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How to take care of God’s green earth?

Religious environmental movements are established worldwide, also within Islam. The Independent Research Fund Denmark has granted more than DKK 6 million to a project investigating the connection between Islam, nature, and the environment.

By Caroline Zoffmann Jessen, , 11/30/2023

Associate Professor Johanne Louise Christiansen, Department of Culture and Language has received a Sapere Aude grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark for the research project Quranatura: Negotiations of Qur'anic Nature in Islam.

The relationship between religion and nature is more relevant than ever before and religious environmental movements are established worldwide. Also, within Islam, the Qur'an, prophetic traditions, and Islamic philosophy are being searched to explain climate change, thus actualizing historical and religious texts with the aim of legitimizing sustainable solutions. The Quranatura project investigates how and why such "green reinterpretations" take place.

How can a religious worldview be united with the environmental and climate challenges of today’s world? Does religion, here Islam, have the potential to contribute to solutions to the climate crisis? These are some of the questions that the Quranatura project explores. The project hypothesizes that there are fundamentally different perceptions of reality and nature in pre-modern, religious and philosophical texts, such as the Qur’an, compared to the contemporary uses of these texts.

By applying a new and solid theoretical approach, based on anthropological and sociological works of religion, it examines how nature is perceived, reinterpreted, and negotiated in the Qur'an, both in its original, historical context and up through history to contemporary Islamic environmental initiatives, such as botanical gardens based solely on the nature described in the Qur'an.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Environmental Humanities Network and SDU Climate Cluster.

Meet the researcher

Associate Professor Johanne Louise Christiansen is a researcher at The Department of Culture and Language.


Editing was completed: 30.11.2023