Marquette University Professor to Deliver Fall Trautman Lecture at Gannon University

Posted: September 6, 2017Jame Schaefer, Ph.D., associate professor of systematic theology and ethics at Marquette University, will deliver the Fall 2017 Bishop Donald Trautman Lecture in Catholic Theology at Gannon University.

The lecture, entitled "Converting to and Nurturing an Ecological Consciousness: A Catholic Theological Imperative," will be given Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Yehl Alumni Room of the Waldron Campus Center, 124 W. Seventh St.

The Bishop Donald Trautman Lecture in Catholic Theology endeavors to explore the relationship between faith and reason. Schaefer's lecture was inspired by Pope Francis's encyclical letter, "Laudato sí."  She will examine the need for human persons to recognize their integral relatedness to other persons, species and systems that constitute the community of Earth, and to convert from self-centered ways of thinking to being more ecologically conscious of these relationships.

Schaefer will also discuss the development of virtues that demonstrate ecological consciousness, and the importance of acting individually and collectively to mitigate the life-threatening effects of climate change. She will conclude by recognizing the necessity for families and religious communities to nurture ecological consciousness among their members and to support their actions at various levels of governance following the principle of subsidiarity.

Eric Dart, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology at Gannon and organizer of the lecture, said, "Dr. Schaefer's understanding of the intimate relationship between faith and science is remarkable.  For Dr. Schaefer, the ecological challenges and concerns of our time are also theological challenges and concerns.  She reminds us that theology is an important voice and resource for living out a more ecologically conscious life."

The lecture was made possible by an anonymous donation in honor of Bishop Emeritus Donald Trautman, who served as Bishop of the Diocese of Erie from 1990-2012 as well as Chairperson of the Gannon University Board of Trustees. The Bishop Donald Trautman Lecture in Catholic Theology is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged and may be made by at or by calling (814) 871-7334.

About Jame Schaefer, Ph.D.

Jame Schaefer is associate professor of systematic theology and ethics at Marquette University where she focuses on relating theology, the natural sciences and technology and advises the Students for an Environmentally Active Campus organization. Her publications include Theological Foundations for Environmental Ethics: Reconstructing Patristic and Medieval Concepts, Confronting the Climate Crisis: Catholic Theological Perspectives, and the inaugural Animals entry in New Catholic Encyclopedia. She worked with an international team of scholars commissioned by the Higher Education Secretariat of the Society of Jesus to create "Healing Earth," an online environmental science textbook, and is currently leading a three-year project for the Religion and Conservation Biology Working Group of the Society for Conservation Biology aimed at facilitating collaboration of religious communities and conservation researchers and practitioners. Before entering academia, she served in environmental and energy policy positions by appointment of local, state, national and bi-national governments.

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