The School of Theology at the University of the South is pleased to announce Dr. Andrew Thompson, assistant professor of theological ethics, has been appointed Director of the Center for Religion and Environment. The Center for Religion and Environment fosters conversation around the increasingly rich intersections of religious belief and environmental awareness and care. The Center draws on the University’s world-class programs in environmental studies and theology to produce resources for religious communities, through webinars, written content, a certificate program in nature contemplation, and consulting for creation care ministries.
Thompson explains, "The University has an Episcopal seminary and world-class environmental studies programs, located in one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world. We're ideally positioned to contribute to discussions about religious faith and responsible care for the planet. For years, the Center for Religion and Environment at Sewanee has been a resource for individuals and communities interested in creation care, and I'm excited to build on that important work in such a unique setting."
Thompson brings a long-standing scholarly and practical focus in environmental ethics to his new role. While his scholarship examines how cultural and social systems interact with environmental crises, Dr. Thompson also seeks real-world resources in order to create a more constructive relationship between humans and the environment. Of the intersection of ethics and the environment Thompson writes, “In today’s world, where environmental harms magnify social imbalances, anyone concerned with the moral life must focus on reconciling human relationships with the natural world as well as with one another.”
Thompson’s demonstrated leadership and administrative experience, most recently as Director of the Alternative Clergy Training at Sewanee (ACTS) program, will greatly benefit the Center’s outreach and growth. “Dr. Thompson articulates a compelling vision for the Center as an academically oriented place of intersection between the College and the School of Theology, and between the Church and the academy,” says the Very Reverend Jim Turrell, Vice Provost and Dean of the School of Theology. “I am truly excited by the potential of the Center under Dr. Thompson’s leadership.”