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World Catholicism Week 2015

Logo for World Catholicism Week 2015

Fragile World: Ecology and the Church

Held April 8-12, 2015, in anticipation of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical Laudato Si, the 7th annual World Catholicism Week featured activists, scientists & theologians from Colombia, Europe, Honduras, Kenya, the U.S. & the Philippines.

Conference Follow-Up

  • Videos of all conference sessions (link)
  • Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson's document addressing the conference: "Ecology, Justice & Peace: The Perspective of a Global Church" (link)

Conference Speakers 

Speakers in alphabetical order

A special thanks to two of our original invited speakers who could not attend in person but contributed, nonetheless, to our discussion:

  • Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson (President of the Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace) through his document "Ecology, Justice & Peace"
  • Bill McKibben (Founder of & author of The End of Nature), through a video message shown at the conference

Agnes M. Brazal
Professor of Theology
St. Vincent School of Theology (Manila)

Michael L. Budde
Chair & Professor of Catholic Studies; Professor of Political Science; Senior Research Professor, CWCIT
DePaul University

Bram Büscher
Chair, Sociology of Change & Development
Wageningen University (Netherlands)

Daniel P. Castillo
Assistant Professor of Theology
Loyola University Maryland

Celia Deane-Drummond (keynote speaker)
Professor of Theology
University of Notre Dame

Christopher Hamlin
Professor, Department of History and Program in the History & Philosophy of Science
University of Notre Dame

Peter Hughes, SSC
Executive Secretary of the Office of Justice & Solidarity
Conference of Latin American Bishops (Bogotá)

James Igoe
Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Virginia

Stan Chu Ilo
Senior Research Professor, CWCIT; Assistant Professor, Catholic Studies
DePaul University

Emmanuel Katongole
Associate Professor of Theology & Peace Studies (Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame)
Visiting Research Scholar, CWCIT (DePaul University)

Christie Klimas
Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences & Studies
DePaul University

Peter Knox, SJ
Professor of Theology
Hekima College (Nairobi)

Germán Mahecha Clavijo
Director, Ecotheology Research Group
Pontifical Xavieran University (Bogotá)

Michael S. Northcott (keynote speaker)
Professor of Ethics
University of Edinburgh School of Divinity (Edinburgh)

Edward Obi, MSP
Executive Secretary, Niger Delta Catholic Bishops' Forum (Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
Executive Director, Gas Alert for Sustainable Initiative
Coordinator, National Coalition on Gas Flaring & Oil Spills in the Niger Delta

Randy Odchigue
Vice President of DaKaTeo, Catholic Theological Society of the Philippines
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Fr. Saturnino Urios University (Butuan City, Philippines)

Daniel F. Pilario, CM
Dean & Professor of Theology
St. Vincent School of Theology (Manila)

Michael A. Perry, OFM (keynote speaker)
Minister General
Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans)

Mark Potosnak
Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences & Studies

DePaul University

Reynaldo D. Raluto
Dean of Studies & Professor of Systematic Theology
St. John Vianney Theological Seminary (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines)

Msgr. Luis Alfonso Santos Villeda
Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán (Honduras)
Founder & Executive Director, Polígono Industrial Copaneco Foundation (Honduras)

Brayton & Suzanne Shanley (keynote speakers)
Co-founders, Agape Community, recipient of 2015 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice

Rolando Tuazon, CM
Professor of Moral Theology
St. Vincent School of Theology (Manila)

Conference Schedule & Program

Wednesday, April 8 (student-focused day)

Eco-spirituality Resource Fair (including sale of CRS Fair Trade items)

Agape Community
Catholic Relief Services* (CRS), sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office of Justice & Peace
Chicago Wildsounds (CWS)
DePaul Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM)
DePaul Sustainability Network (DSN)
Vincent & Louise House (V+L House)

*With information about CRS Fair Trade, as well as coffee, tea, chocolate and olive oil for sale. As the official international humanitarian aid agency of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, CRS strives to foster a sense of global solidarity in the U.S. Catholic Church. Fair Trade is one of the many ways that CRS assists global economies, working to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters and the environment.

