Stegner Symposium Focuses on Religion, Faith and Environment

Much has changed in the nearly half a century since UCLA historian Lynn White named the Judeo-Christian tradition one of the “root” causes of “our ecological crisis.” Across the world today, people of faith are stepping forward to explain why our spiritual connections to the earth demand environmental protection.  At the same time, religion remains intertwined with some of the most vexing environmental problems.

The 18th Annual Stegner Symposium to be held April 12 and 13 at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, will examine, and help untangle, many of these fascinating issues.

“The relationship between religious belief and an environmental conscience raises important questions, perhaps nowhere more so than in Utah where so much attention attaches to both religion and environmentalism,” said Robert Keiter, Professor of Law and Director of the Stegner Center. “The symposium aims to help us better understand the connections between the two and how this is shaping our personal beliefs, public dialogue, and political debates.”

Conference organizer Lincoln Davies, a professor at the College of Law, believes that the conference’s multidisciplinary approach will help to highlight the varying perspectives of different faith traditions on the environment, land use, and related topics.

“Across the world, people of faith are stepping forward to speak out on environmental protection,” Davies said. “This year’s symposium brings some of the leading voices on this topic to the University of Utah: Sally Bingham, who founded Interfaith Power and Light; Mary Evelyn Tucker of Yale; and a stellar host of other phenomenal speakers, including John Nagle of Notre Dame; Jamie Korngold, the Adventure Rabbi; and Elder Marcus Nash of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

The 18th Annual Stegner Symposium runs from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12 and from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 in the Sutherland Moot Courtroom at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.  Pre-registration and payment are required.  For more information, visit or call 801-585-3440. 10 hours CLE are available.

Also related to the Stegner Symposium, on April 11 at 12:15 p.m., Mary Evelyn Tucker, Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar at Yale University, will deliver the Wallace Stegner Lecture, “The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology.”  The lecture, to be held in the College of Law’s Sutherland Moot Courtroom, is free and open to the public.  No registration required and lunch will be served to attendees.  One hour CLE.