BY ISN STAFF | October 19, 2015
SANTA CLARA, CA – Responding to the teachings of Pope Francis to engage in dialogue about the challenges and needs of planet earth in an era of intense climate degradation, Santa Clara University is hosting a two-day conference November 3-4, 2015, entitled, Our Future on a Shared Planet: Silicon Valley in Conversation with the Environmental Teachings of Pope Francis.
In June, Pope Francis released the encyclical called “Laudato Si” (“Praise Be”) on the environment and the global challenge of climate change. The 184-page document is unprecedented in the long history of Catholicism, and offers a rich opportunity to bring together experts from science, economics, business, politics, religion, and more, around one of the most pressing issues of our time.
The conference at Santa Clara University (SCU) will be headlined by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential Vatican authorities on the content of the encyclical.
“This conference will bring together people from faith communities and other important sectors who share concern about the consequences of environmental degradation,” said Rev. Michael Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University. “Santa Clara University is pleased to host the conversation on how we might join our talents and motivation toward creative solutions to this global challenge. Jesuit education has as its fundamental purpose to establish a dialogue between faith and culture.”
The conference comes amid a recent pledge by more than 175 Catholic college and university leaders worldwide, including nearly 100 U.S. presidents, to implement Pope Francis’s message on climate change in curricula and programs. The declaration of commitment was coordinated by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. 96 leaders in U.S. Catholic higher education joined nearly 80 Catholic university presidents from 32 other nations in signing a statement of support and a public commitment to “study, promote, and act on the ideals and vision of integral ecology laid out by Pope Francis.”