Calendar of Events, 2005-2006
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Past REI Events, 2004-2005

Monday, October 3, 4:00 p.m.
Religion & Environment Initiative Orientation Meeting

Cummings Life Science Center 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • come learn more about the Religion and Environment Initiative and help us plan our activities for the year
  • for more info contact Dave at 773-834-0621 or e-mail

Friday, October 7, noon
"Saint Francis and the Animals" discussion group

Curtis Room, 1st floor, Meadville/Lombard Theological School, 56th & Woodlawn

  • bring your own brown bag to this discussion of Saint Francis and the animals, led by Dawn Nothwehr, O.S.F., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Ethics, Catholic Theological Union
  • reading by Thomas A. Nairn, "St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures as an Exercise in the Moral Imagination," will be posted for download at by Monday Oct. 3
  • for more info, contact Dave at 773-834-0621 or e-mail

Saturday, October 8, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The "Ins" and "Outs" of Composting, Urban Style

First Presbyterian Church, 6400 S. Kimbark Ave., Chicago

  • Learn what makes a successful compost pile, and decide which methods will work best for your household. Overview various types of compost bins with an emphasis on bins that work in a city environment. Learn composting basics critical to success with any type of bin and then set up indoor bins to take home (worm bins and stealth bins each cost about $12 in materials). This class is appropriate for beginners and current composters who want to learn more or need help troubleshooting their bin. The instructor, Morgan Elmore, is a master composter, Angelic Organics shareholder, and worm fanatic.
  • Suggested donation $25/person. Additional supply costs for building personal bins.
  • pre-registration required. To register, send your name, address, phone, e-mail, title of workshop, and donation to: CSA Learning Center at Angelic Organics, 1547 Rockton Rd. Caledonia, IL 61011.
  • sponsored by CSA Learning Center at Angelic Organics
  • for more info, call 815-389-8455 or e-mail

Saturday, October 8, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
5th Annual Earth Charter Community Summit

University of Illinois at Chicago, UIC Student Center West, 828 S. Wolcott (Medical Center)

  • Calling all courageous optimists! Do you dream of a world filled with peace, equality, health, and prosperity? Don't just dream about it. . .change the world! Don't miss this important FREE event, held simultaneously with summits in over 25 cities across the country. There will be workshops and presentations, music, networking, and dialogue. Families are welcome; there will even be an opportunity to create a network of parents, children, and students to continue the work. There will also be a special Teacher's Track with CPDU credits available.
  • for full schedule and details, visit or call Linda Osborn at 847-331-5236

Friday, October 14, 10:00a.m.-4:00 p.m.
"A Wind from God: A Theological Conference on Energy Choices"

Common Room, McCormick Seminary first floor, 5460 S. University Ave.

  • What does Hebrew scripture have to say about solar power? What does Islam have to say about wind power? Find out at Faith in Place's annual theological gathering. Prof. Ingrid Mattson from Hartford Seminary, liberation theologian Rev. Dr. Jorge Pixley, and Prof. Ted Hiebert from McCormick Seminary will offer papers and answer questions about the theology of energy. Rev. Clare Butterfield will provide an overview on the world energy situation. Participants will have time for small group conversations about implications of these issues and theological questions for their own congregations. Clergy and laypeople are encouraged to attend; seminary students are welcome.
  • Registration fee of $15 includes an organic vegetarian lunch. Some scholarships are available. For information or to register, contact Clare at 773-235-4640.

Sunday, October 16, 3:00 p.m.
Native Plant Garden Work Day

Garden down the slope (north) from Rockefeller Chapel, SW corner of 58th & Woodlawn

  • come help transplant prairie plants from the garden near Pick to this one, and do some weeding
  • for more info, contact Heather at

Wednesday, October 19, noon-1:30 p.m.
Religious Attitudes and Health

Swift Hall Common Room (first floor), 1025 E. 58th St.

  • come hear John T. Cacioppo, one of the nation's leading experts on social relations and aging, speak about social connectedness and health. Dr. Cacioppo is Director of the Social Pyshcology Program and Co-Director of the Institute for Mind and Biology at the U of C. He is currently involved in the nation's first comprehensive study to examine the relationship between religious attitudes and health.
  • admission is $4 at the door and includes a vegetarian meal (or vegan, with advance notice)
  • reserve a place before Tuesday at noon by contacting Terren at 773-702-8230 or

Thursday, October 20, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Allen Burns Memorial Lecture: "Can't Get No Satisfaction: The Psychodynamics of Life in the Consumer Society"

School of Social Service Administration, 969 E. 60th St.

