How to Save a Climate? Just Die!

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Dawn M. Nothwehr, O.S.F


This article treats the deeper casues of inaction toward mitigating global warming and climate change from moral and spiritual perspectives.  The Patron Saint of Ecology, Francis of Assisi is a moral and spiritual exemplar for those who desire theologically grounded action on climate change issues. The Franciscan vision offers a powerful antidote to the moral malaise that prevents ordinary Christians from making the necessary choices to live more simply and share in the world's goods more equitably.

Article Details

Climate, Creation, Common Good
Author Biography

Dawn M. Nothwehr, O.S.F, Catholic Theological Union

Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF, Ph.D. holds an M.A. Religious Studies, Maryknoll School of Theology, New York; and a Ph.D. Religious Studies, Marquette University. She is Professor of Catholic Theological Ethics at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL, where she holds The Erica and Harry John Family Chair in Catholic Theological Ethics. Global climate change, environmental ethics and ecotheology are the foci of Dawn Nothwehr’s current research. The ethics of power and racial justice are of equal interest. Her ongoing attention to Cardinal Bernardin’s “Consistent Ethic of Life,” mutuality as a formal norm, feminist ethics, and the relationship of ethics and spirituality informs her study. Additional involvements include: empowerment of those marginalized, human/environmental relations, relations with the moral “Other,” and how Franciscan theology shapes ecotheology and ecological ethics. Nothwehr is the author of numerous books, articles, and book chapters. She is the presenter of the popular audio course, “The Earth is the Lord’s: Catholic Theology of Creation, Ecology, and the Environment,” 2010.  Her recent books include: Ecological Footprints: A Franciscan Guide to Sustainable Living, Forthcoming (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, October 2012); That They May Be One: Catholic Social Teaching on Racism Tribalism and Xenophobia [Catholic Press Award – 2009]; A Franciscan View of the Human Person: Some Central Elements, 2005; Struggles for Environmental Justice and Health in Chicago: An African American Perspective, 2004; Franciscan Theology of the Environment: An Introductory Reader, 2002.

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