To watch this event live, go here.
There has been no lack of conservative Christian criticism aimed at Oscar-nominated director Darren Aronofsky's blockbuster film, Noah, a work suffused with environmental themes. "I expected to be irritated by the movie—but I found myself grieved," wrote Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, characterizing the film's environmentalism as leading to "a horrifying anti-humanism."
Yet there is a very strong case to be made that the film is not just provocative—it captures something very deep about the Noah story. Noah was the "first environmentalist," according to Aronofsky, whose acclaimed previous films include The Wrestler and Black Swan. Aronfsky certainly has not been shy about the film's green content. "There is a huge statement in the film, a strong message about the coming flood from global warming," Aronofsky told The New Yorker.
Noah stirs the pot over faith and environmentalism, but the pot was already boiling: In the past decade, there has been a growing movement to highlight scripturally based moral imperatives for conserving the environment. That's why the film furnishes a perfect moment to discuss how religious faith, today, serves as an increasingly crucial motivator of environmental action.
Aronofsky himself will be leading that discussion in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, April 23. The director will be on hand to talk about the environmental and religious themes in his new film—and their implications for modern issues like climate change—at an event cosponsored by the Climate Desk, the Center for American Progress, and the Sierra Club. Other panelists will include Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune; Danielle Baussan, managing director of Energy Policy at the Center for American Progress; and Jack Jenkins, a senior writer and researcher with the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress. The event will be moderated by Chris Mooney (me) of Climate Desk. See above for more details.