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Faculty host public discussion Sept. 23 on Pope Francis’s second encyclical

The Pell Center at Salve Regina, in conjunction with Pope Francis’s historic visit next week to the U.S., is bringing together university faculty representing various departments to host a panel discussion focusing on the impact of Laudato si’, the Pope’s second encyclical.

“’Laudato si’ – Pope Francis and the Challenge of the Environment” will be presented on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in O’Hare Academic Center, Ochre Point Avenue. The event is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP at or by calling 401-341-2927.

Speakers will include Craig Condella, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy; Debra Curtis, PhD., Department of Global Studies; Jayme Hennessy, Ph.D., Department of Religious & Theological Studies; Susan Meschwitz, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry and Chad Raymond, Ph.D., Department of Political Science. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Jim Ludes, Pell Center executive director.

The faculty experts will explore many topics, including: where the encyclical falls in the context of environmental philosophy; how anthropologists might contribute to the kind of work Pope Francis is calling people to do; a theological examination of the encyclical put into a broader context of human ecology; an exploration of how the text draws heavily on science rather than scripture; and a look at some of the skeptical questions society might raise about the power of the Pope to affect any of the changes he’s calling for.

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis released his second encyclical entitled Laudato si’: On care for our common home. The much-anticipated work laments the environmental degradation of our planet and issues a call to global political action that could curb the excesses of rampant consumerism and unchecked technological development in exchange for more sustainable forms of development.