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Laudato Si' : An Irish Response

by Sean McDonagh
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In 2015 Pope Francis published Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, the first papal encyclical devoted exclusively to the subject of the environment. Released to glowing reviews both in the Christian community and beyond, it continues to prompt great debate on the future of our planet and the need to redouble our efforts in protecting the environment from untold devastation.In this timely companion volume, Sean McDonagh has invited a host of eminent theologians, academics and environmentalists, all living and working in Ireland, to offer their own responses to this landmark work. With voices from various backgrounds — anthropological, sociological and theological — Laudato Si’: An Irish Response explores what one contributor dubs the ‘disruptive power’ of Pope Francis’ encyclical and its crucial call for ‘ecological conversion’

Since its publication in 2015, Pope Francis encyclical Laudato Si; On Care for our Common Home, the first papal encyclical devoted exclusively to the environment has provoked constant debate on the future of our planet and the need to protect it from ecological disaster. In this companion volume to the encyclical, Sean McDonagh has brought together a host of theologians, academics and environmentalists who all live and work in Ireland and who offer their own responses to the call of the Pope for ‘ecological conversion.’

In his introduction to the collection of essays, Sean McDonagh revisits recent church history of teaching and attitudes to the environment and in the light of past failures of real commitment suggests ways in which that commitment can finally bear fruit – including among other suggestions a three-year Synod on Ecology. Contributors to the present volume are Dermot A.Lane, John Feehan, Michael Punch, Lorna Gold, Brigid Reynolds and Sean Healey, Peader Kirby, John Sweeny, Donal Dorr and Cathriona Russell. Each brings invaluable and frequently complementary insights to the conversation helping us to discover how we arrived here and indicating ways in which we may begin to free ourselves from the attitudes, practices and lack of compassion which have brought humanity and biological diversity to such a sorry pass.
Reviewer: Fr Paul Clayton-Lea, Intercom December 2021/January 2022