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   Communities in Conversation: J. Baird Callicott '63: "Judeo-Christianity, Zen-Buddhism, and Environmental Ethics"

   Date : Thursday, 24 October 2013       From : 6:00pm   To : 9:00pm
   Category : Lectures/Conferences/Symposia       Location : Blount/Buckman Lobby

   Event Description :

J. Baird Callicott, pioneering philosopher of environmental ethics and a 1963 Rhodes alumnus, returns to his alma mater to give an account of the development of environmental ethics. His lecture is titled “Judeo-Christianity, Zen Buddhism, and Environmental Ethics.”

Free and open to the public, the event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception followed by the lecture at 6 p.m. in Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall on campus.

In 1971, Callicott was the first professor of philosophy to teach a course on environmental ethics. That course, like the whole field which he helped to create, was sparked by an article that appeared four years prior. Lynn White, Jr., a professor at UCLA, published the article in Science magazine arguing that the Judeo-Christian worldview, as described in Genesis, should be considered the first and efficient cause for the world’s environmental crisis. The article created a firestorm.

Ultimately, the response to White’s article helped shape two prominent schools in the debates about a sustainable environment—a secularist approach deriving from the ethical frameworks within western philosophy and another deriving from comparative religion. Callicott has emerged as a key voice in both streams of environmental thought. His lecture will elucidate these major frameworks for thinking about environmental issues like global warming, oil drilling in the arctic, or treatment of animals.

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