Interfaith Glasgow and St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art invite you to join us for the latest instalment of our Faith to Faith dialogue series, in which we will be exploring the role that faith and emotions can play in motivating – or preventing – climate action.
The presence of COP26 in Glasgow focused the city around climate activism like never before. But with latest the COP sparking renewed criticisms of a broken conference system, it can feel as if climate action has stalled.
A recent study in Norway found that anger was the emotion that was most linked to climate activism. When we feel angry, does that motivate us to act more than when we are hopeful that things might change?
In this session we hear from three speakers – Buddhist, Quaker and Muslim - who will share their thoughts on what will re-ignite the climate movement.
Once we have heard from our speakers there will be the opportunity for discussion and reflection in small groups to consider:
What do we find to be the biggest motivator, faith-based or otherwise, to take climate action?
How can dialogue and cooperation with people from other faiths and cultures further our climate action?
Photograph of Alastair McIntosh by Hannah Close. Photograph of Shanon Shah by Rehan Jamil.
Alastair McIntosh, world-renowned environmental campaigner and author
Alastair has been described by BBC TV as “one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners.” A pioneer of modern land reform in Scotland, he helped bring the Isle of Eigg into community ownership. On the Isle of Harris he negotiated withdrawal of the world’s biggest cement company (Lafarge) from a devastating “superquarry” plan. He then served, unpaid to avoid conflicts of interest, on the company’s Sustainability Stakeholders Panel for 10 years to help further corporate social and environmental responsibility.
Alastair guest lectures on nonviolence at military staff colleges including, for over two decades, on some of the UK Defence Academy's most senior courses. His books include Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power (Aurum), Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service (Green Books), Poacher’s Pilgrimage: an Island Journey (Birlinn 2016, Cascade USA 2018) and Riders on the Storm (Birlinn 2020) which was long-listed for the Wainwright Prize in Global Conservation 2021. A Quaker with an interfaith outlook, focusing much of his work around spirituality, he lives in Glasgow with his wife, Véréne Nicolas. There he is a founding trustee of the GalGael Trust which works with with poverty, community and human potential, and an honorary professor in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow.
Shanon Shah, Director, Faith for the Climate
Shanon is the Director of Faith for the Climate, a charity registered in England and Wales that encourages, inspires and equips faith communities in their work on the climate crisis. He balanced careers in human rights advocacy, journalism, and theatre and music in his native Malaysia before relocating to London in 2010. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from King’s College London and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies there. He also conducts research on minority religions and alternative spiritualities for the Information Network Focus on Religious Movements (Inform), an independent educational charity based at King’s College London, and is Tutor in Islam at the University of London's Divinity Programme.
Elle Steele, Project Manager, Halo Gardens
Elle has been a practising Buddhist and member of Sokka Gakkai International for 25 years. She is a community activist and works with Articulate Cultural Trust to support access to the arts for young people with care experience.
Based on the profound awareness of our interconnectedness, with their fellow inhabitants of Earth and the natural world, SGI engages in advocacy and community-based, awareness-raising activities to ensure a sustainable future. They envisage this future in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are grounded in humanity’s right to a healthy environment and the need to protect those most adversely affected by the climate crisis.
On a personal level, Elle runs a green recovery project called HALO. They build small gardens with communities, mainly on the NHS estate. She was part of the first cohort of Glasgow City Councils Nature Based Accelerator scheme.