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Listening to the Voices of Coral and Pasifika in Denver, CO

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

19-21 November 2022—Denver, Colorado, USA.


American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference


I have long believed that bridging academia and activism is key to the success of the One Billion for Peace Pledge and to the ongoing education of the coalition of civil society organizations that we are bringing together! I was thrilled to co-write and co-present on issues central to the Peace Pledge with Reverend Dr. Brian Fiu Kolia (Talofa Brian!) at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting in Denver Colorado.


We presented two co-written papers together: first, in the Religion and Ecology Unit of the AAR, we presented “The Case for Coral-izing Biblical Texts from Decolonizing Perspectives” (Nov. 19, 2022). Then, in a special session co-sponsored by the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit, Religion and Ecology Unit, and Religions in the Latina/o Americans Unit, we presented “Climate Change as Decolonization? Imagining a Post-Catastrophe World through Reciprocal Relationality: Shaping Indigenous Futurity Outside of and Within Colonizer Religions” (Nov. 21, 2022). I also presented a paper in the Apocalypse Now program unit of the SBL, entitled “’Climate Apocalypse’ as a Generator of Passivity: Reflections on Key Symbols, Social Memory, and the Programmatic Power of Narrative” (Nov. 20, 2022). At each event, we shared the One Billion for Peace cards with an enthusiastic audience, which continues to show me that many of our colleagues in the academy are eager to bring academia into meaningful action in the world.


I’m also so happy to report that these two papers, plus all the fruitful conversations that we had as we wrote them together, have resulted in a co-written book project in progress, entitled: Reclaiming Tapu: How Pasifika Lifeways Can Help Steer the World through Climate Crisis.

Truly, I really wake up wanting to finish this book project. I cannot WAIT for the world to read what we have to say about the ecology of coral, Hawaiian and Samoan traditional religion, the efficiency and supremacy of native techniques such as aquaculture that preserve the coral so much better than the colonial development that brought us destruction and climate change, as well as our biblical studies approach to uncovering what the Bible has to say about coral!

Mahalo and Fa’afetai!

Frances Flannery, Ph.D.

Co-Founder of BioEarth


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