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Welcome / Välkommen / Karibu

Welcome / Välkommen / Karibu to

Ontological Bridge-building for Climate Change Mitigation in Maasailand

Information about Beth E. Elness-Hanson’s
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Post-doctoral Fellowship (2023-2026)

VID Associate Professor, Beth Elness-Hanson, is awareded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie post-doctoral fellowship funded by the European Union.

The ecotheology-focused grant is entitled “Ontological Bridge-building for Climate Change Mitigation in Maasailand.” This multidisciplinary project builds bridges across clashing climate change understandings in Tanzania.

Indigenous knowledge and climate science

This project weaves together indigenous knowledge and climate science which are held together in an ecotheological framework. Then collaboratively developed pedagogical resources will educate and equip the Maasai people group with the best practices for mitigating climate change that are strategically designed for their context. The collaboration with trusted local leaders leverages existing educational and social systems within the Lutheran church in Tanzania.

The local church can make a difference

Elness-Hanson states, “As the local church made a difference in the health of the people regarding HIV/AIDS, the local church can make a difference in the health of the environment.”

VID Specialized University is the primary research institutions for the project, with an associated partner, Tumaini University-Makumira in Tanzania. This holistic project integrates Elness-Hanson’s previous work teaching biology at the MaaSae Girls Lutheran Secondary School and her PhD research on intercultural biblical interpretation with the Maasai people group in northern Tanzania.

Starting in August 2023, the project will run for three years. The first two years, Elness-Hanson will be connected to Tumaina University in Tanzania, while the third year will be in Stavanger, Norway, at VID’s Centre for Mission and Global Studies.

In addition to being associate professor II at VID, she is Associate Professor in Hebrew Bible at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Iowa, USA (on extended leave of absence).

VID looks forward to facilitating Elness-Hanson’s international research that will develop culturally sensitive best practices of environmental stewardship in the Maasai context.

Executive Summary of Elness-Hanson's research project
For more information, here is a 6-page Executive Summary document.
Elness-Hanson_MSCA Executive Summary.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [467.6 KB]


I teach Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and intercultural hermeneutics at Wartburg Theological Seminary, (on leave of absence) Dubuque, IA, USA, and VID Specialized University, Stavanger, Norway. Through VID, I am currently engaging a postdoctoral research project with the Maasai in Tanzania.