Outside Speaker Series: "Reading Laudato Si: The Crisis of Homo Faber"
Dr. Thomas Hibbs (Baylor University)
Date & Time:
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
MCH 111 (McNeely Hall)
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
“Modernity,” Francis writes in Laudato Si, “has been marked by an excessive anthropocentrism.” This strain in modernity invites manipulation of nature without limits, and also prompts a reaction, biocentrism, which sees humans as the principle enemy to the environment. Perhaps the chief obstacle to getting our bearings in the contemporary world is that we veer between these two stances in a “constant schizophrenia.” Pope Francis suggests a way out of this schizophrenic cycle, by developing an account of creation as gift that invites our participation in an order of beauty not of our devising. He offers (a) an account of nature that affirms the interconnections of all of creation and the role of contingency and chance in the evolutionary development of the cosmos, (b) a conception of human flourishing in terms of the practice of a set of ecological virtues including wonder, gratitude, humility, joy, and stewardship, and (c) a reconception of the calling of the artist as providing a sacramental vision of nature and of the place of human persons in the cosmos. The last point is crucial, since the anthropocentrism that Francis sees at the root of our contemporary dilemmas is especially evident in the crisis of the human person as maker.
(aimed at upper level philosophy majors and minors)