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Religions 2015, 6(3), 794-818;

The Roman Catholic Tradition in Conversation with Thomas Berry’s Fourfold Wisdom

Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, 170 St. George Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8, Canada
Academic Editor: Michael S. Hogue
Received: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 June 2015 / Published: 2 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Ecology in the Anthropocene)
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Taking the threatening anthropogenic global environmental destruction—the anthropocene—as a starting point, this paper examines the Catholic tradition, which has remained relatively indifferent to this looming crisis, asking what might help it to change its focus from a decided human ecology to one that counts the human as an integral part of the larger natural ecology. Thomas Berry, whose teachings underlie this work, suggests that since the tradition has grown out of a cosmological perspective that places the human being at the center of ethical deliberations and separate from the natural world, it needs to rely on other Earth-centered and ecological expressions to help Catholics to discover more harmonious avenues of being on Earth, which he describes as a fourfold wisdom—the wisdoms of indigenous peoples, classical traditions, women, and science. Through a critical weaving of these wisdoms into a conversation with the Catholic tradition, this article examines the efficacy of the fourfold wisdom to transform the tradition into a more Earth-honoring expression. While this work concludes that the fourfold wisdom is effecting change where engaged, it also reflects on the challenges and opportunities this engagement faces in light of current realities within the Catholic tradition. View Full-Text
Keywords: Thomas Berry; fourfold wisdom; Catholic tradition; anthropocene; Earth-honoring Thomas Berry; fourfold wisdom; Catholic tradition; anthropocene; Earth-honoring
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Appolloni, S. The Roman Catholic Tradition in Conversation with Thomas Berry’s Fourfold Wisdom. Religions 2015, 6, 794-818.

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