Laurel Kearns
Ecology & Religion at Drew

Laurel Kearns

About Laurel Kearns

Dr. Laurel Kearns is Associate Professor of Sociology and Religion and Environmental Studies at Drew Theological School and the Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University, where she has taught certification, masters, Ph.D and D. Min students since 1994. She received a B.A from Florida State in Religion, Art and Humanities, her M.A. and PhD in the Sociology of Religion from Emory University, and has researched, published and given talks around the globe on religion and environmentalism for over 20 years. In addition to helping found the Green Seminary Initiative, she has been a board member of GreenFaith since 1995, and is now serving on the Sustainability Committees of both Drew University and the American Academy of Religion, where she also chaired the Religion and Ecology Steering Committee.

In addition to EcoSpirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth, co-edited with Catherine Keller, she has contributed chapters to volumes such as the Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology; Religion, Globalization, and Culture; Earth and Word, and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Climate Change and Society, as well as articles in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; The Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion; The Spirit of Sustainability; and journals such as Sociology of Religion and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Her teaching interests include the interplay of religion(s) in social change and social movements, particularly those addressing issues of racism, sexism, sexuality, sustainability, globalization, disability, peace and environmental issues; the religious landscape of the U.S., with particular interest in the religious expressions of women, new immigrant groups and attitudes toward nature; feminist and environmental sociology; and religion and ecology, with a particular interest in eco-justice and environmental racism. She also serves in the Environmental Studies and Women's Studies programs at Drew. Her research is focused on religious, particularly Christian, involvement in ecological issues and movements in the U.S. and Australia, nature spirituality, and religious responses to global warming. She routinely reviews manuscripts and articles in this area.


Academic Experience

2000-Associate Professor, Sociology of Religion and Environmental Studies, Drew University
2002 Visiting Researcher, Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, Australia.
1994-2000 Assistant Professor, Sociology of Religion, Drew University.
1993 Instructor in Religion, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
1992 Instructor in Religion, Columbia Seminary.
1987-1990 Full-time Instructor in Sociology, Agnes Scott College.
1987 Instructor in Humanities/Art History, Atlanta College of Art.
1986-1987 Instructor in Religion and in Liberal Studies, Emory College.
1985-1986 Teaching Assistant, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.



Emory University, Institute of Liberal Arts, Ph.D., Sociology of Religion, 1994. M.A., 1985.
Stanford University, 1982-1983. Ph.D. program, Department of Religious Studies.
Florida State University, 1981, summa cum laude, B.A. in Humanities/Religion.