Pope Francis' Laudato Sí: Harmony with the Natural Order and the Dignity of Creatures | 2018 FFS

September 18, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm | Flaherty Community Room (204 Basile Hall)

Dr. Bryan Cross

Dr. Bryan Cross
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

In his landmark 2015 encyclical Laudato Sí, Pope Francis laid out both a diagnosis and prescription for contemporary society's disordered relation to the environment. In this talk, Dr. Bryan Cross will focus on two themes within the document that help explain and address what underlies this present disorder.

The first theme concerns the intrinsic dignity, not only of human beings, but also of every other creature. What does it mean to claim that non-human creatures have intrinsic dignity, what is the basis in reality for such a claim, and how can we rationally discover such dignity in creatures?

The second important theme addresses the natural order. Pope Francis claims there is a "message contained in the structures of nature itself" and that a virtuous life includes living in harmony with it. What does Pope Francis mean by the natural order, how does it relate to the dignity of creatures, and how can we know it?

Finally, Dr. Cross will address the following question: How for Pope Francis does sustainability relate to living in harmony with the natural order and with the dignity of creatures?

This event is a part of the 2018 Fall Faculty Series | Sustainability: Human/Nature & the Future of the Earth

In 1987 the United Nations defined sustainability as "Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Since then, an accelerating global demand for natural resources has exceeded the earth's ability to replenish itself.

Focusing on the Mercy Critical Concern of care for the earth, the 2018 Fall Faculty Series looks at the human relationship with the planet we call home and explores the environmental, economic, social, and spiritual causes and consequences of a growing planetary crisis.


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