In Laudato si’, Pope Francis offers a vision of moral responsibility rooted in awareness of the world around us. He points to St. Francis, who “looked with love” on all creatures, as a model. He writes of an “attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present” to everyone and everything. And he also calls for an “intense dialogue” between religion and science, which has its own “gaze.” The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, one of the world’s most studied ecosystems, offers an especially rich opportunity for such dialogue. Here scientists have cultivated their own gaze of “serene attentiveness.” What can theology learn by looking with scientists at such a complex ecosystem?
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Laudato Si', environmental stewardship, experimental forest
Miller, Vincent J., "A Cathedral Not Made by Hands" (2020). Religious Studies Faculty Publications. 145.