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Mgsr. James Cafone Third Annual Lecture  

Reverend Gerald J. BuonopaneThe Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall is pleased to invite you to the Third Annual Monsignor James Cafone Memorial Lecture, featuring Reverend Gerald J. Buonopane, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, "What's Faith and Science Got To Do With Food?" Monday, April 3, 4:00 p.m. The Walsh Library, Beck Rooms, Seton Hall University.

About the Lecture:
God created a world in which every living creature must eat. So, food is obviously a big part of our lives. Today more than ever we have a greater variety of foods, especially due to our global society with "ethnic" or "cultural" foods no longer just confined to their native country, but now present in global commerce. Food comes in many forms and types and origins – plant foods, animal foods, fresh/natural foods, and processed foods, the latter of which is an enormous industry and growing larger every day.

Food nourishes us physically, mentally, and spiritually. We need to consume a variety of foods so that our body receives all of the essential nutrients it needs. We all need to make wise eating choices, to choose nutritionally-rich foods as opposed to those that are nutritionally-poor. The bible says a lot about food. Jesus spoke often about food, both in a physical and theological sense. The Holy Mass is a sacred meal. Jesus said "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst" (John 6:35).

In relating the science of food to faith and theology we face ethical implications of food, in which we need to consider risk-benefit issues. One such issue is the safety and efficacy of genetically modified foods. Take an apple, for example, a food often referred to in scripture. In 2015 the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the first genetically modified apple for sale in the U.S. The modified apple resists browning when cut open or sliced, a trait that makes it useful for restaurants, grocery stores, airlines and other companies that offer pre-sliced fruit. That's a great benefit, but are there safety and health risks associated with genetically modified foods? Does genetically modifying a food tinker with God's creation? What about Issues of hunger and malnutrition and food aid? God calls us to serve the poor and feed the hungry. There is enough food to feed the world, but why do close to a billion people go to sleep hungry every night. So many issues we face! This lecture will address such relationships between food, faith, and science.

About the Speaker:
Fr. Buonopane's area of specialization is food chemistry (Ph.D., Penn State). Prior to seminary and his ordination to the priesthood in 2006, Fr. Gerry held a number of positions in academia, the federal government (USFDA), and in the food and pharmaceutical industries. His research areas of interest are: the oxidative and deteriorative changes of foods and fats; essential oils as natural antioxidants; and cold plasma treatment of botanicals and essential oils. At Seton Hall he has developed a food chemistry course and a course titled "Science and Theology of Food", the latter of which was developed through a grant awarded by the John Templeton Foundation.

About the Department of Catholic Studies:
Established in 2012-- the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II -- the Department of Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University, America's oldest diocesan university, fosters Seton Hall's Catholic identity and mission by exploring the relationship of Catholicism with all areas of culture and learning. Since its focus is the Church's encounter and dialogue with society or the Church in the world, Vatican II designated a special place for Catholic Studies as a discipline in academic life. As a result, Catholic Studies is a dialogue between Catholicism and culture that occurs in a special way at Catholic universities. While respecting other disciplines, Catholic Studies explores theology and philosophy in relation to culture, humankind and the world. This methodological approach opens up a place for all other disciplines; these enrich Catholic Studies and are enriched in return.

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Gloria Aroneo
  • (973) 275-2808
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