Spirit and Water: A New Global Water Ethos
A 2006 United Nations Development Report reveals that 1.1 billion people have no access to clean water, and some 2.6 billion lack good sanitation. While the average U.S. citizen consumes 40 gallons of water per day, those 1.1 billion use 1.3 gallons, “water apartheid” in the words of the report’s authors. In most discussions of water issues, economic and political factors dominate. However, the profound symbolic, religious, and ethical dimensions of water must be brought into the discussions to reflect a new approach to water. In this presentation I will develop the proposition that the very indwelling of Spirit which we find in the Genesis account of creation calls for an entirely new ethos in our human-water relationships.
Dr. Gary Chamberlain is Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics in the Theology and Religious Studies Department and the Environmental Studies Program at Seattle University where he taught for 30 years, retiring in June, 2009. He continues to teach part-time in the area of religion and ecology. During his teaching career, he has specialized in topics related to peace and social justice, ecology and religion, human sexuality, and faith and morality. Chamberlain has published previously in several academic journals as well as popular magazines. His most recent book, Troubled Waters: Religion, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis, was published in 2008 by Rowman and Littlefield Press. A previous book, Fostering Faith, was published by Paulist Press in 1989, and he co-edited Empowering Authority, published by Sheed and Ward in 1990. His research on issues such as the global water crisis, immigration, family planning, reproductive health, abortion, all from a religious/ethical perspective, has taken him to Belize annually for 12 years and Japan four times.
St. Louis University, B.A., philosophy
University of Chicago, M.A., political science
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA., Ph.D., religion and society
Water Ethics, ed. Peter Brown and Jeremy Schmidt. Island Press (2010).
Deep Blue: Critical Reflections on Nature, Religion, and Water, ed. Sylvie Shaw and Andrew Francis. Equinox Publishing Ltd. (2008).
Finding God in the Singing River, by Mark Wallace. Augsburg-Fortress (2005).
The No-Nonsense Guide to Water, by Maggie Black. Oxford: New International Publ. (2004).
Dr. Chamberlain's participation is sponsored by the Science Conversation and the St. Olaf Academic Theme Year.
Brain Food or Toxic Threat: Do Contaminants in Fish Contribute to ADHD?
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are industrial chemicals that are still prevalent in the environment and in Great Lakes fish. Previous research in animal models and humans has revealed deficits in response inhibition following PCB exposure, and poorer performance on several types of learning tests. Recently we found that drug challenges with amphetamine disrupted the performance of PCB-exposed rats to a lesser extent than control rats, which is suggestive of reduced brain dopamine function. The deficits in response inhibition and the altered response to amphetamine seen following early PCB exposure show similarities to patterns observed in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and reveal the potential of our research to contribute to our understanding of this common childhood disorder.
Dr. Susan Schantz is Professor and Chair of the Environmental Toxicology Program in the Department of Comparative Biosciences with a joint appointment in the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She directs a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)-funded Toxicology Training Grant and a Children’s Environmental Health Research Center funded jointly by NIEHS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Her extensive research program focuses on understanding the nervous system effects of several widespread environmental contaminants including PCBs, PBDEs, dioxins and methyl mercury, and includes epidemiological studies of exposed human populations as well as parallel laboratory studies in animal models. As a leading expert in the field, Dr. Schantz serves on the Science Advisory Board for the International Joint Commission, and has served on numerous government panels related to the hazard identification and risk assessment of PCBs and other contaminants, and grant review panels for NIH, EPA and NSF. She is Associate Editor for Environmental Health Perspectives, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals in Environmental and Neurotoxicology. She is past-President of the Neurotoxicology Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology and past-President of the Neurobehavioral Teratology Society.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., psychology
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D., environmental toxicology
Banerjee, T. D., Middleton, F., & Faraone, S. V. (2007). Environmental risk factors for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Acta Pædiatrica, 96, 1269–74.
Sable, H.J.K., Eubig, P. A., Powers, B. E., Wang, V. C., & Schantz, S. L. (2009). Developmental exposure to PCBs and/or MeHg: Effects on a differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) operant task before and after amphetamine drug challenge. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 31, 149–158.
Stewart, P. W., Sargent, D. M., Reihman, J., Gump, B. B., Lonky, E., Darvill, T., Hicks, H., & Pagano, J. (2006). Response inhibition during differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) schedules may be sensitive to low-level polychlorinated biphenyl, methylmercury, and lead exposure in children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(12), 1923–29.