  • lecture by Paul L. Wachtel, CUNY Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York, and author of The Poverty of Affluence: A Portrait of the American Way of Life
  • The aim of this talk is to illuminate the assumptions that guide both social policy and the choices made by individuals and families in our society. Repeatedly, we overestimate the importance for our well-being of the economic dimension of our lives and so in a way that actually undermines more important sources of satisfaction. From the vantage point of both systematic psychological research and the opportunities afforded by the practice of psychotherapy to probe the complexities and dynamics of subjective experience, a different vision emerges of the path to the good life. This alternative vision, hard-headedly grounded in careful observation, points to a range of alternative policies and to ways of overcoming the tunnel vision and self-misperception that keep us on a course that is both socially unjust and destructive and inimical to achieving real satisfaction in our lives.
  • free, but space is limited; to reserve a spot, call Helen May at 773-702-1172 by Monday, Oct. 17

Saturday, October 22, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
"Social Benefits, Lessons, and Issues of Community Gardening" symposium

Wicker Park Fieldhouse, 1425 N. Damen, Chicago

  • requested $5 donation supports GreenNet's Mini-Grants Program
  • for more info, call 773-251-7515 or e-mail

Sunday, October 23, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Garden Work Day

65th and Woodlawn

  • join community members and students for a work day of work in the community garden located at the northeast corner of 65th and Woodlawn
  • for more info, e-mail or

Thursday, October 27, noon
Religion and Environment Initiative Planning Meeting

Cummings Life Science Center, Room 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • for more info, contact Dave at

Friday, November 4, noon
"Sacred Food: An Exploration of Ethics, Dietary Law, and Modern Agriculture" brown bag discussion

Curtis Room, Meadville/Lombard Theological School, 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave.

  • Part of the REI Brown Bag Discussion Series "Religion and Animals." Discussion will be led by Rev. Clare Butterfield and Shireen Pishdadi of Faith in Place. Readings for the discussion will be "Islamic Environmental Ethics, Law, and Society" by Mawil Y Izzi Dean, "Vegetarianism: A Kashrut for Our Age" by Arthur Green, and "What is Eco-Kosher?" by Arthur Waskow. Readings are available for download at
  • sponsored by the U of C Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more information, call 773-834-0621 or e-mail

Tuesday, November 8, noon
Religion and Environment Initiative Planning Meeting

Cummings Life Science Center, Room 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • for more info, contact Dave at

Wednesday to Friday, November 9 to 11
"Catholic Social Teaching and Ecology" conference

Villanova University, Villanova, PA

  • This conference includes scientists, economists, ethicists, theologians, and scholars of religion. The interdisciplinary approach of the conference is promising for the emerging role of religion in the discussions of environmental issues.
  • registration deadline is Nov. 1; $40 for students
  • for more info and to register online, visit

Monday, November 14, 1:30 p.m.
"Crisis and Confession: What Nietzsche and Augustine Have to Say on Soccer Moms and Recycling" talk

Cummings Life Science Center 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • come hear David Allen Barr talk about his B.A. thesis on nature, human nature, and environmental ethics
  • light refreshments will be served
  • for more info, call 773-834-0621 or e-mail

Tuesday, November 15, 6:00 p.m.
"East of Eden: Environmental and Social Justice after the Fall" dinner and conversation

Brent House, 5540 S. Woodlawn Ave.

  • Rev. Jennifer Kottler, Deputy Director of Protestants for the Common Good, will discuss how people of faith can act (politically and otherwise) for social justice and as good stewards of the environment. A free vegetarian meal will be served.
  • cosponsored by Brent House and the U of C Religion and Environment Initiative
  • to RSVP or for more info please call Brent House at 773-947-8700 or e-mail

Tuesday, November 29, noon
Religion and Environment Initiative Planning Meeting

Cummings Life Science Center, Room 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • for more info, contact Dave at

Friday, December 2, noon
"Animals in Native American Religions" brown bag discussion

Curtis Room, Meadville/Lombard Theological School, 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave.

