At first glance the fields of religion and ecology may seem and unlikely pairing, but a deeper consideration reveals the two have a great deal to contribute to one another and are indeed inextricably linked. Religions recognize the unity and interdependence of humans with nature. Ecological sciences affirm this deep interconnection with the natural world. This partnership can inspire work for the wellbeing of the Earth community
This course is part of the Religions and Ecology: Restoring the Earth Community Specialization
Indigenous Religions & Ecology
About this Course
Completing Introduction to Religions and Ecology Course
Skills you will gain
Completing Introduction to Religions and Ecology Course
For more than 300 years, Yale University has inspired the minds that inspire the world. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale brings people and ideas together for positive impact around the globe. A research university that focuses on students and encourages learning as an essential way of life, Yale is a place for connection, creativity, and innovation among cultures and across disciplines.
Syllabus - What you will learn from this course
MODULE 1: Course Introduction
MODULE 2: Introduction to the Study of Indigenous Religions and Ecology
We explore terms and themes in the study of Indigenous religions and ecology. Terms such as Indigeneity, sovereignty, lifeway, cosmovision and cosmopolitics are examined. Underlying themes such as responsibilities, rights and reciprocities with the Earth are highlighted by Native spokespersons. There is an inherent call for interweaving environmental and social justice often referred to as integral ecology.
MODULE 3: From Decolonization to Restoration in Indigenous Communities
Settlers and nation-states have used stereotypes to demean, subjugate, and exploit Indigenous peoples, communities, and lands. “Decolonization” is the recognition of this historical distortion and the racism that continues into the present. In light of this reality, “Indigeneity” may be seen as a call to self-discovery necessary for restoring Indigenous voices and sovereignty in decision-making.
MODULE 4: Native North Americans
Native worldviews and cultural values were undermined by dominant societies. Yet these losses did not fully erase the resilience that has led to recovery of lifeways and traditional knowledge, as described by a Hopi elder. Native peoples in North America have restored relationships with land and seeds, lakes and rivers, animals and biodiversity. This is expressed in ritual revivals among the Crow and Salish peoples as well as ecosystem restoration by Pacific Northwest peoples. We see resilience among Arctic Inuit peoples struggling with climate emergencies, and Gwich’in peoples resisting oil development in caribou calving grounds.
MODULE 5: Native Peoples in Meso-America and South America
We examine Indigenous peoples from Meso-America through the Amazon Basin and South America. In diverse ways their cosmovisions draw on traditional values and practices providing resilience in the face of present challenges. As Indigenous peoples reintegrate their social and spiritual visions they mount creative modes of resistance to exploitation. These contemporary expressions of environmental activism directly relate to their struggles to establish the rights of nature as expressed in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.
MODULE 6: Native Peoples of Africa
We open with Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Prize winning environmentalist and founder of the Greenbelt Movement for reforestation led by women. Then we explore local Native groups in Africa touching on their environmental challenges after centuries of colonization. Forest conservation and climate challenges provide themes for exploring ways in which traditional African societies bring religious worldviews and ethics to bear on these issues.
MODULE 7: Indigenous Peoples in Asia
We examine regions in Asia where Indigenous peoples continue to experience global and national challenges to their cultural integrity. These include projects such as dams, deforestation, and industrial extraction in which environmental resistance provides rallying points for Indigenous cultural survival. We explore the practices of these Indigenous peoples as they ritually interact with land and biodiversity, which also includes the revival of diverse forms of shamanism.
MODULE 8: First Nations in Australia
We examine diverse groups of Indigenous-Aboriginal peoples who for over 50,000 years have inhabited the land mass now called Australia. Cosmovisions, law, and cultural practices find expressions in Dreaming and Songlines, as well as social and eco-justice movements. We hear elders narrate how mythic stories ground fire regimes that keep forested areas cleared. We see how restoration projects bring traditional knowledge forward for renewal of peoples and ecosystems. Many of these ancient custodial relations are now beginning to inform mainstream societies’ ecological practices.
MODULE 9: Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific
The relations of Indigenous peoples to oceans, islands, rivers, and biodiversity are the focus of this module on the Pacific region. Interactive themes such as cosmovisions, transoceanic voyages, food sovereignty, and climate emergencies frame these discussions. Ancient Māori and Hawaiian aspirations toward ecological wellbeing surfaces in the renewal of Indigenous knowledge and cultural practices leading to responsibility for our planet. This also finds expression in the quest for rights of nature.
MODULE 10: Course Conclusion
- 5 stars80%
- 4 stars13.33%
- 3 stars6.66%
TOP REVIEWS FROM INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS & ECOLOGY
I found this very engaging and stimulating to be put through a global indigenous connection with ecology.
Some of the video links did not work but I was able to google the videos
I'm not sure why my grammerly spell check will not work in the reply sections
About the Religions and Ecology: Restoring the Earth Community Specialization
Why do religions matter when we talk about environmental problems and solutions?
The environmental crisis is not simply a political, economic, or technological problem; it is a moral and spiritual call to long-term change. Religious narratives resonate with large numbers of people —85% of the world’s population belong to religious communities. Religions have educational institutions around the world that can inspire people for an ecologically just future. Religious structures and sacred spaces provide a symbolic and practical context for aligning humans with nature. Religions have financial assets that can be used for transformative change, such as divestment and reinvestment. To whom will these courses appeal? Lifelong learners curious to know more about world religions and ecology Environmental professionals eager to deepen the discourse of environmental protection and conservation Those working with non-profit organizations and NGOs on issues of ecological justice, especially where minority communities are adversely affected Those involved in education -- College and high school students looking for a broader view of religion and spirituality, teachers developing curriculum, Those involved in the world’s religions -- Religious leaders and laity who want to know how they can contribute to interreligious dialogue on environmental issues; Religious communities interested in building engaging projects, such as the restoration of local bioregions.
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