The Earth Charter and Ecological Civilization
Dr. Elisabeth Ferrero is professor of humanities at Saint Thomas University in Miami, Florida. She has been closely involved with the Earth Charter process since 1998, when she worked on the official Italian translation of Draft II of the Earth Charter and started an Italian Earth Charter National Committee. Along with Dr. Joe Holland, she is the author of The Earth Charter: A Study Book of Reflection For Action [Redwoods Press, 2002], which has been translated into Italian, Portuguese and German. She regularly holds conferences and seminars at various universities.
Joe Holland is an eco-social philosopher and Catholic-Christian theologian, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy & Religion and Adjunct Professor in the School of Law at Saint Thomas University in Florida. Joe completed his PhD. from the University of Chicago in the field of Ethics & Society, which was structured as an interdisciplinary dialogue of Theology with Philosophy and Social Science. Joe has published 17 books and many articles, including The Earth Charter: A Study Book of Reflection for Action [Redwoods Press, 2002] with Dr. Elisabeth Ferrero.
Dr. Holland sees the Earth Charter as an alternative of globalization, and he points out the significance of the document, especially from the viewpoint of the resistance against eugenics in the context of ecological civilization. Dr. Ferrero envisions the Earth Charter bringing people together for the necessary shift of paradigm. She also stresses the need to bring the discourse of ecological civilization, which is central to the Earth Charter, back on the table for people from all walks of life to become aware of its significance. Moreover, these two experienced and passionate professors share their ways of teaching using the Earth Charter, as well as their appreciation of Pope Francis’ two encyclicals and their connection with the Earth Charter.
Questions and Themes Addressed in this Episode
- In your view, what is the uniqueness or strength of the Earth Charter as a document?
- What is your understanding on two key ideas we find in the Earth Charter: “Earth Community” and “Respect and Care for the Community of Life”.
- What does ecological civilization mean? Why is it important in the current times?
- What has been your approach in teaching global ethics?
- Comments on the synergies between the Earth Charter and Pope Francis’ two encyclicals (Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti).
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