Sarah Jean Hautzinger

Grant Type

Workshop Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Colorado College

Grant number

Gr. CONF-903

Approve Date

October 3, 2022

Project Title

Hautzinger, Sarah (Colorado College) "Religious Responses to Climate Crisis"

The threat of climate collapse is increasingly felt and feared, and the scale of projected future harm is almost beyond comprehension. This workshop explores anthropological work on how religions’both formal and informal’bring guidance to confront and navigate the emotional, moral and ethical dimensions of the crisis. A set of paradoxes regarding climate change will shape our discussions: the global nature of climate change alongside remarkably divergent local impacts, meanings, and consequences; the fact that religions are inspiring both climate action and inaction, care and harm, and temporalities and moral framings that expand or limit relations of care; and finally that the scale of the crisis further complicates the already porous division between the sacred and the secular. In response, three focal themes will structure our work: First, we will address the moral calculus of anthropogenic climate devastation as a point of convergence for many religions. Second, we focus on religious practices as sites of meaning-making, as well as decision-making in response to the crisis. Third, we will together conceptualize how various religious frameworks inform and fuel climate action and justice initiatives. We plan an edited volume that will pose a powerful anthropological intervention to overridingly secular approaches to climate crisis, while also addressing a surprising and troubling gap in our discipline’s contributions to date in this area.