Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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Lisa Sideris

Prof. Dr. Lisa Sideris

Carson Fellow

Lisa Sideris is an associate professor of religious studies at Indiana University. Her research interests include environmental ethics, religion and ecology, and the science-religion interface, particularly Darwinism and evolution controversies. She received her PhD from Indiana University (2000) and has since held a postdoc at Princeton University and taught at Pace University, New York City, and McGill University, Montreal. Sideris is author of Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (Columbia, 2003) and editor (with Kathleen Dean Moore) of a volume of interdisciplinary essays on the life and work of Rachel Carson titled Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge (SUNY 2008).

Sideris's research project at the Center pertained to the role of wonder and enchantment in (and with) science, nature, and religion, and examines the variety of ways in which scientific narratives, particularly those involving evolution, are being "re-enchanted" and recast as mythopoeic stories with moral content. A second recent project examined nature-study movements for children, from the nineteenth century to the present, and the way in which evolutionary and religious-ethical frameworks have historically shaped, and continue to shape, environmental education initiatives for children.

RCC Research Project: Modern Science and the Varieties of Evolutionary Enchantment (pdf, 23 KB)

Selected Publications:

  • “Fact and Fiction, Fear and Wonder: The Legacy of Rachel Carson.” Soundings: An  Interdisciplinary Journal 91, no. 3/4 (2008): 335-369.
  • "Environmental Literacy and the Lifelong Cultivation of Wonder" in Teaching Environmental Literacy: Across Campus and Across the Curriculum, edited by Heather Reynolds et al. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.
  • Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2008.
  • “The Secular and Religious Sources of Rachel Carson’s Sense of Wonder.” In Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge, edited by Sideris and Moore, 1-15. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2008.
  • “Evolving Environmentalism: Ecotheology in Creation/Evolution Controversies.” Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 11, no. 1 (2008): 58-82.
  • Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection. New York: Columbia University Press,  2003.

Last updated: April 2012