Annual Lecture in Christian Ethics
On Tuesday, March 20, Sister Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF, Ph.D. presented Wholly of Water and Holy Water to the Salesianum's Alumni Association.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 40 US states are expected to face some kind of water shortage in the next 10 years. Major threats to the Great Lakes include invasive species, point and nonpoint source pollution, shoreline development and wetlands depletion, cargo ship channels, disappearing native species, and water withdrawals. In addition, the upper Midwest’s Ogallala Aquafer has been pumped out faster than it can be replenished naturally for the last 60 years, thanks largely to irrigation of monocrops set for fuel, not food markets.
The right to water was not part of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights—it was only recognized in 2010—and the discipline of water ethics has only recently been recognized in the academy. Yet, water scarcity and insecurity is one of four major issues of the ecological crisis which Pope Francis highlights in Laudato si. In this lecture, Sister reflected on the ethical issues surrounding water, in light of the Christian baptismal calling to act justly and care for creation.
Sister Dawn Nothwehr holds the Erica and Harry John Family Endowed Chair in Catholic Ethics at Catholic Theological Union.
The Lecture in Christian Ethics is supported by The Father Andrew Nelson Ethics Fund.