Presenter Information

Sung-Hae Kim S.C.


Some ecologists believe that the global environmental crisis has been caused by placing humanity at the top of the ecosystem. They have asked religious traditions to help develop new ethics that restore equilibrium to the relationship between humanity and nature. One way to do this is to examine traditional texts from an ecological perspective. With extensive quotations, Sung-Hae Kim demonstrates how Elizabeth Seton saw the link between humanity and nature and how she experienced God in nature. Kim writes that Elizabeth learned to see suffering and death as transformative and part of an “ecological balance,” which led to trust in God. According to Kim, “while recognizing the rhythm of time in nature, Elizabeth realized the importance of living in the present and learned to be content in all situations by acquiring the virtues of moderation and harmony.” Her spirituality is considered within the context of ideas from four philosophers of ecology, Arne Naess, Aldo Leopold, Murray Bookchin, and Anthony Weston.