Religion and Public Agenda: Complexity and the Challenges of the Common Home

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 June 2024 | Viewed by 7821

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
CITER - Research Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 1649-023 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: systematic theology; theological epistemology; theology and literature; ancient Christian authors and classical studies; complexity; common home issues; public theology; archaeology of theo-logical knowledge
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
CITER - Research Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 1649-023 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: theological epistemology; theology of religions; christology; theology of experience and of space

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CITER - Research Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 1649-023 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: new theories of religion; religious identities and institutions; religion and cultural transmission; performativities and aesthetics of religion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Common Home is a concept shared by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’ (Ls) about the care of the Common Home, published months earlier, and correlating the SDG's with the Laudato si' goals (LsG’s). The new scenario of COVID-19 and humanitarian crisis demands even more the adoption of a public agenda for a collective political and social effort to overcome the cultural contradictions of economic determinism and calls for shared responsibility, supported by a culture of solidarity and universal fraternity. At times like these, religions have a great potential to increase empathy and social cooperation in public agendas. They are a possible source of wisdom, valid for building consensus on life in common, especially in the context of post-secular societies. The cultural dimension of these crises, as well as its social and ecological dimensions, is evoked by Ls as a way of resisting the monopoly of the technocratic paradigm and its globalizing and mass modes of production, rooted in epistemological anthropocentrism and the throwaway culture, which has been nourished by a consumerist. Ls thus calls for a bold cultural revolution grounded on the interdependence of scientific and economic solutions, education and culture, and the integration in public discourse of cultural diversity, art, poetry, and expressions of inner life.

This Special Issue aims to offer an interdisciplinary toolbox to think about Religion in the context of this Public Agenda. It incorporates the 2030 Agenda into religious culture, targeting three mainlines:

  1. The epistemological models that integrate positively the religious field within the diverse areas of knowledge, aiming for a review of ethical and mental outlooks, in an intercultural key and in search for cooperative solutions for common problems.
  2. The creation of an ecological culture that makes explicit the link of interdependence between SDG's and LsG's through different languages in order to unite critical sense and common sense.
  3. Everyday practices, which brings about the need to think about vulnerability as a central category for an ethics and aesthetics of care.
Suggested themes:
  • Biblical sources of Common Home;
  • Theopoetics of Common Home;
  • Ecofeminism;
  • Ecoculture;
  • Digital Ecology;
  • Human Rights as Ecoemergency;
  • Spirituality of Common Home;
  • Integral Health and Common Home;
  • Ecopolitics;
  • Aesthetics and Performativity of Common Home.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  1. Theology and Religious Studies;
  2. Philosophy;
  3. Literary Studies;
  4. Arts Studies and Cinema;
  5. Communication Studies;
  6. Social and Political Sciences;
  7. Digital Ecology;
  8. Health sciences;
  9. Cultural Studies;
  10. Environmental Law.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Prof. Dr. Alex Villas Boas
Prof. Dr. Alexandre Palma
Prof. Dr. Alfredo Teixeira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • common home
  • complexity
  • public theology
  • religious studies
  • interculturality
  • 2030 agenda
  • Laudato si’
  • sustainable development goals
  • Pope Francis
  • transdisciplinarity

