Confronting a Triple Threat: Religion as a Response to Current Social, Political, and Environmental Crises

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This paper explores how Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si contributes to the spiritual case for holistic intervention in current environmental, social and political crises. Precedents for religion being used successfully in campaigns for policy changes are established using historical examples, including: Tommy Douglas’ fight for public health care in Canada, John Muir’s work to establish a system of National Parks in the United States, and Desmond Tutu’s struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Similarly, the Pope’s Encyclical contributes to the spiritual case for intervention in current environmental, social and political crises by making connections to shared values that transcend religion. Pope Francis makes the case that by making critical, and necessary changes to social, environmental and political policies through an integrated approach, rather than using the historically fragmented approaches that have addressed these crises individually with limited success, humanity will be better able to care for their common home.
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