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beyond blame artwork copy

Saturday 7 October, 12:00 - 8:00pm
The St John's Centre, Wellington CBD

Fifty years ago, historian Lynn White laid the blame for the ecological crisis at the feet of “the most anthropocentric religion the world has seen” – Christianity. For decades this accusation has been repeated and reiterated everywhere from university classrooms and research labs to coffee shops and pubs. Half a century later, does this charge still stand? More importantly, how has Christian faith and practice changed in the past half century? Most important of all, what are Christians doing right now about the future of creation?

Join us for a day-long conference as we reflect on the White thesis even as we move beyond blame and explore ongoing Christian responses to the ecological crisis of our contemporary world.

Listen to audio recordings of the event:

Plenary 1 Shame, Blame, and Christianity's Bad Name [Derek Woodard-Lehman]
Plenary 2 Facing Fear, Harnassing Hope [Andrew Shepherd]
Plenary 3 Healing Ourselves, Healing Nature [Nicola Hoggard Creegan]
Public Lecture and Panel Laudato Si—A Plea from Pope Francis to Save Humanity's Common Home (A Sympathetic Critique) [Jonathan Boston]

Confirmed Schedule:
12:00pm - 12:30pm Registration
12:30pm - 12:40pm Conference Opening
12:40pm - 1:15pm Plenary 1: "Blame, Shame, and Christianity's Bad Name" (Dr Derek Woodard-Lehman - University of Otago, Centre for Theology and Public Issues)
1:20pm - 1:55pm Plenary 2: "Facing Fear and Harnessing Hope" (Dr Andrew Shepherd - A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand)
2:00pm - 3:15pm Workshop/Seminar 1
3:15pm - 3:35pm Afternoon Tea
3:35pm - 4:40pm Workshop/Seminar 2
4:55pm - 5:30pm Plenary 3: "Healing Ourselves, Healing Nature: Beyond Anthropocentrism" (Dr Nicola Hoggard-Creegan - NZ Christians in Science)
5:30pm Dinner Break (own arrangements in the city)
7:15pm Public Lecture - details below (open to the public, no registration required to attend the lecture)
8:00pm Panel Discussion
8:45pm Conference Close

Jonathan Boston photo

Public Lecture:
Laudato Si: A Plea From Pope Francis to Protect Humanity's Common Home: A Sympathetic Critique
Professor Jonathan Boston (Victoria University of Wellington)

Jonathan Boston is Professor of Public Policy at the Victoria University of Wellington. He has previously served as Director of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and has published widely in fields of public policy, public management and comparative government.

For more information contact

Beyond Blame

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