Summer Reading and Escapes: Dr. Mary Gaebler

Posted on September 7th, 2020 by

Though the semester has officially begun, Labor Day has just passed us by, and a cold rain has settled on the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, we can’t entirely brush off the joys and freedom of the summer. 

For our final installment of this year’s “Summer Reading and Escapes,” we follow Dr. Mary Gaebler into the concerns, challenges, and inspiring possibilities about the moral encounter with climate change. 

One of the books I’ve read this summer (in prep for my CUR 100 sections) is Great Tide Rising by Kathleen Dean Moore.  I will be using this in my two sections of CUR 100 and I highly recommend it for anyone deeply concerned (and perhaps feeling defeated) by climate change.  Dean Moore works with the very common problem of despair and lethargy in the face of what appears to be an insurmountable challenge; but she goes after this in a novel way.

“Without ignoring the two usual approaches (focusing on the consequences of failure, or on our duty to others — “climate justice”) Dean Moore explores a “virtue ethics” approach. What would it mean to act first out of a decision to remain loyal to the person I am — to the commitments and convictions that make me “me” — and to focus on love as the power behind agency rather than fear or guilt. She writes as a philosopher and as a poet about this in a direct and personal way, in conversation with artists, philosophers, and theologians whose work she draws on.

The book is more than accessible.  It’s a thriller you can’t put down!


(Preview: Check back in the coming weeks to meet the newest members of the Religion Department and learn about their scholarship.)


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