Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Scholar probes links between Thomism, environmentalism

Catholic World News - November 02, 2011

In a newly published interview, Christopher Thompson explores the links between Thomism, respect for the created order, and agriculture.

“For centuries the Church advanced a philosophy of creation in which each creature was considered as a living whole, an ordered whole, which also served a broader purpose beyond itself,” said Thompson, the academic dean of the archdiocesan seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. “In many ways, I think one can consider the rise of ‘environmental awareness’ as simply the retrieval of this outlook on life. Nature is not a machine and creatures are not mere parts. They are, as Thomas would have said (and the Catechism does still say), formally and finally ordered wholes – created by God for the purposes of his glory. They ought to be treated as such.”

“The Church has a long tradition, going back decades, which speaks about the importance of agriculture, especially its dignity,” he continued. “The farmer was seen to cooperate with God’s creative order, as a husband and steward of the earth’s resources. Animals were not mere things, and a farm was anything but a ‘factory.’ Instead, the farm was the ideal place to engage in the original vocation of the human person – to till and to keep the earth. The family farm, the Church argued, was the ideal circumstance in which to raise the next generation, because it united men and women, children and the aged, in the common and noble task of drawing forth the fruits of the earth for the good of man and the glory of God.”

“A unified theological and philosophical vision provided the context for an engagement in rural evangelization,” Thompson added. “Now, needless to say, things are quite different. In fact, perhaps the most important statistic to keep in mind concerning the present state of affairs is simply this: of the 244 Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States, not one offers a program of study in agriculture.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($26,296 to go):
$150,000.00 $123,703.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! 14 hours ago
Federal debt as a social-justice concern 16 hours ago
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17