The volume Middle East and North Africa: Climate, Culture and Conflicts focuses on the intricate interrelationships between nature, culture and society in this ecologically, historically and politically fragile region. As such, it debates ideas of eco-theology from Muslim and Jewish perspectives, followed by mythological interpretations and geo-archeological resp. historical analyses of the interrelationships and impacts of climate and other environmental factors on the development of ancient civilizations and cultures. The section “Present” addresses current conflict scenarios as a result of climate change, i.e. water scarcity, droughts, desertification and similar factors. The final section is concerned with potentials of international cooperation in pursuit of developing and ensuring sustainable energy resources and moves across different scales of environmental and religious education, from awareness raising to perspectives of best practice examples.
Contributors are Katajun Amirpur, Helmut Brückner, Eckart Ehlers, Max Engel, Kerstin Fritzsche, Ursula Kowanda-Yassin, Tobias von Lossow, Ephraim Meir, Rosel Pientka-Hinz, Matthias Schmidt, and Franz Trieb.
Katajun Amirpur, Ph.D., born 1971, is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Cologne. She previously taught at the Universities of Hamburg and Zurich and has published numerous monographs and scholarly articles, including New Thinking in Islam. For many years she has worked as a freelance journalist for prestigious newspapers.
Eckart Ehlers, Ph.D. (1938), University of Bonn/Germany, was Professor of Geography at Marburg and Bonn universities, former Secretary General of the International Geographical Union (IGU) and Chair of the German National Committee of Global Change Research. He has published several books and many articles on the Middle East and nature-society interrelationships.
Foreword Acknowledgements List of Figures, Maps, and Tables List of Abbreviations Notes on Contributors
Introduction: The Mena Region: Climate, Culture, and Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa Eckart Ehlers and Katajun Amirpur
Part 1: Ideas
1 And We Shall Save the Earth: Muslim Environmental Stewards Katajun Amirpur
2 Wonder, Gratitude, and Justice as Ingredients for a Jewish Eco-Theology Ephraim Meir
Part 2: Past
3 Holocene Climate Variability of Mesopotamia and its Impact on the History of Civilisation Max Engel and Helmut Brückner
4 Destructive Waters—Refreshing Waters: Ancient Near Eastern Aquatic Symbolism at the Dawn of History Rosel Pientka-Hinz
5 Deserts—Wind—Water: Strategies of Human Adaptations and Renewable Resources in Extremely Arid Environments. A Historical Retrospective Eckart Ehlers
Part 3: Present
6 The Vanishing of Iran’s Lake Urmia Matthias Schmidt
7 Water in the Middle East: Hotspots of Scarcity and Conflict Tobias von Lossow
8 Climate Change and the Emerging Information Societies in the Arab Region Kerstin Fritzsche
Part 4: Prospects
9 DESERTEC: Europe—Middle East—North Africa Cooperation for Sustainable Energy Franz Trieb
10 Connecting Religion and the Environment in Islamic Education: Raising Awareness, Exploring Perspectives, and Defining Best Practice Ursula Kowanda-Yassin
All interested in climate, culture and conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, and anyone concerned with its causes and consequences.