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Madeleine Ary Hahne

PhD student

Building Zion in the Anthropocene: The Complex Ways Religion and Geography Inform Climate Beliefs


Madeleine’s doctoral research focuses on how cultural and religious narratives around climate change are formed, and how these narratives can transform real-world behaviour. She aims to direct her career toward advancing the cause of unity and peace through bringing people of diverse backgrounds together to create a healthier planet. She is supervised by Dr Mike Hulme.


  • 2022-present: Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Visions of Soon
  • 2021-present: Graduate Student Fellow at DEPLOY/US
  • 2018-2020: Director of Programmes at Tracks of Peace
  • 2017-2018: Programme Officer on the Lebanon and Iraq teams at the National Democratic Institute
  • 2016: White House Intern for the Obama Administration
  • 2016: Government Programmes Evaluator for the Woolf Institute
  • 2015: Deckhand on the Topsail Schooner the Pride of Baltimore II
  • 2014-2015: Foreign Affairs Analyst for the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies
  • 2013-2014: Civic Life Assistant for the Wheatley Institution
  • 2010: Biological Technician for the Dixie National Forest


  • 2020-present: PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Cambridge
  • 2015-2016: MPhil in Muslim-Jewish Relations in the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Cambridge
  • 2008-2015: BS in International Relations cum laude and with university honors, Minors in Philosophy and Arabic at Brigham Young University


  • 2020-present: Gates Cambridge Scholar, University of Cambridge
  • 2021-present: Honorary Woolf Institute Scholar, University of Cambridge
  • 2015-2016: Cambridge Trust Scholar, University of Cambridge
  • 2015-2016: Woolf Institute Scholar, University of Cambridge
  • 2008-2014: Full Tuition Merit Scholarship, Brigham Young University
  • 2013-2014: Kennedy Center Scholar, Brigham Young University
  • 2013: Robert K. Thomas Honors Scholar, Brigham Young University


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as “Mormon”) is a highly centralized religion which prioritizes de-localizing spaces and unifying practice across the globe. However, on the question of climate change, the church is nearly silent, leaving believers to develop their own opinions. What little data is available about climate change beliefs among American church members show that they are more likely to dismiss the claims of anthropogenic climate change than their otherwise identical demographic counterparts. This suggests that something about religious belief drives skepticism. However, anecdotal evidence (rigorous research here is scant to non-existent) indicates that, unlike their American co-religionists, international church members are not so likely to question climate science. This suggests that while the religion often acts as a centripetal force, driving adherents toward unified belief and practice, the absence of climate guidance from leadership gives weight to the centrifugal forces of place and results in divergent climate beliefs.

My research seeks to understand exactly how these forces interact to produce climate beliefs among church members. In doing so, it will provide answers to questions about how religion and geography influence each other in forming climate action beliefs.

As I am largely asking “why?” questions, I am taking a qualitative approach. Fieldwork sites are in three geographically and culturally distinct places: Southern Utah, a rural region near to church headquarters where LDS culture predominates; Samoa, an Island nation with a large number of church members, a non-Western culture, and significant climate hazards; and London, a major European metropolis with a diverse, international, and largely affluent church membership.


Academic publications

  • Ary Hahne, M., 2022. Climate Politics and the Power of Religion. Edited by Evan Berry. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2022. 265 pages. 80.00 (Hardback). Zygon, 57(1), pp.287-289. DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12783
  • Hayes, George, Valentine Kim, Annisa Sekaringtias, Rory Brown, Catrin Harris, Frederick Otu-Larbi London, Luke Hatton, Ari Ball-Burack, and Madeleine Ary Hahne., 2022. “The UK post-2050: looking beyond the net zero horizon to inform decarbonisation.” Available at:
  • Ary, M., 2015. “An Analysis of the Predictive Ability of Political Psychological Theory: A Case Study of President Clinton’s Behavior in Bosnia,” Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies: Vol. 32, Article 10. Available at:

Magazine articles

External activities

  • Visions of Soon, Social Media Climate Project: Madeleine is the co-founder of a creative climate action social media project called Visions of Soon (VoS) which seeks to counter doom-scrolling by offering realistic visions of a positive climate future as told by the people already doing the work.