A public lecture on “The Universe and Other Little Things: Chesterton on Creation” will open a three-day scholarly conference Oct. 29 to 31 that will bring together philosophers and theologians from four countries to discuss environmental stewardship in light of Catholic teaching.

The conference, “Renewing the Face of the Earth: The Church and the Order of Creation,” is sponsored by the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas and supported by the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

Dale Ahlquist

Dale Ahlquist

The opening lecture on Chesterton, free and open to the public, will be given by Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on St. Thomas’ St. Paul campus. 

The three-day conference will feature approximately 35 scholars from the United States as well as Canada, England and Italy.  They will participate in workshops and deliver papers on Catholic theological and philosophical principles dealing with a range of topics related to the environment.

“We have selected papers that bring the wisdom of our own intellectual heritage, especially that of St. Thomas Aquinas, to articulate an adequate vision of responsible stewardship, one that might illuminate and clarify the relationship of human persons toward creation and the environment,” explained Dr. Deborah Savage, a member of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity faculty and one of the conference organizers.

The keynote address will be given at the close of the conference by Bishop Frank Dewane, bishop of the Diocese of Venice, Fla.

The conference is open to the public but registration is required. More information is available on the conference Web site.

In addition to serving as president of the American Chesterton Society, Ahlquist is host of the EWTN series “G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense,” and publisher of Gilbert Magazine. He has written two books on Chesterton, edited three more, and is the associate editor of the Collected Works of Chesterton for Ignatius Press.