challenges suggest that our burgeoning population and industrializing
presence is altering not only the face of the planet and its climate, but
also the process of natural selection itself. Which species will live and which
will die are now in our hands. This is because in the twentieth century we
exploded from two billion to six billion people and increased the pace of
economic development beyond the boundaries of what is sustainable.
As the developing world attempts to raise its standard of living with unrestrained
industrialization and rapid modernization, there is an inevitable
impact on the environment and natural resources. The result is that severe
pollution of water, air, and soil is becoming more widespread in places
such as India and China. Similarly, the high level of consumption of energy
and resources by the developed world is causing serious problems of equity
and justice. The tension between environmental protection and economic
development is thus a source of increasing conflict between the developed
and developing world. Since the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development in Rio in 1992 there have been a series of major
UN conferences and negotiations to redirect the course of development to
be more equitable and sustainable. Regrettably, the worldwide increase in
military spending, especially by the United States, means that less money
is available for the pressing issues in the Millennium Development Goals
regarding poverty and the environment.
Thus, the human community is still struggling to reinvent the idea of
“sustainable development”. It is becoming clear that a broader definition is
needed for more effective practice—one that integrates efforts at poverty
alleviation wiThenvironmental protection. Many religious communities
have been involved in efforts to mitigate poverty, hunger, and disease, but
now they are recognizing this cannot be done adequately without attention
to the environment, which is deteriorating rapidly. Sufficiency of
food, shelter, and health for humans will depend on a thriving biosphere
to support life for the Earth community.
The litany of environmental and development problems is well known,
but what is becoming ever more self-evident is that they cannot be solved
by science, technology, law, politics, or economics alone. That is because
we are more aware that environmental and development issues are, in large
measure, social issues. Thus “fixing” the environment through technology
or regulating development through legislation will not be sufficient. These
are necessary approaches, but more is needed. We are being pressed to see
the linkage between environment and people, between healthy ecosystems
and healthy social systems, between environmental protection and poverty
alleviation. The challenge, then, is to create whole communities, where
humans are not dominating nature, but rather recognize their profound
dependence on the larger community of life. In this spirit, economic
growth needs to be redefined and a broader ethical perspective needs to be
articulated so as to integrate ecology and economy. In short, new indicators
of “progress” need to be developed. The world’s religions and the Earth
Charter can play a role in this redefinition with an ethical articulation of a
path toward a flourishing Earth community.
Neo-classical economic thinking has equated economic growth with
progress, despite any harm to the environment. While this thinking drives
our industrial processes, economists are shifting, however gradually, to a
realization that the environment can no longer be seen as an externality to
be ignored. While profits have been the principal traditional indicators of
economic growth, ecological economists are developing a new field of
study and practice, pioneered by Herman Daly, Robert Costanza, Richard
Norgaard, Hazel Henderson and others. They have formed an International
Society for Ecological Economics. They are challenging
models of economic growth and development along with
conventional methods of cost accounting that disregard the environment.
Thus, they are pressing economics to include, not only financial profit, but
also environmental health and social well being. New measurements are
being developed for this triple bottom line. This includes calculating “ecosystems
services” (Nature 1997), namely estimating the value of natural
processes for assisting the human economy. Ecological economists have
estimated that it would cost some $33 trillion dollars to replicate nature’s
In addition, the UN Global Reporting Initiative has been formed for
measuring the environmental and social impact of corporations. The
Equator Principles have been created by a Dutch
banker, Herman Mulder, for guiding banks and financial institutions in
their investments. The “ecological footprint”
provides a similar opportunity for individuals or institutions to calculate
their environmental impact in a variety of areas, including use of
carbon. This method was first developed by William Rees and Mathias
Wackernagel and is now part of a broad international network.
Religious communities have entered this arena through socially and environmentally responsible investments.
Jewish and Christian groups have collaborated in forming the
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility based in New York.