  • Part of the REI Brown Bag Discussion series "Religion and Animals." Join us for a discussion led by Dave Aftandilian, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Chicago.
  • Optional readings are: J. Donald Hughes, "The Powerful Animals," pp. 23-48 in North American Indian Ecology (Texas Western Press, 1996) and Joseph Bruchac, "All Is Living around Us: Animal People and Plants," pp. 155-163 in Our Stories Remember: American Indian History, Culture, and Values through Storytelling (Fulcrum Publishing, 2003).
  • readings are available for download at
  • sponsored by the U of C Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more info, call 773-834-0621 or e-mail

Sunday, December 4, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fair Trade Fair

Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 875 Lake St., Oak Park

  • Come join Faith in Place for a Fair Trade Fair! Handmade clothing, gifts for the home, fair trade coffee and chocolate, olive oil, and beautiful hand made soaps will be available all made by fair trade cooperatives in India, Central and South America, and Chicago. Vendors will include MarketPlace of India,, Enterprising Kitchen, From the Ground Up (honey and worm castings), and Equal Exchange. If you are planning to do any gift shopping in December, take this opportunity to use your holiday buying power in a way that aligns with your religious, economic, and ecological values.
  • for more information, contact Clare,

Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 p.m.
Environmental Poetry Open Mic Night

Lutheran School of Theology, Common Room 350, 1100 E. 55th St.

  • Come share and enjoy artistic creations with themes relating to nature, creation, earth, ecojustice, and ecotheology. Bring poetry, songs, and other endeavors. Be creative!
  • sponsored by LSTC's Green Zone environmental group
  • for more information, contact Paul Bailie at

Wednesday, January 25, noon-1:30 p.m.
"Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, and Intelligent Design: The Schism between Science and Religion" talk and lunch with Dava Sobel

Swift Hall, first floor Common Room, 1025 E. 58th St.

  • Dava Sobel is a bestselling science writer justly renowned for her ability to present arcane subjects in riveting and readable prose. Her latest book is The Planets (2005), a history of the individual members of our "solar family" as they have been explained by science, mythology, visual art, and popular culture throughout the ages. In 2001 Sobel received both the National Science Board's Public Service Award and the Bradford Washburn Award from the Museum of Science in Boston.
  • Wednesday Luncheons are open to all and cost $4 at the door. A vegetarian meal is served; vegan meals are available upon request.
  • reservations are required; e-mail
  • for more information about this event and other Wednesday luncheons, visit

Wednesday, January 25, 4:00 p.m.
"Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Ethics in the Midst of Scientific Chaos" lecture by Dr. Janet Rowley

Swift Hall, third floor lecture room, 1025 E. 58th St.

  • Janet Rowley, Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Medicine, has received such honors as the Lasker Award and the National Medal of Science--the nation's highest scientific honor--for her cancer research. A member of the President's Council on Bioethics, she is actively working with the states of Illinois and California to draft guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research.
  • free and open to the public
  • cosponsored by the Trustees of the Baptist Theological Union and the Divinity School
  • for more info, or special needs assistance, please contact Terren Ilana Wein at or 773-702-8230

Wednesday, January 25, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
"Faith and Science: Intersections in Everyday Life" panel discussion

South Lounge, Reynolds Club 2nd floor, 1135 E. 57th St.

  • As science increases our knowledge about the nature of the world around us, how does one reconcile these emerging facts with faith and a religious life? The University Community Service Center is presenting a panel discussion to deliberate this question. The panel will consist of community members who work with these problems on a daily basis: an educator, a hospital chaplain, and a journalist. We will focus on issues like the teaching of evolution, advances in medical technology, and death and dying as they are dealt with by working adults in the real world, outside the theoretical sphere of a university classroom.
  • for more info, e-mail

Tuesday, February 7, 6:00 p.m.
"What ONE Can Do--Going Beyond Despair" dinner & conversation

Brent House, 5540 S. Woodlawn Ave.

  • The problems in the world seem so insurmountable, what, indeed, can ONE do? The Rev. Mike Kinman, Director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, will talk about what what one person and one community can do to address such problems as global poverty, HIV/AIDS, and universal primary education. Mike is also a contributor to Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog. You can read about his travels and work on his blog at
  • We'll share a free vegetarian meal, followed by conversation with Mike. An RSVP to or 773-947-8000 is helpful for planning.
  • cosponsored by Brent House and the Religion and Environment Initiative

Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m.
Interfaith Eco-Vegan Tu B'Shvat Seder: Celebrate the New Year of the Trees

Bartlett Commons Trophy Room, 5640 S. University Ave.

