Gender, Religion and the Environment

A University of the Western Cape Case Study


  • Ernst Conradie University of the Western Cape
  • Julia Martin University of the Western Cape



religion, gender, environmentalism


This contribution explores the relationship between gender, religion and the environment in terms of the perceptions of a group of first-year students registered for a course on Environmental Awareness Techniques and Training at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. The empirical investigation indicates that there is a surprisingly high level of environmental awareness amongst this group, possibly reflecting their different living conditions, but that they were unable to recognize connections between their environmental commitment, their religious affiliation and gender consciousness.

Author Biographies

Ernst Conradie, University of the Western Cape

  Department of Religion and Theology, University of theWestern Cape,

Julia Martin, University of the Western Cape

University of the Western Cape


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‘How Can We Help to Raise an Environmental Awareness in the South African Context?’, Scriptura 82: 122-38. DOI:

a An Ecological Christian Anthropology: At Home on Earth? (Aldershot: Ashgate).

b ‘Towards an Agenda for Ecological Theology: An Intercontinental Dialogue’, Ecotheology 10.3: 281-318. DOI:

Cock, J. 1992 ‘Towards the Greening of the Church in South Africa: Some Problems and Possibilities’, Missionalia 20.3: 1741-85.

Cock, J., and E. Koch (eds.) 1991 Going Green: People, Politics and the Environment in South Africa (Cape Town: Oxford University Press).

Durning, A. 1990 Apartheid’s Environmental Toll (Worldwatch Paper 95).

Martin, J. 1996 ‘On Healing Self/Nature’, in Ninia Lykke (ed.), Between Monsters, Goddesses and Cyborgs: Feminist Confrontations with Science, Medicine and Cyberspace (London: Zed Books): 156-75.

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Martin, J. (ed.) 1997 Ecological Responsibility: A Dialogue with Buddhism (Delhi: Tibet House).

Ramphele, M., and C. McDowell (eds.) 1991 Restoring the Land: Environment and Change in Post-apartheid South Africa (London: Panos).

White, R.A., C.P. Klein and D.L. Key 2005 ‘Innovative ways to integrate environmental courses in universities with sustainable development projects in local communities: experience from University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa’ (paper presented at the 11th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, Helsinki, 6–8 June 2005).



How to Cite

Conradie, E., & Martin, J. (2006). Gender, Religion and the Environment: A University of the Western Cape Case Study. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 11(4), 431–444.




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