Promotional image for "The Greening of Religion."

“The Greening of Religion: Ethics and the Environment”

In 2015, Pope Francis spoke before the United Nations with a distinct message: Humans are in communion with the environment, and therefore, if they harm it, they are harming humanity. Many historians now see this as a pivotal moment in the relationship between Christianity and environmentalism—and a key step in bringing the fight against climate change into the mainstream. Simply put, religion is getting greener. As part of the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Initiative, you can now learn more about how and why this shift—marked in Christianity, but in other world religions too—is underway. William Barbieri, an associate professor of ethics in the School of Theology and Religious Studies and the director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the Catholic University of America, will be presenting “The Greening of Religion: Ethics and the Environment.” His talk will cover how Catholicism is incorporating integral ecology into its teachings, the rise of eco-kashrut in Judaism, and green Buddhism. Barbieri will explore how each of these examples combines traditional religious thought with a greater concern for the environment. He’ll also share modern forms of religious environmental activism. Tune into Barbieri’s talk to stimulate your mind and help save the planet. The virtual program begins at noon on Oct. 2. Registration is available at smithsonianassociates.org. $30–$35. —Sarah Smith