  • Come celebrate the Jewish New Year of the Trees with us. Enjoy yummy organic, vegan, and kosher fruits, nuts, and cookies while learning about Jewish environmental traditions and our local environment. Voluntary donations will be used to purchase native plants and/or an informational sign for the new Native Plant Garden that was started last year behind Rockefeller Chapel. Free; people of all faiths are welcome.
  • cosponsored by the Baha'i Campus Association, Chicago Friends of Israel, ECO, Environmental Studies Program, GCI, Hillel Jewish Student Kehilah, Jewish Action, Jewish Campus Service Corps, Newberger Hillel Center, Religion and Environment Initiative, and the Vegan Society
  • for more info, contact Deborah at or Dave at or 773-834-0621

Monday, February 20, 5:00 p.m.
"Breaking the Link Between Poverty and Poor Health: An Introduction to Project HEALTH" information session

Pick Hall, Room 105, 5828 S. University Ave.

  • Interested in making life better for low-income families in the Hyde Park/Kenwood/Woodlawn area? Do you love community service, but wish you could make a bigger impact? Wish you could use your own original ideas to have a sustained influence on public health? Then come learn more about a *new opportunity* on campus to actually do something in response to those concerns.
  • Project HEALTH works to break the link between poverty and poor health by mobilizing college students to provide sustained public health interventions in partnership with urban hospitals, universities, and community organizations. In conjunction with physicians, social workers, attorneys, and other clinic staff, Project HEALTH's undergraduate volunteers design and implement innovative programs to address the specific unmet needs of low-income families, such as clinic-based resource and advocacy centers and after-school programs. Currently, Project HEALTH's 250 undergraduate volunteers run 21 programs in Boston, Harlem, Providence, and Washington, D.C., which serve over 3,000 families each year.
  • for more information, visit or e-mail

Friday, February 24, 11:30am
"Eco-Feminist Spirituality: Opening a Pathway Back to Balance in All Our Relationships" brown bag discussion

Cummings Life Science Center 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • discussion will be led by Patricia Bombard, BVM, M.A., D.Min., Executive Director of the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Hyde Park (
  • Dr. Bombard's talk will briefly survey the history and characteristics of the ecology, feminist, and spirituality movements of the latter half of the 20th Century. She will also provide a beginning understanding of and appreciation for the "organic" interdevelopment of the ecology, feminist, and spirituality movements into the "Eco-Feminist-Spirituality Movement" in recent decades in response to the personal and environmental devastation attributed to Western patriarchal culture. Finally, she will explore the possible implications of the Eco-Feminist-Spirituality Movement for personal, institutional, and societal transformation in the 21st Century
  • an optional background reading will be posted at
  • cosponsored by the Religion and Environment Initiative, Feminist Majority, and the Center for Gender Studies
  • for more information, or to request a disability-related accommodation, please contact Esther at or Dave at 773-834-0621

Wednesday, March 1, 8:30 p.m.
Michael Lerner speaks on "Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right"

Swift Hall (Divinity School), 3rd floor lecture hall, 1025 E. 58th St.

  • Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of Tikkun magazine, will give a talk based on his new book, The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right
  • for more information, contact Joe at

Thursday, March 9, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
"Black Religions and Spiritualities in Global Perspectives" talk

Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park Room, 78 E. Washington St.

  • Dwight N. Hopkins, Professor of Theology in the U of C Divinity School, works in the areas of contemporary models of theology, black theology and liberation theology. In this conversation, Prof. Hopkins will discuss the mission of the International Association on Black Religions and Spiritualities, established in January 2006 to build a network of black peoples internationally whose primary concerns revolve around issues of justice and human dignity for darker skin communities and countries worldwide. The Association strives to inspire hope that a better world is possible, a world where cooperation, peaceful relations and joint action programs rule. The Association focuses on a spirituality of justice, compassion, education and advocacy.
  • free and open to the public
  • to register or for more information, please contact Molly Bartlett at 773-702-8248 or

Friday, March 10, 12:30 p.m.
"Reconnecting Women, Men, and Earth: An Islamic Perspective on Global Issues" brown bag talk

Cummings Life Science Center, Room 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • This brown bag talk and discussion will be led by Shireen Pishdadi, Muslim Outreach Coordinator for Faith in Place ( and founder of TAQWA, a cooperative offering sustainably and humanely raised meats that also satisfy Muslim dietary requirements.
  • Today's greatest challenges surrounding the environment and women are evidence of a deep problem with our modern paradigms. Only by re-establishing the divinely ordained relationships between humans and the earth, between the genders, and foremost between ourselves and God Exalted most High, can we create harmony in the world.
  • optional background readings have been posted online at
  • cosponsored by the Religion and Environment Initiative, Center for Gender Studies, and Feminist Majority
  • for more information, contact Esther Bowen at

Thursday, March 30, 7:30 p.m.
"Lutheran Resources for Sustainability" lecture

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 E. 55th St.