Catholic Celebration of Eco-spirituality, led by a CCM student team & Fr. Memo Campuzano, CM

Dinner & Presentation by Chicago Wildsounds

Keynote Presentation
Living Sustainably/Living Nonviolence: A Christian Theology in a World of Climate Change

  • Brayton & Suzanne Shanley, co-founders of the Agape Community, recipient of the 2015 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice
  • Moderator: Ally Carvalho, DePaul undergrad student & Agape Community summer 2015 intern

Thursday, April 9 (5th Annual Byrne Lecture)

Keynote Presentation
Turning Over the Right Rocks: Finding Legacies of Catholic Environmentalism

Christopher Hamlin

Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
Co-author, "The Greening of America, Catholic Style, 1930-1950"

Moderator: Tim Darst (Executive Director,
Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light)

Friday, April 10

Video Message from Bill McKibben

Keynote Presentation
From Assisi to Buenos Aires: The Cry of the Planet & the Call for a New Ethics of Sustainability (Reflections on an Integral Vision of Creation in the Life of St. Francis & Pope Francis)

  • Michael A. Perry, OFM—Minister General of the Franciscan Order
  • Moderator: Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF (Erica & Harry John Family Chair of Catholic Ethics, Catholic Theological Union)

Saturday, April 11

Roundtable: Focus on Theology*
(Moderator: William Cavanaugh, CWCIT Director & Professor of Catholic Studies, DePaul University)

  • Emmanuel Katongole (Rooting the Church in African Soil: A Theological Experiment)
  • Germán Mahecha Clavijo (The Poor: An Endangered Species?)
  • Peter Knox, SJ (Planetary Boundaries: African Resilience & African Vulnerabilities)
  • Msgr. Luis Alfonso Santos Villeda (Extractive Industries, Destructive Industries: The Case of Honduras—A Fragile Country & Devastated Ecology)

​Roundtable: Focus on Ethics
(Moderator: Jude A. Huntz, Director, Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Peace & Justice)

  • Christie Klimas (Putting Christ Back in Christmas: An Environmental & Social Analysis of Christmas Consumption)
  • Edward Obi, MSP (Fragile Ecosystem & the Pressures of Oil Theft & Artisanal Refining in the Niger Delta: Prospects for a Theo-ethics from the Creeks)
  • Rolando Tuazon, CM (Becoming Stewards of Creation: Ecological Virtue Ethics)
  • Peter Hughes, SSC (Extractive Industries & the Destruction of the Amazon: A Response of the Latin American Church)

Roundtable: Focus on Pastoral Resources
(Moderator: Stephen Haymes, Associate Professor, Educational Policy & Research, DePaul University)

  • Agnes M. Brazal (Religious & Cultural Beliefs Related to Disaster Risk Reduction: The Case of the Super Typhoon Haiyan)
  • Mark Potosnak (Implementing a New Paradigm in Climate Change Communication for Catholic Audiences)
  • Randy Odchigue (Nurturing Communities, Sustaining Fragile Ecologies)
  • Stan Chu Ilo (Fragile Earth, Fragile Africa: African Conversations on Eco-spirituality)

Keynote Presentation
Political Theology for Earthlings: Christian Messianism & the Ecological Ruins of Global Corporate Capitalism

  • Michael S. Northcott—Professor of Ethics, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity & author of A Political Theology of Climate Change
  • Moderator: Rev. Brian Sauder, Executive Director, Faith in Place

Sunday, April 12

Roundtable: Focus on Political Economy
(Moderator: Susanne Foster, Associate Professor of Philosophy & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Klingler College of Arts & Sciences, Marquette University)
  • Michael L. Budde (The Church After Development)
  • Bram Büscher (Environmental Conservation in Capitalist Times & the Natures of Value)
  • James Igoe (A Genealogy of Exchangeable Nature)

Roundtable: Focus on Eschatology
(Moderator: Daniel P. Rhodes, Faculty Coordinator of Contextual Education, Loyola University of Chicago's Institute of Pastoral Studies)

  • Daniel F. Pilario, CM (Ecology & Apocalyptic Discourse)
  • Reynaldo D. Raluto (An Eschatological Perspective on Our Hope for a Sustainable World)
  • Daniel P. Castillo (Lament, Prophecy & the Ecological Crisis)

Keynote Presentation
Catholic Social Teaching & Ecology: Its Promise & Limits

  • Celia Deane-Drummond—Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame and author of Ecotheology
  • Moderator: Sheryl Overmyer, Associate Professor of Catholic Studies, DePaul University