On April 26, at 8 pm in the Alumni Lounge at St. John's, the Koch Chair and the Science and Religion Forum will co-host Dr. John Coleman, SJ, Charles Casassa Professor of Social Values at Loyola Marymount University. Fr. Coleman will speak on "Environmental Justice: Making our Cities Green." Fr. Coleman is a noted speaker on issues of social justice and has recently turned to examining environmental questions. He is the author of One Hundred Years of Catholic Social Teaching (Orbis Press, 1991), Reading the Signs of the Times (Paulist Press, 1993), Religion and Nationalism (Orbis Press, 1995), as well as numerous articles. Coleman will be speaking on the confluence of environmental issues and social justice. Abbot John will be joining him during the question period, as we consider how to make this global issue local.
“I do want to weave in something on green cities because (1) Cities expend more energy and create more waste than rural areas; (2) cities, especially in the third world, are growing apace; (3) much of environmentalism is a bit bucolic and about wilderness and not cities; (4) the key to environmental justice will mean some pretty banal technologies about dealing with solid waste; reclaiming brownfields; inventing waterless toilets etc. (4) cities by zoning laws etc. often dump toxic wastes closer to poor communities. My purpose, drawing on Catholic Social Thought, will be to get a bit more concrete than the tradition sometimes does about issues of green cities. How do you translate a powerful religious vision into a strategy for some action at local levels?” John Coleman, SJ