Laudato Sì and the Christian Ecological Utopia

  • Philippe Crabbé


According to Fernand Dumont, a utopia is an ideology which is a synthetic and systemic narrative and which motivates people to change an existing situation and, therefore, is oriented towards the future. This narrative is not a scientific theory but is made of scientific “residuals”. Eco-theology is, but not only, of this nature. The scientific residuals originate in the contemporary cosmology. Some writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin are of this utopian nature as well. After forbidding Teilhard from teaching over most of his life, the Catholic Church since John Paul II has gone a long way towards the former’s rehabilitation. Teilhard is mentionned in a Laudato si’ footnote, full of caveats. The chapter reviews catholic ecological teaching since the Council Vatican II up to Laudato si’ in order to assess the latter’s originality. Most of the latter’s originality resides in tone rather than in substance. A summary of catholic eco-theology is provided. It turns out it is very eucumenical and strongly influenced by protestant eco-theology which predates the former and, through it, by the orthodox one. The word “Cosmic Christ” is never used in Laudato si’ probably because it has been annexed by the New Age literature. Christians own a good ecological utopia which is underused, at least, in the Catholic Church.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of the EnvironmentUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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