Foundation of Theology and Ethics

Paper Assignment for Foundations of Theology and Ethics
Due: Dec 4th (see syllabus regarding late submissions)
Assignment Description:
The purpose of this assignment is to provide each student the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to think theologically (using scripture, tradition, and reason) about a modern ethical issue. In the case of this paper, the modern ethical issue to be considered is the environment.
This is not a research paper. Rather, the assignment is to apply your own thinking, your reading of McGrath, lecture notes, and your reading of Laudato Si (Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the environment) to show how faith might influence one’s attitude toward modern environmental problems.
Paper Format:
The paper should include a title page with your name.
The total length should be 3-4 pages, not including the title page.
The paper should be double spaced at 12 point font size.
The paper must be typed and delivered to the instructor in the form of an an email attachment or a hard printed copy. Hand-written essays will not be accepted.

Answer each of the following questions with approximately one to three paragraphs:
Question 1: Considering Genesis 1-2, and other biblical passages, what do we learn about God’s attitude towards creation and humanity’s role within it?
Question 2: What do McGrath and Chapter 2 of Laudato Si (especially parts 1-3 of Chapter 2) add to your understanding of the above question?
Question 3: How does tradition inform a proper Christian concern for the environment? (At the very least, one should note how Francis’s predecessors articulate the modern environmental problem discussed in the introduction to Laudato Si.)
Question 4: In Chapter 4 of Laudato Si, Francis discusses what he calls an “integral ecology.” How might this concept of an “integral ecology” influence our approach to specific environmental problems? (To answer this question, you might want to discuss a specific environmental issue such as pollution or deforestation.)
Question 5: How, in Francis’s view, is a concern for the environment a matter of justice? (Discussed especially in Chapter 4 of Laudato Si).
Question 6: Are any specific parts of Francis’s argument compelling in light of your own thinking? If so, how might an “ecological conversion” apply to our desires and actions?

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