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Center for Faith and Vocation

Religion Seminar Series, 2018–2019

Butler University Center for Faith and Vocation Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs  presents

Sacred Places: Intersections of Religion and Ecology

Four Public Seminars: September 25, October 30, January 28, and March 4

Each seminar meets from 7:00–9:00 PM on the campus of Butler University, 4600 Sunset Avenue.

For parking on Butler University’s campus, patrons should park in the Sunset Avenue Parking Garage. Fees can be found at

The Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs is a program of the Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University, promoting understanding of interfaith and intercultural relations through the discussion of religious issues in global perspectives.

We wish to thank our partners, the Philosophy, Religion, and Classics Department and Global and Historical Studies.

Thank you also to Grace Unlimited, a Lutheran Episcopal campus ministry at Butler University, for their sponsorship.

The Places that Move Us: Ecological Vocations

Tuesday, September 25, 7:00 PM

Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Arts Center

What draws people to the work of ecology, conservation, and environmental activism? In what sense is that work a vocation, a calling? In this session, we will hear from three scholars and activists, each with their own unique inspiration and vision of the work of ecology as a vocation.

Keynote Speaker

Laurel KearnsLaurel D. Kearns  is Professor of Ecology, Society and Religion at Drew Theological School where she has taught for 24 years. During this time, she has helped eco-justice to become rooted in the Drew curriculum, co-founded the Green Seminary Initiative, and published extensively on religious involvement on ecological issues such as environmental justice, climate change, and food.


Travis RyanTravis J. Ryan  is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Butler University and currently serves as the department chair. He has expertise in urban ecology and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Urban Naturalist.

Murat EyubogluMurat Eyuboglu is a filmmaker and music historian specializing in Gustav Mahler’s works. After The Colorado (2016), his second feature documentary is focusing on the Amazon River Basin in South America.

Non-Theistic Perspectives on the Environment: Buddhist and Jain Ecologies 

Tuesday, October 30, 7:00 PM

Fairview Common Room

In this session, we will hear from scholars of two non-theistic religious traditions and learn how these traditions frame care for the Earth without reference to a Creator God. We will discover that Buddhism and Jainism contain powerful and promising resources, such as non-harm and interdependence, that can promote a robust environmental ethic.

Keynote Speakers

ChappleChristopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He has published more than 20 books including Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions (1993), Hinduism and Ecology (2000, with Mary Evelyn Tucker), Jainism and Ecology (2002), and In Praise of Mother Earth (2012). He edits the journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology and serves on the advisory board of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.

Daniel CozortDaniel Cozort is a Professor and chair of the Department of Religion at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he has taught since 1988. A specialist in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, he has in recent years focused on Buddhist ethics as editor of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics and the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics.

Global Religious Perspectives on Climate Change

Monday, January 28, 2019 7:00 PM

Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Arts Center

Climate change is the most significant environmental problem of our time. In this session we will consider the perils of climate change from a global perspective with the help of scholars of Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism.

Keynote Speakers

sophia OhJea Sophia Oh  is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, teaching Religion and Ecology, Environmental Ethics, Asian Philosophy, and Comparative Religions. Her book, A Postcolonial Theology of Life: Planetarity East and West (2011), is the first approach to bridge postcolonialism and ecological theology as well as the first full version of Asian ecofeminist theology.


kroneAdrienne Krone is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Jewish Life at Allegheny College. Her research focuses on religious food justice movements in North America. Intersecting her interests in religion and ecology, she has focused on the Jewish Communal Farms Movement.

David HabermanDavid L. Haberman is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University. Much of his work has centered on temple Hinduism, the worshipful interaction with embodied forms of divinity. His current interests include the relationship between religion, ecology, and nature.

Greening Indiana: Theologies and Ethics of Sustainability

Monday, March 4, 2019, 7:00 PM

Schrott Center for the Arts, Butler Arts Center

What does it mean to “think globally and act locally” in terms of ecology and ecojustice? In this session, we will hear from three scholars and activists on the important environmental work being done right here in Indiana.

Keynote Speaker

Lisa H. SiderisLisa H. Sideris is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University with research interests in environmental issues at the intersection of science and religion. She is author of Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (2003) and Consecrating Science: Wonder, Knowledge, and the Natural World (2017).


Denise Abdul-RahmanDenise Abdul-Rahman ​works on the NAACP (Indiana) Environmental Climate Justice Program. The context in which it is addressed is a human and civil rights frame with three objectives: equitably reduce harmful emissions, particularly greenhouse gases; advance equitable energy efficiency and equitable energy; and strengthen community resilience and livability.

Dori ChandlerDori Chandler is an environmental planner, climate activist, and educator working to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, ecojustice, waste reduction and reuse. She is the statewide coordinator and group leader with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a board member with Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, and she also works with the Jewish community and interfaith initiatives at Butler University.

Previous Years' Brochures

For many years Butler University has sponsored the Butler Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs. In 2003, the Lilly Endowment Inc. funded the creation of the Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University which now sponsors the Butler Seminar. Below is a selection of past seminars in the form of the original brochures that were created for each event.

World Christianity in the New Century, 1999–2000

Religion and Law at Home and Abroad, 2003–2004

Religion and Science, 2004–2005

Religion and Media, 2005–2006

Religion and the Corporation, 2006–2007

Secularism and Religion in Global Perspective, 2007–2008

Darwin, Religion and Society, 2008–2009

Jerusalem: Traditions, Realities and Prospects, 2009–2010

Religion, Peacemaking and Conflict, 2010–2011

Global Christianity in the 21st Century, 2011–2012

Religion and Global Health, 2012–2013

Freedom of Expression and Religion, 2013–2014

Religion and Reconciliation in Global Perspective, 2014–2015

Religion, Race and Culture, 2015–2016

Religion and Trans Lives in a Global Perspective, 2016–2017 (View the recorded series sessions)

Religion, Refugees, and Migration, 2017–2018 (View the recorded series sessions

For more information, please go to


The Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs is a program of the Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University, promoting understanding of interfaith and intercultural relations through the discussion of religious issues in global perspectives.


After each event, video will be available on this website.