Your assignment is to write one ten page essay (1-inch margins, double-spaced, 12-point font) in which you
discuss the various ways that theology might inform one’s approach to ecological issues, both theoretically
and practically, and explain how a theological perspective allows for a radical re-envisioning of how we
approach these practical ethical issues. In approaching your essay, you may wish to consider the following
questions (though you need not address any of these specifically and explicitly in your essay):
1. What does it mean to do theological ethics “in the Anthropocene”? How does the present human
situation demand ethical resources in a new and innovative way?
2. Which of the ecological issues that we have considered do you consider to be most pressing, and
why? Does a theological perspective provide resources to address the issue, and if so, in which ways?
Does a theological ethic provide theoretical and practical resources that are unavailable elsewhere?
3. What is the significance of a spirituality of ecology? Do communities of faith lead us to perceive
ecological issues differently and do they provide practical resources for engaging ecological issues?
Do any of the case studies/film narratives that we considered in class stand out?
4. Which are the most important practical changes that persons as individuals and as communities can
make in order to incarnate the ecological vision articulated by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato
Si? What challenges do you identify as obstacles to be overcome?
*N.B.*This assignment is intended to be an exercise in synthesis, a means through which you are able to
bring together your insights from the first half of the course and to articulate them in a clear and systematic
way. There is no single “right” answer to the overall examination – what I am looking for is evidence that
you have completed the assigned course readings, thought reflectively about them, and carefully considered
the way(s) that a theological approach to ecological ethics fit together and relate to your everyday life.
Because you have only ten pages in which to express your thoughts, you will need to employ your best
judgment in order to discern how best to use that writing space.
The grading rubric for the examination is that which is listed under “The Grading of Writing Assignments”
at the Department of Theology website (http://www.xavier.edu/theology-department/Grading-Policy.cfm ).