American Univesity of Beirut

Energy Café: Is there a role for religion in the sustainability debate?

The Energy Café invites interdisciplinary dialogue on sustainability and ethics topics. A review of extant literature on religion and ecology indicates an affirmative answer to the question of whether religion has a role in the sustainability debate, yet there is a wide chasm between two opposing views. On the one hand, religion is held accountable for fueling unsustainable modes of production and consumption; on the other hand, religion is defended for combating such undesirable practices.  

On June 22nd, this was the topic of a vibrant, virtual dialogue between Dr. Ralitza Nikolaeva, School of Management at St. Andrews University and Dr Hounaida El Jurdi, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the American University of Beirut and co-author of the article that inspired the dialogue. Two additional academics from opposing camps of the discourse and with the ability to keep a leg firmly on the ground outside the ivory towers of academia, also joined the discourse. Professor Mario Aguilar  is Chair of Religion and Politics at the School of Divinity, author, and companion of the Pope and the Dalai Lama on important international missions. Rabi Mohtar, whose research focuses on conserving natural resources, is Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut (FAFS-AUB), Professor at Texas A&M University, was founding director of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), and has served on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security. 

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