  • lecture will be given by Dr. Larry Rasmussen, a renowned Christian ethicist whose present work seeks to provide a moral and theological reorientation to address earth's distress as a result of unsustainable uses of human power. Dr. Rasmussen received his B.D. from Luther Theological Seminary and his Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary, New York City, where he was also Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics from 1986-2004. Among his books are Earth Community, Earth Ethics (Orbis, 1996), Moral Fragments & Moral Community: A Proposal For Church in Society (Fortress, 1993), and Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Reality & Resistance (WJK, 2005).
  • for more information contact Dr. Vitor Westhelle at 773-256-0764 or

Tuesday, April 4, 7:00 p.m.
Opening Ceremony for the New Interfaith Space in Rockefeller Chapel

Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave.

Wednesday, April 5, 5:00 p.m.
Fair Trade Coffee and Chocolate Tasting

Bartlett Lounge (Trophy Room), 5640 S. University Ave.

  • Join us for an evening of learning about the coffee roasting process and the importance of fair trade coffee. Enjoy free samples of many varieties of fair trade coffee and fair trade chocolate.
  • special guest: Tadesse Meskela, general manager of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, the largest fair trade coffee producer in Ethiopia, birthplace of coffee
  • cosponsored by U of C Students for Fair Trade, U of C Amnesty International, The Giving Tree, Green Campus Initiative, Environmental Concerns Organization, Religion & Environment Initiative, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and Oxfam America
  • for more information, contact Laura Hollinger at 773-702-7111 or

Friday, April 7, 12:30 p.m.
"Conceptions of Conception and a Historical Perspective on Perfect Babies"

Cummings Life Science Center, Room 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • talk and discussion with Adam Shapiro, Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, University of Chicago
  • Mr. Shapiro will be discussing Chapter 3 of Leon Kass's Towards a More Natural Science. In this chapter, Kass argues for genotypic equality and against the kinds of genetic forecasting, genetic contraception or abortion, and the potential for cloning which are enabled by new technologies. Shapiro will discuss the history of some of these issues before the technologies Kass refers to were developed, leading to the question: To what extent does Kass's argument rely upon the "new" technology he decries, and to what extent does a historical perspective alter, reinforce, or refute the basis for his argument?
  • optional reading available for download at
  • sponsored by the Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more information, contact Subir at or Dave at 773-834-0621

Monday, April 17, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
3rd Annual Interfaith Social Justice Passover Seder

Ida Noyes Hall, first floor Library, 1212 E. 59th St.

  • As we celebrate the weeklong holiday of Passover and our emergence from slavery to freedom, we do not want to forget the injustice and strife that still abound around the world. We will be reading a collection of texts compiled by students that allow us to reflect on issues ranging from discrimination and harm to the environment to many other modern plagues that afflict us.
  • The Seder will consist of a communal reading and dinner. ALL FOOD WILL BE FREE, VEGETARIAN (WITH VEGAN OPTIONS), AND KOSHER FOR PASSOVER.
  • cosponsored by Newberger Hillel Center, Jewish Action, Religion and Environment Initiative, and Baha'i Campus Association
  • for more information, contact Deborah Megdal at

Thursday, April 20, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
U of C Environmental Center Open House

Reynolds Club, basement room 002A, 1135 E. 57th St.

  • please join us for an introduction to the University's student-run Environmental Center (UCEC) and the RSOs that use it, including a tour of the newly repainted and reorganized Center and an opportunity to learn about environmental student groups on campus and their activities
  • refreshments will be served
  • for more information or to RSVP, e-mail Kate at or Liz at

Friday, April 21, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Social Justice Summit

Center for Gender Studies / CSRPC, 5733 S. University Ave.

  • This end of the year workshop will focus on transitions and annual allocations. Come and learn how to prepare an annual budget for the next school year. There will also be a workshop on organizing tactics.
  • This will be a great time to think about upcoming leaders for your organization, talk to other RSOs about their plans for next year, and figure out what information your group still needs to acquire.
  • for more information, contact Miranda at or Leah at

Sunday, April 23, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
"What Would It Take? A Workshop to Help Your Congregation Adopt Better Environmental Practices"

Beth Emet the Free Synagogue, 1224 Dempster, Evanston

  • Faith in Place invites you to learn what it takes to have a cutting-edge program of environmental care! Send a team to learn how to design a complete environmental ministry for your congregation. Topics will include renewable energy, natural landscaping, "Eating as an Ethical Act," and more.
  • $20 registration fee is requested, payable at the door, but no one will be turned away
  • for more information, including a complete schedule, visit

Wednesday, April 26, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
"The Bible's Influence on Western Values and Nature" lunch/talk

Swift Hall Common Room, 1025 E. 58th St.

