Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for a Flourishing Planet

A public conversation with James Miller and Jason Kelly

By Rohit Revi

“A flourishing human society is dependent upon a flourishing planet. This should be the structuring principle of education.”

The 21st century brings unprecedented challenges to human wellbeing. Ranging from rapid environmental destruction and the threat of an impending nuclear disaster, to growing economic, social and psychological crises, these challenges exist at a global scale, demanding great urgency. At the same time, universities appear to not only be fundamentally unsuccessful in addressing them, but even instrumental in their perpetuation. In the light of this specific problem, the Spirituality Nature Culture Laboratory organized a public conversation between Prof. James Miller and Prof. Jason Kelly, titled Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for a Flourishing Planet, on the 31st of January, 2018. Continue reading “Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for a Flourishing Planet”

Eight Billion Bodhisattvas

By Joshua Noiseux

Though our lives are beset by misery and suffering, and though we are constantly faced with delusion and ignorance, according to the Buddha we are incredibly lucky to be human. Indeed, being born human requires vastly more luck than winning the lottery. This is exceptionally hard to believe in 2017, but it is a perspective worth considering.

Tradition has it that the Buddha put it this way:

Monks, imagine a limitless ocean in which a turtle, blind in both eyes, swims incessantly in random directions. Only every 100 years does this turtle surface for air, always in a random location. Floating on the surface of this ocean is a golden ring which is carried away in all directions by tides, currents, and winds. Even in an incalculable space of time, how likely would it be for the turtle to rise in such a place as to put his head through the golden ring?

Continue reading “Eight Billion Bodhisattvas”

James Miller

James Miller is Head of Research for SNC-LAB and Director of Queen’s School of Religion. He has over 25 years experience as a China scholar, and is  Professor of Chinese Studies in the School of Religion at Queen’s University, Canada, cross-appointed to the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures He  is one of the West’s leading scholars working at the intersection of Chinese religions, nature and sustainability. Continue reading “James Miller”

Sebastian De Line

My name is Sebastian De Line. I am an artist and PhD student in the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s University. I completed an M.A. in Art Praxis (cum laude) at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, The Netherlands. My master’s thesis compared the works of Audra Simpson and Michel Serres to related discourses on indigeneity, posthuman, New Materialism, social and racial contract theory. My current research interests focus on the three tenets of Indigenous science & philosophy (Little Bear), feminist queer/trans studies, diffraction, animacy and affect.

 The basis of my subjectivity as an Indigenous/Asian trans scholar and artist both inform and complicate the perspectives I write this from. I was born and raised in British Columbia. My father, Terry Deline, was Mohawk and part of Kahnewake’s community in the 1970’s. He was of Dutch and Haudenosaunee decent. I also have relatives in Tyendinaga. They are my elders who teach me about our Haudenosaunee traditions. My mother is Cantonese and belongs to the Choo family. Her grandfather, Choo Ching Kew, arrived in Canada during 1909 as an indentured railway worker from China. Her family are fourth generation Canadian.

Jayme Grieco-Hogg

Jayme Grieco-Hogg is Head of Outreach for SNC-LAB. She is pursuing her MA in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. She completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s with a Religious Studies major and a Psychology minor. For her Masters, Jayme is focusing on environmentalism as a cultural movement. Specifically, she is researching how certain subcultures in South East Asia incorporate sustainability into their lifestyles. 

James Kwateng-Yeboah

Why is religion still relevant for new African immigrants in a supposedly secularizing Canada? How and why do the majority of African immigrants in Canada tend to establish their own religious communities rather than identify with Canadian led ones? What opportunities and challenges are presented by such immigrant religious communities to social policy makers on matters of human development and the environment? Continue reading “James Kwateng-Yeboah”

Colin Simonds

Colin Simonds is an MA student at Queen’s University in the Cultural Studies Graduate Program. His undergraduate work at Queen’s University took place in Religious Studies and Global Development Studies. For his graduate work, he seeks to bring together these two disciplines and look at the intersection of contemporary spirituality and environmental ethics.  Continue reading “Colin Simonds”

Victoria Sicilia

I am currently a PhD student in the Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Queen’s University, having recently completed my MA thesis fieldwork in the Malabar region at the University of Calicut in Kerala, India. My research is centered upon the visible and invisible impacts of gender differentiating ideology for Malayalam women in Kerala. Continue reading “Victoria Sicilia”

Meaghan Weatherdon

I am a PhD candidate in a collaborative program with the Department for the Study of Religion and the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto. I am interested in how Indigenous spirituality informs and is incorporated into social and land based activist movements in North America. In particular my dissertation focuses on the act of walking the land within the Journey of Nishiiyuu, a social movement in which Cree and Inuit youth from Whapmagoostui Quebec travelled 1600 km by foot to Canada’s national capital in the Winter of 2013 to demonstrate strength and solidarity among First Nations.

I consider how Indigenous and non – Indigenous youth engage in and commemorate walking the land as a way to foster healing and build resilience, as well as to negotiate competing demands for resistance and reconciliation in colonial Canada. In addition to my academic interests I have also served as a research consultant for the past five years and have worked for organizations such as, the Cree Board of Health and Social Services and the Aboriginal Financial Officers of Canada.

Peter Jingcheng Xu

Peter Jingcheng Xu completed his PhD at the School of English Literature, Bangor University, Wales, UK in 2018. His doctoral research situates the twentieth-century Anglophone-Welsh poet Edward Thomas within the ecological framework of Chinese indigenous philosophy Daoism in pursuit of their unexpected ecological affinities and insights that inform our responses to the deteriorating ecosphere in the “Anthropocene”. Continue reading “Peter Jingcheng Xu”

Lily Zeng

Lily Zeng is a PhD Candidate at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and New York Botanical Garden. She works in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China, an area that contains the world’s northernmost tropical rainforest and China’s richest biodiversity, to look at community-based conservation in sacred forests traditionally protected by local indigenous groups. Continue reading “Lily Zeng”