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Another FaCTS Mellon Project


by Dr. Jerry Farmer

The proposed project will involve students in THEO 3800, Environmental Issues in Christian Perspective, a course that I regularly teach and for which students may register from any classification: Freshmen, Sophomore, Juniors and Seniors. In addition, THEO 3800 has been approved as a select course for Xavier's College of Arts and Sciences Expansive Core Curriculum in the category of the Humanities. "Xavier students are required to select course designated in the catalog as Expansive Core from at least two of these categories [Fine Arts, Humanities, natural Sciences and Social Sciences] from courses that are outside their major and minor prefixes." Environmental sustainability is an integral component in this course, postulating that sustainable situation exits 1), when an eco-system's energy flows and nutrient cycles are stable or fluctuating within a normal range of variability; 2), when the species diversity and population levels of organisms are robust and self-supporting; 3), when habitat diversity and the areas and connections of natural habitats allow organisms to carry out all stages of their life cycles; 4), when toxic man-made materials or materials extracted from the Earth's crust are not accumulating in the soil, air, or water; and 5), when ancient energy sources derived from long-deposited and converted biomass are not destabilizing ecosystems through climate change. Students will gain an in-depth appreciation and understanding of environmental sustainability. Students will be challenged in promoting environmental sustainability and addressing environmental degradation by means of the theological ethics drawn from a variety of specific scholars. Students will also become competent in using "strategic interdisciplinary," an iterative-praxiological method, which has the goal of producing ethical norms for action, strategic solutions, and public-policy guidelines. Students will achieve competency through readings, lectures (including guest lectures by Professors from science disciplines such as biology and chemistry), group discussions, case studies, written work, service-learning, and participating in field-research experience.

Start date: Monday, March 30, 2015
Finish date: Sunday, May 1, 2016