Fifth anniversary of ‘revolutionary’ Laudato Si’ marked with new book by Irish Theologian
When published in May 2015, the pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home was described variously as a ‘game-changer’, a ‘wake-up call’ and a ‘prophetic challenge for the twenty-first century’ – and not just by Christian faith leaders.
According to respected journalist Austin Ivereigh, many international figures associated with the climate debate, such as Al Gore, Lord Nicholas Stern and Jeffery Sachs spoke of the influence of Laudato Si’ on COP21, the United Nations conference on climate held in Paris in December of that year.
As we mark the fifth anniversary of this ground-breaking encyclical, internationally-acclaimed Irish theologian Dermot A. Lane has published a new book, Theology and Ecology in Dialogue: The Wisdom of Laudato Si’, that builds bridges between theology and ecology.
Born of the conviction that underlying all other issues, climate change is the major challenge facing humanity today, Fr Lane asserts that theology must renew and reimagine itself and engage with the debate in the public forum with a view to initiating new, transformative practices in society, in politics, and in religions.
‘This book builds bridges between theology and ecology,’ elaborates Fr Lane, ‘It challenges theology to re-imagine who we are, who the Spirit is, who Christ is, where creation is going, and what is the role of liturgy in society—all in the glare of the climate crisis’.
And who may be particularly interested in the book? ‘The topic and content has relevance for a broad spectrum of interests – activists, policymakers, educators, and theologians,’ says Lane, ‘However, the last two chapters deal with “Ecology and Liturgy” and “Laudato Si’ and the Cosmic Eucharist” respectively which will be of particular interest to priests’.
Dermot A Lane is a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin, former President of Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin City University, and recently retired pastor in Balally Parish.
Theology and Ecology in Dialogue: The Wisdom of Laudato Si’ by Dermot A. Lane and with a foreword by Seán McDonagh SCC is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publications. It is available on the Messenger Publications online bookstore and all good bookshops. Priced at €19.95/£17.95