In addition to the triple bottom line of economic profit, environmental
health, and social well being, some people are suggesting that spiritual well
being is also an important component of human flourishing. They maintain
that the full range of human happiness includes a sense not only of
physical health, but also spiritual well being and happiness. In fact, in
Bhutan the Gross National Happiness Indicator has replaced the Gross
National Product Index. Developed with Buddhist principles and supported
by the King, this notion has gained a wider audience than Bhutan.
It is based on a conviction that there is more to social cohesion and individual
fulfillment than economic competition and profit making. The
takes into account other factors. For example, personal
spiritual cultivation is encouraged along with community building;
the quality of life is seen as more important than the quantity of material
possessions; non-material values, such as cultural and ecological integrity,
are highly prized. Because of this, along with many other projects named above,
“progress” is being redefined as more than economic growth.
Thus, in discussing the topic of sustainability we may need a broader
basis for analysis than simply “sustainable development”. That is because
sustainable development may still be viewed too narrowly as measured by
economic indicators of growth. As defined by the Bruntland Commission
report, Our Common Future (1988), it is development that meets present
needs while not compromising the needs of future generations. This ethics
of intergenerational equity is a necessary criterion, but may not be fully
sufficient. That is because while it emphasizes balancing environmental
and economic growth, it does not always take into account the full range
and interaction of human-Earth flourishing. Such a broad context may be
enhanced by the contribution of the world’s religions, both in theory and
in practice, regarding poverty alleviation and environmental protection.
We may be able to draw on shared values as well as diversified practices of
the religions. This can be done in relation to the
Earth Charter, a major international document drafted in response to the needs for an integrated
ethical framework for sustainable development.
In terms of general principles and values that the world religions offer to
sustainability discussions, they can be described as broadening the category
of sustainable development to include past, present, and future concerns.
In short, large-scale and long-term perspectives will be needed to envision
sustainable ecosystems that have developed over billions of years, sustainable
living for humans at present, and a sustainable future for all life. These
are aligned with the central concerns of the Earth Charter and the growing
commitments of the world’s religions to ecology, justice, and peace. They
correspond to six key “values for human-Earth flourishing” shared by the
world religions as they are being challenged to envision a viable future for
the Earth community. These values include: reverence, respect, restraint,
redistribution, responsibility, and renewal.
These values for human-Earth flourishing were first identified as the
result of a three-year conference series at Harvard on World Religions and
Ecology from 1996-1998 (2001). The conferences were intended to
explore elements of the world’s religions that highlight human-Earth relations
in scripture, in ritual, and in ethics. A major goal of the series was to
begin a process of retrieving, revaluating, and reconstructing the ecological
dimensions of the world’s religions so as to contribute to a sustaining and
flourishing future for the Earth community. Over 800 international scholars
and theologians of world religions participated in the conferences that
included the western religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the Asian
religions (Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and
Shinto), and Indigenous religions. Ten edited volumes were published by
the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions as a result of these
conferences. A Forum on Religion and Ecology was formed at the culminating
conference at the United Nations and the American Museum of
Natural History in 1998. Later, a Forum also emerged in Canada.
Moreover, a major international website (Religion and Ecology)
was created to assist research education, and outreach in this area. The website provides introductions to
the world religions and their ecological dimensions along with annotated
bibliographies of the books and articles in English on this topic. It also
identifies over a hundred engaged projects of religious grassroots environmentalism.
It contains a lengthy bibliography on religion and poverty
issues. It includes educational materials such as syllabi, videos, CDs and DVDs.
One of the outcomes of the conference series at Harvard and the ongoing
Forum work now based at Yale is the emerging alliance of religion and
ecology both within academia and beyond. Over the dozen years since the
conference series began a new field of study has emerged in colleges and
secondary schools. Moreover, a new force has arisen within the religions
from leaders and laity alike. Both the field and the force are contributing
to a broadened perspective for a future that is not only sustainable, but also
Within academia, religious studies departments are offering classes in
this area; divinity schools and seminaries, focused on training Christian
ministers, are including courses (www.webofcreation.org); and high school
teachers have developed creative curriculum as well (www.rsiss.net.rsissfore.
html). There are graduate programs being offered at the University of
Toronto, Drew University and the University of Florida, as well as a joint
Master’s degree program in religion and ecology at Yale. Many environmental
studies programs are encouraging the participation of religious
studies and the humanities in what have been predominantly science and
policy oriented programs. Moreover, a two-volume encyclopedia on religion
and nature has been published and two academic journals have been
launched. A Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture has
been formed in the United States and a Forum for the Study of Religion
and the Environment has been created in Europe.
