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James Nash Will Inaugurate Ecology Lecture Series at Davidson

February 15, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

By Emily Drew '04

Ecologist and theologian James A. Nash will present the inaugural Henry and Daisy Bridges Earth Lecture at Davidson College on Tuesday, February 20. In his talk, entitled "Too Many Steps Too Far: Living Within Ecological Limits," Nash will discuss the ecological consequences of exceeding natural boundaries. The free public lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gallery Room of Chambers Building.

James A. Nash is a United Methodist Church minister, and holds a Ph.D. in social ethics from Boston University, where he lectures and teaches courses in social and ecological ethics. Among his many writings is Loving Nature: Ecological Integrity and Christian Responsilbility. His research now focuses on the intersection of ecology, economics, and ethics.

Nash said he will emphasize that the American frontier mind-set which encourages continued expansion and constant growth is outdated. "We need to think about limits, and we need to accept and live within these bounds," he said.

Nash will propose that established restraints are the key to responsible ecological living, and tie that notion to religious traditions that promote moderation. He said, "One of the common features of the current ecological crisis is manifested in our human tendency to exceed the bounds."

He will argue that Christian thought is heavily concerned with replenishment. "There are a lot of good things about the modern world, but we've unfortunately exploited our resources," he said.

David Grant, professor emeritus of biology and organizer of the lecture, said Nash's remarks should strike a chord in his audience. "I'm a chronic optimist, but human nature distresses me," said Grant. "It only takes one major accident to destroy our ecology. We would do well to heed the wisdom of people like James Nash."

The Henry and Daisy Bridges Earth Lecture Series is supported by First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, and will stage an ecological lecture each year at either Davidson College or Queen's College. Call 894-2868 for more information.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson recently launched "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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