Skip to main content

Laudato sì and religious life: possibilities and limits

Book Now

Laudato sì and religious life: possibilities and limits

Celia E. Deane-Drummond Download iCal Event
Event date:

Location: Heythrop College, Kensington Square, London W8 5HN

A Study Day with Celia E. Deane-Drummond

Celia Deane-Drummond is Professor in Theology at the University of Notre Dame and Director of the Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing. She was editor of the journal Ecotheology for six years and has served as Chair of the European Forum for the Study of Religion and Environment from 2011 to present. A selection of her recent books include Ecotheology (2008), Christ and Evolution (2009), Creaturely Theology ed. with David Clough (2009) Religion and Ecology in the Public Sphere, ed. with Heinrich Bedford-Strohm (2011), Animals as Religious Subjects, ed. with Rebecca Artinian Kaiser and David Clough (Bloomsbury, 2013), The Wisdom of the Liminals (2014), Re-Imaging the Divine Image: (2014), Technofutures, Nature and the Sacred, ed. with Sigurd Bergmann and Bronislaw Szerszynski (2015); Religion in the Anthropocene, ed. with Sigurd Bergmann and Markus Vogt (2017).


10.00am - Registration 

10.30am - Lecture 1 and short discussion: The Theological Tapestry of Laudato Sì

This session will probe more deeply into the theological basis for Laudato Sì, including its treatment of the different ecological and theological virtues that Pope Francis argues are needed in order to take proper responsibility for the environment. Key moral concepts such as ecological conversion and integral ecology set the tone of the theological discussion that is directed towards moral as well as theological ends. We will also discuss the idea of sublime communion and its relationship to a broader Eucharistic vision that has some resonance with the thought of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

11.45 - Workshop 1: Pope Francis and Francis of Assisi

This session will consider the style that Pope Francis has developed and the significance of Francis of Assisi in setting the tone of his ministry. We will explore excerpts from Canticle of the Sun in comparison with passages from Laudato Sì; and consider the ways in which Franciscan and Jesuit spirituality influences this document, including the extent of his openness to other religious traditions, and how particular Christian spiritualities may be enriched by drawing on the resources of other spiritualities, including limits of this process.  

12.30pm - Lunch

1.30pm - Lecture 2: Laudato Sì and the Natural Sciences

Pope Francis originally trained as a chemist. This session will probe more explicitly the way he treats the natural sciences, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and symbiosis. We will discuss both the great strengths of this encyclical in its engagement with science, and touch on those aspects of the scientific discussion that could have strengthened his argument further.   

2.45pm - Workshop 2: Bearing Witness to Laudato Sì

What place does environmentalism have in Catholic social thought? Often thought to be fiercely anthropocentric (exclusively human-focused), this session will explore how Catholic social thought has integrated environmental ideas into its framework and how Laudato Sì begins to develop and enable this in practice. This workshop will explore some practical ways in which the message of the encyclical can become incorporated into everyday practices relevant for particular religious ministries. How can those in religious life live out and be a witness to this aspect of Catholic social thought? 

3.30pm - Tea 

3.45pm - Departure 

Contact Name: Annabel Clarkson
Contact Email:
Contact Telephone: 020 7795 4203