In this podcast we hear from an Australian theologian, Fr. Denis Edwards, who sees the Incarnation at the heart of the Christian environmental movement.

[display_podcast] This podcast made available from Vatican Radio


Fr. Denis Edwards speaking in Assisi at ‘Creation at the heart of Mission’ gathering – May 2009

Creation at the Heart of Mission

Assisi, Italy
May 12 to 16, 2009.

‘Creation at the Heart of Mission is the theme for a gathering of religious leaders from over 50 countries and representing 82 International Religious Institutes concerned about the future of ourplanet.

On Tuesday evening in his keynote presentation, Story of the Universe, Fr. San McDonagh, an Irish Columban Missionary, summarized the evolution of our universe from the Big Bang 14.7 billion years ago up to our present day. At the very beginning God put in place the evolutionary process which has guided the adaptation of all creation to new and changing environments, including the very recent (last few millennia) changes caused by homo sapiens.

Fr. San left his audience with a deep sense of the crisis that planet earth faces in the rapid destruction of the resources that took millennia to form. He claims that we have only 15 years of a window of opportunity to get our act together to prevent destructive changes which can never be corrected. He maintains that this ongoing story of creation should be at the heart of the Churchs mission, the mission of disclosing Gods creative power working in and through each person and being.

Fr. Denis Edwards from Flinders University, Australia focused on the biblical context of creation, incarnation, and redemption. In his first presentation titled, Ecology and Jesus Christ, Ecological Conversion, Fr Denis challenged his audience to an ecological conversion that goes deeper than creation spirituality. Resurrection is the final beginning of transformation for all of creation, not just for human beings, Fr. Denis proclaimed. He presented Jesus as a master parabler and storyteller very familiar with his natural environment, a person who was able to communicate to ordinary people the notion of a new creation insights which now ground the faith that gives meaning and motivation to the urgent cry to save the planet. Fr. Denis stressed the importance of developing a renewed theology of redemption which can see evolutionary successes and failures as the new raw material for transformative recreation. Throughout the first day there was time for participants to discuss the presentations, to share their personal call to ecological conversion, and also to share information about practical cases of various environmental projects and experiments that they are involved in.

The seminar is jointly sponsored by SEDOS and the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Union of Superiors General of men and women religious (USG/UISG).

More information

For more information contact

Fr. Carlos Rodriguez OP –

Fr. Gearid Francisco Conaire OFM –

Conference documentation at: