Cherry Hill Seminary is the leading provider of education and practical training in leadership, ministry, and personal growth in Pagan and Nature-Based spiritualities. Visit our web site to learn more about our programs, including master’s degrees in religious studies and master’s of divinity, certificates, and Insights short courses for anyone.
The Greening of Religions will be held on the historic campus of the University of South Carolina , just in time to enjoy the spring display of azaleas, dogwoods and warm weather in this 225-year-old state capital. USC is home to more than 200 years of history and tradition.
Bron Taylor, Ph.D. – Dr. Taylor is Professor of Religion, Nature and Environmental Ethics at The University of Florida. He is also a Carson Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center (at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munchen), and an Affiliated Scholar with the Center for Environment and Development at Oslo University. As an interdisciplinary environmental studies scholar, Dr. Taylor’s research and teaching engages the quest for environmentally sustainable and more equitable societies. An academic entrepreneur and program builder, he led the initiative to create an academic major in Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, later initiated and was elected president of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, while also founding its affiliated journal and becoming its editor. Appointed as the Samuel S. Hill Ethics Professor at the University of Florida in 2002, he played a leading role in constructing the world’s first Ph.D. program with an emphasis in Religion and Nature.
Wendy Griffin, Ph.D. – Dr. Griffin is a Professor Emerita from California State University, Long Beach, where she taught for 26 years and served the last five as Chair of the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is one of the very first American academics to publish field work in Pagan Studies, was the founding co-chair of the Pagan Studies Group for the American Academy of Religion, and the co-editor of the first academic series in Pagan studies, a series published by AltaMira Press. She has published numerous articles and book chapters and is the editor of the anthology “Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity and Empowerment.” Dr. Griffin received her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary social sciences from the University of California at Irvine. Her passion is addressing climate change and she teaches a four-week Insights course at Cherry Hill Seminary, Voices of Gaia, which weaves art, music, reflection and science, rekindling love and hope for the planet.
Jonathan Leader, Ph.D. – The State Archaeologist, Jonathan Leader received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida Gainesville, and currently heads the S.C. Office of the State Archaeologist. His research interests and background include the ancient Near East, Micronesia, Eastern United States pre- and proto-history, submerged resources, cultural resource management, remote sensing and GIS, archaeometry, archaeometallurgy, and conservation. Dr. Leader teaches and lectures on a regular basis in four departments at the University of South Carolina. Current research projects include: the H.L. Hunley (Confederate submarine) project; the S.C. Cannons Project; Bahamas project; the Florence stockade; and the SCIAA Digitized Publications project.
Will Moreau Goins, Ph.D. – has worked tirelessly for more than four decades to shape a Native American policy agenda that addresses issues at the core of indigenous identity: sacred sites protection and access, religious freedom, treaty rights, mascot abolition, and language revitalization. Guided by the teachings of the ancient wisdom keepers and many ancestors that came before him. Dr. Goins is a historic preservationist, published author, communications professional, and community leader, presently serving as Executive Director of the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois & United Tribes of South Carolina, ECSIUT, Inc. a statewide tribal consortia of state recognized and federally recognized tribal members. In April 2008 the South Carolina General Assembly, The South Carolina Arts Commission and the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum awarded the 2008 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award to Dr. Goins to recognize his lifetime achievement in traditional arts. A popular speaker at public schools, over 46 universities and colleges and other venues, he often incorporates chanting, dance and music into his presentations. He serves Interfaith Partners of South Carolina as the Native American Spirituality Representative and is the current President. Dr. Goins serves or has served on a various Boards including: South Carolina Traditional Arts Network, Pocket Productions, The Modjeska Monteith Simkins Center for Justice, Ethics and Human Rights, Mckissick Museum Advisory Council, SC Department of Mental Health Cultural Competency Committee, SC School Boards Advisory Committee, and he is appointed to the state of South Carolina American Indian Advisory Committee which he presently chairs.