Moral Theologian to Discuss ‘Pope Francis, The Environment and Christian Life’

Moral Theologian to Discuss ‘Pope Francis, The Environment and Christian Life’

9/28/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Moral theologian Jana Bennett will discuss “Pope Francis, The Environment and Christian Life” on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Ridenour Room of the Dauch College of Business and Economics. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture is the next event in the AU College of Arts and Sciences’ biennial Symposium Against Indifference. The theme for this year’s series is “Environmental Sustainability.”

In writing his recent encyclical “Laudator Si,” many readers have accused the Pope of stepping into political and economic questions about which he knows little. In her presentation, Bennett will suggest that a different reading of the encyclical will help us dig deep into Christian tradition and perhaps think a bit differently about environmental concerns.

Bennett is associate professor of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton, where she teaches theology and ethics. She co-edits, a blog that discusses liturgy, scripture and current issues in relation to moral questions. She is currently writing a book on moral theology and Christian contemplation.

The event is co-sponsored by the Departments of Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy Club and the Newman Center.

This year’s symposium coordinator is Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, trustees’ professor of chemistry, who said the events comprising this year’s symposium will explore issues related to creating a sustainable world, from climate to environmental pollution to agricultural practices and more.

“As Dr. Patricia Saunders, director of AU's Environmental Science program, states in her introduction to the symposium (, ‘Environmental sustainability is about people. The environment is where we live, and we make choices about how to go about doing so and who and what else matters…our choices make a difference’,” Weidenhamer said.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                                ###

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