Advertisement

Religious Educators: Championing the Concept of Sustainable Living

  • Shane LaveryEmail author

Abstract

In 1990, Pope John Paul II highlighted the responsibility of Christians towards nature and the Creator. In his January 2001 General Audience, he noted, “humanity had disappointed the divine creator” (para. 4) through a reckless use of resources. Pope Benedict XVI was equally forthright on this matter. Since his election, Pope Francis has been proactive in his statements regarding ecological responsibility. This chapter examines ways in which religious education teachers can take up the challenge so eloquently framed by these three discerning Catholic leaders. It does so by exploring the practices of religious education teachers in early childhood, primary and secondary education within Western Australian Catholic schools. Specifically, these teachers were surveyed as to ways they attempt to develop a sense of sustainable living as part of their overall religious education programme. The findings of the research are then interrogated in the light of current educational literature on sustainability. The chapter concludes by proffering a number of suggestions as to how teachers of religious education can support Pope Benedict XVI’s call to “appreciate and defend nature” (Caritas in veritate: encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI. Retrieved from http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf _ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html, Pope Benedict XVI, 2009, para. 26).

Keywords

Ecological Footprint Religious Education Sustainable Living Catholic School Early Childhood Teacher 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Information sheet: Cross-curriculum priorities. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Information_Sheet_Cross-curriculum_priorities.pdf
  2. Berg, B. L. (2007). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  3. Brooks, B. (2013). Pope Francis defends Amazon and environment in Brazil. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/27/pope-francis-brazil_n_3664950.html Google Scholar
  4. Caritas Internalionalis. (n.d.). Climate change papal and bishops’ statements. Retrieved from http://caritas.org/activities/climate_change/its_the_climate_stupid.html?cnt=418
  5. CathNews. (2008). Vatican solar panels installed. Retrieved from http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=9227
  6. Catholic Earthcare Australia. (2006). On holy ground: An ecological vision for Catholic education in Queensland. Retrieved from www.catholicearthcareoz.net
  7. Catholic Earthcare Australia. (2010). On holy ground: An ecological vision for Catholic education in South Australia. Retrieved from http://www.catholicearthcare.org.au/documents/OHG_SA_2010_A4_249_Web_000.pdf
  8. Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research process. Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  9. Delio, I., Warner, K., & Wood, P. (2008). Care for creation: A Franciscan spirituality of the earth. Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media.Google Scholar
  10. Edwards, D. (2012). Jesus and the natural world: Exploring a Christian approach to ecology. Mulgrave, VIC, Australia: Garratt Publishing.Google Scholar
  11. Louv, R. (2008). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
  12. McDonagh, S. (2006). Climate change: The challenge to all of us. Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland: The Columba Press.Google Scholar
  13. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Neuman, W. L. (2006). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  15. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. (2004). Compendium of the social doctrine of the church. Strathfield, NSW, Australia: St Paul’s Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Pope Benedict XVI. (2009). Caritas in veritate: Encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI. Retrieved from http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html
  17. Pope John Paul II. (1990). Message of his holiness Pope John Paul II for the celebration of the world day of peace. Retrieved from http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/peace/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_19891208_xxiii-world-day-for-peace_en.html
  18. Pope John Paul II. (1999). Message of his holiness Pope John Paul II for the celebration of the world day of peace. Retrieved from http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/peace/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_14121998_xxxii-world-day-for-peace_en.html
  19. Pope John Paul II. (2001). The ecological conversion. Retrieved from http://conservation.catholic.org/john_paul_ii.htm Google Scholar
  20. Rue, C. (2009). Let the Son shine: An Australian Catholic response to climate change. Strathfield, NSW, Australia: St Paul’s Publications.Google Scholar
  21. The Climate Institute. (2006). Common belief: Australia’s faith communities on Climate Change. Sydney, NSW, Australia: Climate Institute Australia Ltd.Google Scholar
  22. Toohey, C. (2008). Stewardship and God’s creation: A theological reflection. In A. Benjamin & D. Riley (Eds.), Catholic schools: Hope in uncertain times. Mulgrave, VIC, Australia: John Garrett Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. Vatican Radio. (2013, June). Pope at audience: Counter a culture of waste with solidarity. Retrieved from http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/06/05/pope_at_audience:_counter_a_culture_of_waste_with_solidarity/en1-698604
  24. Willey, D. (2010). Pope Benedict XVI lambasts Copenhagen failure. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8452447.stm Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of Notre DameFremantleAustralia

Personalised recommendations