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Theology Professor Present at Ethics in Action Conference in Rome

Theology Professor Present at Ethics in Action Conference in Rome


Morristown, N.J. (December 28, 2018) – Earlier this year, Erin Lothes, an assistant theology professor at SEU, presented at the Ethics in Action Conference in Rome.

This conference, co-hosted by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Religions for Peace, encouraged both global and ethical leaders to develop a shared moral consensus on the challenges of sustainable development. Lothes, who recently published a book Inspired Sustainability: Planting Seeds for Action on this topic, spoke about the importance of divesting from fossil fuels.

"Catholicism, and most world religions, teach that as people of faith we have an obligation to honor God and God is the creator of a beautiful world meant for everybody," says Lothes. "We owe God the reverence to take care of this world."

Lothes went on to liken consideration for the environment to a visible and tangible sign of God's love.

"I look at this in a spiritual and sacramental way. When we think about a sacrament, the love of God is made visible," says Lothes. "I believe when we use our money to create a healthy, clean environment instead of promoting an unhealthy one, that is a visible sign of our love. In that way, it is a sacrament."

In order to protect our earthly home, Lothes urges a transition to clean energy.

"To make a positive impact on the environment right now, people can call their utilities and request clean energy choices," says Lothes. "Most utilities have these options and it is the single most important action we can all take to ensure more clean energy is utilized."

According to Lothes, protecting and respecting the environment is just a question of survival.

"Because of climate change, people are losing their homes, being impacted by stronger hurricanes and affected by steadily increasing sea levels," says Lothes. "It's making some parts of the world entirely unlivable."

Lothes' point is quite clear: "if we care for ourselves and for our neighbors, and honor God, then we have to care for creation."