Extinction & Religion Network - Creative Conversations

Seeking to increase understanding and stimulate public debate and reflection on the relationship between religion and the 'sixth mass extinction'

We are working with academic partners to co-design and host two Creative Conversations with groups which explore the network themes through experiential and reflective tasks with groups that can them be shared more widely.

Saltmarsh Sparrow - at risk of extinction. Picture by Anne-Marie Culhane.

This project seeks to increase understanding and stimulate debate about the relationship between religion and spiritual practices and the 'sixth mass extinction' - the current phase of anthropogenic loss of biological life on Earth.

We are working with academic partners to co-design and host two Creative Conversations with groups as part of this Arts & Humanities Council Network funded project .

The overarching questions that this network seeks to address include:

  • What are the religious and theological dimensions of the way we understanding 'mass extinction' in all its contested scientific, ethical, political and cultural interpretations?
  • What is the role of religious and / or 'spiritual' belief and practice in public responses to mass extinction, from acts of mourning, lament and commemoration, to resistance and protest?

Encounters part in this is twofold:

To host two Creative Conversation events around the issue of extinction and religious faith and spiritual practice. The location and activities accompanying the conversation will be designed to maximize creative reflection through experiential and reflective tasks. Our learning will be shared more widely through a pamphlet made available for groups wanting to hold similar Creative Conversations in the future.  It is important to us at Encounters that the groups gain new skills, learning or tools from the process. The Creative Conversations will also feed back into the network framing and development. The network will produce an academic book in 2020 along with other public outcomes.

Anne-Marie Culhane as lead artist is supporting and being a critical and creative friend to the Network and the two lead academics. The lead academics are Stefan Skrimshire, University of Leeds and Jeremy Kidwell, University of Birmingham. Her role includes devising creative and reflective activities for the Network academic’s gatherings in order to support different ways of doing and being in the academic world.


The Extinction & Religion Network: A Creative Conversation, July 15th

Bringing together people from different faith and spiritual backgrounds to share thoughts, feelings and reflections about the climate and ecological crisis we face.