Signs of the Times #15: From ‘Option for the Poor’ to Option by the Poor ft. Lisa Sowle Cahill Ph.D.

Lisa Sowle Cahill is a theological ethicist from Boston College who joined us at the recent Catholic Social Tradition Conference hosted by the Center for Social Concerns here at Notre Dame. Her keynote address was titled, “From ‘Option for the Poor’ to Option by the Poor: Flint’s Water and the Problem of Political Will.” We sat down with her to discuss her wide-ranging work in the field of ethics covering sex and gender, war and peace, and most recently bioethics and the effects of climate change. She shared that the ethical and social problems related to climate change are important for testing the framework of Catholic social teaching and offered a critique of the Pope’s use of feminine terms in Laudato Sí. We also discussed Flint, Michigan’s water contamination, structural sin, and how themes of race and poverty played into that crisis.