Dominican Republic

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Faculty Travel Seminar 2010

Sustainability, Eco-Theology and Eco-Justice

The 2010 faculty travel immersion seminar took place in the Dominican Republic with a focus on Sustainability, Eco-Theology and Eco-Justice. Eleven faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business participated. The seminar began in Santo Domingo on Sat. morning Jan. 2, 2010 and concluded in Santo Domingo on Friday afternoon Jan. 8, 2010.

The seminar was led by Jame Schaefer, Ph.D., Marquette University. Before pursuing a doctorate in Theology with a focus on ecological theology and environmental ethics, Prof. Schaefer was a consultant to governments on local, state, national and international levels on involving the public in environmental issues. Her career in theology grew from her interest in whether there were resources in Catholic Christianity that could be brought to bear on the many intractable problems she faced in her environmental work.

Led by Prof. Schaefer, faculty participants considered these resources, examined the principles of Catholic social teaching and their relevance to the natural environment and applied reconstructed0 concepts to environmental problems and solutions underway in the Dominican Republic. After the seminar began in Santo Domingo, participants traveled to El Cercado, in the province of San Juan de la Maguana, for two nights lodging and three days of combined seminar and site visits to environmental projects in which the local Catholic church is taking the lead. The seminar wrapped up in Santo Domingo.

Post-Seminar Public Forum: Forum 2010: Sustainability, Eco-Theology, and Justice

The faculty members who participated in the January 2010 immersion seminar in the Dominican Republic presented papers generated by the seminar experience. The forum took place in Warren Auditorium in Mother Rosalie Hill Hall on the afternoons of March 22 and March 30, 2010

March 22 Presentations:

“What is it Good For? The Need for Value in Environmental Ethics”
Ron Kaufmann, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences

“Church as Community: Solidarity and Sustainability in El Cercado”
Mary Doak, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences

“Micro vs. Macro Catholicism”
Andrew Narwold, Ph.D., School of Business

“Natural History, the Fall, and the Apocalyptic Imagination: Liberation Ecologies/Theologies for the 21st Century”
Tom Reifer, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences

“The Taste of Justice: Faith-based Efforts to Support Farmers Using Sustainable Practices”
Sue Lowery, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences

March 30 Presentations:

“Haitian/Dominican Vodou and Eco-Theology: Some Thoughts from a Tourist”
Colin Fisher, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences

“Anthropocentrism and the Status of Animals in Christianity and Hinduism: Some Reflections”
Lance E. Nelson, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences

“A Personal Exploration of Catholic Social Teaching and its Links to Sustainability”
Tara L. Ceranic, Ph.D., School of Business
Kristine Ehrich, Ph.D., School of Business

“Stewardship: The Earth as Farm, Park, or Machine”
David De Haan, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences