Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Theology

Abstract

Any Catholic ecological ethic today that does not focus sustained attention to our worldwide water crisis is inadequate, for it fails to engage one of today's core social justice violations and neglects to offer any moral guidance for one of the human family's most pressing challenges. A responsible Catholic approach to water justice that addresses the problems stemming from a commodified view of water must be informed by ecofeminist concerns and by the Catholic social justice tradition of moral reasoning. As populations grow and water sources run dry, access to water has become a pressing ethical issue. Today, nearly one billion people, almost one-sixth of the world's population, struggle to survive without access to clean water, while millions more are affected indirectly. It is crucial to articulate an adequate value system for water, which affirms water as more than another commodity and safeguards `just water' for all.

First, I describe the commodifed view of water that leads to pollution, diversion, and privatization of water. Second, I present an alternate view of water articulated in the narratives of Genesis and Psalms. Third, I use tools from within the Catholic tradition to create a set of guidelines for protecting water. Finally, I turn to ecofeminism, to address the undue burden women face in light of water challenges. Taking seriously both human rights and the responsibility to protect all of God's creation provides new solutions based on a Catholic, ecofeminist perspective on justice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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