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Drew Theological School Professor Laurel Kearns Co-Edits, Publishes Book

Religion and Nature in North America is released in time for Earth Day

April 2024 – Drew Theological School Professor of Ecology, Religion, and Society Laurel Kearns has co-edited with Whitney A. Bauman the recently-published Religion and Nature in North America.

The book features a range of scholars in the field of religion and ecology who delve into the religious and spiritual values that shape human engagement with nature. Kearns is also a contributor to three chapters within the book. Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, assistant professor of religion and society, co-authored a chapter on environmental racism. Theological School PhD student Beth Quick assisted with content preparation of the book.

The book contains over 95 images and provides a survey of the key topics and religious traditions in the study of religion and nature in North America. Readers are introduced to the ways in which religions have shaped thinking about the many dimensions of nature and affected the socio-political and ecological landscapes of North America.

The overview, co-written by Kearns, explores the impacts of European colonialism that continues to impact modern day issues of environmental justice and climate change, as well as the breadth of intersectional environmentalisms that include race, indigeneity, class, gender, sexuality, disability, animals, and place. 

Kearns has been a professor at the Theological School since 1994. She is Theological School Community Garden faculty adviser and the TERRA student group adviser. She is the co-founder of the Green Seminary Initiative and has published countless articles on ecological and environmental justice.

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