Keri O’Mara | The Observer The Center for Spirituality (CFS) at Saint Mary’s announced its spring 2015 lecture series entitled “Saint Teresa of Avila: Carmelite Mystic and Doctor of the Church.”The series will include two talks and one panel discussion, marking the 500th anniversary of Saint Teresa’s birth. According to a press release, the Saint Mary’s College Annual Endowed Lecture Series Fund will sponsor the lectures, which are free and open to the public and will take place in the Vander Vennet Theatre.According to Michelle Egan, associate director of the CFS, the center hosts a series each fall and spring semester encompassing a specific topic or theme.This spring series will follow the 2014 lecture series, “Unitas, Veritas, Caritas: Catholicism and the Liberal Arts and Sciences,” which explored the relationship of faith and reason across disciplines.“When deciding on a theme, we consider the current contemporary religious and theological issues, or if there are any significant milestones within the Church,” Egan said. “The 500th anniversary of Teresa of Avila’s birth is one such milestone.”While other CFS lecture series have focused on larger concepts, such as “facets of justice” or “leadership of Catholic women both past and current,” Egan said the spring 2015 series will discuss rather particular aspects of Teresa’s life and work.The first lecture, titled “Teresa of Avila: Prayer is an Adventure in Love,” will take place Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m.“Our first lecturer, Keith Egan, Aquinas chair of Catholic theology emeritus at Saint Mary’s, will explore Teresa’s thoughts on prayer and love because for this saint and doctor of the Church, she spent her life searching for God through prayer,” Egan said. “For her, prayer is an ‘exercise in love.’”On March 3 at 7:30 p.m., the second lecture, “Teresa the Theologian on the Human Person as Capax Dei” will feature a visiting scholar from Fairfield University.“Elizabeth Dreyer, religious studies professor at Fairfield University, will consider Teresa’s work as an incarnational theologian and how that has or hasn’t prospered in the history of Christian theology and spirituality,” Egan said.The third and final lecture of the series will feature a panel of both undergraduate and post-graduate students from Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, titled “Teresa and Us: The Significance of Teresa of Avila for Young Catholic Women Today.” The panel will take place March 19 at 7:30 p.m.“Our final event in the series will be a panel discussion about the significance of Teresa for today’s young Catholic women,” Egan said. “Teresa was certainly a leader in the Church, she was a religious founder, a reformer, and her writings have been, and continue to be, very influential to theologians.”“How she is a source of wisdom is just as relevant today to young women as she was several hundred years ago,” she said.According to Egan, this series furthers the CFS’s purpose, as the organization was established in 1984 as a center to “build a theologically well-grounded spirituality among members of the College and greater South Bend community,” according to the press release.Egan said the events also support the religious and academic missions of the College.“World-renowned scholars come to Saint Mary’s to share their wisdom on contemporary religious issues and to address broader issues of how faith and reason interact,” Egan said.Senior Madison Maidment said she enjoys having the opportunity to hear such scholars discuss aspects of spirituality that are not often elaborated upon in religion courses as fully as possible.“I remember a lot of my friends who are nursing majors were really interested in the fall series because it had lectures concerning things like health care professions and biology,” Maidment said. “This spring series interests me a little more because it gives students a chance to get to know a saint on a more personal, relatable level, and I think that’s an awesome opportunity.“… But both series this school-year have brought topics to the table that aren’t often discussed in our daily lives, and I think these unique themes appeal to a wide variety of students.”Tags: Center for Spirituality, Center for Spirituality lecture series, CFS lecture series, Michelle Egan, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Teresa of Avila: Carmelite Mystic and Doctor of the Church
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) today announced what it says are “ambitious but also practical” recommendations for reporting by organisations – companies and investors – on financial aspects of climate change, although the “bite” of the voluntary disclosures has been questioned.Established in December 2015, the industry-led task force today officially announced its full set of recommendations for information that financial and non-financial “organisations” should disclose to improve understanding of the potential financial implications of climate change and the transition to a “lower-carbon” economy.A consultation on the draft recommendations runs until 12 February.The recommended disclosures are intended to “elicit decision-useful, forward-looking information” on climate-related financial impacts to help “investors, lenders and insurance underwriters to appropriately assess and price climate-related risks and opportunities”. As already foreshadowed, the task force has made recommendations for disclosure structured around four thematic areas: governance, strategy, risk management and metrics and targets.The four overarching recommendations are supported by more specific recommended disclosures that build out the framework, and the task force has also developed supporting guidance.One of the key recommendations, according to the task force, is that organisations conduct forward-looking scenario analysis to assess and illustrate the potential impact on their business.The idea is that the recommended disclosures can be adopted by companies of all types and should be included in mainstream financial filings. It referred to its recommendations as “a foundation” for improved reporting that “aim to be ambitious but also practical for near-term adoption”.Reporting will evolve and mature over time, it said.Speaking about the draft recommendations, FSB chair Mark Carney said: “The disclosure recommendations will give financial markets the information they need to manage risks, and seize opportunities, stemming from climate change. As a private sector solution to a market issue, the Task Force has focused on the practical, material disclosures investors want and that all capital-raising companies can compile.”Many supportive comments from task force member firms and NGOs were compiled in connection with the report’s recommendation today.Eloy Lindeijer, CIO at major Dutch pension investor PGGM, said: “Once implemented, the recommendations will greatly improve transparency and support more informed asset allocation decisions. Institutional investors need this to play a stronger role in financing the energy transition.”Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive at the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), said the group welcomed the TCFD’s recommendations, as they would ultimately help investors to “better assess, price and manage the risks and opportunities of transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, global economy.“Material climate disclosures must become a routine part of annual reporting practice if institutional investors are to make robust decisions that accurately reflect physical risks posed by climate change and transition risks arising from swift adoption of clean and efficient technologies.”Some critical points were raised, too, however, with Mark Wilson, chief executive at Aviva, suggesting that the disclosure will lack “real bite” by being voluntary.“I am calling to go one step further,” he said. “We should give the disclosure real bite by making these recommendations mandatory, not voluntary. Only then will climate risk become integral to corporate governance and how we all do business.”Speaking at the IPE conference in Berlin earlier this month, Russell Picot, special adviser to the taskforce, said there was merit in “allow[ing] the marketplace to experiment first” before hard-coding requirements. Developing disclosures that are voluntary was in the task force’s mandate from the FSB from the very beginning.Law firm ClientEarth, meanwhile, warned that regulators and companies may use the TCFD recommendations on climate risk disclosure to avoid compliance with, and enforcement of, existing laws.Senior lawyer Alice Garton said: “These recommendations should set the standard for compliance with these existing laws. It shouldn’t be an ‘either/or’ choice, but there’s a very real danger some companies and regulators will treat it as such.”The task force arguably appears to pre-empt this point.In its report, it said companies in most G20 jurisdictions were already required to disclose material risks in their financial filings and that the recommended reporting framework “should be useful to organisations in complying more effectively with existing disclosure obligations”.