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Call For Papers

19th European Conference on Science and Theology (ECST XIX)


Ålesund, Norway
4 - 8 May, 2022

NOTE: the deadline for the submission of abstracts has been extended to 27 December 2021

'Global Sustainability – Science and Religion in Dialogue'

Since the Brundtland-Report Our Common Future from 1987 up to the UN sustainability goals, sustainability has become an important concept for public political debates on ecology and the future of our planet. What are the conditions for a development of our human lifeform that is sustainable for generations to come? How can we develop our technology, our culture, our economy and our systems of political decision making so that our local and global ecosystems can flourish and sustain humanity within a human-ecosystem equilibrium? While such considerations originally concentrated on technology and politics, sustainability has long been identified as also comprising a cultural and spiritual crisis. Thus, the humanities and social sciences, and especially religion, must come into the picture. 

Modernity began with developing technological means for an emancipation of human beings from nature. In the wake of an accelerating development of consumerism and exploitation, nature served mainly as a means for human ends. We now understand that nature is not only an economic resource, but it is also important as a realm of resonance and meaning, in which we act as stewards and find ourselves as part of nature. This reveals a spiritual and religious dimension of nature and our commitment to sustainability. While some have made the argument that Western Christianity has contributed to desacralizing and instrumentalizing nature, Church leaders and voices from other religions have argued that we should respect nature as God’s creation and that we are called to protect nature and the environment. Pope Francis, for example, in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ wanted “to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.”

In our 2022 ESSSAT conference in Norway, in one of the most scenic environmental settings in Europe, we want to reflect on these issues. We will have main speakers from Sustainability Science, from Ethics, Sociology and Theology, and we invite everybody from within and outside the ESSSAT community to join our exchange of ideas and to contribute to our discussions and paper sessions. 

Main speakers: 

  • Jonathan Donges (Germany/US, Physics)

  • Christopher D. Ives (UK, Social Sciences)

  • Ernst Conradie (South Africa, Theology)

  • Annik Magerholm Fet (Norway, Environmental Management)

  • Christian Berg (Germany, Physics/Theology/Engineering)


We invite short interdisciplinary papers that dialogue on questions of sustainability and how religious and/or ethical discourse, being a primary resource of values in any culture, might contribute to this task. Papers on other aspects of the interaction between natural science, the humanities, social science and theology may also be offered. 


To submit a short paper proposal please send the following information to the Scientific Programme Officer before 30 November 2021: 

  • A provisional title

  • 5-10 keys words

  • An outline for 400-500 words, making clear the relevance of the paper to the theme of the conference or other aspects of the interaction between science and theology

  • Your full name and academic post/institutional affiliation (if any) 

  • Your full postal and email-addresses 

This single-sided document must be sent in either doc- or pdf-file format. No other format will be accepted.

The conference language is English. 


Information about the acceptance of a paper will be given in December 2021 together with guidelines for the paper and its presentation at the conference. Complete papers must be received by 1 April 2022. Papers and the short paper session schedule will be made available for pre-reading to registered participants and members of ESSSAT. If you want your paper to be presented in the same session as another paper, please indicate which paper in the email when submitting your abstract. 


Scientific Programme Officer: Dr Joanna Leidenhag. 

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