The Amazon region, often described as the lung of humankind, has been suffering unprecedented rates of environmental and human destruction. A model of development based on the extraction of natural resources and the belief that the pursuit of economic growth through the exploitation of nature for financial gains is the best means to ensure prosperity for all has not been verified by the reality on the ground. For the 34 million people who live in the Amazon, and especially its more than 3 million indigenous peoples representing more than 390 ethnic groups, this kind of development has threatened their identity, livelihoods, and their very survival, not speaking of the more than one million of animal and plant species at risk of extinction.
From 6 to 27 October 2019, Pope Francis is convening a gathering of all the bishops of the Amazon region, and representatives of organisations who work in the territory, to discuss how best to respond to this situation and find new paths forward. In June 2015, in his letter Laudato Si’: On the Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis urged for the need for a global conversation, including all branches of science and wisdom, to respond to what he called ‘the cry of the earth and of the poor’.
In early October, during the opening days of the Amazonian synod, Campion Hall will convene a roundtable discussion with Oxford-based researchers from various university departments and centres. The aim of this roundtable is to start a process of trans-disciplinary conversations at the University of Oxford to discuss how we can respond to this cry as researchers in our respective fields of inquiry. The seminar will be structured in the form of a roundtable discussion with Oxford-based researchers from various university departments and centres.
The Laudato Si’ Research Institute (LSRI) at Campion Hall, Oxford, is a research institute launched in October 2019 to implement Pope Francis’s vision in the encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home to respond to ‘the cry of the earth and the of the poor’ (LS 49) and to develop an integral ecology informed by Catholic theological traditions in dialogue with others. Rooted in rigorous academic multidisciplinary research, the LSRI aims to generate societal transformation through coordinated engagement with key Church and global players involved in policy and governance.
For more information, see http://www.sinodoamazonico.va/content/sinodoamazonico/en.html