Pope Francis authored Laudato Si' as a statement on climate change, and it has provoked intense discussion and debate on climate around the world. The statement's contributions to the topic are most welcome. Yet few have noted the encyclical's resources for addressing a more general crisis in the contemporary world, a crisis of democracy understood as collective agency. This crisis erodes human capacities to address a multitude of challenges, from climate change to sectarian warfare, from economic and racial inequalities to public health and educational reform. In this essay, I argue that the encyclical has significant contributions to make not only for analyzing the crisis but also for catalyzing a democratic awakening. The encyclical, from this vantage, complements the field of civic studies.


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pp. 46-61
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