How can both the fields of religious studies and environmental studies inform the meaning we make and the action we take in response to climate destabilization and ecological degradation, matters central to our present and future? This question animates Vic Thasiah's work.
He is currently working on a book titled The Zen of War: Thich Nhat Hanh's Critical Environmental Humanism, focusing on the Vietnamese environmentalist's anti-war writings and poetry. Thasiah's early work on community organizing and grassroots democracy is based on research conducted in Rwanda in collaboration with former Rwandan refugees and survivors of genocide.
He is the chair of the Religion Department, an affiliated faculty member in CLU's Environmental Studies Program, and founder and executive director of Runners for Public Lands (RPL), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization out to turn every runner into a better steward of the environment and build a global running culture around climate action and environmental sustainability. Based in Ventura, CA, RPL also works on protecting and restoring public lands, and equitable access.
RLTH 100 Religion, Identity, and Vocation (Fall, 2020)
RLTH 351 Global Ethics (Fall, 2021)
RLTH 353 Violence, Religion, and Politics (Spring, 2021)
Certified California Naturalist
Ph.D., University of Oxford
Selected Course Topics
Buddhism and Mindfulness
Religion and Social Change
Religion and Political Thought
Violence, Religion, and Politics
Global Environmental Activism
Religion, Identity, and Vocation
Book titled The Zen of War: Thich Nhat Hanh's Critical Environmental Humanism
"Religion, Forestry, and Democracy in Rwanda after Genocide," in Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, eds. Lisa E. Dahill and Jim Martin-Schramm (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2017). Review.
"The Right to Freedom of Association: Organizing in Rwanda after Genocide," in On Secular Governance: Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, eds. Marie A. Failinger and Ronald W. Duty (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016).
"Reconfiguring Rwandan Church-State Relations," in Lutheran Identity and Political Theology, eds. Carl Henric-Grenholm and Goran Gunner (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2014).
"Critically Engaging Public Officials in Rwanda," Studies in World Christianity 23:3 (2017), 257-280.
"On Inter-religious Friendships," Journal of Lutheran Ethics 11:3 (May/June 2011).
"Voluntary Poverty," Journal of Lutheran Ethics 10:6 (June 2010).
"Trustworthiness: Infrastructuring a Better Chicago," AREA (Art, Research, Education, Activism) 10 (October 2010).
"Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh on Decolonizing Your Mind," American Academy of Religion, Denver, Colorado, November 2018.
"When Cunning Is Prudence: Rwandan Organizing, Thomistic Virtue," Religion and Power: New Directions in Social Ethics Conference, Princeton University, March 12, 2015. Invited presentation.
"'Things Are Not Okay in Rwanda If You Shut Up': Community Organizing Practices and Human Rights Advocacy after Genocide," Society of Christian Ethics, Chicago, January 11, 2015.
"Countering Complicity: Rwandan Political Theology after Genocide," American Academy of Religion, San Diego, California, November 23, 2014.
"The Right to Freedom of Association: Organizing in Rwanda after Genocide," Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, Valparaiso University Law School, Chicago, March 27, 2014.
"Toward a Rwandan Lutheran Political Theology," Remembering the Past, Living the Future: Lutheran Tradition in Transition Conference, University of Uppsala, Sweden, October 9, 2013.
"Toward a Religious-Anarchist Politics," Third International Conference on Religion and Spirituality in Society, March 9, 2013.
"Second Realities: Karl Barth's Ethics and Socially-Engaged Art," Society of Christian Ethics (Pacific Meeting), February 10, 2012.
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform," Society of Christian Ethics Annual Meeting, January 8, 2010.
"Faith and Immigration Reform," Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Briefing, Washington, D.C., October 14, 2009.
- Grant Funding
2020 AllWeDoIsRun Conservation Partner (Runners for Public Lands)
2020 Spartan Trail Nonprofit Conservation Partner (Runners for Public Lands)
$1,000 HOKA Nonprofit Grant, January, 2020.
$4,500 Nonprofit Grant, Ventura Turkey Trot, December, 2019.
$2,000 Nonprofit Grant, Ventura Marathon, November, 2019.
$1,800 HOKA Nonprofit Grant, October, 2019.
$40,000 Sabbatical Research Grant, Louisville Institute, 2017-2018
$5,000 CLU Faculty Research Grant, 2014
$5,000 Wabash Summer Research Grant, 2013