  • The Community Lunch will feature guest speaker Dr. Theodore Hiebert. Hiebert is the Francis A. McGaw Professor of Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary, which he joined in 1995. Among the courses he regularly teaches at McCormick are Genesis, Isaiah, Job and Its Modern Interpreters, and Biblical Perspectives on Nature.
  • $4 admission at the door for vegetarian lunch
  • advance registration required by noon on Tuesday; e-mail to register, and let them know if you want a vegan lunch when you register

Friday, May 5, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
"A Generation of Seekers Plans Greener Deaths: Boomer Culture and the Search for Meaning and Values in Ecologically Conscious Burial Choices"

Cummings Life Science Center, Room 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • brown bag talk by Sarah McFarland Taylor, assistant professor of religious studies at Northwestern University and author of the forthcoming book Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology of North American Environmental Nuns
  • In this presentation, Taylor presents her research into the world of ecological funerals, wildlife conservation death parks, recyclable "ecopod" caskets, and other aspects of green death culture. In doing so, she considered what the scope and significance of the green death movement might reveal about Americans' spiritual sensibilities and attitudes toward nature in the twenty-first century. Building upon Wade Clark Roof's study of the spirituality of the Baby Boom Generation, Taylor specifically examines what happens to aging boomers as they enter the stage of "end of life planning" and begin to seek out more ecologically conscious alternatives to conventional burial and funerary practices.
  • light refreshments will be served
  • sponsored by the Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more information, please contact Dave Aftandilian at or 773-834-0621

Saturday, May 6
2nd Midwest Environmental Ethics Conference: "Making Ethics Visible"

St. Paul, Minnesota

  • morning keynote addresses by J. Baird Callicott and Andrew Light will be followed by a panel discussion with Peter Bell and other policymakers that will model how to make ethics visible in community decision-making, using this issue of suburban sprawl as a case study
  • in the afternoon, four hour-long concurrent sessions will promote an interdisciplinary dialogue among academis, professionals, environmental educators, and community members
  • for more info, contact Prof. Heidi Giebel at or visit

Thursday, May 11, 4:00 p.m.
"Can Beauty Save the Earth? A Panel Discussion of Aesthetics, Environmentalism, and Human Values"

Franke Institute, Room S-102 in the Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th St.

  • Landscape and nature have been valued as beautiful objects worthy of our attention in art from Chinese landscape painting of the twelfth century to Dutch landscape painting and Romantic work of many mediums in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe. In similar but divergent ways, the visually aesthetic qualities of nature and landscape have also been valued by the campaigns of John Muir in early twentieth-century United States environmentalism and the writing of authors such as Annie Dillard. Similarly, Mozart showed appreciation for the song of his starling by incorporating its transformations of his melodies into his composition. Claims of nature's intrinsic beauty have also been used to persuade people of its value in spiritual and religious terms.
  • In environmentalism's use of aesthetic arguments, beauty perceived as inherent to nature is used as a reason to prevent the destruction of natural environments. This line of argument rests on the assumption that people are universally moved by nature's beauty, and that this beauty merits preservation. At the core, then, of the connections between the natural environment and aesthetic appreciation lie many questions: How subjective is taste in natural environments? Is it learned? Is there a connection between what we find beautiful in nature and what is an ultimately healthy and beneficial environment (or habitat) in which to live? How effective can an aesthetic appeal be in terms of pragmatic environmentalism? Do pictures, objects, music, or experience speak louder than words in this case, and if so, is this helpful?
  • panelists will include Stephanie Smith, Curator of Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art; Prof. David Rothenberg (, Dept. of Humanities, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Douglas Chien, Conservation Field Representative, Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club
  • organized by ECO; cosponsored by the Big Problems Program in the College, the Franke Institute of Humanities, the Environmental Studies Program, and GCI
  • for more information, contact Laura Veit at; to request a disability-related accommodation, call the Franke Institute at 773-702-8274

Friday, May 12, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
"The Temple in the Marketplace: Challenges of Faith in this Economy" conference

Swift Hall, 1025 E. 58th St.

