Western religion and the environment

Brent Sockness discusses his work studying Western religious thought, the religious overtones within the environmental movement, and the often overlooked role religion might play in the Anthropocene.

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Contributor

Brent Sockness
Brent Sockness holds an M.A. in Religious Studies and Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Chicago, and specializes in modern Western religious thought. His teaching covers a variety of exemplary figures, movements, and topics in the history of European religious thought since the 17th century and explores the way in which the Christian religion has undergone modernization via its engagement with the rise of the natural sciences, critical history, and liberal democratic institutions. His current research interests focus on German post-Kantian Protestant theology and ethics in the 19th century, especially the work of the early 19th-century philosopher, theologian, and humanist, Friedrich Schleiermacher. He is author of Against False Apologetics: Wilhelm Herrmann and Ernst Troeltsch in Conflict, and numerous articles on Herrmann, Troeltsch, and Schleiermacher.  He is co-editor of Schleiermacher, the Study of Religion, and the Future of Theology. He has held fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the American Academy in Berlin, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is Vice-President of the German Schleiermacher-Gesellschaft and serves as the Interim Director of Stanford’s program in Ethics in Society. He is an associate professor and the Graduate Director in the Religious Studies Department.

 Interviewer

Alessandra Santiago
Alessandra Santiago is also a sophomore at Stanford University and who is pursuing a major in Earth Systems (the Biosphere track) and a minor in Art and Art History. As a student whose academic interests lie in the crosshairs of media and environmental sciences, she is passionate about learning and harnessing the art of unorthodox scientific communication to educate and inform. Through her participation on several research projects (working in Chris Fields’ Global Ecology lab, joining Kevin Arrigo’s ICESCAPE Arctic research team, participating in Dr. Patrick Hunt’s Alpine Archaeology Field Course), she has realized that her interest in conducting ecology and anthropology-based research would benefit from using film as a means of conveying her findings. She will be creating a documentary film this summer 2012 about the Hindu Monastic Society in South and Central Ghana as funded by the Beagle II award. Additionally, she thinks Jar Jar Binks is a monstrosity and wishes she could have been born a Spartan.

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