What: The Dean’s Lecture Series
Where: Great Hall, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College
When: Friday, September 21, 8 p.m.
Details: “Water and Theology”
Martha C. Franks, St. John’s College
This event is free of charge and open to the public.
Water is a theological symbol of possibility and rebirth; at the same time, it is a practical necessity. These two aspects of water are both present when a desert community like the American Southwest makes decisions about water use. Across the whole array from the high spiritual to the greedy mundane, those decisions reflect what the society values, and are worked out in the arena of law. Thus, the development of water law can be understood as a reflection of changing ideas about the spiritual and practical possibilities of our society. The lecture traces some of that development, and considers the material and theological issues before us now.
Martha C. Franks is an environmental attorney specializing in water law. Her work concentrates on issues of drought and scarcity, water rights adjudication and administration, the Endangered Species Act, and environmental compliance. Before entering private practice, she represented the State of New Mexico on water matters for many years, and then worked for the Office of the Solicitor of the United States during the Clinton Administration, advising the Bureau of Reclamation on water questions. A great deal of her work consists of negotiation among a broad array of water interests, including state, federal, tribal, city and county governments, as well as irrigation districts and environmental groups.
She is also a graduate of the Virginia Theological Seminary, having received her Masters in Theological Studies degree in 1997. She has published articles on both legal and theological subjects and has lectured on environmental theology. She teaches part time at St. John’s College in Santa Fe.