September 7, 2022


MTSO panel will discuss sanitation, justice and ‘reinventing the toilet’

Our modern economy produces tons of human waste that piles up in landfills, water bodies, and city streets. How should we respond?

Methodist Theological School in Ohio will address the issue in a virtual conversation, “All About Waste: Sanitation, Justice, and Reinventing the Toilet,” at 7 p.m. Eastern Sept. 15. The event, part of MTSO’s Science and Religion Digital Dialogues series, is free to the public. Advance Zoom registration is required and available here.

“All About Waste” brings together a panel of three experts to discuss one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time: human waste and how to manage it sustainably and ethically.

Marc Deshusses is professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke University, where he is also research professor of global health. His current research focus is on novel reactors and processes for air, water and solid-waste treatment and developing new sanitation technologies to “reinvent the toilet.” He is also a co-founder of 374Water Inc. which is commercializing a novel treatment technology developed at Duke.

Elizabeth Allison is professor of philosophy, cosmology and consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her research and teaching explore connections between religion, ethics and environmental practice, with particular attention to biodiversity, waste, ecological place and climate change.

Sarah Nahar is a Ph.D. candidate at Syracuse University and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in her hometown of Elkhart, Indiana (traditional Potawatomi land). Her research addresses sanitation as an ethical issue and offers “defecatory justice” as a framework to analyze the power dynamics at play when addressing the climate issues created by dominionism.

The Science and Religion Digital Dialogues series serves MTSO students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as members of the public, addressing challenges to meaningful science and religion dialogues and to encouraging public engagement with science. It is made possible through the Science for Seminaries project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogues on Science, Ethics, and Religion program.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just, sustainable and generative world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in practical theology, social justice and theological studies, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.


Danny Russell, communications director, 740-362-3322