Religion and Ecology Forum

The Shri Kunja proposes to introduce a ‘Religion and Ecology Forum’ for advanced research students. The course aims at a systematic attempt to explore environmental questions from the perspective of the world’s most pervasive religions. The multiple aspects of our current environmental crisis have created problems at a global scale. In response to these challenges there is a growing recognition of a need for alternative perception for human-Earth relations.

The program recognizes that the academic study and engagement of world’s religions is critical to the understanding human-earth relationship as well as finding alternative solutions to mould our attitudes towards the earth.


Religions are inherent sources of power for understanding the connection between human-nature relations. They shape our worldviews, wield moral authority that moulds our ethos, and possess institutional assets that can shape a socially just and environmentally sustainable world. All the traditional world religions possess ethical, moral, religious attitudes related to ecological issues.

The emergent study of Religion and Ecology is primarily dedicated ot the critical exploration of the complex relationships among human beings, their diverse religions, and the earth’s living systems.

All the world’s religions explicitly or implicitly have an ecological perspective. Buddhism for example, demonstrates a concern for integrating all aspects of the ecosphere in our living environment by extending compassion and loving kindness to the animal kingdom and the flora and fauna of nature. Hinduism values the power of the natural world through time-honored traditions, emphasizing the need for living without excesses, and in harmony with nature’s rhythms. Jainism stresses the interrelatedness of all forms through a bio-cosmology, rooted in the principle of non-violence. In Confucianism and Daoism there is robust sensibility of the interaction of humans, nature and the cosmos itself. Islam teachings propound a theology of moral responsibility to the stewardship of the earth. The pre-modern indigenous traditions of primal communities emphasize a love for bioregions and land and a reverence for the natural world.

Aim of the Program

The program’s main concern is to establish an interface between ecology and religion as an academic area of study and research. The program is designed to familiarize students with core issues concerning Religious worldviews and cross cultural tensions that have emerged from the historical shifts of worldviews. Such a focus in due course can make a significant contribution to environment policies and offer an alternative model of ecological sustainability, universal earth-ethic that is both comprehensive and culturally based, and responsible patterns of living a holistic life without violating the laws of nature.

The ‘greening’ of Religious Studies is bound to provide a required change in human values, attitudes and behaviours.

This course is arising from an emerging field of study which began with a series of 10 conference sat Harvard (1996-1998) which resulted in 10 volumes on World Religion and Ecology ( This Forum will be an intellectual partner with our Centre

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