International Jesuit Ecology Project2014
Healing Earth is a free, online environmental science textbook for upper level secondary school students, beginning college students, and adult learners. We invite teachers around the world to use this resource in their classrooms and share their experience with us. Healing Earth is an ongoing project, so we hope that everyone – teachers, young students, adult learners – will join us in continually improving this textbook. Healing Earth presents a unique approach to six major ecological challenges of our time: declining biodiversity, natural resource depletion, shift to renewable energy, water quality and availability, food quality and availability and global climate change. Unlike any other environmental science textbook, Healing Earth presents an integral, global, and living approach to the ecological challenges we face on our extraordinary planet.
By integral, we mean that the scientific knowledge is joined by ethical analysis, spiritual reflection, and a call to action. The authors of Healing Earth consider an ‘integral’ approach critically important. An ‘integral ecology’ likewise emphasizes the link between environmental and social problems. As Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Laudato Sí.
By global, we not only mean that content, examples, and lessons are drawn from different cultures and regions around the world, but also that the users of Healing Earth are members of these diverse communities. More than at any other time in the past, the range of today’s ecological challenges is planetary; thus, a global approach toward environmental science is beneficial.
By living, we mean that is continually adjusted in light of data updates and user feedback. New knowledge about the Earth and its natural systems increases daily, so creating an international network of teachers and students willing to join the Healing Earth team keeps the textbook current and alive.
The overall goal of Healing Earth is to help all of us grow into integral ecologists, people from every walk of life and region of the world who dare to imagine a healed Earth and are willing to put their hands, hearts, and minds to the task.
In his September 16, 2011 letter to the Jesuits around the world, Superior General Adolfo Nicolás referenced the recently published Jesuit document on the environment “Healing a Broken World” (HBW) and challenged the Society of Jesus to redouble its commitment to environmental stewardship in gratitude to God for the gift of the natural world. To meet Father General’s challenge and the HBW recommendations, the Higher Education Secretariat of the Society of Jesus proposed a three-year International Jesuit Ecology Project (IJEP) to create an online Living Text that addresses select environmental challenges from an integrated scientific, moral, and spiritual perspective. This Living Text, Healing Earth, will be a curricular resource on environmental studies for teachers and students in institutions of higher education and secondary schools worldwide.
IJEP is led by a team from Loyola University Chicago (LUC) and includes lead experts in science, spirituality and ethics from throughout the Society of Jesus’ six world regions: Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America, and South Asia.
If you are interested in helping the IJEP or would like more information about IJEP and Healing Earth, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.