Jun 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

REL 253 - Religious and Philosophical Environmental Ethics


Environmental degradation at every level of existence is considered a primary existential threat facing people today. But, how to respond ethically to such degradation is less clear. In this class, we will explore the short history of both religious and philosophical environmental ethics to consider how to answer this concern. What is the content and extent of our current environmental moral obligations? To attend to this overarching question, the class will examine first the religious and philosophical arguments regarding the causes of environmental crises. We will ask: how should we understand the sources of such dramatic and escalating environmental destruction? Can we learn from those roots? And, what do those roots tell us about our moral responsibilities today? We will then turn to examine normative environmental ethics, from issues around the treatment of animals and species to agricultural practices, and from climate change responsibility to environmental justice. Lastly, we will consider the challenges that pressure moral action in response to environmental degradation–at individual and collective levels–and we will engage thinkers on how to respond to those challenges.

Satisfies the Philosophical and Religious Perspectives requirement.
Satisfies Environmental Studies major and minor requirement (Humanities). 
Satisfies Religious Studies major and minor requirement.

Prerequisites & Notes
Students at all levels welcome.