Nancy Menning

Nancy Menning

Lecturer, Environmental Studies and Science

Specialty:Religious and Environmental Humanities
Phone:(607) 274-5802
Office:257A Ctr for Natural Sciences
Ithaca, NY 14850

Terminal Degree

Ph.D. 2010, University of Iowa, Religious Studies: Ethics, Philosophy, Theology, and Culture

Brief Biography

Nancy Menning is an Affiliate Scholar in the Department of Environmental Studies & Sciences. (From 2010 to 2017, she was Assistant Professor of World Religions in the Department of Philosophy and Religion.) 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 recent work has emphasized religious aspects of climate change narratives, spiritual practices for cultivating environmental virtues, rituals for mourning environmental losses, and narrative strategies for integrating religious and scientific perspectives. She wishes she had more time to watch birds and read fiction. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript that retells (in fiction and academic prose) the flood narrative of Genesis 6–9 as a story about climate change and species extinctions in the 21st century.

Recent Publications

  • Interrogating faith: Using literature to teach religion and nature. In: Teaching Religion and Literature, Daniel Boscaljon and Alan Levinovitz, eds. Forthcoming from Routledge.

  • Religion for non-human animals. Teaching Theology & Religion 21.1 (2018): 59.
    Read-only PDF available here:

  • Narrating climate change as a rite of passage. Climatic Change (2017) 
    Read-only PDF available here:

  • Environmental mourning and the religious imagination. Pp. 39-63 in: Mourning Nature: Hope at the Heart of Ecological Loss and Grief (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017), Ashlee Cunsolo Willox and Karen Landman, eds.

  • Terry Tempest Williams (author entry). Pp. 3270-3278 in: Critical Survey of American Literature (Salem Press, 2016; 6 volumes), Steven Kellman, ed.

  • Narrating science and religion: storytelling strategies in Journey of the Universe. Diegesis: Interdisciplinary E-Journal for Narrative Research 5.2 (2016): 21-34. (co-authored with Luke Keller)

  • Reading nature religiously: cultivating environmental virtue through lectio divina. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 20.2 (2016): 169-188.

  • Omnibus review of Bernd Brunner’s Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds, Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s Mozart’s Starling, and Kyo Maclear’s Birds Art Life. Forthcoming in The Goose: A Journal of Arts, Environment, and Culture in Canada.

  • Review of Zachary A. Matus, Franciscans and the Elixir of Life: Religion and Science in the Later Middle Ages; October 2017; Reading Religion (

  • Review of Craig Hammond, Hope, Utopia, and Creativity in Higher Education: Pedagogical Tactics for Alternative Futures; August 2017; Reflective Teaching (

  • Review of Forrest Clingerman and Kevin J. O’Brien (eds.), Theological and Ethical Perspectives on Climate Engineering: Calming the Storm; July 2017; Reading Religion (

  • Review of John Kaltner’s Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know (revised and expanded edition); March 2017; Reading Religion (

  • Review of Patrick Q. Mason’s (ed) Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-first Century; November 2016; Reading Religion