Days of paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters, and colloquia.
Delegates from all over the world who attended the Sixth International Conference on Religion & Spirituality in Society.
A new framework has been presented in recent years to periodize and interpret the effects of human life on the natural environment: the age of the ‘anthropocene’. By this definition, we are now in an era when human activities have become a key macro-determinant of the destiny of the ecosystems of Earth. Critical analyses of this age generally have one of two orientations. One perspective looks back, re-examining the relationship of human social, economic, and technical developments on the natural environment. Another looks forward, attempting to build alternative models of human development that put ecological sustainability as a foundational principle.
The natural environment presents itself as a ground for life and a gift of life in all communities of faith and spiritual meaning. In the ‘age of the anthropocene’, how might faith (and explicitly non-faith) communities productively engage in these critical discussions? Looking backward: could this be an opportunity for productive dialogues between principles of science, economics, and religion? Looking forward: in what ways might faith communities and other communities of spiritual meaning set agendas for personal and community action? What principles of stewardship, compassion, or mutual obligation might they offer? How might they provide leadership on issues of the environment, ecological sustainability, and climate change? Could addressing these concerns also offer a basis for productive inter- faith dialogue, a locus for the development of unified moral voice across differing belief systems? Could the age of the anthropocene, as a focal interpretive mechanism for understanding the intersection of human action, science, and faith, become a site for joining into a ‘common cause’ and a place to share imaginations for the future of human development? Not only might such an agenda have implications for our relations in the natural environment, but also such considerations of the future might prompt us to address related questions of inequality, poverty, and human suffering.
The Sixth International Conference on Religion & Spirituality in Society featured plenary sessions by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field.
For each conference, a small number of Graduate Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students who have an active academic interest in the conference area. The Award with its accompanying responsibilities provides a strong professional development opportunity for graduate students at this stage in their academic careers. The 2016 Graduate Scholar Awardees are listed below.