Jason Brown

Limited-term lecturer


Research interests

  • Religion and Ecology
  • Trees and Forests in the Humanities
  • Phenomenology of Sacred Landscapes
  • Spiritual Ecology


  • PhD, Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia
  • MF (Master's of Forestry), Yale University 
  • MA, Religion and Ecological Theology, Yale Divinity School
  • BA, Anthropology, with an emphasis in socio-cultural. Minor: International Development. Brigham Young University


Jason M. Brown was born and raised in California and studied anthropology as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University. His master's work is in forestry and theology from Yale. He completed his PhD in 2017 from the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia. His dissertation focused on the sense of place of Roman Catholic monks in the American West. He teaches courses in the humanities and environmental studies. His website is www.holyscapes.org


Journal articles and book chapters

  • ‘The ‘Greening’ of Christian Monasticism and the Future of Monastic Landscapes in North America’ Religions 2019, 10(7), 432. Special issue on the future of monasticism.
  • ‘Charged Moments: Landscape and the Experience of the Sacred among Catholic Monks in North America’ Religions 2019, 10(2), 86. Special issue on sacred place and landscape.
  • ‘Climate Impacts on the Ocean are Making the Sustainable Development Goals a Moving Target Traveling Away from Us.’ Gerald G. Singh, Nathalie Hilmi, Joey Bernhardt, Andres M. Cisneros Montemayor, Madeline Cashion, Yoshitaka Ota, Sevil Acar, Jason M. Brown, Richard Cottrell, Salpie Djoundourian, Pedro C. González -Espinosa1, Vicky Lam1, Nadine Marshall, Barbara Neumann, Nicolas Pascal, Gabriel Reygondeau, Joacim Rocklӧv, Alain Safa, Laura R. Virto, William Cheung. People and Nature 2019 00:1-19.
  • ‘Worlds and Worldviews: Resource Management, Re-enchantment and Landscape.’ In Anu Lounela, Timo Kallinen and Eeva Berglund (eds.) 2019. Dwelling in Political Landscapes: Contemporary Anthropological Perspectives. Helsinki: Finish Literature Society
  • ‘Managing for the Spirit: The Spiritual Ecology of the Mormon Sacred Grove’ Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture Vol 12, No 3, 2018
  • ‘Thomas Merton, Wildness and the Sacramental Power of Place’ Merton Annual, Vol. 29, 2016
  • ‘An Orange County Almanac: Adventures in Suburban Ecology’ in Susan Cohen and Julie Dunlap (eds.) Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet. Trinity University Press. Oct. 2016
  • ‘‘‘They Do Not Know How to Take Care of the Forest’: Analyzing State-sponsored “Decentralization” of Forest Management in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán’ (First Author) IN John P. Hawkins, James H. McDonald, Walter Randolph Adams (eds). 2013. Crisis of Governance in Maya Guatemala: Indigenous Responses to a Failing State (eds.) University of Oklahoma Press.
  • ‘Whither Mormon Environmental Theology?’ Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Summer 2011.


  • ‘Sacred Groves’ Sunstone Magazine Spring 2013
  • ‘An Orange County Almanac’ in An Orange County Almanac and other essays Joseph Zammit-Lucia (ED.) WOLF Foundation winning essay, 2013 
  • ‘Plotino Constantino Rhodakanaty: An Introduction to a Mormon Anarchist’ co-authored with Chris Nielson, The Mormon Worker, May 2010
  • ‘The Beehive and the Steel Mill: Rethinking the Protestant Work Ethic’ The Mormon Worker, Vol. 1 No. 5 2008
  • ‘The Zion-Babylon Dualism’ The Mormon Worker Vol.1 No. 3, 2008
  • ‘Cooperation: A common Principle of Mormonism and Radicalism,’ The Mormon Worker, Vol.1 No.2, 2007
  • ‘Buddhist Economics’ Borrowed Earth Student Journal, 2007
  • ‘Who said Stewardship had to be Geometric?’ Borrowed Earth Student Journal, 2007
  • ‘Sara Catalina Domínguez,’ La Marca Hispánica, BYU Spanish and Portuguese Department, 2004

Notable Online Publications 


  • ‘Vancouver School of Theology Affiliates and Associates ‘Day of Learning’ Research Conference’: I was an organizer, presenter and moderator. April 26, 2018
  • ‘Spiritual Ecologies and New Cosmologies Convergence’: I was the core conceiver, organizer and curator for a three day conference exploring themes of inter-faith dialogue, eco-spirituality, ecology and cosmology. Twenty speakers, accompanied by a 15 artist art exhibit, at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC. September 22 - 24, 2014
  • ‘Sacred Space and the Mind of Believers’: Salt Lake Community College Conference co-organizer and chair of proceedings. April 4, 2013
  • ‘The Economic Model of Cooperatives: The Mormon Experience’: panel discussion and lecture featuring Warner Woodworth and me. Utah Valley University, Center for the Study of Ethics, Nov. 16, 2012
  • ‘Philosophy of Silviculture Science Symposium’: With a grant from the Class of 1980, I planned, organized and facilitated a symposium on the political ecology of silviculture science and the social construction of old-growth forests at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Speakers included James C. Scott, Chris Maser, Michael Barbour, Terre Satterfield and Klaus Puettmann. October 15 - 16, 2010