  • The complex relationships between the church and the economic structures and imperatives of the wider society are the topic for this year's Divinity School Ministry Conference. Speakers from a variety of religious traditions and academic disciplines will address questions of how churches and Christians interact with a for-profit economy, how churches shape, and are shaped by, the economy, and what opportunities and limitations this economy offers for Christian ministry.
  • Lunch will be provided for the first one hundred people who register, and there is no fee to participate. Please register in advance by contacting
  • for more information, visit

Tuesday, May 16, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
"Faith, Politics, and Public Education" talk

Harris School of Public Policy, 1155 E. 60th St., Room TBA

  • Matt Rosen will present and discuss his ministry research
  • please RSVP to

Friday, May 19, 12:30pm
"Is Religion an Evolutionary Adaptation?" brown bag talk

Cummings Life Science Center, Room 157B, 920 E. 58th St.

  • talk and discussion will be led by Prof. Robert Perlman, Dept. of Pediatrics and editor of Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, University of Chicago
  • Why has religion been such an important and enduring part of human life? Quite apart from the truth claims of religion, belief in religion has presumably arisen by an evolutionary process. Some scholars believe that religion is an evolutionary adaptation. In other words, people--or groups--who expressed religious feelings and behaved according to religious precepts survived and reproduced better than those who didn't. David Sloan Wilson (Darwin's Cathedral) argues for group selection; religion fostered altruistic behavior that enhanced the survival of religious communities and the reproductive success of people in these communities. In contrast, Robert Hinde (Why Gods Persist) champions individual selection; people whose religious beliefs gave them a sense of purpose in the world were better able to overcome hardships than were those who lacked this sense of purpose. (Dean Hamer [The God Gene] has even claimed to have found a gene that predisposes people to have religious faith.) Other people, such as Daniel Dennett (Breaking the Spell), argue that religion is just an incidental byproduct of selection for other traits. Darwin, too, was concerned with the evolutionary origins of morality and religion. In The Descent of Man, he raises all of the hypotheses that are being debated today. We will use readings from The Descent of Man to discuss the possible evolutionary origins of religious belief.
  • optional reading will be posted online at
  • sponsored by the Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more information, or to request a disability-related accommodation, please contact Dave at 773-834-0621 or

Saturday, May 20, 10:00 a.m.
Field Trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park

Leave from 57th St. Metra station

  • Did you know that a national park ranked in the top 10 of all national parks in the U.S. for plant biodiversity--the Indiana Dunes--is less than an hour's train ride from Hyde Park? Did you know that the nationwide civic environmentalism movement and the ecological concept of plant succession were both born at the Dunes? And, most importantly, that the Dunes are also quite lovely, with some great hiking trails through woods, dunes, and beaches?
  • Please join us for a fun trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park this Saturday. Meet at 10:00 a.m. sharp (train leaves at 10:14 a.m.) at the outbound ("from city") 57th Street Metra platform to take the South Shore line to the Dune Park station. Bring a lunch and money for train fare ($5.65 each way) and $1 for walk-in entry to the park. There will be an optional ranger-guided hike at 1:00 p.m. Return trains depart from Dune Park station at 3:41, 5:41, and 7:41 p.m.
  • co-sponsored by the Green Campus Initiative and the Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more information, contact Esther at, or visit

Sunday, May 21, 2:00-5:00 p.m.
"What Would It Take? A Workshop to Help Your Congregation Adopt Better Environmental Practices"

First Presbyterian Church, 6400 S. Kimbark Ave.

  • Faith in Place invites you to learn what it takes to have a cutting-edge program of environmental care! Send a team to learn how to design a complete environmental ministry for your congregation. Topics will include renewable energy, the South Side Health Initiative, "Eating as an Ethical Act," and more.
  • $20 registration fee is requested, payable at the door, but no one will be turned away
  • for more information, including a complete schedule, visit

Sunday, May 21, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Native Plant Garden work day

Rockefeller Chapel lawn (downhill), near 58th St. & Woodlawn Ave.

  • Weather permitting (light rain won't stop us, but a downpour will), we will be digging out the plants currently in the Native Plant Garden and bagging their root balls. Then during the day on Monday staff from Facilities will remove the current clay soil in the garden and replace it with well-drained soil that is better for prairie plants.
  • please bring a shovel or trowel if you have one
  • co-sponsored by the Green Campus Initiative and the Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more information, contact Esther at

Monday, May 22, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Native Plant Garden work day

Rockefeller Chapel lawn (downhill), near 58th St. & Woodlawn Ave.

