Presenter Information

Sung-Hae Kim S.C.


In her third interpretation of Elizabeth Seton’s spirituality within the framework of ecological theology, Sun Hae Kim examines volumes 3a and 3b of Elizabeth’s writings. These volumes cover Elizabeth’s entire life. The presence of God was “the mystery that not only sustained her throughout her life but also united her vision of the entire universe of natural creation and humanity into one.” Kim also puts Elizabeth’s views of creation, humanity, suffering, and death within the context of three ecological theologians: Hildegard of Bingen, Sallie McFague, and Elizabeth A. Johnson. According to Elizabeth, God’s presence “consecrates every part of the universe”; caring for the earth—which is God’s body according to Johnson—is, as Kim says, “an act of obedience to the Creator, who wants all life to flourish.” At the end of time, Elizabeth looked to “the complete transformation of the earth,” which for her involved our salvation and “the glory of the natural world.” Death and suffering, as a part of the natural world, are a part of ecology in which God is present as well. Moreover, “suffering is a mystery that humbles and unites both humans and non-human living beings of the earth.”