Dr. Sallie McFague is Distinguished Theologian in Residence at the Vancouver School of Theology in British Columbia, Canada. For thirty years she taught at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, TN where she was the Carpenter Professor of Theology and for five years Dean of the School. She was born in Boston, educated at Smith College (B.A.) and Yale University (B.D., M.A., Ph.D) and has taught at Yale Divinity School and Harvard Divinity School, in addition to her years at Vanderbilt. She is the author of eight books and numerous articles, most of them focused on the importance of the models and metaphors with which we interpret the relationship between God, the world, and ourselves. In her latest book, A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (2008), Dr. McFague claims that the twin crises of economic meltdown and global warming are indications of the need for a new paradigm for human living on the planet, one that criticizes the dominant economic market model of excessive riches for privileged individuals and supports a model that acknowledges the radical interdependence of all.
Prof. Sallie McFague with the Reverend Janet Gear
Evening lecture: Blessed are the Consumers: Climate Change and the Practice of Restraint
Friday, June 15, 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s, Kerrisdale (2490 West 37th Avenue) (Public lecture – freewill offering)
Workshop: Four Steps toward a Practice of Restraint for Abundant Living (Workshop builds on the lecture)
Saturday, June 16, 9:30-3:30 (Lunch Included) at VST, Epiphany Chapel
In this workshop, Professor McFague will draw upon the model of self-emptying, central to the great religious traditions, to lead a discussion of pathways conducive to personal and planetary well-being. A four-fold process for change will be explored.
The practice of voluntary poverty provides a ‘wild space’ where one is available for a break with the religion of consumerism. The discipline of paying attention to our profound interdependence on others and the processes that sustain life opens us up to a model of give and take, the recognition of the need for restraint and limits, at the cosmic, biological, ethical and spiritual levels. The development of a ‘universal self’ moves us toward a wider and wider circle of compassion until everything counts. While this idea may not be fully realized, it does influence goals and behaviours, even when only partially attained. Finally, the model of inclusive self, nurtured within a paradigm of radical, inclusive interdependence, operates at both the personal and public levels.
Those taking the course for credit should read the following texts in their entirety:
Sallie McFague, A New Climate for Theology (Fortress Press, 2008).
John Polkinghorne, ed. The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 200l).
Professor McFague will distribute sections of a current book she is working on to registrants.