SEPTEMBER 2020, Vol.13, no. 1/2
From September 1 to October 4, we celebrate the Season of Creation – a time to reflect on our relationship with the Earth. This year, the theme is “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope.”
In the Hebrew tradition, Jubilee is a time for righting our relationships with others – to free those held in captivity, to let the Earth rest and regenerate, and to ensure a just distribution of the Creator’s gifts so that all may have the means to live and thrive.
To help envision and discern what this may entail, this issue of OpenSpace draws on the reflections shared in three webinars held between May and June of this year tocelebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home.
In different ways, the pieces reflect on the challenge of changing the way we relate to one another and the wider Earth community, calling us to a deep metanoia – a change of heart, an ecological conversion.
In the first piece, I dialogue with Leonardo Boff, my friend and co-author of
The Tao of Liberation: Exploring the Ecology of Transformation (Orbis, 2009) and Ecology and the Theology of Nature (Concilium, 2018).
Leonardo has written more than seventy books on liberation theology, ecology, and spirituality. His influence on Laudato Si’ is evident in the idea first expressed in his writings of listening to “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor” (LS 49).
Together, we dialogue on some of the key themes arising from Laudato Si’ including the ecological crisis, integral ecology, ecological conversion, and spirituality.
In Women Resisting Extractivism, Sherry Pictou, Bertha Zuniga Cáceres, and Elizabeth López Canelas reflect on how women – particularly Indigenous women – are often adversely and disproportionately affected by extractive industries such as mining, logging, and petroleum exploitation. At the same time, women often lead the resistance to destructive forms of “development” and promote an alternative vision of care and the sustenance of life.
In Just Transitions, Allie Rougeot and Mauricio López share their reflections on what a more just and sustainable society might look like and how we might move towards such a vision. John McCarthy, SJ then shares reflections on an ecological spirituality and the ways we speak about the more-than-human world.
At the end of this issue, you will find questions to guide dialogue using the forum process. If you would like to further explore these themes, see our guide On Care for our Common Home at http://tiny.cc/forumguides
All the articles are based on transcripts of the webinars available to view online at http://tiny.cc/JesuitForumTV. They have all been edited for clarity and brevity.
I wish to express my deep gratitude for all those who have contributed to this issue with their insights and reflections.
– Mark Hathaway, Executive Director