Radical Adaptation for Faith Leaders: Creating Community Sanctuaries

Explore your faith in the face of the climate emergency and using places of worship as centres of resilience, sanctuary and adaptation on this online course over 3 evenings!


As well as affecting our lives practically, climate change will also have a psycho-emotional effect. Heat, floods, water and food shortages, rising cost of living, extreme weather, energy crisis and uncertainty will have an impact on people’s mental health and communities’ sense of security. As the crisis deepens, climate change becomes an existential, spiritual problem, in which we grapple with our mortality as a species, our place in the world, and sense of purpose.

There is tantalising evidence that scripture is uniquely suited to help communities comprehend the unfolding environmental crises. Faith leaders are also well-placed to address the emotional side of climate change, which is essential in moving people to take climate action. And across the globe religious organisations are setting up environmental interest groups.

In this course religious leaders of all faiths will collaboratively explore their role in the face of the climate emergency. They will develop a detailed understanding of how they can raise awareness through scriptures. And how their places of worship can start to function as community sanctuaries, that build the practical and psycho-emotional resilience of their communities.

What will I do and learn?

Session 1: The Psychological and Spiritual Dimension of Climate Change

Dr Panu Pihkala will explain how theology and the ecological and climate emergency are intertwined. You will reflect on the community that you serve and how their lives will be affected in the years to come.

Session 2: Climate Communication and Action

A multi-faith panel of religious leaders will present and discuss how they have addressed climate change through scriptures and community engagement. You will then identify scriptures and religious practices that you can use to support climate change communication, help communities comprehend the unfolding environmental crisis and take action.

Session 3: Transformational Resilience

Guided by Bob Doppelt, we will explore the role religious leaders and places of worship can play in addressing communities’ practical and mental challenges in relation to climate change. At the end of the session you will have a set of practicable ways forward that you can apply in your specific context.


Key Information

Dates: Tuesdays 14th, 21st, and 28th November 2023

Time: 7pm – 9pm GMT

Instructions: After booking your spot, you be able to access the webinar link. Join online via Zoom.

NOTE: Your ticket covers all three evening courses


Who will I learn from?

Dr. Panu Pihkala

Panu is an interdisciplinary eco-anxiety scholar based in the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is an adjunct professor in environmental theology and has researched the role of worldviews and religions for environmental matters. Pihkala is the leading Finnish scholar in eco-anxiety research and he was awarded the National Prize for Adult Education in 2018 by The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation, among other awards.

Bob Doppelt

Bob Doppelt combines counselling, environmental science and socially engaged Buddhism. He is coordinator at the ‘International Transformational Resilience Coalition’ and Executive Director of Resource Innovations Group at the University of Oregon. He has written various books.

We are honoured to host an interfaith panel of renowned faith leaders – please see here for their information.



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