On 14 July 2023, Doru Costache interviewed Dr Lisa H. Sideris, who is Professor of Environmental Studies, with affiliation in Religious Studies, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lisa is also the current President of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, as well as a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion. In 2022, she was invited to offer a Gifford Lecture, “Unnatural Theology in the Anthropocene.” Her more recent book is Consecrating Science: Wonder, Knowledge, and the Natural World (2017). For more of her work, do check this amazon.com page as well as her academia.edu account.
The conversation began on an autobiographical note and quickly reached Lisa’s favourite topic, wonder, and its significance for her personal and professional life. Then the discussion returned to Lisa’s recent ANZATS 2023 talk on monarch butterflies, also available on the YouTube channel of AIOCS, to then address the topic of of symbols and meaningfulness in life. Lastly, the conversation focused on stargazing and the sense of being part of reality, which prompted a brief autobiographical sketch of the interviewer’s interest in stargazing.
One interesting topic of discussion was the reality of loss of meaning that occurs for various human populations that for one reason or another lose their natural habitat or are deprived of certain rhythms of the natural world that have been integrated, over centuries and millennia, into their culture and spirituality.
Here is the video recording of this conversation:
17 July 2023 © AIOCS
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