We are the Dinosaur, We are the Meteor: Climate, Biodiversity, and the Human Future

November 17, 2020

Please join IRAS for the November session of our new monthly webinar series, Science, Religion, and Society. On November 17, 2020 IRAS will host a live session, featuring:

Dr. Lisa Fullam, Professor of Moral Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara

Initial Respondent: Dr. David Larrabee, Professor of Physics emeritus, East Stroudsburg University

November 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm Central time, 5:00 Eastern time

Presentation Overview:

In Earth’s last major extinction, a meteor caused an environmental cataclysm that ended the reign of dinosaurs on the earth. We are now experiencing–or are on the brink of–the sixth great extinction. In this cataclysm, we human beings ARE the meteor, and because of the interconnected nature of the biosphere, we could well wind up being the dinosaur as well, the victim of our own excesses. How do we act as agents of justice in restoring and protecting the biosphere that sustains us? Drawing on virtue ethics and engaging the insights of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato si’, I will describe the qualities of character that will help us engage the crisis of biodiversity well, specifically humility, solidarity, courage, and IMpatience. Another resource for the necessary conversion of mind and heart is to cultivate cataphatic spirituality, a vision of the world that sees glimmers of the Divine in everything that is. This spirituality is a resource for action for justice, enlivening, sustaining, and yielding delight in the urgent work before us. I include some small first steps toward being people of imagination, insight, and effective action for ecological justice in the face of our biodiversity crisis.

Presentation Background:

Dr. Lisa Fullam joined the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University in August 2003. As Professor of Moral Theology, she teaches courses such as Fundamental Moral Theology, Sexual Ethics, Luther and Ignatius: Conversations Ethics, and Spirituality of Pastoral Ministry, and Issues in Virtue Ethics. She received her baccalaureate and D.V.M. degrees from Cornell University, and earned her M.T.S. and Th.D. at the Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Fullam’s research interests include virtue ethics, Thomas Aquinas, biomedical ethics, Ignatian spirituality, and the relationship of spirituality and ethics. She is also accredited as a faculty member at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Among her publications is the monograph Curiosity and Skepticism: Virtues for Genomics. Popular as a speaker, her recent engagements include Quincy University and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

The IRAS webinar is FREE but registration is required: