With the release of Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, in June of 2015, ENR 3470 added this seminal work as a required reading for the course. Not only is this one of the most important statements in the history of religion-ecology studies, the encyclical also highlights many themes that form the basis of the course, so it makes an excellent dialogue partner with topics we will cover during the semester.
Many different versions are being published, and all official versions are acceptable for the course – since every paragraph is numbered, it is easy to refer to specific sections of the encyclical even if pagination is different from one edition to another. The encyclical is well-written, and the first chapter is one of the finest overviews of current environmental issues that can be found, but for those who want to absorb the encyclical quickly, the wordle imgage here contains every word in the English version of the encyclical, with the size of the word in proportion to its frequency of use. Thanks to Julie Laudick and the Au Sable Graduate Fellows of Ohio State for creating the wordle image, which we hear has been passed on to Pope Francis. Enjoy!