Evan Berry is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Co-Director of the Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs master’s program. His research examines the relationship between religion and the public sphere in contemporary societies, with special attention to environmental issues and international relations. By mapping the uneven, unsystematic, and extraordinarily diverse range of religious responses to climate change and other global environmental challenges, Berry’s research explores the way that religious ideas, practices, and forms of political authority are constructed and enacted in response to evolving historical conditions. From this perspective, climate change provides a complex but coherent way to understand the ever-shifting, necessarily local, yet decidedly global instantiations of religion in the modern world. Berry has written a number of journal articles on these themes, though they are most fully taken up in Devoted to Nature: The Religious Roots of American Environmentalism (University of California Press, 2015), which traces the influence of Christian theology on the environmental movement in the United States.
In collaboration with American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, Berry is the primary investigator of a Henry Luce Foundation funded project on “Religion and Climate Change in Cross-Regional Comparison.” This multi-year initiative advances research about religion and climate change in subtropical mountain regions (Andes and Himalayas), small island nations (South Pacific and Caribbean), and rapidly urbanizing regions of the developing world (South Asia and South America). Berry recently spent a year in residency at the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs as the American Academy of Religion’s (AAR) inaugural Religion and International Relations Fellow. He serves as the co-chair of the AAR’s Religion and Ecology Group and as the Secretary of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture.