Weter Lecture

weterThe annual Winifred E. Weter Faculty Award Lecture for Meritorious Scholarship provides a public platform in which the claims of the liberal arts in the Christian university are espoused. Delivered each year by a SPU faculty member selected by the Faculty Status Committee, the Weter Lecture honors Winifred E. Weter, SPU professor emerita of classics. Her teaching career spanning 40 years (1935-75) exemplifies a life of Christian character and integrity. Her love for the study of classical languages and literature inspired a similar enthusiasm in thousands of her students, and this lecture continues that tradition of inspiration.


The 2019 Winifred E. Weter Lecture –

The Inherently Quantitative Moral Landscape of our Global Neighborhood

Dr. Lane Seeley

Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 7:00 p.m.
Upper Gwinn Commons, SPU Campus

Continuous measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide began in the 1950’s under the supervision of David Charles Keeling. The resulting ‘Keeling Curve’ has led to the single greatest collective scientific research endeavor in human history. For the first time in we realize that energy choices on one side of our planet impact the natural environment of people on the other side of our planet. For Christians, our neighborhood is now truly global. Our energy decisions are not ours alone to make.

Numbers, data and graphs are powerful resources for understanding patterns and disparities of our global neighborhood but numbers alone will not allow us to understand our neighbors. Modern global citizens need to integrate scientific literacy with aesthetic and rhetorical perspectives in order navigate our broken world. This is not a new idea but it is an increasingly relevant challenge for educators at all levels. We often invite students to gather mathematical, scientific, literary, artistic, and historical insights in separate courses and hope they will learn to integrate these diverse ways of thinking on their own. Within Christian education, we have another, higher integration in mind. We are not merely striving to understand and influence the world. We are striving to be Disciples of Christ in a broken world. How can we let the numerical models we explore and narrative bridges we construct, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer?

We each have a different story to contribute toward a global neighborhood of higher integration. In this lecture, I will tell mine. I will draw on two decades of teaching, a decade of grant-funded research into energy learning, 3 years of teaching a course in global climate change and 5 months living in rural Uganda. This lecture will be global and personal, rigorous and speculative, scientific and poetic, serious and light-hearted, academic and irreverent, and fun for all ages.




To read or listen to past Weter Lectures please visit Digital Commons @ SPU.