March 18-19, 2014

St Edmund's College

Aim of Course

Academic Conference (non-residential)

This interdisciplinary conference will explore pagan, Jewish and Christian ideas about the intersection of theology and ecology. How did these ancient thinkers understand their natural environment to stand in relation to the divine? And how did this understanding condition human interaction with the natural world?

At the same time, the conference will consider what impact, if any, ancient thinking about the environment should have on our own ecological thinking. As such this conference aims, in a mutually reinforcing process, to shape both our knowledge of the ancient world and the work of those who are writing the theology, philosophy and ethics of the twenty-first century.

The conference is sponsored jointly by the Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge and the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and will be held in St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. Further details and a Call for Papers can be found here or by contacting the organisers, Dr Ailsa Hunt ( or Dr Hilary Marlow (


Unless you are an invited speaker, you are responsible for finding your own accommodation in Cambridge. For options see

NB The APPLICATION FORM is a generic one for all Faraday events. Please put your institutional affiliation and job title under ‘Reasons for application’.

Speakers (listed in alphabetical order) and topics

  • Dr Edward Adams : Platonic worldviews and the cosmos
  • Robin Attfield : The Treatment and Deployment of Ancient Thought by Environmental Philosophers
  • Dr Emmanuela Bakola : Earth as oikos and oikos as Earth: Interiority and the Eco-logical Discourse in Aeschylus’ Oresteia
  • Melissa Lane : Sustainable Citizenship
  • Dr Hilary Marlow : Why is the Land Ruined? Social, Political and Religious Disjuncture in the Hebrew Bible
  • Michael Northcott : Learning from Ancient Mesopotamia about Climate Change Mitigation
  • Richard Seaford : Limiting the Unlimited in Ancient Greek Thought and Practice
  • David Sedley : Self-Sufficiency as a Divine Attribute in Greek Philosophy
  • Dr Helen Van Noorden : The Sibylline Oracles and Apocalyptic Discourse


The course will be held at St Edmund’s College, Mount Pleasant, Cambridge, CB3 0BN

Course Schedule

Tuesday March 18
9.00 am Registration
9.30 am Plenary
11.00 am Tea/coffee break
11.30 am Session One
1.00 pm Lunch
2.00 pm Plenary
3.30 pm Tea/coffee break
4.00 pm Research presentations
5.30 pm Keynote Paper
7.00 pm Conference Dinner (separate registration required)

Wednesday March 19

9.00 am Session Two
10.30 am Tea/coffee break
11.00 am Plenary
12.30 pm Lunch
1.30 pm Research presentations
2.30 pm Tea/coffee break
3.00 pm Session Three
4.30 pm Depart