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18th Annual Symposium: Religion, Faith and the Environment

April 12, 2013 @ 8:00 am - April 13, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment

18th Annual Symposium
Religion, Faith, and the Environment

April 12th & 13th, 2013


The Stegner Center’s eighteenth annual symposium will focus on the intersection of Religion, Faith, and the Environment.  It has been nearly half a century since UCLA historian Lynn White named the Judeo-Christian tradition one of the “root” causes of “our ecological crisis.”  Much has changed since then.  Across the world, people of faith are stepping forward to explain why our spiritual connections to the earth demand environmental protection.  At the same time, religion remains intertwined with some of the most vexing environmental problems.  Our symposium aims to examine, and help untangle, these fascinating issues.  What is the relationship between religion and environmental degradation and protection?  What can people of faith add to the environmental movement?  Can religion help bridge the political divide on environmental issues?  Can it change how we regulate pollution, energy consumption, and resource use?  Should it?

Our approach is multidisciplinary in both format and substance.  Speakers include religious and secular leaders and scholars from a multitude of areas, including law, policy, science, economics, and the humanities.  Topics include the varying perspectives of different faith traditions on the environment, land use, biodiversity and resiliency, the pragmatics and ethics of religious and environmental activism, and the relationship between law, religion, and the environment.

View the Symposium Brochure

Friday, April 12

8:00 Welcome

8:15 Ecological Protection, Environmental Degradation—Perspectives of Faith

Lincoln Davies, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

8:15 Christianity
Tri Robinson, Vineyard Boise Church

8:45 Buddhism
Carmella Javellana-Hirano, Salt Lake Buddhist Temple

9:15 Hinduism
Vasudha Narayanan, Department of Religion, University of Florida

9:45 Break

10:15 Islam
Muhammed Shoayb Mehtar, Khadeeja Islamic Center 

10:45 Mormonism
Marcus Nash, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

11:15 Common Q&A

11:45  Native American Blessing

Lacee Harris, Ute Spiritual Leader

12:00  Lunch             

1:00 Spirits of the Land—Religion, Stewardship, and Resource Use   

Robert Keiter
, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Matthew Seddon, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Jamie Korngold, Adventure Rabbi
James Rasband, Brigham Young University Law School

2:30 Break

3:00 Noah’s Heirs?—Biodiversity, Endangered Species, and Resiliency        

Robin Craig, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College ofLaw

Mark Brunson, Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University
Elizabeth Kronk, School of Law, University of Kansas
Nalini Nadkarni, Department of Biology, University of Utah

4:30-5:30 Keynote
Sally Bingham, Interfaith Power & Light

Saturday, April 13

8:30 Eco-faith, Eco-ethics—Religious Advocacy on Climate Change and the Environment

Michele Straube
, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Robert H. Nelson, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
Irma Russell, School of Law, University of Montana
George Handley, Department of Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature, Brigham Young University

10:00 Break

10:25 Religious Roots, New Futures?—The Promise and Peril of Faith in Environmental Law

Amy Wildermuth
, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Jedediah Purdy, Duke Law
Sarah Krakoff, Law School, University of Colorado
Jonathan Cannon, Law School, University of Virginia

11:55 Calvary Baptist Choir

12:15-1:00 Keynote
John Nagle, Law School University of Notre Dame

10 hours CLE (includes 1 ethics) credit email communications@law.utah.edu


April 12, 2013 @ 8:00 am
April 13, 2013 @ 1:00 pm
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S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States


Wallace Stegner Center