The Cry of the Earth

STV-MAILER-2How Pope Francis Calls Us
to the Science Faith, and Action
of Saving Our Common Home

In June Pope Francis issued  a stirring call to action for all of us  to reexamine humanity’s relationship with our creator and our planet and to save “our common home”. His encyclical Laudato Si’ covers much more than simply climate change, exploring subjects such as biodiversity, clean water and the disproportion effects of environmental degradation of the poor.

This fall St. Vincent, along with our co-sponsor St. Ignatius Catholic Community, will delve more deeply into the encyclical with a three-part speaker series, featuring three distinguished professors who have written about faith and the environment.

    • September 30, 7 PMStephen Scharper, University of Toronto
      A Compassionate Science: Pope Francis, Climate Change and the Fate of Creation
    • October 14, 7 PMJack Haught, Georgetown University
      Science, Theology, and “Laudato Si”
    • October 28Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University
      An Integrating Vision: Ecology, Economics, Equity

The series has concluded, but all three videos are available on St. V’s YouTube page.

The first event will look at the science of the encyclical; the second the theology and the third the actions we must take as a global and local community. These events are free and open to to the public.

See what Pope Francis has to say in his encyclical here.

St. Vincent de Paul Church
120 N. Front St., Baltimore 21202
Fayette and President Sts.
Parking is available.

October 28, 7 PM
Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker
An Integrating Vision: Ecology, Economics, Equity

Mary Evelyn TuckerSee Dr. Tucker’s talk on St. V’s YouTube page.

Pope Francis highlights the conjunction of ecology, economy, and equity in what he calls an integral ecology. From this perspective, working within the limits of nature can lead to thriving human societies. In contrast, he laments, exploiting the Earth without limits has led to destruction of ecosystems and increased human inequities. This talk will explore how religious, educational and scientific communities can draw on the encyclical for assisting the flourishing of life.

Mary Evelyn Tucker, Ph.D.
Yale University

This year, Dr. Tucker was presented with the “Inspiring Yale Teaching Award” – an honor that captures her ability to weave together work as a professor, activist, researcher and writer committed to the care of our “sacred community.”

Dr. Tucker, a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale, has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Divinity School, and Department of Religious. Dr. Tucker has explored the ways in which spirituality and religion can deepen our relationship with and responsibility to God’s creations.

Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with her husband John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998).

They then founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, the largest international multi-religious project of its kind. The Forum recognizes that religions need to be in dialogue with other disciplines (e.g., science, ethics, economics, education, public policy, gender) in seeking comprehensive solutions to both global and local environmental problems. Dr. Tucker collaborated with Brian Swimme to create a multi-media project titled, Journey of the Universe.  This consists of a PBS film, a book from Yale press, and a series of 20 Conversations. See more at Read more about Dr. Tucker.

October 14, 7 PM This event has already occurred. See Video
Dr. John F. Haught
Science, Theology, and “Laudato Si

See Dr. Haught’s talk on St. V’s YouTube page.

HaughtUnless we feel that we truly belong to the natural world, as Pope Francis points out, we will lack sufficient incentive to take care of it as our home. There is now a broken connection, however, between humans and nature, and it has been sanctioned by the academically endorsed suspicion that the universe has no point, no meaning, no purpose. It is difficult for living and thinking beings, after all, to feel a warm relationship with a universe that seems essentially lifeless and mindless. With the help of the works of scientifically informed religious thinkers, such as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Alfred North Whitehead, therefore, this presentation explores Pope Francis’s courageous affirmation, in Laudato Si’, that the universe does indeed have a purpose, namely, that of bringing about the self-justifying value of beauty. “At the end,” he writes, “we will find ourselves face to face with the infinite beauty of God.” What does this mean ecologically, scientifically, and theologically?

John F. Haught, Ph.D.
Distinguished Research Professor,
Georgetown University

“Catholics should never have lost touch with the universe,” writes Dr. Haught in his latest book; and his lengthy list of books, articles and awards attest to his efforts to renew that crucial connection.

Dr. Haught’s work in systematic theology returns, again and again to the compatibility between religion and science, and he has shared these ideas in forums ranging from the classroom to the courtroom.

He has written more than 20 books, including Resting on the Future: Catholic Theology for an Unfinished Universe (published in 2015 and available for sale at the event), Science and Faith: A New Introduction, and Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of Life. Read more about Dr. Haught.

September 30, 7 PM This event has already occurred. See Video
Dr. Stephen Scharper
A Compassionate Science: Pope Francis, Climate Change and the Fate of Creation

See Dr. Scharper’s talk on St. V’s YouTube page.

Stephen B. Scharper JPEGClimate change science has emerged in the last three decades as one of the most vexed and contentious areas of contemporary research. From the muzzling of environmental scientists in Canada to the censorship of leading climate change researchers in the United States, politics has tinctured, tethered, and at times eclipsed scientific data on one of the most important issues of our times. In his pioneering encyclical “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis takes on the climate change issue, directly utilizing contemporary scientific research on climate change and its effects, such as global warming, rising sea levels, the acidification of oceans, and species lost. This talk  explores a series of questions:

  • What role can a  Catholic voice play in the science climate change debate?
  • Does Pope Francis have unique credentials for addressing climate change science?
  • Does climate change science challenge people of faith to a deeper understanding of their relationship to and responsibilities for creation?

Stephen Scharper, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of the Environment
University of Toronto

Dr. Scharper has been an important voice in the discussion of religion and the environment since the publication of The Green Bible, which he co-wrote with his wife Hilary Cunningham in 1992. Since then, he has thought deeply and taught widely in the areas of religion, ethics, ecology and the environment, sharing his ideas as a professor, lecturer, columnist, television commentator and author.

His most recent book, For Earth’s Sake: Toward a Compassionate Ecology (available for sale at the event), explores the notion of how we are being called to develop an affective relationship with the natural world in light of contemporary ecological challenges.

Dr. Scharper, also associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion, is adjunct professor with the Toronto School of Theology. Embodying the values of “public scholarship” and a deep commitment to environmental issues, Dr. Scharper currently serves as a columnist for The Toronto Star. Read more about Dr. Scharper.

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