February 01, 2010

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will host the series, "Avatar: Responses from Earth," this spring and next fall.

The series is an examination of various real-life cultural perspectives on ecology from "real life" traditions and disciplines on earth, in response to the success of the film "Avatar" as a sci-fi environmental parable, according to Alf Siewers, associate professor of English at Bucknell.

The series opens with the talk, "This Holy Earth: Ecological Vision in the Cosmic Cathedral," with Father Andrew Damick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Traditional Reading Room of the Bertrand Library at Bucknell.

Damick, who is a founder of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas, will discuss Christian panentheism (distinct from pantheism) as an often forgotten approach to nature in the West.

Terrestrial traditions
"This spring, practitioners and scholars from varied traditions and disciplines on Earth — Christianity, feminist philosophy and Judaism — will explore what resources for environmental thinking may lie in terrestrial traditions," said Siewers.

"The fall series will include Buddhist, Native American and environmental ethics perspectives on the environment," he said.

The series, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Environmental Center's Nature and Human Communities Initiative and the Chaplains' Office.

Other talks this spring are "Feminist Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty," with Sheila Lintott, assistant professor of philosophy, on Feb. 15; and "Aspects of Ecology in Judaism," with Rivka Ulmer, associate professor of religion, on March 8.

A related event is the spring Nature and Human Communities Animal Studies lecture, "Do We Have Duties of Justice Toward Animals?" with Gary Steiner, Bucknell professor of philosophy, on March 25.

Contact: Division of Communications


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