Brief Course Description

SPEND J-TERM 2014 IN THE CASCADE MOUNTAINS! Study Environmental Ethics (REL 243) at Holden Village, an ecumenical retreat center near Chelan, WA. With over 250 inches of snow each winter, Holden is a unique and splendid place to think about environmental ethics. The history and current operations of the village play an important role in the course. Holden was the largest producing copper mine in the U.S. from the 1930s to the mid-1950s. The environmental legacy of the mine remains a problem studied in the course along with the way Holden tries to model sustainability in its operations and business practices. The course examines root causes of environmental problems, philosophical and theological assumptions about nature, and resources for response in Christian traditions. Case studies ground moral reflection in concrete situations. Topics explored include personal responsibility, preservation of old growth forests, endangered species and habitat restoration, water rights disputes, nuclear waste disposal, and environmental racism.