The passion of the earth


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Passionist spirituality of the environment focusing on Catholic social teaching and the work of Thomas Berry.

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The passion of the earth

  1. 1. The Passion of the Earth<br />Session 1.<br />
  2. 2. Presentation Format<br />The Comeback of a Catholic Natural Theology:<br />Catholic Social Teaching on the Care for the Earth<br />The Contribution of Thomas Berry, CP<br />Revolutionaries, Pastors and Skeptics<br />Cosmopolis and a New Cosmology<br />The Wisdom of the Cross<br />The Ecological Reality<br />The Passion of the Earth<br />What will be the Passionist story: A spirituality of Prayer, Solitude, and Penance <br />
  3. 3. Scripture:<br />God’s relationship with nature:<br />Genesis and Psalms (104:25, 30)<br />Colossians 1:16-17<br />God teaches us through nature:<br />Job 12: 7-10<br />Romans 1:19-20 - For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.<br />A Catholic Natural Theology<br />
  4. 4. Early Church: <br />West: St. Ambrose and St. Augustine<br />East: St. Basil the Great and St. John of Damascus<br />Medieval development:<br />Spirituality: St. Hildegard de Bingen, St. Bernard de Clairvaux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Julian of Norwich<br />Theology: Gratian and St. Thomas Aquinas<br />A Catholic Natural Theology<br />
  5. 5. St. Paul of the Cross<br />Listen to the sermons of the flowers, the trees, the bushes, the heavens, the sun, and all the world. You will find they preach of love and praise of God, and invite you to magnify the greatness of the Sovereign Artist, who gave them being.<br />
  6. 6. Catholic Social Teaching <br />Catechism - #2415: The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. <br />
  7. 7. Catholic Social Teaching (Handout)<br />Stewardship of Creation:<br />Option for the Poor:<br />A Right and responsibility for a safe and healthy natural environment:<br />The Precautionary Principle:<br />Lifestyle Changes:<br />
  8. 8. Revolutionaries, Pastors, and Skeptics<br />Revolutionaries: Pioneers of the contemporary ecological theology – PierreTeilhard de Chardin, DiarmuidO’Murchu, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Miriam MacGillis, Thomas Berry.<br />Pastors: pragmatic environmental (but still anthropocentric) position within traditional Catholic teaching – USCCB, Other Bishop Conferences, John Paul II and Benedict XVI<br />Skeptics: Traditional Theologians that attempt to debase the environmental science and spirituality – Antonio Gaspari, RiccardoCascioli, <br />
  9. 9. The Anthropocentric Debate<br />Stewardship Model: Man is master of creation but held responsible and accountable to how it treats God’s creation.<br />Kinship Model: Humanity in relationship with creation and at the service of the earth.<br />
  10. 10. Cosmopolisby Stephen Toulmin<br />“From the beginnings of large-scale human society, people wondered about the links between cosmos and polis, the Order of Nature and that of Society. Many cultures dreamed of an overall harmony between the order of the heavens and the order of human society. <br />“Social and natural regularities alike are aspects of the same overall cosmos+polis – i.e. cosmopolis. The practical idea that human affairs are influenced by, and proceed in step with heavenly affairs.<br />
  11. 11. COSMOPOLIS<br />
  12. 12. A New Cosmology<br />“The story of the universe is the story of the emergence of a galactic system in which each new level of expression emerges through the urgency of self-transcendence.<br />“The Universe is a communion of subjects not a collection of objects.<br />
  13. 13. The Universe as Story<br />
  14. 14. A New Cosmology<br />The Universe is a sequence of irreversible transformations begun 13.7 billion years ago with four major stages (galactic, earth, life and human)<br />The evolutionary process has a psychic-spiritual as well as a material-physical aspect<br />Earth has a privileged role as a planet whereon life is known to exist. There is a unity of the earth process (what happened to on member affects the others.)<br />Through humanity the universe reflects and celebrates itself in conscious self awareness.<br />The ultimate measure of value is found in the full expression of the universe. The well being of humanity coincides with the well being of the earth.<br />The universe can be understood as the primary revelation of the divine.<br />Biblical revelation (incarnation and redemption) all takes place within the larger cosmological and historical context. <br />
  15. 15. The Wisdom of the Cross<br />Cosmological Christ – Colossians 1:15-20. <br />“Redemptive suffering of Christ lies in the line of creative transformation moments revealed to us in the universe throughout the entire course of its history.”<br />Cosmological interpretation of the Passionist doctrine of mystical death and divine rebirth<br />“The Christian Future and the Fate of the Earth” pg. 90<br />
  16. 16. The Wisdom<br />Of The Cross<br />
  17. 17. The Passion of the Earth<br />The effects of environmental degradation surround us…. We can experience their effects in polluted air and water; in oil and wastes on our beaches; in the loss of farmland, wetlands, and forests; and in the decline of rivers and lakes. Scientists identify several other less visible but particularly urgent problems currently being debated by the scientific community, including depletion of the ozone layer, deforestation, the extinction of species, the generation and disposal of toxic and nuclear waste, and global warming. These important issues are being explored by scientists, and they require urgent attention and action.<br />USCCB, Renewing the Earth, 1991<br />
  18. 18. Toxic Chemical Pollution<br />Nor can the moral character of development exclude respect for the beings which constitute the natural world…. We all know that the direct or indirect result of industrialization is, ever more frequently, the pollution of the environment, with serious consequences for the health of the population. Pope John Paul II, SollicitudoReiSocialis, #34<br />
  19. 19. Global Warming & Climate Change<br />At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God's creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both "the human environment" and the natural environment…. We seek to offer a word of caution and a plea for genuine dialogue as the United States and other nations face decisions about how best to respond to the challenges of global climate change. – USCCB, Global Climate Change, #3<br />
  20. 20. Environmental Degradation<br />The way humanity treats the environment influences the way it treats itself, and vice versa…. Every violation of solidarity and civic friendship harms the environment, just as environmental deterioration in turn upsets relations in society. Nature, especially in our time, is so integrated into the dynamics of society and culture that by now it hardly constitutes an independent variable. –Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, #51<br />
  21. 21. Water Scarcity<br />Similar attention also needs to be paid to the world-wide problem of water and to the global water cycle system, which is of prime importance for life on earth and whose stability could be seriously jeopardized by climate change…. The ecological problem must be dealt with not only because of the chilling prospects of environmental degradation on the horizon; the real motivation must be the quest for authentic world-wide solidarity inspired by the values of charity, justice and the common good. – Pope Benedict XVI, January 2010<br />
  22. 22. Water Scarcity: The Aral Sea’s Story<br />
  23. 23. What will be the Passionist Story?<br />Spirit of Prayer: Contemplate the crucified earth and its hope for redemption.<br />Spirit of Solitude: Give people the opportunity to live in creative silence, a silence that allows us to find God within the ecological story and to be revitalized into action.<br />Spirit of Penitence: Live with what is necessary. “Poverty is the standard under which our congregation fights.” - Live simply so others may simply live.<br />
  24. 24. What will be the Passionist Story?<br />