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Water as an ethical issue to be discussed at Moral Theology Lecture

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August 28, 2017

A professor from Fordham University in New York City will deliver the 2017 Moral Theology Lecture.

PeppardChristiana Zenner Peppard will speak on “What is Water? Science, Business, Politics and the Search for an Ethic of the World’s Most Valuable Substance,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, in room 204, Gorecki Center, College of Saint Benedict. Her speech is free and open to the public.

Water can be described as a marvelous molecule, an economic commodity, a resource distributed by the state and more. While everyone agrees that water is valuable, debate rages over how water should be valued, distributed and used. Peppard’s interactive lecture presents key ways of knowing and valuing water and argues that water is, at core, an ethical issue. 

Peppard is an associate professor of theology, science and ethics in the Department of Theology at Fordham, where she is affiliated faculty in Environmental Studies and American Studies. She is an expert on the ethics of fresh water and problems of climate change, social justice and sustainability.

She is the author of “Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis” (Orbis Books, 2014). Amazon describes the book as “an interdisciplinary analysis of the value of fresh water that generates timely and principled conclusions at the intersections of hydrology, ecology, ethics, theology and Catholic social thought.”

Peppard is the co-editor of two books: “Just Sustainability: Ecology, Technology, and Resource Extraction” (Orbis Books, 2015) and “Expanding Horizons in Bioethics” (Springer, 2005).

She has had numerous peer-reviewed articles on environmental ethics published in journals, and she has appeared on Public Radio International, The New Republic, the Washington Post, TED-Ed, MSNBC and CNN.

In 2013, Peppard was named one of Microsoft’s “Heroes in Education.”

She has a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in ethics from Yale University’s Department of Religious Studies.

The Moral Theology Lecture Series brings to the CSB and Saint John’s University campuses well-known scholars to help both faculty and students better understand how the Catholic tradition can creatively address contemporary problems.

The event is co-sponsored by the CSB/SJU departments of theology and environmental studies; the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture; and the CSB and SJU Offices of Sustainability