Ecomartyrdom In the Americas: Living And Dying For Our Common Home
In his landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis issued an urgent call to Christians and all people of good will to care for the earth, our common home. In this program, we will explore the Christian concept of “martyrdom” as a way to seek deeper understanding of both the destruction of our common home and the violent persecution of marginalized communities that are committed to its care. In particular, we will pay close attention to the murder of land and environmental defenders in Latin America, considering the theological dangers and fruits of remembering these individuals as “martyrs.” We will also practice memory of ecomartyrdom as a spiritual discipline that both cultivates the soil of ecological conversion in our hearts and plants seeds of environmental justice in our lives.
Resource Person: Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo, PhD, is Edith B. and Arthur E. Earley Associate Professor of Catholic and Latin American Studies at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, NC. She holds a Masters of Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Emory University, NC. Elizabeth is a constructive theologian whose teaching and research interests include the following themes in feminist and Latin American liberation theologies: the place of motherhood in theology and spirituality; the theological and political significance of remembering suffering; and the ecclesiology of Christian base communities in Latin America. In her newest book “Ecomartyrdom in the Americas: Living and dying for our Common Home” (Orbis March 2023), she shares a theological witness of murdered environmental activist as a challenge to the Church especially in the Global North.