Sun, Mar 21 |

AAR-WR Panel: The Emergence of Spiritual Ecology in My Octopus Teacher

Our team will be moderating an academic panel of the acclaimed documentary, My Octopus Teacher, at this years American Academy of Religion, Western Region, Annual Conference.

Time & Location

Mar 21, 9:15 AM – 10:45 AM PDT

About The Event

Join us at this years American Academy of Religion, Western Region, Annual Conference for an academic panel on the spiritual emergence of ecology in the acclaimed documentary, My Octopus Teacher


Chantal Noa Forbes, California Institute of Integral Studies


Laura Michetti, California Institute of Integral Studies

Kimberly Carfore, University of San Francisco

Ezekiel Fugate, California Institute of Integral Studies

Matthew Hartman, Graduate Theological Union


The Ecology and Religion unit and the Religion, Film, and Literature unit will co-host a roundtable discussion that explores themes presented in the newly released environmental documentary My Octopus Teacher, currently screening on Netflix. Roundtable respondents will address how this film interprets the meaning of sustainability by fostering the emergence of spiritual ecology in times of spiritual emergency.

My Octopus Teacher follows documentary filmmaker Craig Foster. Following a physical, mental, and emotional breakdown, Craig commits himself to skin dive daily in the Great African Kelp Forest off the West Coast of South Africa. Here Craig sets out to explore this underwater world by applying the art of tracking that he learned from the First Peoples of the Kalahari Desert to navigating the kelp forests. Craig meets a female Octopus with whom he forms a unique relationship, tracking with her daily for the duration of her life. Through this journey, Craig comes to learn what it means to engage in a phenomenological spiritual ecology and what it means to form an integral part of our sacred environment.

If you would like to attend this or other panels at this years AAR-WR Annual Conference, please register at the following link, 

To learn more about the full AAR-WR Annual Conference schedule please visit this link, 

Image copyright: The Sea Change Project

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The Deep Water Initiative is inspired by the ecological importance of water as an all-pervasive element that sustains life on this planet.  The metaphysical importance of water as both a cleanser and regenerator has been upheld by many cultures throughout the world, and is celebrated within the creation myths of different religious and spiritual traditions.  The Deep Water Initiative has been particularly influenced by the significance of water as demonstrated within the Five Books of Moses.


*The Deep Water Initiative is classified as a private operating foundation that qualifies for tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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© 2021 by Deep Water Initiative Inc.

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