Pope Francis’ historic encyclical on the environment has the potential to bring new religious voices to conversations about the environment in the United States, and it could significantly change landscapes of prayer when it comes to religion and environment in the United States. Examining the differing types of religious responses to ecological conditions indicates the complex array of religious reconfigurations emerging in the Anthropocene era. In Landscapes of Prayer, Anna Gade documents ways that environmental changes in the Anthropocene have contributed to changing prayer practices among Muslims in Indonesia. Picking up on her final point, that environmental prayers are globalized performances related to “pluralistic religious norms of environmentalism,” I’d like to shift geographical focus as I consider related trends at Faith in Place, an interfaith environmental organization in Chicago.
Amanda Baugh (PhD, Northwestern University) is an assistant professor of Religion and Environment at California State University, Northridge. Her research examines attitudes and assumptions about race, ethnicity, and class in the "greening" of American religion. Her book, God and the Green Divide: Religious Environmentalism in Black and White is forthcoming with the University of California Press (Fall 2016).