Associate Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies
Director, Religion and Public Engagment
Ollen R. Nalley Faculty Fellow
Office: 115 Wingate Hall
Phone: (336) 758-3341
Dr. Johnston’s interdisciplinary educational background includes degrees in Religion and Nature (PhD), Environmental Ethics (Graduate Certificate), Theology (MA), and Psychology (BA). His research focuses on the relationships between biocultural evolution and religion, with particular attention to environmental social movements and cross-cultural political dialog related to ideas about nature. He is the author of Religion and Sustainability: Social Movements and the Politics of the Environment (2013), co-editor of Science and Religion: One Planet, Many Possibilities (2014), and editor of Higher Education for Sustainability: Cases, Challenges and Opportunities Across the Curriculum (2012). Other current research projects include:
- an exploration of Moravian environmental ethics, particularly as they relate to the history of the North Carolina Piedmont
- the emergence of environmental and social activism among performance-oriented subcultures
He currently serves as the Senior Book Reviews Editor for the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture and the Co-Chair of the Religion and Ecology Group of the American Academy of Religion.
Ph.D., University of Florida (Religion and Nature)
Graduate Certificate, University of Georgia (Environmental Ethics)
M.A., Graduate Theological Union (Ethics and Social Policy)
B.A., Wake Forest University (Psychology)
Books and Special Issues
Religion and Sustainability: Social Movements and the Politics of the Environment (Equinox/Acumen Press)
Science and Religion: One Planet, Many Possibilities (co-ed. with Whitney Bauman) (Routledge)
(Co-Editor with Robert Sands) The Science of God: Natural Origins of Religion in an Evolutionary Perspective: A Special Issue of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol. 3, No. 4 (January 2010).
“Sustainability as a Global Faith?: The Religious Dimensions of Sustainability and Personal Risk.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion (2014)82 (1): 47-69.
“Looking at Sustainability through a Different LENS: One University’s Experience,” Sustainability: The Journal of Record, Vol. 5, No. 4 (August 2012) (with Anne Boyle,Bobbie Collins and Hubert Womack).
Witt, Joseph, Lucas Johnston and Bron Taylor. “Exploring Religion, Nature and Culture (continued): The Growing Field, Society, and Journal,” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol. 5, No. 1 (March 2011). PDF Version
Johnston, Lucas F. “Editor’s Introduction,” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol. 4, No.3 (September 2010).
“From Biophilia to Cosmophilia: the Role of Biological and Physical Sciences in Promoting Sustainability,” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol. 4, No. 1 (March 2010).
Review: Holthaus, Gary. Learning Native Wisdom: What Traditional Cultures Teach Us about Subsistence, Sustainability, and Spirituality, for Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics (November 2009).
“Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta: The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Subversive Function of Religious Parody” (with Gavin van Horn), Golem: Journal of Religion and Monsters, Vol. 1, No. 2 (June 2007).
“Whose Security?: The Abuse of National Security Rhetoric in Resource Management,” Lisa Volkering, Dylan Wolfe, Emily Plec, William Griswold, Kevin DeLuca (eds). Proceedings of the Conference on Communication and the Environment. Athens: University of Georgia Press (June 2007).
“Buddhism and Nature: A Survey of Themes and Works in an Emerging Field,” Worldviews, Vol. 10, No. 1(May 2006).
Review: Miller, James (ed.) Perspectives on an Evolving Creation, in Ecotheology, Volume 10, No. 1 (April 2005).
“The Camel and the Eye of the Needle: Religion, Moral Exchange and Social Impacts,” in Stanley Brunn (ed.) The Changing World Religions Map (New York: Springer, forthcoming 2014) (with Robert Wall)
“Introduction,” in Lucas F. Johnston (ed.) Higher Education for Sustainability: Cases, Challenges and Opportunities from Across the Curriculum (Routledge, 2012) (with Dedee DeLongpre Johnston)
“Learning Outcomes: an International Comparison of Countries and Declarations,” in Lucas F. Johnston (ed.) Higher Education for Sustainability: Cases, Challenges and Opportunities from Across the Curriculum (Routledge, 2012) (with Debra Rowe)
“Epilogue,” in Lucas F. Johnston (ed.) Higher Education for Sustainability: Cases, Challenges and Opportunities from Across the Curriculum (Routledge, 2012)
“Practically Natural: Religious Resources for Environmental Pragmatism,” in Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon and Kevin O’Brien (eds.) Inherited Lands: The Changing Ground of Religion and Ecology (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2011)
“Indigenous and Traditional Resource Management” (with Todd LeVasseur), in The Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Vol. 4. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Press (forthcoming 2011).
“Nutrition/Diet”(with Todd LeVasseur), in Global Resource on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (GREENR). Florence, KY: Gale Educational Publishing (2010).
“International Commissions and Declarations,” in Willis Jenkins and Whitney Bauman (eds.) The Spirit of Sustainability: The Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Vol. 1. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Press (2009).
“Sociobiology,” in The Encyclopedia of Environment and Society, Paul Robbins (ed.) Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications (2007).
“Animal Reintroduction and Ecological Restoration,” in The Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships. Mark Bekoff (ed.) (September 2007).
“Humanness” (with Anna Peterson), in The Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships. Marc Bekoff (ed.) (September 2007).
REL 101: Introduction to Religion
REL 109: Introduction to Buddhist Traditions
REL 111: Introduction to First People’s Traditions
REL 240: Religion and Ecology
REL 244: Religion, Terrorism and Violence
REL 300: Approaches to Religion
REL 307: Magic, Science and Religion
ENV 201: Environmental Issues
ENV 302: Sustainability and Sustainable Development
ENV 391: Energy Policy and Sustainability
Today’s rapidly changing world calls for community-oriented leaders who can confront challenges and work for the betterment of humanity. LENS is a three-week summer program that equips current high school students with an academic foundation necessary to become such a leader by exploring the challenges of global sustainability. Rising juniors and seniors live on Wake Forest’s beautiful Reynolda Campus and examine some of the world’s most pressing challenges through different inter-disciplinary lenses. By taking this unique and multifaceted approach, LENS trains students to examine problems holistically with an eye towards crafting creative solutions.]