Episcopal Bishop Outlines Religious Reasons to Protect Environment

Jan 29, 2013

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori chats with associate dean of research Val Klump at School of Freshwater Sciences.
Credit Susan Bence

We normally think of debate and discussion over topics such as water quality and climate change in either scientific or economic terms. For example, what are the implications for business and employment in the face of increased environmental regulation?

But there are some who look at environmental issues through another lens - religion. Katharine Jefferts Schori has a unique insight into environmental issues and religion. She's the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States. But she's also Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, having earned a PhD in Oceanography before joining the clergy.

"Part of what it means to be a person of faith is to live in we would call it holy relationship with the rest of what is, and in this context it means not using more resources than your fair share," says Bishop Schori.

That link between science and religion came to the fore this week when Shori came to Milwaukee, both to speak at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and sit down with a small group of scientists at the School of Freshwater Sciences, including Dean David Garman. Speaking with WUWM environmental reporter Susan Bence, Garman outlined the vision of the institution in which he aims to blend research, education and "take it to the market" innovation.