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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Environmental Theology and Ethical Respons
Module Code TP152
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ethna Regan
Semester 2: Ethna Regan
Autumn: Ethna Regan
Module TeachersEthna Regan
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Portfolio: Six short pieces of 500 words (100%) based on the thematic readings assigned each week

The purpose of this module is to explore how the natural world is understood and how environmental responsibility is conceived across a range of religions, with particular reference to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It will examine how these themes are addressed in the relevant biblical and other sacred texts, and how contemporary hermeneutics brings these texts into dialogue about environmental issues. It will survey key theological and Christological readings of creation in the history of theology, and focus on contemporary theological voices addressing ecological concerns of the twenty-first century including biodiversity, climate change, and the interconnectedness of social and environmental issues. The module will then consider how local churches and faith communities can link a theology of care for creation with the practical implementation of environmental responsibility.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the major questions of contemporary environmental ethics
2. Demonstrate a knowledge of how biblical and other sacred texts understand the natural world and human responsibility for creation
3. Offer critical interpretations of select theological perspectives on creation and the natural world, both prior to the intentional development of theologies of creation and ecology, and in contemporary works that explicitly engage in the dialogue between theology and ecology
4. Demonstrate a specialist knowledge of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ and other major documents, for example, the Hindu and Islamic declarations on climate change
5. Critically engage in ecumenical, interreligious, and religious-secular dialogue about matters of common concern related to climate change and the environment
6. Engage in practical initiatives of environmental responsibility at grass roots level which are shaped by theological and religious perspectives on care for the earth

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture2424 Hours
Directed learning50Assigned Weekly Readings
Independent Study5050 Hours
Assignment Completion63.5Portfolio
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Key ethical issues raised by climate change and environmental degradation

Biblical texts on creation, nature, and ecology

Islam and Ecology

Indigenous Traditions and Ecological Knowledge

From creation in theology to theologies of creation to theological environmental ethics

Pope Francis’ encyclical 'Laudato si’' (2015) and apostolic exhortation 'Laudate Deum' (2023)

Key statements on climate change from Hinduism and Islam

Practical initiatives of environmental responsibility for churches and faith communities