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 230 KiB  
Article
Religion Matters: Religion and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
by Christine Schliesser
Religions 2024, 15(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030337 - 12 Mar 2024
Viewed by 949
Abstract
With 85% of this planet’s population adhering to a religion, faith communities are the largest transnational civil society actors in the world. This accords them a major role in societal processes, aincluding current global challenges as spelled out in the 17 SDGs, the [...] Read more.
With 85% of this planet’s population adhering to a religion, faith communities are the largest transnational civil society actors in the world. This accords them a major role in societal processes, aincluding current global challenges as spelled out in the 17 SDGs, the core of the Agenda 2030. After decades of neglect, recent years have seen a rise in interest in the role of religion in the public agenda. Academics, policymakers and practitioners alike increasingly acknowledge the significance of faith actors for the SDGs. Key terms such as “Common Home”, shared by faith and secular actors, already indicate their mutual relevance. At the same time, there is a lack of religious literacy in recognizing and interpreting religious dimensions in a given development context. This paper therefore seeks to shed light on the often nebulous “religious factor” in the SDGs in two consecutive steps. At first, the historical part traces the rise of religion in development. In the second step, an analytical part then provides a seven-dimensional model to enhance religious literacy and to provide a better understanding of both the potential and the problems of religion in the global quest for implementing the SDGs. Full article
16 pages, 299 KiB  
Article
The Canticle of the Creatures by Francis of Assisi (1181/82–1226) and the Care of Our Common Home
by Isidro Pereira Lamelas
Religions 2024, 15(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15020184 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 742
Abstract
In the present essay, we want to show how the Canticle of the Creatures, which we might call “The Canticle of Universal Brotherhood”, is much more than the Canticle of Brother Sun or of a single man. The author himself [...] Read more.
In the present essay, we want to show how the Canticle of the Creatures, which we might call “The Canticle of Universal Brotherhood”, is much more than the Canticle of Brother Sun or of a single man. The author himself is much more than the exceptional case of a nature-friendly medieval saint who, therefore, continues to inspire the promoters of ecology and, especially after the papal encyclical Laudato Si’, constitutes the ecumenical matrix for the care of our common home. To this end, in this paper, we focus on two moments that, in the construction of the tutelary figure of Francis of Assisi, constitute a kind of diptych or portals which open and recapitulate the reconstructive intuition he bequeathed to us: (1) the vocational moment: Go and repair my house; and (2) the testamentary moment, in which the Founder, who never wanted to found anything, legates his manifesto for building the common home as a universal brotherhood, turning the “stones” into a canticle. Above all, we want to highlight the relevance of Franciscan spirituality, expressed particularly in the Canticle of the Creatures, and thus the Franciscan aesthetics for the modern ecology. Full article
11 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
Caring for the Common Home and Calling for a Diverse Future: Pope Francis and Byung-Chul Han in Dialogue
by Adriana Martins
Religions 2023, 14(11), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14111396 - 8 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
The first few decades of the twenty-first century have posed various challenges to humankind such as the worldwide impact of the changing patterns of globalization processes, economic crises, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the specter of deglobalization illustrate. The unknown and [...] Read more.
The first few decades of the twenty-first century have posed various challenges to humankind such as the worldwide impact of the changing patterns of globalization processes, economic crises, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the specter of deglobalization illustrate. The unknown and unpredictable future is a reason for utmost concern for the contemporary society that Byung-Chul Han characterizes as an “achievement society”—one that is dominated by “excessive positivity” and that has evolved into a “doping society”. This “palliative society” is such because it is unable to cope with pain, and it is marked by a kind of permanent analgesia that prevents urgent reforms from taking place. In this essay, I examine how Pope Francis’s encyclical letters Laudato Si’ (2015) and Fratelli Tutti (2020)—by calling for an integral ecology (which connects environmental, economic, political, social, cultural, and ethical issues), social friendship, solidarity, and the common good—instill hope in the burnout society that Han reflects upon, urge action toward, and encourage changes to overcome in the current environmental and human crisis, as well as to building a diverse future that is not palliative. Full article
10 pages, 788 KiB  
Article
Christianity and Fraternal Globalisation
by Darlan Aurélio de Aviz and Luís M. Figueiredo Rodrigues
Religions 2023, 14(10), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14101234 - 26 Sep 2023
Viewed by 891
Abstract
This paper discusses the importance of fraternity in building more fair and humane societies. The globalised world poses new challenges to the understanding of fraternity, especially when it is seen as an attack on the dignity of each person. Religions are considered to [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the importance of fraternity in building more fair and humane societies. The globalised world poses new challenges to the understanding of fraternity, especially when it is seen as an attack on the dignity of each person. Religions are considered to have an important role to play in responding to the dehumanisation that a certain type of globalisation can promote. To this end, we reflect on the threats and opportunities that the globalised world offers and how religious thought can make a positive contribution. Based on Pope Francis’ challenges, we will respond to what the “something greater” is that fraternity has to offer the world. The answer is developed using sources from the sacred scripture and the patristics to understand Christianity, where it is concluded that the model of relationships between people, in the thought of the magisterium in the light of sacred scripture, aims to awaken the awareness of a social friendship, which will grow to the extent that one offers what is best for the other, simply by loving them and being who they are. Full article
