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MemberEric Meyer

Eric Daryl Meyer grew up in the mountains of Colorado. As a theologian with strong interests in the land, wild places, and ecological degradation, his research focuses on all the ways that the Christian theological tradition draws boundaries between human beings and nonhuman animals. He earned a Ph.D. in Theology from Fordham University in 2014 and taught at Fordham and Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles) before coming to Carroll. At Carroll, he will offer a range of courses, from “Ecological Theology” to “Healthcare Ethics” to “Animality and Humanity in the Catholic Tradition.” Outside of the academic world, he has worked in wilderness education, environmental advocacy, and outdoor recreation for over a decade—including a few years in Montana as a member of a ski patrol and a wildland fire crew.

MemberJessica Zu

Jessica Zu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religion Department at Princeton University. Her research focuses on different interconnections of Buddhism and Chinese modernity. Her dissertation, titled Toward an Ecology of Compassion: Lü Cheng’s Revolutionary Journey from Aesthetics to Yogācāra 1918–1966, examines the intersection of Buddhist renewal and various Chinese revolutions through the lens of translation and hermeneutics. It articulates a forgotten social imaginary moored onto Yogācāra idealism. This social imaginary rejected realism and science as the solution to China’s conundrum. It positioned itself as the antidote to social Darwinism, which was viewed by many intellectuals as portraying human beings passively trapped in the iron cage of natural laws. Yogācāra idealism enabled Lü’s new social vision that not only empowered an impersonal moral agency to transform sentient beings together with their environments but also promised to build a deliberative democracy.

MemberTravis Proctor

I am an Assistant Professor of Religion at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. I teach courses in Christian Origins & History, Religion & Gender, Religion & Nature, and the interrelated histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. My current research explores early Christian theorizations of nonhuman bodies – particularly those of evil “demons” – and how such conceptualizations impacted the construction and ritual performance of the early Christian body. My other research interests include topics in gender/sexuality studies, ecocriticism, posthumanism, and ritual studies.

MemberA.G. Holdier

I am a master’s student in the Philosophy department of the University of Arkansas. My current research focuses on the semantics/pragmatics divide and other issues in the philosophy of language (including contextualism, deixis, and the meaning of gestures). I am also a graduate candidate in the Office of Sustainability’s certificate program exploring the relationship between green business practices and animal ethics. Additional interests include embodiment’s implications for moral psychology, axiological grounding and its relationship to political ecology, various issues in the philosophy of religion (atheological arguments, philosophical eschatology, theological aesthetics), and Ancient Greek philosophy (specifically, Plato).

MemberPankaj Jain

Dr. Pankaj Jain recently published Science and Socio-Religious Revolution in India: Moving the Mountains (January 2017), and is also the author of Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability (May 2011), which won the 2012 DANAM Book Award and the 2011 Uberoi Book Award, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religion. He has published articles in journals such as Religious Studies Review, Worldviews, Religion Compass, Journal of Vaishnava Studies, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, and the Journal of Visual Anthropology. He also contributes to the Huffington Post, Washington Post’s forum On Faith, Times of India’s Speaking Tree, and Patheos. His research has been supported by a Fulbright FellowshipCharn Uswachoke International Development Fund, and Wenner-Gren Grant. His teaching interests include Religion and Ecology, Asian Diaspora, and Sustainability of Religious Communities in Americas. Interested in connecting ancient practices with contemporary issues, he is exploring the connections between religious traditions and sustainability in the USA and in India. He has helped two temples in the Dallas area to get grants from their energy company to help them make more sustainable and energy efficient. One of his graduate students has also designed an environmental curriculum for a Sunday School.Before joining UNT, he taught at North Carolina State University, Rutgers, Kean, and New Jersey City University. He serves as a research affiliate with Harvard University’s Pluralism Project, as scholar-in-residence with GreenFaith, as a board member of the Society for Hindu Christian Studies, as the India representative for the International Society for Environmental Ethics, as a consultant at UNT’s Sustainable Communities Initiative, and as a board member of the Executive Advisory Council of Hindu American Seva Communities, an NGO working with the White House Office for the faith-based initiatives. He has presented his research at Columbia University, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, University of South Florida, Florida International University, University of Toledo, Texas Christian University, High Point University, Portland State University, Lancaster University (UK), Andhra University (India), Univ of Rajasthan (India), and several conferences, high schools, radio and TV stations, temples, churches, Yoga centers, and other community centers. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and an M.A. from Columbia University. In his “previous life” he had also earned a B.S. in Computer Science from India and had worked as a software engineer in India and in New Jersey. Dr. Jain is an active member of several academic and community organizations, is fluent in several Indian languages, and has published poems in Hindi. He was born in Rajasthan and had also lived in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Karnatak (in India) and in New Jersey, Iowa, North Carolina, and Texas (in the USA). Some of his papers and articles are at: http://unt.academia.edu/PankajJain/Papers and videos are at http://www.youtube.com/pj2017. The Facebook page for his book is at: https://www.facebook.com/DharmaAndEcology

MemberRobin Hamon

My university education began with a degree in Environmental Science, and in the following years I have made the transition into the field of biblical studies. My research is typically interdisciplinary, exploring the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) within the context of the current global environmental crisis. I am currently a PhD student belonging to the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. My thesis is entitled Trees and Text: A Material Ecocritical Exploration of Gen. 2:4b-3:24 in the Green Bible and it explores the well-known Eden narrative from an ecological perspective using the theory of material ecocriticism.