Mary Evelyn Tucker: “Religion, Ecology, and the Future”

October 13, 2022

This week, religious scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker unpacks the entanglement of religion and ecology from an academic perspective. She and Nate discuss what the roots of environmental ethics in religions all over the world look like and how they’ve been evolving in the face of a climate and biodiversity crisis. Could we learn and leverage the uniting power of religion to help us organize and mobilize against impending global crises?

About Mary Evelyn Tucker

Mary Evelyn is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and the Environment as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies, with a specialty in Asian religions. She teaches in the joint MA program in Religion and Ecology and directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University. Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to co-organize a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard, which were highly successful.

Show Notes & Links to Learn More

00:35 – Mary Evelyn’s Info + Works

02:33Forum on Religion and Ecology + online class


05:40Marlin Perkins, Mutual of Omaha Wildlife Kingdom

05:50Ecological teachings in Christianity

06:02Ayan Mahamoud + TGS Episode

06:08Islam environmental ethic

07:15There is an environmental commentary in all the world’s religions


08:23Paul Winter – Earth Mass

09:05Increasing prevalence of environmental justice

09:20Beginning of environmental justice rooted in christianity

10:44Wangari Maathai

14:30Population and the environmental movement

16:35Consumerism doesn’t satisfy true needs

17:06Pope Francis – LAUDATO SI’

17:16Bill McKibben

18:08Leonardo Boff

18:16 Thomas Berry

18:55Amitav Ghosh

19:31Mary’s grandfather – Carlton J. H. Hayes

21:15Buddhist ecological and relationality Practice

21:44 Joanna Macy

23:45 Anthropocosmic

24:08Journey of the Universe

24:55Mao’s war on religion and Confucianism’s resurgence

25:31Ecological civilization

25:45Belt and Road Initiative

26:48 Tu Weiming

27:37The Green Patriarch in the Orthodox tradition – Bartholomew

28:35 Tom Lovejoy

28:45EO Wilson

30:20Stephen Jay Gould

30:38The inequality of science and humanities in universities

32:10Brian Swimme

35:25Interfaith Rainforest Initiative

37:38United Religions Initiative, calls for UN movement

39:10EcoPeace Middle East

40:10Humans’ groupish nature

40:45In India the waters are considered sacred but the waters are polluted (Yamuna River)


45:18In times of anxiety people tend to move towards religion

45:3085% of people in the world identify as religious

47:37On Trees: A Conversation With Peter Wohlleben, Jessica J. Lee, and Sumana Roy (Yale Webinar)

52:10Jane Goodall on chimpanzees having personalities and relations

52:26Suzanne Simard

53:12 René Descartes


54:54 Greta Thunberg

55:00 Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement

55:15Chaplaincy for how to deal with eco-anxiety

59:26Webb telescope images



Teaser photo credit: By Zhangzhugang – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13719015

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens is the Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF) an organization focused on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition. Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians and systems thinkers ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughput lifestyles. Nate holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He teaches an Honors course, Reality 101, at the University of Minnesota.

Tags: ecology, religion