Within the religions, statements on the environment or on eco-justice
have been released by the major world religions and indigenous traditions.
Leaders such as the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Pope, and the Dalai Lama
have spoken out regarding the urgency of these issues. The Patriarch, Bartholomew,
has presided over six international symposia focused on
water issues. Rowan Williams, the head of the
Anglican Church in England,
has written sermons on this topic and the US Presiding Bishop for the Episcopal Church,
Katherine Jefferts Schori, has testified before Congress on the risks of climate
change. Ministers and lay people are organizing projects such as
fighting mountain top removal, educating children in ecology, conserving
energy in the Interfaith Power and Light
project. Many of these activities are depicted in the film, Renewal
that features eight case studies of religious environmentalism across the
United States. The Catholic nuns have been
especially active in projects on sustainable agriculture and ecological literacy
(Sisters of Earth,
Genesis Farm, and Green Sisters: A
Spiritual Ecology, by Sarah McFarland Taylor, 2007). In addition, the
National Religious Partnership for the Environment has been working for
fifteen years with Jewish and Christian groups in the United States, while the Alliance for the Conservation of Nature in England has established numerous ecological projects around the world.
As this field and force has expanded there is a growing recognition from
many quarters of the importance of the participation of the religions in
environmental programs and concerns. For some years, for example, scientists
have been asking for the religious communities to play a more active
role in environmental issues. They recognize the large number of people
around the world who are involved with religions. There are one billion
Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Confucians, respectively. They observe
that moral authority has played an important role in many transformations
of values and behavior, such as the abolition of slavery in 19th century
England and in civil rights by Martin Luther King and other religious
leaders in the United States and South Africa in the 20th century.
Moreover, scientists such as E.O. Wilson have called for an alliance
between religion and science in a shared concern for the future of the environment.
This was articulated in A Warning to Humanity in 1992 and
more recently in Wilson’s book, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on
Earth (2006). Similarly, the biologists Paul Ehrlich and Donald Kennedy
have proposed a Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior (2005). In
addition, policy think tanks, such as Worldwatch Institute in Washington
DC, have encouraged the role of religions. One of their principal researchers,
Gary Gardner, has published a chapter on this topic in the State of the
World report of 2003 and a book called Inspiring Progress: Religious Contributions
to Sustainable Development (2006). Moreover, the policy expert
and the Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale,
James Gustav Speth has also called for the participation of the world’s religions
in his book, Bridge at the Edge of the World (2008).
It is now becoming clearer that a further step for the alliance of religion
and ecology is in the area of sustainability. There are many significant
movements within the sustainability field, namely:
1) sustainable development efforts internationally (United Nations Development
Programme and United Nations Environment Programme)
2) overseas development efforts within governments such as USAID and
aid programs of Japan and many of the European nations.
3) non-governmental organizations (NGOs), many of these are led by
religious groups who are assisting the poor.
Traditionally most of the international and national efforts have operated
within standard models of top down aid, often without sensitivity to local
concerns or culture. This has frequently resulted in aid getting caught in
government agencies or in corrupt bureaucracies and not effectively assisting
people or projects in need. Traditional models of development favored
mega projects such as dams for hydroelectricity and irrigation that uprooted
millions of people. These include the Narmada dam project in India and
the Yangtze dam project in China. Many of these projects lost funding
from the World Bank because of concerns regarding adverse environmental
and social impacts. Moreover, in the last two decades economic globalization
has became so dominant that local cultures and traditional
knowledge were often lost or put at risk. Cultural Survival was founded at
Harvard by David and Pia Maybury-Lewis to assist indigenous peoples
around the world to protect their cultural heritage (www.cs.org). Helena
Norberg-Hodge wrote a compelling description of local knowledge in
Ladakh called Ancient Futures (1991). She and others have observed that
the hope for trickle-down economic benefits to the poor from globalization
have yet to be realized in many parts of the world.
