2016 CrossCurrents / Auburn Research Colloquium in the City of New York


“Climate Change, Food, and Human Sustainability”


The 2016 CrossCurrents / Auburn Research Colloquium will be held in July in New York City. Research fellows work on a research or writing project related to the theme of “Climate Change, Food, and Human Sustainability,” with access to libraries and research facilities at Columbia University, Union, Auburn, and Jewish Theological Seminaries.

We invite applications from scholars and writers, artists and activists, as well as those involved in the not-for-profit sector, interested in faith-rooted efforts to shape a more just and peaceful world. While our theme is sufficiently broad to include a wide variety of topics, we are particularly interested in projects that connect with what Pope Francis, in his Encyclical Laudato Si: On Care of our Common Home, called “integral ecology.” This begins with the recognition that humanity now faces an existential crisis on multiple fronts: extreme economic disparity, increased competition for resources including land and water, a severely degraded natural world, failing nation states, and a climate on the verge of spinning out of control. Such circumstances require bold and imaginative responses. Successful applicants will outline projects that illuminate the nature of the crisis or suggest innovative solutions, or both. 

Individual (or team) research projects are the focus of the fellowship, with late afternoon seminars, followed by shared dinners that allow ample time for conversation and collaboration.

We encourage projects across a range of topics related to the theme, including:

•   Historical or contemporary case studies of faith-rooted climate, food, and human sustainability practices aimed at transformative social change;

•   Theological or ethical arguments for engagement in work on climate, food, and human sustainability practices;

•   Visionary projects of various sorts — artistic, activist, philosophical or theological, empirical, that explore the ways in which religion or communities of faith can be sources of renewal for ecological and social sustainability;

•   Projects that focus on climate, food, and sustainability and specific sectors of faith-rooted social activism or movement work—including local, regional, national, and global;


•   Proposals are also welcome on a range of related topics, including those not specifically suggested by our description of the theme.


About the Colloquium
The Colloquium brings together fellows (scholars of religion, sociologists, clergy, activists, artists and others) who have worked on the topics outlined above and offers them an opportunity for in-depth scholarly exploration of commonalities and differences. By creating an environment conducive to research, open reflection and scholarly inquiry, participants are encouraged to learn from others who have studied different or convergent topics, bringing perspectives from their different fields.


In addition, fellows will be given the opportunity to participate in Auburn’s Media Training and will be encouraged to consider ways to bring their work to public audiences. The program includes housing at Union Seminary in Manhattan. Alternative arrangements are up to the candidate (the cost of the single room housing may be made available in such cases). 


At the Colloquium, fellows spend the month of July together, pursuing individual research as well as gathering as a group for focused and facilitated discussions. Those who are selected for a fellowship are referred to as "Coolidge Scholars" after William A. Coolidge, the principal benefactor of this program. Each Coolidge Scholar works on his or her own project, but benefits by being able to collaborate with others. The collegial relationships that develop within the group are a crucial element of this program and one of its distinctive aspects. The work of the fellows is eligible for publication in the journal CrossCurrents.


If you have further questions about the content of the Colloquium, please contact:

·        Charles Henderson, CrossCurrents (chashenderson@mindspring.com)

·        Christian Scharen, Auburn Seminary (cscharen@auburnseminary.org)


Colloquium Logistics and Schedule

The Colloquium takes place July 1-31, 2015. The daily schedule allows a balance of structured and unstructured time, including:

1.      Time for individual research, reflection and consultation with fellows and staff;

2.      Seminars for facilitated and focused discussion that also integrate work-in-progress reports by fellows;

3.      Common meals and opportunities to explore the artistic and cultural resources of New York City.

The Colloquium is residential and provides fellows with room and board (vegetarian/kosher food available) and access to libraries and research facilities at Columbia University, Teachers College, Union, Auburn and Jewish Theological Seminaries. Participants are required to pay a $125 registration fee upon acceptance plus the cost of travel to New York City.

Eligibility and Application 
The successful applicant will be capable of writing for a publication of the caliber of CrossCurrents. Normally, fellows will hold doctorates; some will have professional degrees or ordination; a few will qualify by reason of equivalent experience.  An application consists of:


  1. Title and brief description (1-2 pp.) of the applicant's proposed project.
  2. A brief resume including religious affiliation or preference (if any), academic standing and professional experience. 
  3. The names, titles, institutional addresses and telephone numbers of two references. (You do not need to have these persons write a letter; we will contact references as needed.)


Applications are due by February 2, 2016. They can be submitted at:  https://charles33.wufoo.com/forms/crosscurrents-auburn-research-colloquium-2016/