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About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Organization Staff PhD Research Comparative Study of Religion

Tanja van Hummel

The Sacred Dimensions of Climate-Induced Conflicts
Tanja van Hummel

Rapid climate change, the quick alternation of the average weather type over a given period of time poses local, national and international security risk. Although everyone is affected by climate change, the biggest impact is on people who depend on their environment for their livelihoods and often consider this nature as sacred.

This PhD project investigates how spirituality and worldview influences how protesting farmers in the Netherlands make sense of climate change and climate-induced conflicts. The view on the sacred ty affects almost every aspect of live, including the relationship with the environment. Because the environment farmers live in is changing due to climate change and environmental policies, these farmers experience a conflict between their way of life and the way of life the government is imposing. This results in protests, which is an instance of a climate-induced conflict.

Countries implement strategies aimed at climate resilience to reduce the security risk. These strategies, and their underlying theories, are secular and positivist, thus result in technological, economic, humanitarian or military responses to climate change and related conflicts.

While these approaches are useful, they do not consider the spirituality of the communities. Consequently, the strategies and solutions emanating from the approaches may not be accepted by these communities, thus are unsustainable. Hence, there is a need for further theorization and conceptualization of climate-induced conflicts towards climate-proof peace and security. 

Sacred dimensions
Last modified:22 August 2022 1.39 p.m.