Thus alternative models for development and sustainability have begun
to emerge in the last few decades. All of these share an interest in local,
small scale, community based, participatory processes and have a strong
aversion to global, large scale, corporate based, top down processes that are
economically driven toward profit alone. Some of the earliest studies in
this regard were from the Chilean economist, Manfred Max-Neef, titled
From the Outside Looking In: Experiences in Barefoot Economics (1981) and
from the Berkeley ecological economist, Richard Norgaard, in his book,
Development Betrayed (1994). In 2004 Alternatives to Economic Globalization
was published by the International Forum on Globalization.
These alternative models of development and sustainability are being
complemented by a vast array of eco-design, alternative technologies,
renewable energies, and organic agriculture.
In this mix of programs and policies for sustainability that have emerged
around the world, there is a growing recognition that cultural and religious
values have a significant role to play in helping to shape a sustainable
future. While religions have their problematic dimensions, including intolerance,
dogmatism, and fundamentalism, they also have served as wellsprings
of wisdom, as sources of moral inspiration, and as containers
of transforming ritual practices. Thus they tend to be both conservators of
continuity and agents of change. Religions have always played this role of
conserving and transforming, balancing the dynamic tension of continuity
and change for cultures over long spans of time. Indeed, human cultures
are profoundly shaped by this dialectic and civilizations endure by navigating
the delicate balance between tradition and modernity. Moving too
deeply into traditional ways leads to fossilization and fundamentalism,
while going too far into modernity can lead to superficial and inadequate
responses to change.
A central challenge of our present moment is to bring to bear the depths
of the world’s religious traditions into meaningful dialogue with modernity.
Such an effort needs especially to be focused on the environmental
crisis in its multiple aspects. This is a key task of religions to contribute to
a sustainable future. It reflects the growing calls for spiritual insight and
moral energy to be brought to bear in the discussions on sustainability. It
is important to note that many significant groups focusing on sustainability
are seeking just such intersection with values and ethics. These include
Mikhail Gorbachev’s Green Cross, which has sponsored a series of conferences
on Earth Dialogues: Is Ethics the Missing Link? Also the Club of Rome
and the Tallberg Forum
are interested in defining the moral boundaries and conditions for a
sustainable future. Moreover, there was a significant effort made by the
World Bank under James Wolfensohn to create a discussion with religions
around development issues called World Faith Development Dialogue.
Contributions of Religious Values and the Earth Charter
It is thus at a moment of immense significance for the future of life on the
planet that the world’s religions may be of assistance as they move into
their ecological phase. The common set of values for human-Earth flourishing
identified from the Harvard conference series on World Religions
and Ecology can be seen as compatible with the ethical principles of the
Earth Charter. Recognizing the complementary nature of these two may
be a helpful framework for linking religion, ethics, and sustainability. This
provides an integrating ethical context for the Millennium Development
The Earth Charter is both a document and a movement. It draws on
scientific knowledge, legal principles, sustainability practices, ecological
economics, the precautionary principle, and equity concerns. In its decade
long drafting process, it involved thousands of individuals and groups
from around the planet and is the most inclusive civil society document
ever negotiated. As a people’s treaty it is a soft law document that is complemented
by hard law of international covenants and laws. It has been
endorsed by such international agencies as United Nations Educational
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the largest body of conservationists
in the world. It is also endorsed by thousands of individuals and
groups as well as by a number of countries and cities. The implications for
the application of the Charter is seen in the Earth Charter in Action, a book
of inspiring stories from around the world—ranging from youth to civil servants and government officials.
The Charter was drafted by an international committee chaired by Steven
Rockefeller from 1996-2000. A distinguished group of international
figures served as Earth Charter Commissioners for the drafting process and
now an Earth Charter International Council guides the activities of the
Charter. There is a Secretariat and a website based in Costa Rica at the
University for Peace.
