The Climate and The Church: Jim Antal to speak on the moral crisis of climate change

Jim Antal thinks that “God has granted each of us the opportunity to address the greatest moral crisis humanity has ever faced.”


Antal, a denominational leader, climate activist, author and public theologian, continues Week One’s Interfaith Lecture Series theme of “Faith to Save the Earth” with a lecture titled “God’s Call – Our Vocation – In a Time of Climate Chaos” that will premiere on CHQ Assembly at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 2 — a return to his originally scheduled time slot. A cancelation from Randolph Haluza-DeLay, whose lecture was supposed to premiere Monday, June 29, prompted the Department of Religion to release Antal’s lecture early; but due to widespread outages on the Institution’s video broadcasting platform on June 29, Antal’s presentation is again planned to premiere July 2.

In his lecture, Antal will discuss the moral crisis of climate change and will issue a call-to-action for members of society. In addition to discussing scientific ramifications of climate change, Antal will also address the relationship between racial, economic and climate injustice, as well as the collective sorrow over the far-reaching ramifications of climate change. 

“We will ponder how a few generations of humans have reaped immeasurable profits by devastating God’s great gift of creation as they, and we, built the modern world,” Antal said. “We will see how we are living amidst a theological emergency in which the preservation of God’s creation has been reduced to an ideological debate.”

Antal, a graduate of Princeton University, Andover Newton Theological School, and Yale Divinity School, currently serves as Special Advisor on Climate Justice to the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. Previously, Antal led the 350 UCC churches in Massachusetts as their Conference Minister and President.

A respected environmental activist since the first Earth Day in 1970, Antal has led the UCC in several environmental resolutions, including a vote to divest from fossil fuel companies and in becoming the first Christian organization to endorse the Green New Deal. 

As for Chautauqua, Antal is looking forward to speaking to community members in a live Q-and-A session following his lecture.

 “What I have to say to the people of Chautauqua is the challenge-invitation for them to accept God’s call to do all they can to avert climate catastrophe — including ‘calling in all their chits,’” Antal said, using a term which he means as going all-in on an issue or topic. 

It’s time that folks voluntarily set aside doing what they may ‘want’ to do, and instead, recognize what our generation is called to do,” Antal said. “Our generation is the final generation with a chance to make a difference.”

This program is made possible by the Gertrude Elser Schroeder Fund.

Tags : interfaith lectureJim Antalreligion

The author Maggie Angevine

For her first season with The Chautauquan Daily, reporter Maggie Angevine will be covering the theater, youth programs and recreation at Chautauqua. Maggie, hailing from Virginia, is a rising junior at Miami University in Ohio, studying journalism, political science and French. When she isn’t writing for The Miami Student newspaper, Maggie can be found somewhere outside — hiking, camping, climbing or simply exploring.