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Christiana Zenner

Christiana Zenner

Associate Professor

General Information

Department of Theology
Lincoln Center Campus
Office 915F, Leon Lowenstein Building
113 W. 60th St.
New York, NY 10023

Email: [email protected]


Christiana Zenner is Associate Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics in the Department of Theology at Fordham University, where she is affiliated faculty in Environmental Studies and American Studies. Her research into emerging and established fresh water ethics intersects with ecological theory, religious ecologies, developments in the earth sciences, and the ecological turn in Catholic social teaching. She lectures nationally and internationally on these topics and has provided analysis of contemporary topics in ecological ethics and religion and science in venues such as Public Radio International, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The New Republic, the Washington Post, TED-Ed, MSNBC, and others.

Professor Zenner is the author of Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and Global Fresh Water Crises (second edition, Orbis Books, 2018; first edition, 2014) and co-editor of two volumes on sustainability and bioethics. Her peer-reviewed articles are published in venues such as Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: WATER, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Journal of Moral Theology, New Theology Review, and Journal of the Society for Christian Ethics.

Dr. Zenner teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses, including: Religion and Ecology, Human Nature After Darwin, Ecological Ethics, and Theology and Contemporary Science. She is headquartered at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus, in the heart of New York City.


BA, Stanford University (Human Biology, 2001)

MAR, Yale Divinity School (Ethics, 2005; summa cum laude and recipient of the high scholarship award)

PhD, Yale University (Religious Studies, 2011; with distinction)

Research Interests


Fresh water values and ethics; religious ecological ethics at the intersection of ecological theory and developments in the earth sciences; Laudato Si’ and the ecological turn in Catholic social teaching; feminist natural law theory; comparative religious responses to Darwin and evolutionary theory.



Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and Global Fresh Water Crises (Orbis Books, 2018; first edition, 2014).

"Valuing Fresh Waters." 5,000-word survey and opinion article. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: WATER, forthcoming 2018. 

"Commentary on Laudato Si'." 18,000-word commentary on the encyclical Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. Chapter 20 in Kenneth Himes, ed., Modern Catholic Social Teaching: Commentaries and Interpretations (Georgetown University Press, 2018).

"Hydrology, Theology, and Laudato Si'." Theological Studies, vol. 77, no. 2 (2016): 416-435.

“Troubling Waters: the Jordan River between Religious Imagination and Environmental Degradation.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 3, no. 2 (2013): 109-119. 

“Water Ethics on a Human-Dominated Planet: Rationality, Context, and Values in Global Governance.” 4,000-word literature review and analysis, co-authored with Jeremy J. Schmidt (Harvard University). Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: WATER, Vol. 1 (6), November/December 2014: 533-547.