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REL 132: Religion and Ecology: Start

REL 132: Religion & Ecology

Welcome to the library course page for REL 132: Religion & Ecology!  As you work through your projects, be sure to explore the resources on this page. You'll find information about finding relevant sources, like books and articles, as well as search tips and information about how to track down hard copies of sources.

Whenever you hit a snag in your research or simply want to brainstorm some ideas for going forward, drop me a line. My contact information is to the right. You can also visit with any librarian at the Reference Desk. Good luck with your research!

Thinking in Interdisciplinary Ways

One of the neat aspects of your research is that it spans difference disciplines (science, religion). Even within the broad distinctions of those disciplines, there are lots of further specialization. "Science" can include biology, chemistry, ecological studies, etc. As part of your research, you should be thinking about the intersection of various realms of knowledge. What would a biologist say about your topic and how might it differ from what a theologian might say?

To help you explore related literature, I've listed the research guides for a number of relevant disciplines. Explore those guides, as you explore this one, to find additional places and ways to search.

Search Terms

Pay special attention to the various ways people talk about religion and the environment.  For example, are we talking about climate change, ecology, environmentalism, etc.?  While there's no one right search term, different search terms will yield different results.  For example, in the library catalog, the preferred term is "ecology."  If you don't use this term, you might overlook many good resources.  Yet what works in one database won't work in another.  Above all, use a variety of search terms. 

Below are some tips for various search terms to use - note that these are just a place to start.  Depending on your topic, you might find other useful terms in addition to these.

For various religions:

  • Use the name of the specific religion
  • "world religion"
  • "faith tradition"

For environmental aspects:

  • ecology
  • "climate change"
  • environment
  • environmentalism


Julie Gilbert's picture
Julie Gilbert
I love meeting with students and faculty to talk about your research, including any issues you have - or even if you just want to brainstorm. There are lots of ways to reach me. Email me with questions or use the old fashioned phone number below to contact me. Or stop by during my reference/office hours: Wednesdays from 2:30 - 4:30 and Thursdays from 1:00 - 2:30. I'll either be in my office (Library 108B on the lower level) or the reference desk on the main floor.
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