About the Upcoming Series
If we want to address the environmental crisis, we need to think about religion. What more than eighty percent of the world’s population think, and how they act, is shaped by religion, and that includes how people think about nature.
Whether in the past or the present, religion is not just about relationships to spiritual beings; it’s also about relationships to other creatures and creation around us: animals, plants, the environment, and the Earth as a whole. Our religious traditions are full of customs, rituals, and ideas that shape how people relate to their environments, for good and for ill. A religion might both teach, for instance, that creation is God’s good gift, and that suggest that human beings are positioned over nature, in a way that leads to an unhealthy attitude of domination.
The Anima mundi podcast examines how the world’s religions shape one of the existential issues of our age – the crisis of our place in nature – and it explores how faith traditions may be a fundamental part of its solution. Episodes introduce listeners to leading international scholars from a diversity of fields, including anthropology, classics, literary studies, philosophy, religious studies and theology.
The first season of podcasts is currently being recorded and will be released in autumn of 2021.
Anima mundi is the Latin for ‘world soul’, and the idea that all living things in the cosmos are connected. Though Greek in origin (ψυχὴ κόσμου / psychè kósmou), the concept spans a whole range of religious perspectives, shared the world over.
Who We Are
The podcast is hosted by Andrew Davison and Alexander Hampton. We came together over our mutual interests in the beauty of nature, the philosophy of religion, and the capacity of the study of religion and theology to help address the crisis of our age. Our background is in the study of Christianity. Our goal is to explore how that tradition, as well as the world’s other faith traditions, both living and historical, can help to inform our collective understanding of our place in nature.
Andrew Davison is the Starbridge Senior Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences in the Faculty of Divinity, at the University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of Corpus Christi College, where he is also Dean of Chapel. From 2015-21 held the position of Canon Philosopher at St Albans Cathedral, the first such position in the Church of England. Dr Davison works at the intersection of theology, science and philosophy. His recent work has addressed astrobiology, inter-species cooperation (or mutualism) in biology, and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. He is also known for his work on Thomism and Christian Platonism. He recently published Participation in God: A Study in Christian Doctrine and Metaphysics (Cambridge, 2019).
Alexander J. B. Hampton is an Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Toronto, specialising in metaphysics, poetics and nature. He is the author of Romanticism and the Re-Invention of Modern Religion (Cambridge 2019), and editor of Pandemic, Ecology and Theology (Routledge, 2020), and Christian Platonism: A History (Cambridge, 2021). He is the editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Christianity and the Environment, and is currently writing a study of nature and the metaphysics of participation. He holds degrees from Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford and Toronto. Further Information: www.ajbhampton.com
The first season of podcasts is currently being recorded.
It will be released in October of 2021.