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Ph. D., founded (1983) and directs The Shalom Center, a prophetic voice for peace, eco-social justice, and healing of the Earth – in Jewish, multireligious, and American life. Since 1995, The Shalom Center has focused most of its work on the climate crisis. In 2014 Rabbi Waskow was honored by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights with their first Lifetime Achievement Award as a “Human Rights Hero.” In 2015 he was named by The Forward one of the “most inspiring” American rabbis. Beginning in 1969 with writing the original Freedom Seder and continuing with his seminal work as editor of New Menorah magazine and author of Godwrestling (1978) and Seasons of Our Joy (1982), he has been a leader of the movement for Jewish political and spiritual renewal. Waskow pioneered in the development of Eco-Judaism in theology, liturgy, daily practice, and activism —
· through his books Seasons of Our Joy; Godwrestling – Round 2; Down-to-Earth Judaism; Trees, Earth, & Torah: A Tu B’Shvat Anthology; and Torah of the Earth: 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought;
· as author of a pioneering essay on “Jewish Environmental Ethics: Adam and Adamah,” in Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality (Elliot N. Dorff and Jonathan K. Crane, eds.; Oxford University Press, 2013);
· through the Green Menorah organizing project of The Shalom Center;
· through the Interfaith Freedom Seder for the Earth and a number of interfaith climate-focused public actions drawing on and transforming traditional liturgies for Tu B’Shvat, Passover/ Palm Sunday, Tisha B’Av, Sukkot, and Hanukkah;
· as a candidate for the World Zionist Congress on the Green Zionist Alliance slate;
· as a participant and speaker in the World Interfaith Summit on the Climate Crisis called by the Archbishop of Sweden in Uppsala in 2008;
· as a participant and speaker at the conference on the UN Goals for Sustainable Development sponsored in 2015 in Bristol, UK, by the Alliance of Religion and Conservation;
· as a participant and speaker at the conference on “Vision Shmita 2022” held in Jerusalem in 2015, sponsored by Siach, Hazon, and the Heschel Center;
· as a founding member (2010-2013) of the stewardship committee of the Green Hevra (a network of Jewish environmental organizations);
· as the teacher of the first course on “Eco-Judaism” in any rabbinical seminary — at the Hebrew Union College in New York.
· as a member of the coordinating committee of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate;
· as a practitioner of nonviolent civil disobedience in the US Capitol, at the White House, and at Philadelphia conclaves of fracking corporate leaders.
· And as the initiator of the unprecedented Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, signed by more than 400 rabbis in 2015.
He co-authored with Rabbi Phyllis Berman A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven: The Jewish Life-Cycle as a Spiritual Journey and Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus & Wilderness Across Millennia. He taught at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (1982-1989) and as a visiting professor in the religion departments of Swarthmore Coll, Drew Univ., Vassar Coll., and other campuses. He co-founded ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal (1993). He was ordained to the Rabbinate in 1995 after five years of rabbinic study supervised by a transdenominational beit din (rabbinical court) under the auspices of ALEPH. In 1996, Waskow was named by the United Nations a “Wisdom Keeper” among forty religious and intellectual leaders who met in connection with the Habitat II conference in Istanbul. In 2001, he was presented with the Abraham Joshua Heschel Award by the Jewish Peace Fellowship. In 2005, he was named by the Forward, the leading Jewish weekly in America, one of the “Forward Fifty” as a leader of the Jewish community. In 2007, he was named by Newsweek one of the fifty most influential American rabbis. He has been honored by groups as diverse as the Neighborhood Interfaith Movement of Philadelphia and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. From his first arrest in 1963 in a successful effort to end racial segregation at an amusement park in Baltimore to his most recent in 2013 at the White House, challenging the President to veto the Tar Sands Pipeline once and for all and to take much more vigorous steps to address the climate crisis, he has been arrested about 22 times — about equal to the number of his books.
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