Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sewanee launches Center for Religion and Environment

The Rev. Phina Borgeson, Episcopal News Service correspondent for science and the environmen writes in Episcopal Life:

The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, has announced the creation of the Center for Religion and Environment, which connects its College of Arts and Sciences, School of Theology, and All Saints Chapel in a partnership to strengthen its mission in education, church and society. [...]

In an interview with ENS, Gottfried mused about the kind of programs the center might offer that could help dioceses and congregations involved in creation care. One possibility could be to provide resources for best practices, he said. The center might also foster environmental formation at various levels, such as for Bible study leaders and youth ministers seeking to strengthen eco-spirituality in their programs.

This is exciting news from Sewanee regarding The Episcopal Church's expanding mission to promote environmental stewardship. ' bring together the resources of the university to address the challenge he calls "environmental formation" -- integrating "faith, practice, and the understanding of environmental issues for our students."

And Sewanee already has in place:

Sewanee's unique mix of resources includes its management of the Domain, 13,000 acres of sustainably managed and protected wild land on Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau which serves as a living laboratory for environmental sciences. The Domain also provides an experiential grounding and source of inspiration for those working on spiritualities of creation care or environmental policy. According to Gottfried, an environmental theology requires an experiential, not just an intellectual, grounding.

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