American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting

November 23-26, 2019

San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA, USA

Relion and Ecology events at the AAR

Yale Forum AAR Luncheon and Religion and Ecology Workshop

We would like to invite you to the annual Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology luncheon to be held in San Diego on Friday, November 22, before the American Academy of Religion (AAR) meetings begin. The luncheon will take place at 12-2pm in room 9 (Upper Level West) of the San Diego Convention Center, 111 W Harbor Dr.

If you plan to attend, you must RSVP for the luncheon to Tara Trapani at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The RSVP deadline is November 14.

We are very pleased that we will have a special guest joining us at the lunch this year, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Distinguished Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences; the Edward A. Frieman Endowed Presidential Chair in Climate Sustainability; the Victor Alderson Professor of Applied Ocean Sciences; and the founding director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all at the University of California, San Diego. He edited the recently released digital textbook: Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions, which was an outcome of the Bending the Curve initiative of the University of California. Please see the short biography below of this esteemed climate scientist.

If you have students or colleagues who may be interested in attending the lunch, feel free to pass the information along to them, but please urge them to RSVP as well, as we do need to know exactly how many people will be in attendance.

Following the luncheon, there will be a Religion and Ecology workshop on Cosmology and Ecology at 2:30-5:30pm, also in the convention center. Full details on the workshop from the AAR Program Book are pasted below. Please note that, though we are involved with this event, the workshop is being sponsored and run by AAR. So, to register for the workshop, please contact AAR directly or use the form on their site here.

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons; belongs to family of halocarbons) in 1975 and showed that a ton each of CFC-11 and CFC-12 has more global warming effect than 10000 tons of CO2. This discovery established the now accepted fact that non-CO2 gases are a major contributor to planet warming and also enabled the Montreal protocol to become the first successful climate mitigation policy. For this work, he was awarded the Tyler Prize by Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland in 2009. In 1980, Madden and Ramanathan were the first to make a statistical prediction that global warming will be detected above the background noise by 2000, a prediction which was verified by the IPCC-UN experts in 2001. He led a NASA study with its climate satellite to show that clouds had a net cooling effect on the planet and quantified the radiation interactions with water vapor and its amplification of the CO2 warming. He led international field campaigns, developed unmanned aircraft platforms for tracking brown clouds pollution worldwide. His work has led to numerous policies including the formation of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition by the United Nations.

He founded, designed, and leads Project Surya along with daughters Nithya Ramanathan and Tara Ramanathan; an extended effort to characterize and mitigate climate and health impacts of cooking with solid biomass as a way to protect the bottom three billion from climate change. He is now leading a University of California climate solutions effort which has launched a course on climate solutions that is expected to reach a million students or more.

He was honored as the science advisor to Pope Francis’ holy see delegation to the historic 2015 Paris climate summit and in addition advises California Governor Jerry Brown. He was named the UN Climate Champion in 2013; has been elected to the US National Academy and the Royal Swedish Academy which awards the Nobel prizes. Foreign Policy named him a thought leader in 2014; In 2018, He (with James Hansen) was named the Tang Laureate for sustainability science.

Religion and Ecology Workshop
Theme: Cosmology and Ecology
Friday - 2:30-5:30pm
Convention Center-7B (Upper Level West)

This workshop will focus on the intersection of evolutionary cosmology with ecological awareness. The fact that humans see themselves in continuity with evolutionary processes helps shift our sense of caring for the Earth community. We will explore how students may engage these ideas in fresh ways. Resources include online classes, related books, and articles. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will discuss their new book, Thomas Berry: A Biography (Columbia University Press, 2019). Thomas Berry (1914–2009) was a cultural historian in Western, Asian, and indigenous religions. He sought mutually-enhancing human-Earth relations, so as to respond to our ecological challenges. Brian Thomas Swimme will discuss his new edition of Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (Orbis Books, 2019). Brian is co-author with Thomas Berry of The Universe Story. He also co-wrote with Mary Evelyn Tucker the Emmy Award-winning film, Journey of the Universe.

The cost of the workshop is $20 and includes a full session and coffee break. To participate, select this workshop when registering for the Annual Meeting. If you have already registered for the Annual Meeting, you may contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to reserve a space in this workshop.


Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University
John A. Grim, Yale University
Nancy Maryboy, Indigenous Education Institute
Carl Anthony, Breakthrough Communities
Brian Thomas Swimme, California Institute of Integral Studies


Sam Mickey, University of San Francisco
Heather Eaton, Saint Paul University