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Climate Change

"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. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. . . . Let us sing as we go.  May our struggles and our concert for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.”  (Pope Francis, Laudato Si)

Please use the resources below to deepen your understanding about the ties between ecology and theology, and the immediate need for us to come together to take care of our common home.


Barnhill, David and Gottlieb, Roger, eds. Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Grounds. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2001.

Chryssavgis, J. Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch, Bartholomew I. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2003. 

Deane-Drummond, Celia,, and Rebecca Artinian-Kaiser. Theology and Ecology Across the Disciplines: On Care for Our Common Home. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd, 2017.

Edwards, Dennis. Ecology at the Heart of Faith. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2006. 

Edwards, Dennis.  Jesus the Wisdom of God: An Ecological Theology. Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2005. 

Gottlieb, Roger. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Hessel, D and Reuther, M. Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans. 
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, 2000. 

Hessel, Dieter T., ed. Theology for Earth Community: A Field Guide. Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2003.  

John Paul II, Pope, Marybeth Lorbiecki, and Bill McKibben. Following St. Francis: John Paul II's Call for Ecological Action. New York, NY: Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2014.

Keenan, Marjorie, Ed. From Stockholm to Johannesburg: A Historical Overview of the Concern of the Holy See for the Environment, 1972-2002. Vatican City: Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2002. 

Lodge, David and Hamlin, Christopher, eds. Religion and the New Ecology: Environmental Responsibility in a World in Flux. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006. 

Martin-Schramm, James & Stivers, Robert. Christian Environmental Ethics: A Case Method Approach. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2003

Miller, Richard W., II. God, Creation, and Climate Change: A Catholic Response to the Environmental Crisis. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010.

Miller, Vincent Jude. The Theological and Ecological Vision of Laudato Si’: Everything Is Connected. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2017.  

O’Brien, Kevin J. The Violence of Climate Change: Lessons of Resistance from Nonviolent Activists. Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2017.

Pope Benedict XVI, Pope, and Maria Milvia Morciano. The Garden of God: Toward a Human Ecolog. Washington, District of Columbia: The Catholic University of America Press, 2014.

Schaefer, Jame. Confronting the Climate Crisis: Catholic Theological Perspectives. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2011.

Taylor, Sarah McFarland. Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Tirosh-Samuelson, Hava. ed. Judaism and Ecology: Created World and Revealed Word.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, 2003. 

Tucker, Mary Evelyn. Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase. Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishing, 2007. 

USCC. Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good. Washington, DC: USCC, 2001. 

Veldman, Robin Globus. How the World's Religions Are Responding to Climate Change: Social Scientific Investigations. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York: Routledge, 2019.

Waldau, P. & Patton, K. A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science and Ethics. 
New York: Columbia University Press, 2007. 



Blanco, Pablo A. "Laudato Si’: Care for Creation At the Center of a New Social Issue." Journal of Religious Ethics 46, no. 3 (2018): 425-440.

Braun, Gerald. "Global Climate Change and Catholic Responsibility: Facts and Faith Response." Journal of Catholic Social Thought 4, no. 2 (2007): 373-401.

Butkus, Russell. "Ecology and the Common Good: Sustainability and Catholic Social Teaching." Journal of Catholic Social Thought 4, no. 2 (2007): 403-436.

Butkus, Russell. "Solidarity: Does the Modern Catholic Rights Tradition Have Anything to Offer Environmental Virtue Ethics?" Environmental Ethics 37, no. 2 (2015): 169-186.

Cahill, Lisa Sowle. "Laudato SI': Reframing Catholic Social Ethics." The Heythrop Journal 59, no. 6 (2018): 887-900.  

Christie, Ian. "Sustainability and the Common Good: Catholic Social Teaching and ‘Integral Ecology’ As Contributions to a Framework of Social Values for Sustainability Transitions." Sustainability Science 4 May. 2019.

