Community gathering to focus on religion and the environment, Religious leaders, public invited to Sept. 30 event

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Local religious leaders and interested members of the public are invited to conversations with Vanderbilt University researchers on Christianity and the environment on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The Nashville Forum on Christianity and the Environment will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Fondren Hall at the Scarritt-Bennett Center, 1008 19th Ave. S. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register, send an e-mail to with “registration” in the subject line and name, title and contact information in the body of the e-mail.

The idea for the forum grew out of conversations between local religious leaders, Christian environmentalists, graduate students and faculty in the Ecology and Spirituality Research Group of Vanderbilt’s Center for the Study of Religion and Culture.

“This isn’t about talking at the audience to tell them how they ought to live,” said Beth Conklin, associate professor of anthropology and co-director of the research project with David Wood, professor of philosophy.

“Instead, we want this forum to be a time when we can listen and learn from people in our local Christian community as they speak with each other. Our hope is that these conversations and resource-sharing will spill over into sermon content, community service and outreach programs, and the choices we make in our everyday lives.”

The agenda:
8:30 to 9 a.m.: Registration and breakfast

9 to 10:15 a.m.: General session on “Problems and Possibilities,” including remarks on “Christians and the Environment: A Complex History” and “The Crisis of Global Warming.”

10:30 to 11:45 a.m.: Breakout sessions on “Poverty, Racism and the Environment,” “Christian Vocation and Sustainable Farming,” “International Missions and Environmental Issues” and “The Bible and Water Management.”

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Lunch, with information displays on Christian environmentalism

12:45 to 2 p.m.: Breakout sessions on “Environmental Stewardship in a Left-Behind World,” “The Environment and Christian Discipleship” and “Christian Environmental Activism: The Pros and Cons of Partnering with Secular Environmental Organizations.”

2:15 to 3 p.m.: General session on “How Should We Live?”

Speakers for the forum will include Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University; Lee Camp, professor of Christian ethics at David Lipscomb University; and Lyndsay Mosley of the Sierra Club’s Faith Partnerships initiative.

For more information about the Ecology and Spirituality Research Group at the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture at Vanderbilt, visit

For news about Vanderbilt University, visit VUCast, the website of Vanderbilt News Service, at

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS

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