Religion in Climatic Change

At the initiative of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the European Forum for the Study of Religion and the Environment (ESFRE) Dieter Gerten and Sigurd Bergmann started in 2007 to cooperate on research on "Religion and dangerous environmental and climate change".

A 1st workshop was arranged on the 17th of December 2007 on the theme of "Climate Change and Religion/Ethics" in Potsdam. The session was planned by Prof. Sigurd Bergmann, Trondheim, and Dr. Dieter Gerten, Potsdam. Four contributions were given...

  • Earth System Analysis and Religious/Ethical Perspectives (D. Gerten)
  • Climate Change as Religion? - How climate discourse changes the perception of our environment, the spiritual fabrication of its meaning and the interaction of science and religion (S. Bergmann)
  • Clouds of Witness - Carbon Emissions Trading and Climate Justice (M. Northcott, Edinburgh)
  • An ethical rationale for "Contraction & Convergence' compared with recent theological approaches to climate change (K. Ott, Greifswald)

... and followed by a planning discussion on a common research project.

The 2nd workshop took place in Trondheim 9-11 October 2008 on the theme of "The Religion and dangerous environmental and climate change".


Results from both workshops are published in the EFSRE series in 2010:

A 3rd workshop has taken place at the Telegraphenberg in Potsdam, Germany, 11–13 January 2010:" Religion in Global Environmental and Climate Change Sufferings, Values, Lifestyle".


Results are published by Continuum London/NY in 2011:

The 1st conference on „Und Gott sah, dass es gut war…“– Schöpfung und Endlichkeit im Zeitalter der Klimakatastrophe" (Creation and Finitude in the Age of Climate Catastrophy) was arranged by EFSRE member Heinrich Bedford-Strohm and the German Society for Protestant Theology in February 2009:

The 2nd conference in Åbo 2009 on the theme of "Religion and Ecology in the Public Sphere" offered further possibilities to reflect on the theme.