Teresa Pospiech, Brother Sun and Sister Moon
POPE FRANCIS has encouraged care for creation in his Encyclical Laudato Si’: “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”
TERESA POSPIECH seeks here to promote that care for God’s world. The first chapter of this book offers a biblical foundation for an environmental theology and invites us to look in a new way at the treasure of scriptural understanding of the gift of God’s creation. The second chapter aims to present the relationship of humanity to God’s creation during the centuries of the Church’s tradition. It starts with an exposition of Christian writers drawn from Patristic testimonies. The contemplative approach of the early Church towards nature was transmitted to the spirituality of the Middle Ages. This chapter describes the Benedictine model of relating to the natural world and the Franciscan fellowship with all creation. With the post-medieval development of science and the Industrial Revolution, nature lost its value as the expression of the sacred and became a “place” for scientific experimentation and economic exploitation. The proper relationship of humanity to God’s creation emerged as matter for the social teaching of the Church since the world-wide ecological crisis has become a real challenge for the whole human family, but especially for us as Christians. The recent teaching of the Church directs our attention to the intrinsic value of all creatures, the unique dignity of the human person, and sees Christian ecological awareness as our moral duty. The third chapter stresses contemporary development of a theology of interrelationship with creation. This recent approach has its foundations in the tradition outlined earlier and is also rooted in new cosmological awareness; it is found to be an appropriate tool for dialogue in this emerging ecological age.