"One of the missing links [in addressing these challenges] is the energy of the human spirit, which comes not exclusively but in great waves from religion," Tucker told a Utah audience of more than 200 on Thursday. "That is a renewing source of energy, something we can draw on, for all future generations."
Co-writer of the award-winning documentary, "Journey of the Universe," Tucker kicked off the 18th annual Stegner Center Lecture symposium taking place Friday and Saturday at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law.
This year's theme, Religion, Faith and the Environment, is the starting point for two days of discussions about such issues as stewardship of the land, biodiversity and the ways faith informs environmental law.
Panels will also include presentations on how ecological protection and environmental degradation are viewed by various religions, including the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
An author, lecturer and research scholar based at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School, Tucker recounted her early experiences of connecting nature and faith in Japan. Ever since, she's been raising awareness about how people and the Earth fit together and sometimes don't.
She pointed to our fascination with how the universe and ecology work and the awe that even such everyday surroundings as the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake inspire.
"I am talking," she said, "about our connections with life."