Larry Rasmussen: Earth-Honoring Faith
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
at 7:30 PM
Buntrock Commons, Viking Theater
Web Link:
John Barbour


Larry Rasmussen '61, distinguished theologian and member of the St. Olaf College Board of Regents, will present major themes of his recent book on ecology and ethics, Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key (Oxford University Press, 2012).

The lecture will be streamed live and archived online.

Rejecting the modern assumption that morality applies to human society alone, Rasmussen insists that we must derive a spiritual and ecological ethic that accounts for the well-being of all creation. He argues that good science, necessary as it is, will not be enough to inspire fundamental change. We must draw on religious resources as well to make the difficult transition from an industrial-technological age obsessed with consumption to an ecological age that restores wise stewardship of all life.

Earth-Honoring Faith advocates an alliance of spirituality and ecology, in which the material requirements for planetary life are reconciled with deep traditions of spirituality across religions — traditions that include mysticism, sacramentalism, prophetic practices, asceticism, and the cultivation of wisdom.

Rasmussen is one of the most distinguished and influential Christian ethicists in the world. He was the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City from 1986 to 2004. He is a past president of the Society of Christian Ethics and a past editor of The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics. In addition to Earth-Honoring Faith, Rasmussen's books include Earth Community, Earth Ethics (Orbis Books, 1996); Moral Fragments and Moral Community (Fortress, 1993); Dietrich Bonhoeffer: His Significance for North Americans (Fortress, 1990); Reinhold Niebuhr: Theologian of Public Life (HarperCollins, 1989); and Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life (co-authored with Bruce Birch; Augsburg-Fortress, 1989). He has edited several volumes and published widely in journals and magazines.

In addition to his lecture, Rasmussen will deliver a chapel talk Thursday, May 2, at 11 a.m.

Rasmussen’s presentations are sponsored by the Boldt Chair of the Humanities and the Campus Pastor’s Office.

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