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Evan Berry

Associate Professor Department of Philosophy and Religion

Evan Berry is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. His research examines the relationship between religion and the public sphere in contemporary societies, with special attention to the way religious ideas and organizations are mobilized in response to climate change and other global environmental challenges. Berry has written a number of journal articles on these themes, though they are most fully taken up in Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism (University of California Press, 2015), which traces the influence of Christian theology on the environmental movement in the United States. From 2016-2018, in collaboration with American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, Berry was the primary investigator of a Henry Luce Foundation funded project on “Religion and Climate Change in Cross-Regional Comparison.” He also recently spent a year in residency at the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs as the American Academy of Religion’s inaugural Religion and International Relations Fellow. Berry is the President Elect of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture.


PhD, Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara; MA Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara; BA, Religion, The Colorado College

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CAS - Philosophy and Religion
Battelle Tompkins - 111
Monday 2:00-4:00pm; Thursdays 11:00am-1:00pm
Contact Info
(202) 885-2493 (Office)

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For the Media
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See Also
Philosophy and Religion Dept


  • Summer 2018

    • PHIL-496 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Religious Pluralism/Tolerance
    • Description
  • Fall 2018

    • RELG-396 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Religion and Human Rights
    • Description
  • Spring 2019

    • PHIL-396 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Environmental Ethics
    • Description
    • RELG-396 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Spirituality
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

My research examines the relationship between religion and the environment, with special attention to the ways that religion is brought to bear on political contestations about climate change and sustainability. With respect to the mounting ecological pressures facing societies around the planet, religion is a fundamentally ambivalent category of analysis. By mapping the uneven, unsystematic, and extraordinarily diverse range of religious responses to climate change and other global environmental challenges, my research seeks to better understand the ways that religious ideas, practices, and forms of political authority are constructed and enacted in response to evolving historical conditions.

Selected Publications


  • Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015)


Edited Volumes

  • Church, Cosmovision, and the Environment: Religion and Social Conflict in Contemporary Latin America, co-edited with Rob Albro (London: Routledge, 2018)
  • Climate Politics and the Power of Religion (under contract with Indiana University Press, anticipated 2019)


Journal Articles                                                                                                                           

  • “Religion and Climate Change” (co-authored with Willis Jenkins and Luke Kreider) Annual Review of Environment and Resources 43 (2018)
  • “Religion and Climate Change: A Survey of Social Scientific Scholarship” Religious Studies Review 42:2 (June 2016) 74-82.
  • “Scalar Issues in Climate Ethics” Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly 33:1 (Spring 2015)
  • “Religion and the Politics of Global Sustainability: Some Basic Findings from Rio+20” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 18:3 (2014) 269-288
  • “Religious Environmentalism and Environmental Religion in America” Religion Compass 13 (Spring 2013)
  • “Ecotopian Exceptionalism” (Secondary Author with James Proctor) Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, 5:2 (June 2011) 145-163.


Book Chapters

  • “Climate Change and Global Religious Pluralism” in Emergent Religious Pluralisms, John Fahy, Jan Bock, and Sami Everett, eds. (London: Palgrave, forthcoming 2018
  • “The Right Climate: Political Opportunities for Religious Engagement in Climate Policy” in Climate Politics and the Power of Religion (under review, anticipated 2019)
  • Transnational Religious Advocacy Networks in Latin America and Beyond” in Churches and Cosmologies: Religion, Environment, and Social Conflict in Contemporary Latin America, Evan Berry and Rob Albro, eds. (London: Routledge, 2018)
  • “Nature Religion and the Problem of Authenticity” in Inherited Land: The Changing Ground of Religion and Ecology, W. Bauman, R. Bohannon, and K. O’Brien, eds. 18-41 (Eugene: Pickwick) 2011.
  • “Nature” in Religion and Everyday Life and Culture, Richard Hecht and Vincent Biondo, eds. 741-763 (Santa Barbara: Praeger) 2009.
  • “Epilogue” in Death and Religion in a Changing World, K. Garces-Foley, ed. 305-312 (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe) 2005.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Carson Writing Fellow, Rachel Carson Center, Ludwig Maximillian University, 2019
  • Principal Investigator, “Religion and Climate Change in Cross Regional Perspective,” Henry Luce Foundation, Religion and International Affairs program grant, 2016 - 2018
  • Franklin Fellow and Inaugural AAR-Luce Fellow in Religion and International Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Office of Religion and Global Affairs, 2016
  • Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, Global Ethics Fellow, 2012 - 2015
  • American University, Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award, 2014

AU Expert

Area of Expertise:

religion and international affairs, climate change and society, environmental ethics, religion and environmental issues, religion in American politics, globalization and cultural change

Additional Information:

Evan Berry is associate professor of philosophy and religion at American University and co-director of the Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs master's program. His research focuses on the intersection of culture and environmental issues, especially where religious ideas, practices, and institutions inform how communities respond to environmental issues. He has a decade of experience as a researcher and as a policymaker on issues related to religion in public life. His recent book, Devoted to Nature: the religious roots of American environmentalism examines the history of environmental movements in the 20th century. His current research concentrates on the impact of religion on public policy issues of international significance, especially climate change, humanitarian aid, and sustainable development.

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