WACO, Texas (March 28, 2022) – Baylor University’s Honors College is pleased to share that Dr. Matthew Whelan
, Assistant Professor of Moral Theology in the Honors Program, has been selected as a Campion Hall Laudato Si’ Research Institute (LSRI) Visiting Fellow
“I’m honored to be selected as a Campion Hall Laudato Si’ Research Institute Visiting Fellow,” Whelan said. “I’ve enjoyed a working relationship with LSRI and Oxford, and this opportunity fits perfectly with my research interests.”
The LSRI Visiting Fellowship works to support academic research in areas pertaining to the most pressing ecological and social issues of our time. Whelan, who is a theologian working within the tradition of Catholic social thought, was selected out of an international applicant pool and will be researching how Christians can provide better care for God’s creation through agroecology.
“In light of the environmental crisis and the ways humans use and abuse the natural world, the Catholic social teaching tradition, has repeatedly called us to consider how we ‘till and keep’ the garden of the world, as Genesis 2:15 says,” Whelan said. “Dominant forms of agriculture in the U.S. are good at tilling but not so much at keeping or caring. To that end, one of the things I’m trying to show in my work is that agroecology, or an agriculture that works to integrate an ecological rationale, is a good example of how we can both till and keep.”
According to Whelan, agroecology is a sustainable farming method that works with nature and studies the relationships between plants, animals, people, and their environment.
“This summer, my work will be multifaceted,” Whelan said. “But mainly, I want to continue a conversation with agroecologists around how they understand natural order and what theologians can learn from, as well as add to, that conversation.”
Whelan will spend three months at Campion Hall, the oldest Permanent Private Hall at the University of Oxford, working with Oxford faculty and members of LSRI investigating the benefits of agroecology as he works on his forthcoming book Agroecology and Christianity (Cambridge University Press, under contract).
“The Honors Program was extremely fortunate to hire Dr. Whelan last Spring, and already he is establishing himself as a major voice in theology and environmentalism,” Honors Program Director and Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Elizabeth Corey said. “The Oxford program will allow him to make contacts across the world. I have no doubt he will use this summer experience to benefit his students and colleagues at Baylor upon his return.”
You can learn more about the Laudato Si’ Research Institute Visiting Fellowship here.
For media inquiries, please contact Emily Clark
| (254) 710-8486.
ABOUT THE HONORS COLLEGE AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
The Honors College at Baylor University unites four innovative interdisciplinary programs – the Honors Program, University Scholars, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and Great Texts – with a shared commitment to providing undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue questions that often fall between the cracks of the specialized disciplines by investigating the writings of scientists along with the writings of poets, historians and philosophers. For more information, visit baylor.edu/honorscollege.