Campion symposium on the environment charts new paths forward

Connecting Ecologies Group
Connecting Ecologies Group

Calling for a concerted effort occurs regularly in simple situations like competing in a tug-of-war contest or moving a piano. Recently, at Campion Hall the exhortation was issued on a much larger, literally cosmic, scale in the interdisciplinary Symposium devoted to the topic of ‘Connecting Ecologies’.

The Symposium was held from 6-9 December 2017 and involved some forty scholars and experts from several countries who devoted their widespread learning and varied experience to seeking a shared dynamic approach to the ecological challenges facing humankind.

Accepting the growing realisation and near-universal conviction that we are ‘all together now’ in our globe’s environmental and ecological crisis, and stimulated by Pope Francis’s acclaimed encyclical on the subject, Laudato Si’, Campion Hall determined that the time was ripe, – in biblical terms, the kairos had come – for a collective response.

It decided to convene an international symposium of recognised authorities to call on all the human sciences and resources to identify and explore the numerous ecologies, material, physical, animal, cosmic, social and spiritual, which pervade God’s creation, and to attempt to integrate them into a single vision and a mission for the future which the human species could accept wholeheartedly on behalf of all creation.

As the Symposium’s organising committee explained, ‘while the encyclical’s forthright and urgent messages were widely welcomed by politicians, academics and scientists alike, there exists considerable space for interdisciplinary debate on how best to formulate and implement the new societal models that are needed to tackle the problems that face us and to develop a new mode of ecological thinking.’

And as the event took off, the Master of Campion, Rev Dr James Hanvey SJ, informed readers of The Tablet (9.12.17) that ‘The environment is a major issue of our time and Jesuits have been talking about it extensively. We thought the best way forward was to offer a lead by bringing together climatologists, scientists, theologians and lawyers – to get people thinking in a connected way’. 

This story first appeared in Campion Hall news, issue 12.