Workshop: ABRAHAMIC TRADITIONS & ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
Human-induced environmental change has been a consistent process for several millennia. Humans have adapted the elements of the environment to their concomitant, progressive increase in technological power for expansion of their needs and wants. The environmental changes of the present time, however, have reached unprecedented magnitude, as they are literally creating a new environment, in which every element is changing: the carbon cycle, ocean productivity, land cover dynamics, temperature and precipitation distribution through time and space, extreme hazard events, depleted soils, among others. The magnitude of these changes and the subsequent threats they lead to are such that they have inspired intense and careful reflection on actions from natural as well as social science research. The urgency of contemporary environmental change calls for policies and practices that reverse the accelerating degradational trends to ensure social and ecological sustainability.
This workshop will take place with the assumption that ethical, moral and spiritual dimensions of Abrahamic religions help shape cultural and value systems that impact the environment and the subsequent observed change. Furthermore, these religions—viewed by some as part of the causation of human-induced environmental change—have the potential to move society towards ecocentric ethics. Abrahamic traditions on nature-society can contribute in many ways towards material struggles for environmental sustainability and support workable solutions. The workshop has three core goals, namely:
- Contextualize contemporary environmental change through the lens of the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam;
- Learn about each other’s research; and
- Establish new research clusters and teams from the group, and beyond, to strengthen MENA research networks, build more capacity in participants’ home institutions and support long-term academic cooperation.