The Charter offers a comprehensive framework for revisioning sustainability
as balancing the needs for economic development wiThenvironmental
protection. It presents an integrated set of principles to guide our
emerging planetary civilization that is multinational, multicultural, and
multi-religious. It provides a platform for universal commitment to the
flourishing of bio-social planetary life systems along with differentiated responsibilities.
The key components of the Earth Charter are: 1) cosmological context,
2) ecological integrity, 3) social equity, 4) economic justice, 5) democracy,
6) non-violence and peace. These six components of a sustainable future
have their counterparts in the values for human-Earth flourishing that are
shared among the world’s religions as identified in the Harvard conference
series. These values include: reverence, respect, restraint, redistribution,
responsibility, and renewal. A planetary future that is “flourishing,” not
simply “sustainable,” will be enhanced by the six components identified by
the Earth Charter along with these six values of the world religions. Such
a framework that integrates values for flourishing of the world’s religions
with the central component of global ethics in the Earth Charter may be
an important context for expanding sustainability principles and practices.
All cultures have been grounded in the stories they tell regarding the nature
of the universe, the evolution of the Earth and of life, and the destiny of
humans in this context. These cosmological stories provide accounts of the
creation and evolution of life and the purpose of humans. As humans are
currently trying to navigate their way between scientific accounts of evolution
and the multiple religious stories of creation, the Charter articulates
a broad, simple and inclusive sensibility that EarThis our home, our dwelling place.
This enlarged perspective of home may be a critical foundation for
articulating a future that is both sustaining and flourishing. The Charter
recognizes that we are part of a large family of life, including not only
other humans but also other species. The interdependent quality of the
Earth community is celebrated along with the fact that the conditions for
life have been evolving for billions of years. “Humanity is part of a vast
evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of
life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain
adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life’s evolution.”
Thus to speak of the broadest context for the flourishing of bio-social
systems we need to be reminded of the cosmological, evolutionary story of
life’s emergence. The religious response to this is one of reverence, a quality
shared by many scientists who are deeply inspired by their study of nature
from cells to galaxies, enhanced now by powerful microscopes and telescopes.
The intricacy and complexity of life is valued from both a spiritual
and a scientific perspective. Awe and wonder become expressed through
the shared experience of reverence (Worldly Wonder 2004).
The broad context for a sustaining and flourishing future from the Earth
Charter is preserving ecological health and integrity. Without such a basis
for healthy ecosystems there can be no long-term foundation for the continuity
of human life. It is expressed succinctly in the Preamble: “The resilience
of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend
upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich
variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clear air.”
The response of the religious communities to this call for biological protection
is the principle of respect for the rich diversity of life and the ecosystems
that support life. Without such respect environmental exploitation
will continue and we may irreversibly damage the ability of ecosystems to
renew themselves. This is further spelled out in the Charter as protecting
and restoring Earth’s ecosystems, preventing harm through the precautionary
principle, adopting effective patterns of production, consumption and
reproduction, and advancing the study of ecological sustainability. A growing
field of sustainability science is emerging that is making significant
contributions in this regard (Science 2001).
Social and Economic Justice
The next section of the Charter highlights social and economic justice,
that are also key concerns of the world’s religions. The religious virtues of
restraint in use of resources, as well as redistribution of wealth through
charitable means, complements the Charter’s principles. All of the world’s
religions encourage moderation in personal behavior as well as in the accumulation
or use of material goods. In addition, the world’s religions express
a strong concern for the suffering of the poor and for inequality between
the wealthy and those in need. Charitable giving is valued as a fundamental religious act.
The Charter calls for eradicating poverty, equitable development, gender
fairness, and non-discrimination regarding minorities and indigenous
people. Thus justice is seen as a balance of ecological, economic, and social
factors. The term that many of the religions are using to describe this is
“eco-justice” where biological and human health are seen as indispensable
to one another. Indeed, preserving ecological integrity and protecting
social and economic justice will require an integrated understanding of human-Earth relations.
