PG 651: Environmental and Social Ethics

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Module Level

9/10 Postgraduate Taught Course

Time Allowance

Semester 2


Written Assignment 7000 words (100%)

Module Aims

To examine Catholic Social Teaching’s relating to ecology and social justice. A particular focus will be on the teachings of Pope Francis in his Encyclical Laudato Sí, ‘On Care for Our Common Home’. Students will examine the interrelated ecological, political, social and economic issues that connect social and environmental ethics.

Indicative Syllabus:

  • Gospel of Creation
  • Human Roots of Ecological Crisis
  • Christian Anthropology
  • The relationship between integral development, the common good, and the environment
  • Women and development
  • Explore the work of key scholars such as Sen, Nussbaum, and Hollenbach, and consider how their work can inform ecological debates

Learning Outcomes


  • McDonagh, S ed. On care for our Common Home – Laudato Sí with Commentary by Sean McDonagh, (New York: Orbis Books, 2016).
  • Boff, L, Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, (New York: Orbis Books,1997).
  • Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, (Oxford: OUP, 1999)
  • Martha Nussbaum, Creating Capabilities, (Harvard University Press, 2011)
  • David Hollenbach, The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights, and Christian Ethics, (Washington: Georgetown University Press)
  • Kenneth Himes (ed.), Modern Catholic Social Teaching: Commentaries and Interpretations, (Washington: Georgetown University press, 2004).