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentPortfolio: Six short pieces of 500 words based on thematic readings assigned each week100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Robin Attfield: 2018, Environmental Ethics, Oxford University Press, USA, 9780198797166
  • Bartholomew I (Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople),Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: 2012, On Earth as in Heaven, Fordham Univ Press, 9780823238859
  • Richard Bauckham: 2011, Living with Other Creatures: Green Exegesis and Theology, Baylor University Press, ‎ 978-1602584
  • Whitney A. Bauman, Richard R. Bohannon, Kevin J. O'Brien: 2017, Grounding Religion: A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology, 9781138194014
  • Thomas Berry: 2009, The Sacred Universe, Columbia University Press, 9780231149525
  • Leonardo Boff: 1997, Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, Orbis Books, 9781570751363
  • Daniel P. Castillo: 2019, An Ecological Theology of Liberation, Orbis Books, 9781626983212
  • Christopher Key Chapple, Mary Evelyn Tucker: 2000, Hinduism and Ecology, Harvard University Press, 9780945454250
  • John Chryssavgis & Bruce V. Foltz, eds.: 2013, Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation (Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought), Fordham University Press, ‎ 978-0823251
  • John B. Cobb: 2021, Is it Too Late? A Theology of Ecology, Fortress Press, 978-150647123
  • Ernst M. Conradie & Hilda P. Koster: 2019, T&T Clark Handbook of Christian Theology and Climate Change, Bloomsbury Publishing, 9780567675163
  • Ellen F. Davis: 2008, Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible, Cambridge University Press, 978-052173223
  • Celia Deane-Drummond: 2017, A Primer in Ecotheology: Theology for a Fragile Earth, Cascade Books, ‎ 978-1498236
  • Richard C. Foltz, Azizan Baharuddin, and Frederick M. Denny, eds.: 2003, Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust, Harvard University Press, 978094545439
  • Robert Booth Fowler: 0, The Greening of Protestant Thought, University of North Carolina Press, 1995, 978-0-8078-45
  • Francis, Pope: 2015, Encyclical Letter LAUDATO SI’, ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME,
  • Francis, Pope: 2023, Laudate Deum,
  • Ivone Gebara: 1999, Longing for Running Water: EcoFeminism and Liberation, Fortress Press, 978-080063183
  • Aruna Gnanadason: 2005, Listen to the Women: Listen to the Earth, WCC Publications, 978282541472
  • John Grim: 0, Indigenous Traditions and Ecology, 0945454287
  • John Grim, Mary Evelyn Tucker: 2014, Ecology and Religion, Island Press, 9781597267076
  • Kevin Hargaden, Ciara Murphy: 0, The Parish as Oasis, 1788125762
  • Laura M. Hartman: 2011, The Christian Consumer, Oxford University Press USA, 9780199746422
  • Zachary Hayes: 2001, Gift of Being, Liturgical Press, 9780814659410
  • Dieter T. Hessel, Rosemary Radford Ruether: 2000, Christianity and Ecology, Harvard University Press, 9780945454205
  • Daniel Hillel: 2006, The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures, Columbia University Press, 9780231133630
  • Grace Jantzen: 1984, God's World, God's Body, Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd, 0232515816
  • Mari Joerstad: 2019, The Hebrew Bible and Environmental Ethics: Humans, NonHumans, and the Living Landscape, Cambridge University Press, 1108476449
  • Elizabeth A. Johnson: 2018, Creation and the Cross, Orbis Books, 162698266X
  • Hans Jonas: 1984, The Imperative of Responsibility, University of Chicago Press, 0226405974
  • Catherine Keller: 2021, Facing Apocalypse: Climate, Democracy, and Other Last Chances, Orbis Books, 1626984131
  • Paul F. Knitter: 1995, One Earth, Many Religions: Multifaith Dialogue and Global Responsibility, Orbis Books, 1570750378
  • Dermot A. Lane: 2021, Theology and Ecology in Dialogue: The Wisdom of Laudato Si’, Paulist Press, 9781788121941
  • Elizabeth McAnally: 2019, Loving Water Across Religions, Orbis Books, 9781626983076
  • Hilary Marlow: 2015, Biblical Prophets and Contemporary Environmental Ethics, Oxford University Press, 9780198745105
  • Sallie McFague: 2013, Blessed are the Consumers: Climate Change and the Practice of Restraint, Augsburg Fortress Publishing, 9780800699604
  • Mary Midgley: 2006, Science and Poetry, Routledge Classics, 9780415378482
  • David Grumett, Rachel Muers: 2008, Eating and Believing, A&C Black, 9780567032843
  • Michael S. Northcott: 2015, Place, Ecology and the Sacred, Bloomsbury Academic, 9781441134066
  • Michael S Northcott: 2007, A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming, Orbis, 978-157075711
  • Kevin J. O'Brien: 2010, An Ethics of Biodiversity: Christianity, Ecology, and the Variety of Life, Georgetown University Press, 9781589016453
  • Frank Pasquale, ed.: 2019, Care for the World: Laudato Si' and Catholic Social Thought in an Era of Climate Crisis (Law and Christianity), Cambridge University Press, 1316510468
  • Larry L. Rasmussen: 2015, Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key, Oxford University Press, 9780190245740
  • Terra Schwerin Rowe: 2017, Toward a Better Worldliness: Ecology, Economy, and the Protestant Tradition, Fortress Press, 1506423337
  • Jame Schaefer: 2009, Theological Foundations for Environmental Ethics: Reconstructing Patristic and Medieval Concepts, Georgetown University Press, 9781589012684
  • Daniel P. Scheid: 2016, The Cosmic Common Good: Religious Grounds for Ecological Ethics, Oxford University Press, 9780199359431
  • David Mevorach Seidenberg: 2016, Kabbalah and Ecology: God's Image in the More-Than-Human World, Cambridge University Press, 1107441447
  • Stephen M. Gardiner & Allen Thompson, eds.: 2016, The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics, Oxford University Press,
  • Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, ed.: 2003, Judaism and Ecology, Harvard University Press, 9780945454366
  • Christiana Z. Peppard: 2018, Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis (2nd edition), Orbis, 9781626982970
Other Resources

64166, Website, Pope Francis, 2015, Laudato si', https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html, 64167, Website, Pope Francis, 2023, LAUDATE DEUM: TO ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS, https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/20231004-laudate-deum.html,
Programme or List of Programmes
BATRSBA in Theology and Religious Studies

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