  • ‘Lectio Silvam: Reading the Forest with North American Forester Monks.’ Transforming Approaches to Forests and Forestry, UBC/IUFRO Conference, Aug. 21-23, 2019
  • ‘Dwelling in the Wilderness: Catholic Monks and the Land.’ People and the Land, Simon Fraser University Archeology Faculty and Graduate Student Conference. Jan. 26, 2018
  • ‘The Spaces Between: Silence as Phenomenological Space in an Ethnographic Context,’ American Association of Anthropology. November 2018
  • ‘Sacred Groves: Trees, Forests and the Human Imagination,’ Society of American Foresters. October 2018
  • ‘The Wilderness and the Garden in the Age of the Anthropocene,’ Religious Perspectives and Alternative Futures in an Age of Humans Conference. May 17-20, 2018
  • ‘What’s in a Name? Ecological Literacy as Contemplative Spiritual Practice,’ Vancouver School of Theology Affiliates and Associates ‘Day of Learning’ Research Conference. April 26, 2018 
  • ‘Dwelling in the Wilderness: The Embodied Semiotics of Catholic Monks in the American West’, American Academy of Religion 2017 Annual Meeting. November 18-21, 2017
  • ‘Dwelling in the Wilderness: Landscape, Place and the Sacred Among Catholic Monks of the American West’, Green College Interdisciplinary Series, Worlds of Wonder: People Making Places Sacred. October 11, 2017 
  • ‘Decolonizing Personal Spiritual Ecologies’, panel presentation for the ‘Learning from Indigenous Traditions Roundtable’ at the Mountains and Sacred Landscapes Conference. India-China Institute and International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. April 21, 2017
  • ‘Brother Sun Sister Moon: Creation Spirituality in Laudato Si’ Parish talk given at Saint Augustine’s Parish. October 6, 2016
  • ‘Spiritual Ecology in the Salish Sea’ Workshop Organizer and Presenter. Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. April 12 - 16 2016
  • ‘Worlds and Worldviews: Landscape, meaning and Natural Resource Management’ The Society for Applied Anthropology. March 30 - April 2, 2016
  • ‘The Iconography of Climate Change’ International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture Annual Conference. Jan. 14 - 18, 2016
  • ‘The Re-enchantment of Spiritual Ecology’ The Finnish Anthropological Society. Landscapes, Sociality and Materiality. Helsinki, Finland, October 21 - 22, 2015
  • ‘Religion and Ecology in the Anthropocene’ The Parliament of the World’s Religions 2015. Salt Lake City, October 16, 2015
  • ‘Thomas Merton: Wilderness Archetype? Or, Lover of Place?’ The International Thomas Merton Society ‘Merton 100: Living the Legacy’ Conference. Louisville, KY. June 4, 2015
  • ‘Why Ecology Needs Spirituality: The Salish Sea Spiritual Ecology Alliance’ BIL 2015 Vancouver, BIL is a counterpoint Un-conference convened during TED talks. March 22, 2015
  • ‘Religion and Ecology in the Anthropocene’: Green College Member Series talk delivered January 19, 2015
  • ‘Managing for the Spirit: The Mormon Sacred Groves’. Poster presentation Society of American Foresters, 2014
  • ‘The New Cosmology: Where Religion and Science Meet’: Presentation at an Ecology and Cosmology Conference hosted by the Centre for Interactive Research in Sustainability (CIRS). October 9, 2013
  • ‘The Paradoxical Embodiment of the Mormon Divine’: Sunstone Symposium July 30, 2013
  • ‘Canticle to the Sacred Grove: An encounter between Joseph Smith and St. Francis of Assisi’: Mormon Scholars in the Humanities. March 16, 2013
  • ‘Managing for the Spirit: Lessons on Forest Management from the Sacred Groves of Mormonism’: Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainability: A Call to Stewardship conference, Brigham Young University. Nov. 8, 2012
  • ‘The Beehive and the Steel Mill: The value of work in Mormon spiritual life’: paper presented at the ‘Mormons and the Marketplace’ Mormon Studies Conference Claremont Graduate University April 12, 2012
  • ‘Native Employment in Tribal Forestry Programs’: Poster presented at the Society of American Foresters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Oct. 2010
  • ‘Native Employment in Tribal Forestry Programs’: co-presented with Kyra Busch, Inter-tribal Timber Council’s Annual Symposium in Mescalero, New Mexico. Oct. 2010
  • ‘Ward Economy: Reinventing the Beehive’: panelist, Sunstone Symposium. Salt Lake City, Utah 2008
  • ‘Cooperation: Common Principle of Mormonism and Radicalism’: panelist, Sunstone Symposium. Salt Lake City, Utah 2007
  • ‘Alone in the Desert: Progressive activism at BYU’: Panelist, Sunstone Symposium. Salt Lake City, Utah 2007
  • ‘Community Forestry in Light of Global Insecurity’: Society for Applied Anthropology (SFAA) Annual Conference, Tampa, Florida 2007
  • ‘The Politics of the Forest in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán’: Salt Lake Community College Undergraduate Conference in Anthropology Salt Lake City, Utah. Oct. 2007
  • ‘Forest Politics in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán’:  BYU Inquiry Conference, Provo, Utah. Nov. 2007