  • following up on Sunday's work, today we'll be transplanting the bagged plants back into the newly re-soiled Native Plant Garden
  • please bring a shovel or trowel if you have one
  • co-sponsored by the Green Campus Initiative and the Religion and Environment Initiative
  • for more information, contact Esther at

Saturday, May 27, 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Art in Action

First Presbyterian Church, 6400 S. Kimbark Ave.

  • Art in Action is an outdoor arts and activism festival that aims to bring together local and University artists and activists to foster sustainable community on the South Side. It will include jazz, funk, and folk music performances, a poetry/hip hop slam, a graffitti artist, face painting, arts workshops, community organization tabling, community issue discussions, free food, and more.
  • for more information, contact Clare Johnson,

Sunday, July 9, following 5:00 p.m. Mass
"Religion, Politics, and Catholic Thought" lecture

Calvert House, 5735 S. University Ave.

  • lecturer will be Dr. Michael Schuck, Associate Professor of Theology, Loyola University Chicago
  • dinner will be provided
  • for more information, call Calvert House at 773-288-2311

Tuesday, July 18, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
"Focus the Nation: Stabilizing the Climate in the 21st Century" talk & discussion

Harper Memorial Library Room 140, 1116 E. 59th St.

  • join us for a talk by Eban Goodstein, Professor of Economics, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR, followed by discussion and some planning
  • FOCUS THE NATION is a major educational initiative that will coordinate teams of faculty, students and staff at over a thousand colleges, universities and high schools in the United States, to collaboratively engage in a nationwide, interdisciplinary discussion centered around the theme of "Stabilizing the Climate in the 21st Century." The project will culminate in the month of January 2008, in the form of one-day symposia to be held simultaneously on campuses across the country.
  • From a base in educational institutions, FOCUS THE NATION will also incorporate participation by religious, civic and business organizations, and has the potential to organize thousands of institutions and, with sufficient effort, millions of participants across the country to focus national attention for a day around a serious discussion of climate stabilization. Our goal is for FOCUS THE NATION to become the "Earth Day 1970" style catalyzing event that turns the national conversation about global warming from recognition coupled with despair towards determination to build a clean energy future.
  • dessert will be served
  • sponsored by the Environmental Studies and Big Problems Programs in the College
  • for more information, contact Dave at 773-834-0621 or

Saturday-Saturday, July 29-August 5
"Emergence: Nature's Mode of Creativity" conference

Star Island, Portsmouth, NH

  • At this 53rd Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) Conference, specialists in cosmology, embryology, brain evolution, primatology, and various religious worldviews will speak on emergence and its religious implications in cosmic and biological evolution. Conferees will discover how emergent properties arise as a consequence of interactions among various life forms, such as the interactions among water molecules that produce a snowflake, the interactions among birds that result in a flock, or the interactions among neurons that generate a memory. While a snowflake or a flock of birds can be reduced to their component parts, they are "something else" than their parts, and thus novel and innovative. Scientists, theologians, philosophers, clergy, and conferees--in plenary sessions and in numerous workshops--will explore what emergence entails in language accessible to a general audience.
  • This week-long conference off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire will also feature an abundance of recreational activities and a program for youth ages 3-17.
  • for more information, visit and

Sunday, August 6, 2:00 p.m.
Hiroshima Day Remembrance

"Nuclear Energy" sculpture, E. side of Ellis Ave. between 56th & 57th Sts.

  • Japan, 1945. . .Iran, 2006? Will the United States soon extend its infamous record as the only county to carry out attacks with nuclear weapons? Please join us to remember the consequences of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and share in the urgent challenge of preventing these horrible weapons from ever being used again.
  • Program will include remarks by Matthew Rothschild, Editor of The Progressive magazine, co-founder and director of The Progressive Media Project; James Thindwa, Chicago Jobs With Justice; Barry Romo, Vietnam Veterans Against the War; Melissa Jennings, Illinois Peace Action. There will also be musical performances by Dave Martin and Samantha Twigg Johnson.
  • rain location: University Church, 57th St. & University Ave.
  • Co-sponsored by: Illinois Peace Action, Hyde Parkers for Peace and Justice, Hyde Park Committee Against War and Racism, American Friends Service Committee, Logan Square Neighbors for Justice & Peace, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, Sauk Valley Interfaith Peace Action, Students for a Democratic Society
  • for more information, visit

rei: religion and environment initiative
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