February 21, 2013 7:30 PM
The Relationship of Faith, Food, and Poverty: An Interfaith Discussion
This free panel discussion will be in Perry Auditorium.
The question of how human poverty and environment stewardship are related touches on social, political, cultural, and religious factors. A religious response centers on the place of relationships: between people and people, people and the land, and people and God. Framed simply as an economic issue (i.e., rich and poor understood as variance of wealth) does not do justice to the depth of the problem. To consider poverty and the environment relationally is to examine how human practices of hospitality, generosity, and reconciliation are operative alternatives in matters of food, water, and farming to the strained relations created through unjust food distribution, conflict over water access, and globalized farming practices that are profit driven rather than means for common goods.
Archbishop Rowan Williams recently stated, “We cannot show the right kind of love for our fellow humans unless we also work at keeping the earth as a place that is a secure home for all people.” How do we grow hospitality, generosity, and reconciliation through food distribution, just water access, and sustainable farming? What does ‘justice for the poor’ look like when the earth and its resources are treated as integral to communion with God?
- Dr. Hisham Moharram, a Muslim environmental leader and founder/director of Good Tree Farm of New Egypt and The Good Tree. Dr. Moharram is an organic farmer, and is collaborating with the American University in Cairo to bring organic, sustainable farming practices to near-desert regions of Egypt. He lives in New Egypt, New Jersey.
- Rabbi Kevin Kleinman is the associate rabbi at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Rabbi Kleinman is a regular commentator and participant on themes and events relating to food justice in Judaism, and was recently a panelist at Temple University’s program, What is Food Worth? Conversations about food, ethics, sustainability, and eating Jewish.
- Professor David Cloutier is a Catholic moral theologian at Mount St. Mary’s University (Maryland) who serves as a director at the Common Market (www.commonmarket.coop), Frederick’s consumer food cooperative
Nancy Roman, the new president and chief executive of the Capital Area Food Bank, will provide a response to the evening’s discussion.