Nancy Menning

Nancy Menning

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Specialty:Religion & Ecology
Phone:(607) 274-5802
Office:139 Rothschild Place
Ithaca, NY 14850

Brief Biography

Nancy Menning is Assistant Professor of World Religions. She completed her PhD in 2010 from the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Iowa after being ABD in a joint degree program in forest ecosystem management and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nancy combines her background in social forestry and environmental studies with her work in religious studies to advance the environmental humanities and to foster simultaneous human and ecological flourishing. Her field of specialization is called either 'religion and ecology' or 'religion and nature.' Her recent work has emphasized religious aspects of climate change narratives, spiritual practices for cultivating environmental virtues, rituals for mourning environmental losses, and pedagogical strategies for teaching religion and nature using literature. She serves as co-chair of the Ecology and Science in the Study of Religion section of the Midwest region of the American Academy of Religion. She wishes she had more time to watch birds and read fiction.



Current (Spring 2015):

  • RLST 10600 | World Religions: Western and Modern
  • RLST 37508 | Ultimate Concerns and Daily Life: Religion in the News
  • ICIC 12000 | The Great Escape (w/Gordon Rowland)


  • RLST 10600 | World Religions: Western and Modern (Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, & Spring 2014)
  • RLST 20500 | Islam (Fall 2010 [as RLST 27500], Fall 2012, & Spring 2014)
  • RLST 20700 | Death & Immortality (Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2013, & Fall 2014)
  • RLST 23500 | Religion & Nature (Fall 2014)
  • RLST 27500 | Mormonism in the American Imagination (Spring 2012)
  • RLST 37500 | Religion & Ecology (Spring 2011)
  • RLST 37500 | Religion & Criminal Justice (Fall 2011)
  • RLST 37503 | Indigenous Religious Traditions (Fall 2012)
  • RLST 37504 | Religious Cosmologies (Spring 2013)
  • HNRS 23014 | Origin Narratives in Science, Religion, and Fiction (Honors C.P. Snow mini-course; Fall 2014 w/Luke Keller)
  • ICIC 12000 | Edges and Interfaces: Defining and Transcending Boundaries (ICIC mini-course; Spring 2012 w/Katherine Beissner)
  • ICIC 14000 | Character: Making Habits for Good (ICIC mini-course; Spring 2013 w/Jason Hamilton)
  • ICSM 105xx | Death and the Soul (Ithaca Seminar; Fall 2012)
  • ICSM 105xx | Death of Nature: Mourning Environmental Losses (Ithaca Seminar; Fall 2013)

Upcoming (Fall 2015):

  • ICSM 105xx | Death of Nature: Mourning Environmental Losses
  • RLST 20500 | Islam


Active Research Projects

  • Nearing completion: a set of three papers on climate change narratives
    • Narrating climate change as a rite of passage
    • Religiosity in Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior
    • Religious narratives and the virtue of hospitality
  • Up next: a linked set of three projects on death, hope, and vulnerability
    • Meditations on death and the pedagogy of hope (Oct 2015; Parliament of Religions)
    • The Journey of the Universe and the pedagogy of hope (Nov 2015; American Academy of Religion)
    • The virtue of vulnerability (Jan 2016; Society of Christian Ethics)
  • Long-range project: Finger Lakes religion
    • beginning spring 2016 with a CFRD-funded project on the religious and environmental history of local cemeteries (w/Michael Smith)


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