12 pages, 1177 KiB  
Article
What Confucian Eco-Ethics Can Teach Us about Solving the Dilemma of Interpreting the Concept of Sustainability
by Xian Li and Fuming Wei
Religions 2023, 14(9), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14091216 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
Sustainability is at the heart of the concept of the common home. By prioritizing sustainability, we can create a better common home and ensure the well-being of present and future generations. However, there is a dilemma in the interpretation of sustainability, which is [...] Read more.
Sustainability is at the heart of the concept of the common home. By prioritizing sustainability, we can create a better common home and ensure the well-being of present and future generations. However, there is a dilemma in the interpretation of sustainability, which is mainly characterized by the irreconcilability between “weak sustainability” and “strong sustainability”. The dilemma is partly rooted in some Western philosophical traditions such as the Western separatist mindset, anthropocentrism, and technological solutionism, which have contributed to human subjugation. This paper proposes Confucian eco-ethics to resolve this dilemma. First, Confucian eco-ethics embraces the holistic worldview of “anthropocosmic” that establishes an ontological understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence between humans and nature, which transcends the Western dichotomy of subject and object and resolves the dualism between human beings and nature. Second, Confucian eco-ethics advocates “pushing oneself to all things” and considers human beings and nature as an ethical community, which emphasizes the ethical responsibility of human beings to protect nature, thus remedying the dilemma that anthropocentrism and ecocentrism have too little or too much responsibility for nature. Third, Confucianism endorses benevolence as a core value for managing technology to achieve sustainable development, and it favors a comprehensive approach that combines technological innovation, values reform, and institutional reform to solve ecological problems. To do this, we analyze the Dujiangyan Water Hydro-Project Hydraulic Project as a case study to illustrate the practical feasibility of Confucian eco-ethics in achieving sustainable development. The conclusion suggests that Confucian eco-ethics can enrich and expand sustainability theory, offering an alternative pathway for a better common home. Full article
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18 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
From Globalisation to Planetarisation: The Principle of Interdependence as a Vector for a New Law of the Earth: The Lex Anthropocenae
by Teresa Bartolomei
Religions 2023, 14(9), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14091176 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 719
Abstract
The principle of interdependence is the core of the idea of a Common Home, a notion introduced into the public debate by the encyclical Laudato si’, and one which is essential to overcome the anthropocentric narrowness of the ethical–legal normativity on which [...] Read more.
The principle of interdependence is the core of the idea of a Common Home, a notion introduced into the public debate by the encyclical Laudato si’, and one which is essential to overcome the anthropocentric narrowness of the ethical–legal normativity on which the Rule of Law is based. The theological contribution to the formulation of the principle of interdependence is embedded in a rich legal–philosophical tradition, which has in C. Schmitt a leading exponent. Thanks to the juridical spatial turn outlined by this author, we may recognize that law regulates not only inter-human relations but also inter-system relations between society and the Earth’s ecosystem. To implement a corresponding structural change, however, we need move beyond Schmittian reductionism, which univocally associates the idea of law with the physical dimension of the occupation of space and its rational inscription as property and sovereignty, a form of predatory appropriation and domination which has brought us to the threshold of the current global ecological and political disorder. Only by juridically implementing interdependence as a new regulator of the relationship between Earth and society and of the relations between peoples can we politically govern and solve the ongoing (ecological, health, social, and international) world crisis. Full article
11 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Laudato Si’ and Spatial Turn: A Theological Approach
by Alexandre Palma
Religions 2023, 14(9), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14091111 - 28 Aug 2023
Viewed by 924
Abstract
This article analyses the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ against the backdrop of the contemporary and theological “spatial turn”. It asks if and how Laudato Si’ incorporates the main elements of this movement that pushes for a reappraisal of space and/or place in theological [...] Read more.
This article analyses the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ against the backdrop of the contemporary and theological “spatial turn”. It asks if and how Laudato Si’ incorporates the main elements of this movement that pushes for a reappraisal of space and/or place in theological reasoning. This inquiry is motivated by a public and constructive understanding of theology, with the conviction that it too should bring its specific contribution to the challenges of the “Common Home”. The article starts by characterizing this theological “spatial turn”, and by putting it into the context of similar trends in other human and social sciences. Secondly, it focuses on the analysis of Laudato Si’, namely by considering the role played in it by spatiality. Thirdly, and in a brief systematic way, it presents some concluding remarks that describe how Laudato Si’ may be interpreted in the “spatial turn” framework. Following these remarks, the article concludes that there is a moderate incorporation in Laudato Si’ of the concerns that promote and sustain a theological “spatial turn”. Full article
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