10f. Religion, Courage and Sustainable Development

Track Chairs

  • Johan Gärde, Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Marie Cederschiöld University, Sweden,
  • Eugene Sensenig, Notre Dame University-Louaize, Lebanon

Goals/objectives and areas of the track

This track intents to give a contribution on religion and sustainable development with a special focus on courage and linking to the other themes of the conference: culture, art and human rights. We welcome especially abstracts on Religion and faith as provider of hope and meaning in times of despair, the climate crisis, the pandemic challenges and humanitarian disasters threatening the lives of communities and vulnerable populations.

What are the emerging topics relating to climate change and the consequences for vulnerable people and communities from a faith perspective?

Culture and Art

Exploring value systems relating to the environment. Substantive and existential beliefs on what is sacred, the value of life, community, culture. Religion, science and the new paradigms of rationality in the modern era. Rituals and religious expressions.

Human Rights

The role of religious organisations in advocacy on issues relating to environmental concern, justice and corruption. The right-based approach on different platforms and arenas, including social media.

The abstracts can be theory-driven, empirical and/or methodological in the approach, building on current research, such as eco-theology and relating justice, peace and the integrity of creation (JPIC-process) with ecumenical and/or inter-religious case studies. A methodological challenge in the SDGs is also the linkage between developed countries and the Global south as well as the interdisciplinary approach from areas such as social sciences: social work, sociology of religion and law; religious studies: theology, philosophy, ethics; humanities: art, literature; natural sciences and health care sciences, to mention some.

Courage is needed to address the challenges of needed behavioural and social change if the targets of climate conventions should be met. Linked to that are existing values and attitudes, often rooted in religious traditions and practice. Courage is also something that religious leaders such as the newly deceased Desmund Tutu showed in his struggle for peace and justice. We also look for contributions on transformative religious leadership, gender and authority, innovative social movements and religious organisations in civil society and how religious faith traditions are elaborating issues relating to sustainable development in their social teachings and praxis.

Length and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract (in connection to an area pointed out above) of between 300 and 500 words (including all aspects),

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structure: introduction, methods, findings or results, and discussion/conclusions.

  2. does not need but can include references.

  3. shall provide a final section indicating
    1. how the proposed abstract relates to the sustainable development goals SDGs and SDG-targets (for instance SDG 1: No poverty, target 1.1 and 1.3; SDG 4: Quality Education, target 4.4 etc.).
    2. briefly how the proposed contribution relates to the theme of the Conference – “Sustainable Development and Courage. Culture, Art and Human Rights”.

Potential publication channels

With regard to potential publications, depending on the number and quality of contributions the following publication opportunities have already been envisaged/inquired:

  1. Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses, Sage.
  2. Handbook of Sustainable Development Goals, Routledge.


For information about how to send in your abstract and more information, see Submissions.