Care for Our Common Home as an Urgent Ethical Challenge
Introduction to the Encyclical Laudato si’ of Pope Francis
The author of the study intends to introduce the reader to the Encyclical Laudato si’. He refers particularly to its specific features and its place in the history of the social teaching of the Church; he brings nearer the basic compositional lines and thought traditions Pope Francis relies on; the author also offers a short social-ethical commentary on the topics discussed in the professional debate immediately following the publication of the Encyclical. The article presents the Encyclical Laudato si’ as an inspiring guide on the path of care for a common home, and as a challenge to reflection and discussion as well as to action. The author encourages efforts to protect this world and to execute necessary ecological and social transformation.
Survey about the Meaning and Potential of the Encyclical Laudato si’
Seven personalities from the world of the Church, science and civil society, all members of various Christian denominations – each of them from his or her own specific perspective – answer the question: “Where do you see the main message, meaning and potential of the Encyclical Laudato si’ of Pope Francis?”
Misinterpreted “Authority to Rule”
Biblical Impulses for Christian Theology of Creation and Environmental Ethics
As any Christian ethics relies on the Scripture as a source of normative orientation and wisdom, the author examines how to interpret the central statements of the theology of creation included in the Bible and what impulses the Christian-theological ethics of the environment can drew from them. The study explores both the legitimateness of the belief that Scripture has served for centuries to sanction an exploitative and destructive attitude towards nature – on the basis of the so-called authority to rule – and the question of whether Christian ethics – dealing with authority to rule – can bring to the daylight out of the depository of reports about Creation such findings which wouldn’t show the Bible as part of the problem, but as part of the solution.
Ecology as a Question of “New Humankind”
Anthropological and Socio-Ethical Considerations
The current ecological crisis results from ambivalence of technical progress which, on the one hand, brings the desired development of civilization; on the other hand it constitutes a source of negative side-effects and potential threats. The call for ecological reformation is above all a call for “new humankind” that would be able actively to integrate nature as its own world into its own thinking, planning and acting. It is also a call for new ethics. Humans have to develop new attitudes: ecological responsibility, humility, gratitude. The author shows how Christian faith can contribute to the search for new world-view and new self-awareness.
Faith in Creation as an Eco-Ethical Perspective
Essay on the Relation between Theology of the Creation and Ethical Approach to Nature
The author presumes the significance of the biblical perspective of creation for the Christianity. This, however, at the latest in the 19th century, ceases to be generally accepted conviction in the secularized milieu. For the contemporary deliberation on the relation to nature and environment it is impossible to work uncritically with the idea of creation, even in the theological discourse. Consequently, the contemporary Christian has to search for intersection points in which the need to anchor the ethical value of nature coincides with the Christian “proposal of meaning”. The author briefly recapitulates what – from the point of view of the theological systematization – constitutes the creation in relation to the world, nature and the environment; then she focuses on the reality of the sin from the reasons both theoretical (without it the reflection on createdness would be an idealization) and practical (we live in a disturbed environment); finally she offers the critically reflected concept of creation as a possible key to the relation to the world.
Here We are at Home
Anthropo-Relationality as Fundament of Ecological Ethics
In the first paragraphs of the Encyclical Laudato si’ we are reading about Sister and Mother Earth and about our common home. What are the starting points for Pope Francis in justifying the radical ecological appeal contained in this document? Can Pope’s chosen anchorage of the relationship between humans and environment be considered as effective and, in the current situation, the most appropriate of all ecological-ethical types of argumentation? The study illuminates the general thought basis from which the Encyclical could emerge, and compares it with other types (and consequences) of thinking about the connection between human being and the environment. The purpose of the article is to analyze the ecological-ethical dimension of Pope’s document, to identify its strengths and weaknesses, and to present the analysis of the document in the light of a wider discussion on how to justify the statement that “our common home” is truly ours, truly common, and truly home.
“Salt of the Earth” (Mt 5:13)
The Contribution of Spirituality of Creation to Secular Ecological Ethics
The author deals with the question how the Christian spirituality of creation and its theological reflection can specifically affect the secular and autonomous ethics of the environment and animals. It is based on Alfons Auer’s “autonomous morals”, according to which both the faith and the secular reason have in common normative concepts of humane. The first part briefly summarizes the history of the modern spirituality of creation. In the second part, the author presents eight “pillars” of the spirituality of creation – the essential elements to which this spirituality should rely. The first two are inspired primarily biblically, the other two predominantly dogmatically, the next two by the moral theology and the last two spiritually.
Pavel Vojtěch Kohut OCD
“Mine are the Heavens and Mine is the Earth”
Creation in Spiritual Progress According to St. John of the Cross
The author in his study deals with the problem how to approach basic ecological requirements from the point of view of theology and Christian practice, and how to integrate ecological thinking into Christian spiritual life, in order to enable discussion about authentic ecological spirituality, and not to deviate radically from the tradition with intention to build sort of an embarrassed eco-spirituality based on revisionist eco-theology. As the starting point the author uses life and doctrine of St. John of the Cross. He intends to demonstrate St. John’s relation to the created realities, especially from the point of view of development of spiritual life and process of spiritual maturation. The external structure of the study is inspired by the 3rd – 7th strophes of the poem “Where have you hidden, Beloved?” and their commentary in The Spiritual Canticle.
Daniel Pitín – Confessionals
Salve is accompanied by photos from the art intervention in the church of St. Salvator in Prague and an interview with its author fine artist Daniel Pitín. The artist, in his Lent art intervention, focuses on ancient church fixtures, a unique feature of the church: early baroque confessionals. There is a series of statues of saint apostles by Jan Jiří Bendl mounted on these confessionals in the main Jesuit church in Klementinum. Daniel Pitín incorporates the confessionals into the context of his own artistic vision. He gives these small church installations a new meaning, as if he was waking them from a hundred-year-long sleep and building new bridges between us and those who once kneeled here. The confessionals may become, even for a little while, an incentive for introspection and deeper understanding for today’s visitors.