Religious and Ethical Dimensions of Global Climate Change and the Great Arctic Melt

Organized by the Research Institute of Theology at the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Iceland 18. October 2015

At this breakout session prominent Icelandic scholars of world religions, ethics, culture and heritage will present their research and investigation into the ethical and religious aspects of the ecological crisis and challenges.

They will emphasize that ethical and religious dimensions touch on inner realities, profound common interests of humanity, and concerns for value and meaning which cannot be ignored when seriously considering the present and future challenges in the Arctic and elsewhere on the globe.

They will encourage a holistic approach where science and religion respectfully cooperate in a concerted effort to promote sustainability. While reflecting the wider Arctic and global perspectives of the ecological situation, they assumedly will do so from certain Icelandic perceptions,  drawing upon the great impact that the concurrently beautiful and threatening environment of Iceland has always had on its inhabitants and also much affected their faith and religious sentiments. Around the middle of the session a photo slideshow will run on the screen which portrays the ambiguity of the Icelandic landscape and reflects these existential realities.


  • Arnfríður Guðmundsdóttir, Professor, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Iceland: Our Place and Our Responsibilities within God’s Creation.
  • Gunnar Kristjánsson, Former Dean, National Church of Iceland: The Ambivalence of Nature in the Religious Culture of Iceland.
  • Sigríðar Guðmarsdóttir, Rural Dean in Sør Helgeland, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway: Ecological Ultimate Concern: Climate Change and Theology in the North.
  • Sólveig Anna Bóasdóttir, Professor, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Iceland: Possibilities of Agency. Religious Ethics and Environmental Problems.

Photo Slideshow:

  • Björn Rúriksson, Geologist, Pilot and Photographer: Contrasts in the Icelandic Environment, Beauty and Challenges.


  • Grétar H. Gunnarsson, Consultant at the National Church of Iceland


  • Gunnþór Þ. Ingason, Specialized minister within the field of Religion and Culture, National Church of Iceland