Fall 2023

Ecology and Religion

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-124


Matthew Westermayer (Section 01)


Have Western religions estranged us from the natural world? How does the environment shape religious thought and practice? This course explores religion in both the ancient world and in our present time, in order to uncover a history of entanglement, and tension, with the world’s places, plants, and animals. From revelations on top of mountains to animal sacrifice, religious practice cannot be separated from the natural environment. We will study the following themes: defining religion and nature; cosmology; spirituality and materiality; sacred and secular space; anthropocentrism (the preeminence of humans over other living beings); animal and vegetal life. 

Fall semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Westermayer.

Pending Faculty Approval

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: There will be an emphasis on written work, in-class writing, readings, independent research, oral presentations, and group work.

RELI 124 - LEC

Section 01
M 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM CHAP 205
W 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM CHAP 205

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
The Practice of the Wild: Essays Catapult(, September 8, 2020) Snyder, Gary Required Amherst Books TBD
Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology Routledge, 1st ed., (June 20, 2018) Jenkins, Tucker, Grim eds. Required Amherst Books TBD
The Overstory W.W. Norton & Company, Reprint ed. (April 2, 2019) Powers, Richard Required Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023