Thursday, July 23, 2015

2016 Religion Conference: Religion in the Age of the Anthropocene: Towards a Common Cause? - A Common Ground Conference


Washington D.C., USA
The Catholic University of America
23-24 March 2016

Dear Delegate,

The International Advisory Board is pleased to announce the Call For Papers for the Sixth International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society being held at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., USA from 23-24 March 2016.


"Religion in the Age of the Anthropocene: Towards a Common Cause?"

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 2016 meeting will feature a special focus on this provocative subject. We welcome open debate, discourse, and research from participants that center on this special topic, as well as any other themes or issues relevant to religion and spirituality in society.


Proposals for paper presentations, workshops, focused discussions or colloquia are invited that address the broader themes listed below. In addition to the special focus, paper presentations will be grouped into one of the following categories for presentation at the conference:

Theme 1: Religious Foundations
Theme 2: Religious Community and Socialization
Theme 3: Religious Commonalities and Differences
Theme 4: The Politics of Religion
Theme 5: Religion in the Age of the Anthropocene: Towards a Common Cause?

The current review period closing date for the latest round of submissions to the Call for Papers (a title and short abstract) is 18 August 2015.

For more information on the conference including confirmed plenary speakers as well as details on submitting your proposal, future deadlines, and registering for the conference, visit:

Web address:
Sponsored by: Religion and Spirituality in Society / Common Ground Publishing

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