Ec(o)clesiology. Thoughts from Laudato Si’
Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on caring for our common home, was published six years ago. The document is often referred to as the ‘green’ encyclical, as it introduces the concept of ‘integral ecology’: “an approach to ecology which respects our unique place as human beings in this world and our relationship to our surroundings” [LS 15]. Since its publication, the encyclical has been a source of inspiration for many ecclesiastical sectors and its content has also resonated with various local church and faith communities. However, the challenges posed by the encyclical go beyond practical concerns and invite us to in-depth reflection on what the church means in times of ecological and social crises. Theologian Judith Gruber (KU Leuven) calls this ‘Ec(o)clesiology’. She indicates that the church can redefine itself on the basis of the ideas elaborated in the encyclical. What are the foundations of our understanding of the church and how can we rethink them based on these new insights? What can Laudato Si’ ultimately mean for church and faith communities today?
Lea Verstricht (KU Leuven / CCV Antwerp) introduces some ideas on the subject. Afterwards we continue the dialogue with her and each other.