Call for Paper Proposals

The fourth annual Student Symposium on Science and Spirituality, to be held on Friday, October  21, 2011 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, is a one-day conference designed to provide an interdisciplinary and interfaith  forum for graduate, professional, and ministry  students to engage in collaborative conversations  and professional networking with faculty mentors. Cash prizes will be awarded for the best student papers as judged by a faculty committee, and papers will be published on the Zygon Center’s website and recommended for publication in journals such as Zygon: Journal  of Religion and Science.

Greek philosophers and Hebrew prophets, indigenous peoples and immigrants, earth scientists and environmental advocates: from ancient to modern, we have long recognized soil, water, and air as essential elements of earthly life. Much more than  simple  chemical  elements,  they  are complex  substances in  dynamic  interaction  with  living organisms—including humans. Finite and often fragile, they are both precious gifts and contested resources. The fourth annual Student Symposium on Science and Spirituality will consider:

  • Elements  of Earthly Life: scientific, religious, and philosophical  perspectives on soil, water, and air
  • Sacred, Living, Holy: scientific,  theological,  ethical,  spiritual,  and  liturgical  bases  for environmental stewardship  and creation care
  • Soil, Water, Air: conservation, preservation, restoration,  and management of soil and land resources;
  • surface, ground, and marine water resources; and air and atmospheric resources

We will also consider closely related issues such as:

  • urban land use, agricultural sustainability,  and protection  of forest, prairie, and wilderness ecosystems
  • water quality management,, watershed and aquifer sustainability,  and protection  of ocean, lake, river, shoreline, and wetlands ecosystems
  • air quality management, climate change response, and protection  of the ozone layer

We invite paper proposals addressing these issues from graduate and professional students from the natural sciences (including ecology, earth sciences, and environmental sciences), the social sciences, the applied sciences and engineering, and the humanities, as well as from seminary and divinity school  students.  We welcome historical, critical,  and constructive  approaches to  theoretical  and empirical  issues  of environmental  concern as well  as reflective work on practical engagements.


  • August 1, 2011: 500-word paper proposals due; see website for guidelines on content and format
  • August 15, 2011: full papers invited based on faculty review; all authors will be notified of review result
  • October 1, 2011: 3000-word final papers due; see website for guidelines on content and format
  • For proposal and paper guidelines and more information on the Student Symposium, please visit:
  • Please send paper proposals, final papers, and any other correspondence to:
  • For more information about the Zygon Center, please visit: