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Ethical Futures: Digital and Ecological

A multi-disciplinary network interested in developing theological responses to ecological challenges and digital technologies

Ethical Futures: Digital and Ecological is a multi-disciplinary network of theologians, philosophers, natural and social scientists, artists, practitioners, academics and activists with shared interests in developing theological responses to ecological challenges and new digital technologies.

The network emerged from conversations following the publication of a book in 2017 by Associate Research Fellow Revd Dr John Reader, entitled Theology and New Materialism: Spaces of Faithful Dissent. Examining the concepts of transcendence, human agency, and a New Enlightenment, Reader’s book also moves into more practical areas of aesthetics and technology and a response to the contemporary apocalyptic of climate change.

Following the launch of the book in Oxford, subsequent meetings and discussions have been held with a growing number of scholars and activists, interested to challenge and develop the themes it engages, particularly the ethical questions that lie at the intersections between our algorithmic society, the contemporary ecological crisis and religion.

This work follows in the tradition of William Temple, who was deeply concerned with, not only social justice, but also the environmental sustainability of our earth and the impact of technology.

“As a general principle upon which alone the solid foundations of peace can be built, we should recognise that the resources of the earth should be used as God’s gift to the whole human race, and used with due consideration for the needs of the present and future generations.”

Read more about the members of this network here.

Upcoming Meetings

February – 25th – Charlotte Trombin

Having earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in theology at Cardiff University, Charlotte is a PhD candidate at Exeter University, researching the use of combative biblical imagery in global Neo-Muscular Christian men’s groups. She holds an honorary Research Associate position at the Centre for the Study of the Bible and Violence, and her research interests also include biblical violence, feminist hermeneutics, the theology of veganism, ecotheology, and the intersection of masculinity, theology and nationalism. Charlotte is speaking on the Bible, women, and the climate crisis, in a paper titled: ‘Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked, because he was angry’: Misogyny, the Bible, and Environmental Violence.

March – 18th – Marcus Mescher

Marcus Mescher is associate professor of Christian ethics at Xavier University. He earned his PhD from Boston College, specializing in Catholic social teaching and moral formation. He has published a dozen essays and book chapters on topics ranging from the ethics of using digital technology and social media; marriage and family life; and ecological responsibilities. He is the author of The Ethics of Encounter: Christian Neighbor Love as a Practice of Solidarity (Orbis, 2020), which proposes a moral framework for building the “culture of encounter” championed by Pope Francis. His present research and writing focus on moral injury caused by clergy sexual abuse and its cover-up. Marcus’s presentation will draw on his recent paper on ‘The Moral Impact of Digital Devices‘.

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