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Franciscans and Creation

What is Our Responsibility?

Editor: Elise Saggau, OSF

Publication Year: 2003

Creation is a vast and awesome mystery. From the furthest horizons of an ever-expanding universe to the organization of a single cell, every level of nature manifests intricate beauty. For Francis of Assisi, as for Bonaventure, created reality reveals God's overflowing goodness reflected in the order, beauty, and harmony of nature. In this third volume of Washington Theological Union papers sponsored by the Commission on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (CFIT), we hope to catalyze further discussion and exploration of creation as the sacrament of God. The insights of our Franciscan heritage have much to offer our planet, which is today in a perilous situation. Wee believe that this rich theological tradition can provide a framework for incorporating environmental sensitivity into contemporary religious practice.

Published by: Franciscan Institute Publications

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

Creation is a vast and awesome mystery. From the furthest horizons of an ever-expanding universe to the organization of a single cell, every level of creation manifests intricate beauty. Francis of Assisi had tremendous love and respect for the non-human world of creation. Thomas of Celano writes how he would preach to flowers as if they were...

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1. THEOLOGY AND ECOLOGY IN AN UNFINSHED UNIVERSE

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pp. 4-22

Our species, Rolston and other environmentalists agree, is ruining the natural world. We humans are destroying rain forests, allowing the soil to erode, poisoning the air, and polluting rivers, lakes and oceans. We have created a dangerous greenhouse atmosphere and reduced the protective ozone layer. And we are daily destroying many...

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2. IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF OUR SISTER, MOTHER: A PRACTICAL FRANCISCAN, ECOFEMINIST MEDITATION

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pp. 23-39

A mid-western Passion Sunday morning: crisp, sunny and full of spring promise. I am in the happy company of my sisters. I watch them readying for procession in the Motherhouse chapel. Mostly they are my elders. Many are seated, too unsteady for walking now, having walked already their goodly share. There are numerous other women and...

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3. A CALL TO MUTUALITY A RESPONSE TO GABRIELE

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pp. 40-52

Gabriele Ühlein introduces her “Practical Franciscan Ecofeminist Meditation” by recalling a Passion Sunday celebration. In so doing, she evokes an image and a narrative that confronts us with the paradox of power. There is irony and a bittersweet cast to the celebration because what awaits this momentary “king” is nothing to celebrate. Indeed it is the...

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4. TAKING NATURE SERIOUSLY: NATURE MYSTICISM, ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY AND THE FRANCISCAN TRADITION

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pp. 53-82

What is our responsibility toward creation? This is an excellent and timely question for us to address as Franciscans. But before we do so in earnest, I would like us to take a step back and ask: what is our responsibility as participants in the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition (FIT) project toward the broader mission of the Franciscan Movement? The...

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5. A FRANCISCAN VIEW OF CREATION A RESPONSE TO KEITH WARNER, O.F.M.

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pp. 83-89

From yesterday’s discussions and presentations we have been challenged by philosophical, theological and scientific approaches to breaking open the theme of this symposium–Franciscans and Creation. The approach so far has been from a systematic reflection and study of philosophical principles and theological constructs, ecological theories and...

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6. IS CREATION A WINDOW TO THE DIVINE? A BONAVENTURIAN RESPONSE

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pp. 90-98

Contemporary writers about scientific issues cover a wide range of possibilities. At one end of the spectrum we find people such as Timothy Ferris and Steven Weinberg. In his book entitled The Whole Shebang, Ferris takes his readers through a remarkable cosmic journey, which lasts for twelve chapters, or three hundred and two pages. The book ends with...

AUTHORS

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pp. 99-101


E-ISBN-13: 9781576592472
E-ISBN-10: 1576592472
Print-ISBN-13: 9781576591901
Print-ISBN-10: 1576591905

Page Count: 112
Publication Year: 2003

Edition: First
Volume Title: Washington Theological Union Symosium 2003
Series Title: Washington Theological Union Symposium Papers
Series Editor Byline: Editor: Elise Saggau, OSF