Faith and Reason symposium examines issues of sustainability, food shortage

Faith and Reason symposium examines issues of sustainability, food shortage
October 29, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Benedictine University espouses the belief that religion and science – or faith and reason – do not exist at polar ends of the intellectual spectrum, but rather are both central to solving the world’s most urgent problems. The Second Annual Faith and Reason Symposium from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 7 at the Krasa Student Center will seek to bring faith and reason to bear on the issues of sustainability and the global food crisis, “How Much is Enough: Sustainability, Environmental Ethics and the Global Food Crisis.” The symposium is sponsored by the Global Studies Forum and the Center for Mission and Identity at Benedictine University. “As countries continue to put the planet in peril in the name of economic growth, we must ask ourselves if there can be economic growth that is also sustainable growth,” said Vincent Gaddis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Benedictine University and symposium organizer. “As food prices continue to hit record highs, many governments cannot feed their people,” he added. “Even here in the United States, food insecurity is rising. This symposium seeks to determine if faith and reason can find common ground to find solutions to these issues and educate people to act in environmentally responsible ways.” The symposium will begin with a continental breakfast, opening prayer and welcome by William J. Carroll, Ph.D., president of Benedictine University. The first panel discussion from 9:00-11:00 a.m., “What is Sufficiency? Envisioning Sustainable, Ethical Growth in the 21st Century,” features a cross-section of Benedictine faculty including John Mickus, Ph.D., professor of Biology; Martin Tracey, Ph.D., associate professor of Philosophy; Pat Flynn, Ph.D. associate professor of Philosophy; and Preston Aldrich, Ph.D. assistant professor of Biology. Jim Ludema, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts in organization development and the Appreciative Inquiry method of assessing business effectiveness, will present “Why Values-Driven Leadership is the Solution to Sustainability and the Food Crisis” during the lunch break from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A second panel will convene from 1:00-3:00 p.m. to discuss “The Global Food Crisis: Causes, Consequences and What Our Community Can Do.” Panelists will include Isabel Lobo, Ph.D., associate professor of International Business and Economics; Deepa Handu, Ph.D., assistant professor of Nutrition; Alan Gorr, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education and Health Services; Christine Fletcher, Ph.D., assistant professor of Theology; and Robin Rylaarsdam, Ph.D., associate professor of Biology. A wrap-up of the day’s panel discussions and the presentation of potential solutions will follow from 3:00-4:00 p.m. The symposium will close with a wine and cheese reception at 4:00 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at (630) 829-6250.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.