27.04.2017: Study day Living in the Anthropocene - Ecology, Politics, Religion. A Diologue on Pope Francis‘ encyclical “Laudato sí“

On April 27th 2017 a study day entitled „Leben im Anthropozän - Ökologie, Politik, Religion. Ein Gespräch zur Enzyklika “Laudato sí““was held in Melk. Eva Horn (Department for German Studies) and Kurt Appel (Department for Fundamental Theology) initiated this workshop and thereby created a framework in which the question on a life in the Anthropocene could be discussed in an interdisciplinary debate and based on Pope Francis’ encyclical.

The opening remarks were provided by Eva Horn, who approached “Laudato si” from a socio-political perspective. By adjacent questions on the topic she built a bridge to the subject area of theology and the encyclical. Picking up on these questions, Kurt Appel developed thoughts on a dynamic, tightly intertwined correlation of the world. On that basis he developed socio-critical and theological considerations and took on conceptions of nature from the philosopher Leibniz as well as core elements of the encyclical. Following this contribution, Lisa Achathaler picked up the topic of vulnerability, whereas the concluding contribution of the biologist, publicist and poet Andreas Weber focused especially on the topicality of “enlivenment”. This term may be translated with a „vivification“ and was coined by Heike Löschmann. Similarly to the other contributions, this one also introduced humans as beings which integrate themselves in a network of living and correlating arrangements. Weber put these thoughts into the framework of core conclusions of ”Laudato si”, before opposing them to current developments.