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Keywords:

  • belief to action;
  • biofuels;
  • climate change;
  • desire;
  • energy;
  • ethics;
  • religion;
  • statement on energy and climate change;
  • transportation;
  • zero net-energy

Abstract Energy typically is discussed in terms of science, technology, economics, and politics. Little attention has been given to fundamental religious and ethical questions surrounding the upcoming transition to renewable energy. The essays in this thematic section seek to redress that deficiency. This introductory essay raises some key questions and summarizes various presentations on energy and religion, as these were held at the 2010 conference of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS). Some presentations described the energy landscape and provided data and perspectives needed for sound policy. Others raised ethical and religious considerations for energy decisions as the transition from nonrenewable to renewable sources is faced. Some posed the challenges of the energy transition to religion itself. Yet others offered examples of sustainable energy use and/or promising sources for meeting future needs sustainably. At the conclusion of the conference, presenters crafted a common “Statement on Energy and Climate Change” that includes a “Call to Action.” The “Energy Statement” follows as an appendix.