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Catholic Social Teaching and Climate Justice from a Peace Studies Perspective: Current Practice, Tensions, and Promise

Catholic Theological Union through the Paul Bechtold Library
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  • Religion
  • Theology
  • Peace Studies
  • Catholic Studies
  • Climate Justice
  • Peace
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Ecology
  • Economics


Working from a peace studies perspective, this article develops a normative framing of climate justice, which subsequently points to duties to prevent and mitigate both socio-economic and ecological inequalities arising from anthropogenic climate change. This climate justice lens is then employed to survey select responses to climate change from within the Roman Catholic tradition – viz., brief references to some of the intellectual and practical initiatives of the laity and religious brothers and sisters, as well as Catholic Social Teaching on green issues, and the support of and resistance to these initiatives from within the tradition. Building on the tensions and promises brought into focus by this analysis, we end with a discussion of the promise of an emerging integrated Catholic methodology of responsible action to effectively respond to multi-layered social injustice and ecological degradation resulting from anthropogenic climate change.

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