Toward a Catholic Cosmocentric Theological Anthropology: A Synthesis from Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love and Laudato Si'

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Theological Studies


Department of Religious Studies


Advisor: Vincent Miller


This analysis will synthesize Elizabeth Johnson's Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love and Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home toward a Catholic cosmocentric theological anthropology. Chapter one analyzes the pneumatology, christology, and eschatology of Ask the Beasts and identifies anthropological applications. Chapter two analyzes and develops the practical theology of Laudato Si' in terms of creation, pneumatology and trinitarian theology, christology, and eschatology. Applications for human beings are discussed throughout chapter two as the encyclical makes frequent references to how our understanding of being human shapes care for our common home. Chapter three shows how the theological foundations of the texts align. Ask the Beasts can offer development of the framework set in Laudato Si' so that the call for humans to care for our common home has stronger theological backing. Together, the texts indicate that humans are part of a community of creation that is loved by the Creator and accompanied by the Spirit in all suffering. They suggest our being connected christologically through deep incarnation and rising with all creatures through the Spirit in the resurrection. A Catholic cosmocentric theological anthropology can help humans to understand responsibility for creation as part of who we are theologically and act accordingly. This responsibility is motivated by the joy that comes from relationship with the triune God and our primary identity not as sinful but as Christ's beloved.


Religion, Spirituality, Theology, deep incarnation, deep responsibility, community of creation, theological anthropology

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