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Environmental Justice and Climate Change

Assessing Pope Benedict XVI's Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the United States

Edited by Jame Schaefer and Tobias Winright - Contributions by Mary Ashley; Michael Baur; John T. Brinkman; David Cloutier; Anselma Dolcich-Ashley; Elizabeth Groppe; Scott G. Hefelfinger; Kevin W. Irwin; Donald Kettler; Christiana Z. Peppard; Jame Schaefer; Bernard Unabali; Jeremiah Vallery; Keith Douglass Warner; Matthew Philipp Whelan and Tobias Winright

During his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI was called ‘the green pope’ because of his ecological commitments in his writings, statements, and practical initiatives. Containing twelve essays by lay, ordained, and religious Catholic theologians and scholars, along with a presentation and a homily by bishops, Environmental Justice and Climate Change: Assessing Pope Benedict XVI's Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the United States explores four key areas in connection with Benedict XVI’s teachings: human and natural ecology/human life and dignity; solidarity, justice, poverty and the common good; sacramentality of creation; and our Catholic faith in action. The product of mutual collaboration by bishops, scholars and staff, this anthology provides the most thorough treatment of Benedict XVI’s contributions to ecological teaching and offers fruitful directions for advancing concern among Catholics in the United States about ongoing threats to the integrity of Earth. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 322Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-8380-9 • Hardback • November 2013 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7391-8381-6 • eBook • November 2013 • $104.99 • (£70.00)
Jame Schaefer is associate professor of systematic theology and ethics at Marquette University. Her recent publications include Theological Foundations for Environmental Ethics: Reconstructing Patristic and Medieval Concepts and Confronting the Climate Crisis: Catholic Theological Perspectives.

Tobias Winright is associate professor of theological ethics at Saint Louis University. He is the editor of Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Environment, and co-editor of Violence, Transformation, and the Sacred.
Preface: Message on the 2010 World Day of Peace: “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation”
Pope Benedict XVI
Introduction: Celebrating and Advancing Magisterial Discourse on the Ecological Crisis
Jame Schaefer
Part I. Human and Natural Ecology/Human Life and Dignity

Chapter 1: Bonaventure in Benedict: Franciscan Wisdom for Human Ecology
Keith Douglas Warner
Chapter 2: If You Want Responsibility, Build Relationship: A Personalist Approach to Benedict XVI's Environmental Vision
Mary A. Ashley
Chapter 3: Natural Law and the Natural Environment: Pope Benedict XVI's Vision Beyond Utilitarianism and Deontology
Michael Baur
Part II. Solidarity, Justice, Poverty, and the Common Good
Chapter 4: Human, Social, and Natural Ecology: Three Ecologies, One Cosmology, and the Common Good

Scott G. Hefelfinger
Chapter 5: Commodifying Creation? Pope Benedict XVI's Vision of the Goods of Creation Intended for All
Christiana Z. Peppard
Chapter 6: The Grammar of Creation: Agriculture in the Thought of Pope Benedict XVI
Matthew Whelan
Part III. The Sacramentality of Creation

Chapter 7: The Way of Wisdom: "Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life" (Prov 3:14)
Elizabeth Groppe

Chapter 8: The World as God’s Icon: Creation, Sacramentality, Liturgy
Kevin W. Irwin
Chapter 9: Pope Benedict XVI’s Cosmic Soteriology and the Advancement of Catechesis on the Environment
Jeremiah Vallery
Part IV. Our Catholic Faith in Action
Chapter 10: Discernment of the Church and the Dynamics of the Climate Change Convention

John T. Brinkman
Chapter 11: American Lifestyles and Structures of Sin: The Practical Implications of Pope Benedict XVI’s Ecological Vision for the American Church
David Cloutier

Chapter 12: American Nature Writing As a Critically-Appropriated Resource for Catholic Ecological Ethics
Anselma Dolcich-Ashley
Appendix A: Keynote Address at the Catholic Consultation on Environmental Justice and Climate Change
The Most Reverend Bernard Unabali
Appendix B: Homily: Catholic Consultation on Environmental Justice and Climate Change
The Most Reverend Bishop Donald Kettler
Readers will surely share the editors' hope that the environmental concern of Benedict XVI, developed from similar concerns of John Paul II, will be further advanced by Pope Francis. . . .In these pages, those who still need convincing should discover environmental concern at the heart of Catholic life and thought.
Peace and Justice Studies

The strength of Catholic environmental theology, ethics, and activism is that it is solidly rooted in sacred Wisdom — ever ancient, yet ever new. The magisterial and ecological vision of Benedict XVI (formerly Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus) more than any modern theologian captures the depth and breadth of that treasure. For anyone who wishes to anchor their environmental justice and climate change work in the Catholic faith, these twelve essays are a must read. Each author draws deeply from Benedict’s rich insights, embedded in sources little know to ordinary folks, and in down to earth language offers them to us to enrich, inspire, empower, and mobilize us to “cultivate peace, protect creation.”
Dawn M. Nothwehr, Catholic Theological Union

This important scholarly anthology offers Catholic readers, and all persons of good will, a powerful analysis of Pope Benedict XVI’s insights regarding the human person, the common good, and the needs of future generations. Examining Pope Benedict XVI’s authoritative call to respond to the ecological crisis with “the urgency of a solidarity which embraces time and space,” the contributors engage the profound sources of the Catholic theological, philosophical, spiritual, and ethical traditions to deepen our understanding of the critical questions that climate change poses to faith and ethics.

With incisive critiques of modernity, markets, and culture, the authors affirm Catholic social teaching regarding the universal destination of created goods and the common good which extends outward to the cosmos. Engaging a range of interdisciplinary discourses, the articles fluidly navigate both new thinking and classic intellectual categories to frame constructive responses to Benedict's imperative call for environmental responsibility as promulgated in Caritas et Veritate.

In sum, the volume explores the challenging implications of Catholic social teaching, and testifies to a compelling vision of creation as a community that reveals, reflects, and shares God’s truth and love.
Erin Lothes Biviano, College of Saint Elizabeth

This anthology is a focused examination of Benedict XVI's thought on our ecological situation. In both appreciation of how Benedict promoted an ecological sensitivity in the Catholic community and in pointing readers toward future developments that ought to occur, the various authors demonstrate insight, creativity, and a theological vision for the church. Essays like the ones in this volume are the building blocks for a Catholic approach to the environment that is theologically grounded and spiritually rich.
Kenneth R. Himes, OFM, Boston College