In addition to restraint and redistribution, a broadened sense of ecological
virtue is required. Women who do so much unpaid work to sustain
their families, especially in developing countries, need to be valued and
respected. The same applies for other minorities and for indigenous peoples
who have preserved valuable environmental knowledge in many parts
of the world. While the religions still have a ways to go in recognizing the
dignity and value of women and the communities of indigenous peoples,
some progress is being made in this regard.
Democracy, Nonviolence and Peace
Finally, the Earth Charter recognizes that democracy, nonviolence and
peace are necessary ingredients for a sustaining and flourishing future.
From the perspective of the religious communities, democracy requires a
fundamental sense of responsibility to future generations of the community
of life—human and more than human. Nonviolence and peace encourage
the renewal of inner and outer peace, something that the religious communities
have tried to foster for millennia. Spiritual practices such as prayer
and contemplation, yoga and tai ch’i, ritual and rites of passages have been
developed to foster peace and non-violence for individuals and communities.
Of course, it should be noted that nonviolence has not always been
practiced, but it is one of the reasons why Mahatma Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy,
and Martin Luther King are so widely admired. The principles in the section
of the Earth Charter are: strengthening democratic institutions, promoting
sustainability education, respecting animals, and promoting a
culture of non-violence and peace.
This integration of the principles of the Earth Charter with the virtues for
human-Earth flourishing of the world’s religions provides a unique synergy
for rethinking sustainablity. Such a synergy can contribute to the broadened
understanding of sustainable development as including economic,
ecological, social, and spiritual well being. This broadened understanding
may be a basis for long-term policies, programs, and practices for a planetary
future that is not only ethically sustainable, but also sustaining for
human energies. For at present we face a crisis of hope that we can make a
transition to a viable future for the Earth community. The capacity of the
world’s religions to provide moral direction and inspiration for a flourishing
community of life is significant. The potential of the Earth Charter to
create an ethical framework for sustainable development plans and practices
is considerable. Together they may provide a comprehensive grounding
for creating a common future.
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Costanza, Robert, Gretchen Dailey, et al. 1997. “The Value of the World’s Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital” Nature 387: 253-260.
Ehrlich, Paul and Donald Kennedy. 2005. “Millinneum Assessment of Human Behavior”. Science 309: 562-563.
Gardner, Gary. Inspiring Progress: Religious Contributions to Sustainable Development. Worldwatch Institute. W. W. Norton & Co. Inc., 2006.
Kates, Robert, William Clark et al. “Sustainability Science” Science, New Series, vol. 292, no. 5517 (April 27, 2001) pgs. 641-642.
Max-Neef, Manfred. From the Outside Looking In: Experiments in Barefoot Economics (Upsalla, Sweden: Dag Hammarsk; old Foundation 1981).
Norberg-Hodge, Helena. Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books, 1991.
Norgaard, Richard. Development Betrayed: The End of Progress and a Coevolutionary Revisioning of the Future (London and New York: Routledge, 1994).
Speth, James Gustav. Bridge at the Edge of the World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.
Taylor, Sarah McFarland. Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.
Tucker, Mary Evelyn. Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter their Ecological Phase (Open Court, 2004).
Tucker, Mary Evelyn and John Grim, eds. “Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change?” Daedalus (Fall 2001).
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Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School. She is a co-founder and co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Together they organized a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. They are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. She is also Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. In 2011 Tucker completed the Journey of the Universe with Brian Swimme, which includes a book from Yale University Press, a film on PBS, and an educational series of interviews. She is also the author of Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003), Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). She co-edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994), Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000), and When Worlds Converge (Open Court, 2002). With Tu Weiming she edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2004). She also co-edited a Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). She edited several of Thomas Berry’s books: Evening Thoughts (Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006), The Sacred Universe (Columbia University Press, 2009), Christian Future and the Fate of Earth (Orbis Book, 2009). She is a member of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and is a member of the Earth Charter International Council. B.A. Trinity College, M.A. SUNY Fredonia, M.A. Fordham University, PhD Columbia University.