Date of Award
Dissertation - SCU Access Only
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.
Doctor of Sacred Theology (STD)
Dr. Hung T. Pham, S.J.
The rising cry of the earth and the cry of the poor makes this a critical moment of concern in the history of the planet. In India, the ecological crisis is particularly multifaceted. There the prevailing profit-driven models of production, consumption, and development disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable making them the first to bear the brunt of environmental problems. Immersing myself in these ‘sign of the times’ in India, my dissertation aims to address the ecological crisis as well as explores various opportunities to heal our wounded planet from an interdisciplinary perspective under the light of Ignatian spirituality.
The paradigm which I have proposed in this dissertation is grounded in the Spiritual Exercise of Ignatius of Loyola, most specifically the Contemplación para alcanzar amor divina [SpEx. 230 – 237]. As the Contemplación reflects a movement from God’s dwelling in creation to God’s laboring in creation, it provides a paradigm that leads us to become whom we contemplate. More concretely, we are to imitate the God who not only dwells but, at the same time, labors in creation.
Applying into the complexities of Indian reality, the study employs socioeconomic, political, and critical-religious analysis to first uncover the multidimensional reality of the crisis in India. Doing so, it relies on environmental studies, Catholic social teaching (notably Laudato Si’), and various related Jesuit documents, especially those concerning ecology and spirituality.
Following closely the “sentir -> conocer -> hacer” [experience-reflection-action] methodology stated in Ignatian rules for discernment, this study explores how the Contemplación can provide an essential theological grounding for caring for God’s creation. Furthermore, it also revisits the three essential dimensions of “frontier,” “mission,” and “discernment” in order to gain an in-depth understanding of how members of the Ignatian family could engage and involve themselves in God’s ongoing presence and laboring in caring for our wounded home.
This work paves pathways for immediate responses as well as future scholarship regarding today’s ecological crisis. The Ignatian insight in Dios habita en labora could cultivate an eco-interreligious approach connecting Christians to Hindu resources such as Purusha (the Universal Cosmic Male) and Prakriti (the Mother Nature) in collaborating with people of goodwill in India. For all, this study strongly emphasizes the intimate connection between the Divine and creation. Thus, violating creation means violating God. Such a conviction remains the first and foremost conviction for the faithful who have committed themselves in the acts of preventing abusive behaviors towards creation as well as protecting and healing the earth, our common home.
Lava, Anthony Louis S.J., "De Dios Habita a Dios Labora A Mission of Caring for Our Common Home in the Ecological Crisis of India" (2020). Jesuit School of Theology Dissertations. 73.