Friday, September 25, 2015
7:00 pm at the O’Shaugnessy Auditorium
Cosponsored by St. Catherine University Myser Initiative & Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality
What value does the natural world have within the framework of religious belief? Is creation only a wondrous event that took place “in the beginning”—only a backdrop to the more serious business of human sin and redemption? Or does the Giver of life keep on singing the natural world into being at every moment of its evolution, with compassion for its suffering and commitment to its well-being?
Come engage these questions with scholar and former science teacher Elizabeth Johnson, Professor of Theology at Fordham University. Drawing from her book, Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love, she probes the meaning of creation in order to invigorate ethical behavior that cares for plants and animals with a passion integral to faith’s passion for the living God.
To Johnson, science and religion are in communion, not conflict. Once we see that the evolving community of life on Earth continues to be the dwelling place of the Spirit and its ruination an unspeakable sin, then deep affection shown in action on behalf of eco-justice becomes an indivisible part of spirituality.
Johnson’s visionary work and thoughtful approach encourages new and engaging ways to think about God, spirituality and the interconnectedness of all things. The fall Hedgerow seminar will join in the dialogue, and explore ways in which a deeper love of the natural world is intrinsic to faith in God, and ecological care is a moral imperative.
One of America’s most prominent feminist Catholic theologians, Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, is the Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University. A former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the oldest and largest association of theologians in the world, she is the author of many books and articles, most recently Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love and Abounding in Kindness: Writings for the People of God.