Dadosky, John. "The Original Green Campaign: Dr. Hildegard of Bingen's Viriditas As Complement to Laudato Si." Toronto Journal of Theology 34, no. 1 (2018): 79-95.

Damonte, Marco. "God, the Bible and the Environment: An Historical Excursus On the Relationship between Christian Religion and Ecology." Relations 5, no. 1 (2017): 27-45.

Deane-Drummond, Celia. "Joining in the Dance: Catholic Social Teaching and Ecology." New Blackfriars 93, no. 1044 (2012): 193-212.

Deane-Drummond, Celia. "Laudato Si’ and the Natural Sciences: An Assessment of Possibilities and Limits." Theological Studies 77, no. 2 (2016): 392-415.

Flores, Nichole M. "“Our Sister, Mother Earth”: Solidarity and Familial Ecology in Laudato Si." Journal of Religious Ethics 46, no. 3 (2018): 463-478.

Guitián, Gregorio. "Pope Francis and Catholic Social Teaching On Ecology." Worldviews 22, no. 2 (2018): 163-186.

Himes, Michael J and Himes, Kenneth R. “The Sacrament of Creation: Toward an Environmental Theology.” Commonweal 117 (26 January 1990): 42-49. 

Jenkins, Willis. "The Mysterious Silence of Mother Earth in Laudato Si." Journal of Religious Ethics 46, no. 3 (2018): 441-462.

Martins, Alexandre A. "Laudato Si’: Integral Ecology and Preferential Option for the Poor." Journal of Religious Ethics 46, no. 3 (2018): 410-424.

McCallum, Malcolm L. "Perspective: Global Country-by-country Response of Public Interest in the Environment to the Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si." Biological Conservation 235 (2019): 209-225.

O'Neill, Eoin. "The Pope and the Environment: Towards an Integral Ecology?" Environmental Politics 25, no. 4 (2016): 749-754.

Pfeil, Margaret. "Fifty Years After Populorum Progressio: Understanding Integral Human Development in Light of Integral Ecology." Journal of Catholic Social Thought 15, no. 1 (2018): 5-17.

Rolston, Holmes. "Ecology: A Primer for Christian Ethics." Journal of Catholic Social Thought 4, no. 2 (2007): 293-312.

Rosier, Paul. "Ecology and Globalization." Journal of Catholic Social Thought 2, no. 1 (2005): 269-276.

Scheid, Daniel P. "Co-Creator or Creative Predator? James Nash's Contributions to Catholic Social Teaching On Ecological Ethics." Worldviews 18, no. 2 (2014): 99-121.

Schweiker, William. "The Destiny of Creation: Theological Ethical Reflections On Laudato Si." Journal of Religious Ethics 46, no. 3 (2018): 479-495.

Sparrow, Tom. "Ecological Trust: An Object-Oriented Perspective." Philosophy Today 61, no. 1 (2017): 99-115.

Stollenwerk, Daniel J. "On Faith and Reason: Synthesis As a Principle of Catholic Social Teaching in Laudato Si." The Australasian Catholic Record 93, no. 4 (2016): 419.

Sullivan, Walter F. "Catholic Social Teaching and Ecology." Journal of Catholic Social Thought 4, no. 2 (2007): 203-209.

Tine, Robin van. "The Garden of God: Toward a Human Ecology." Human Ecology Review 21, no. 2 (2015): 173.

Vincentnathan, Lynn. "Catholics and Climate Change Skepticism." Worldviews 20, no. 2 (2016): 125-149.

Wenski, Thomas G. "The Challenge of Climate Change and Environmental Justice: A Distinctive Catholic Contribution." Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 23, no. 2 (2009): 497.

Zitzmann, Brooks. Narratives of Ecological Conversion Among American Catholic Climate Advocates. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2018.




Respect for the integrity of creation

2415: The seventh commandment [thou shalt not steal] 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. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.

2416: Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

2417: God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. 197 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

2418: It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.