Panel Discussion on Religion and the Environment March 10

Meredith College’s Center for Women in Ethics and Public Life is hosting a panel discussion on Religion and the Environment on Tuesday, March 10 at 4 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium.

The purpose of the panel is to inform the Meredith community about how different faith traditions approach environmental issues and what work is being done in response to global climate change.

The panel is made up of speakers who represent a diversity of views and innovative approaches to global warming. Speakers will include the Reverend Canon Sally Grover Bingham, Jonathan Merritt, Fred Hain and Barb Baranski.

Bingham is a priest in the Diocese of California, co-chair of the Episcopal Diocesan Commission for the Environment and has been active in the environmental community for 25 years. She is also founder and president of The Regeneration Project, which is focused on its Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) campaign, a religious response to global warming. The IPL campaign includes a national network of over 5,000 congregations with affiliated programs in 29 states. As one of the first faith leaders to fully recognize global warming as a moral issue, she has mobilized thousands of religious people to put their faith into action through energy stewardship and advocacy.

Merritt is founder of the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative and a faith and culture writer whose work appears regularly in publications such as “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution” and On Faith in “Newsweek.” He is finishing his first book on a Christian response to environmental crises due out Spring of 2010.

Fred Hain is professor of entomology and a full member of the graduate faculty at NC State University. His research is in forest entomology specializing in the population dynamics and host/insect interactions of forest insect pests; host/insect interactions of the invasive insects hemlock woolly adelgid and balsam woolly adelgid; host tree reaction to southern pine beetle attack; and biology, management, and impact of natural enemies of arthropod pests of Fraser fir and Fraser fir Christmas trees. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1972 and is the author of numerous books and articles.

Barb Baranski has been an active member at Kadampa Center for the Practice of Tibetan Buddhism for several years, both as a practitioner and in a variety of leadership roles. She is interested in exploring how our Western values and lifestyles can benefit from the wisdom she sees in the Buddhist teachings about compassion and improving our minds. She also has a degree in engineering, and works for a Web development firm that focuses on non-profits, educational institutions and social entrepreneurs.

The Religion and the Environment panel discussion is part of Meredith’s annual “Religion and Social Issues” series, which has previously examined religious perspective on issues including immigration and capital punishment. Rev. Bingham’s appearance is made possible by funds from Meredith’s Staley Lecture Series.

This event qualifies as a convocation/cultural event in general education. For more information, contact the Department of Religion and Philosophy at (919) 760-2361.

Date Submitted: 2009-03-05

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