I haven’t yet gotten through the whole Encyclical yet but that hasn’t stopped me from looking at what other have to say about it. Daniel Horan, OFM has a unique look at the Encyclical by examining the Franciscan character within. Also by America Magazine there is an overview of the whole Encyclical and a why this encyclical is perfect for millennials. Then just yesterday I was directed to the other article about JRR Tolkien and the Encyclical.
Horan quotes Thomas Merton, OCSO who said “the whole climate of the encyclical [Pacem in Terris], in its love of man and of the world, and in its radiant hopefulness, is Franciscan.” Horan echoes this comment saying that the Pope named Francis that is without a doubt even more Franciscan. Horan then suggest that there are Franciscan themes throughout the Encyclical, he focuses on a couple in this commentary but Daniel says that this is just a preliminary response, perhaps at a later time he will have more to say about Laudato Si. The themes are leaving behind “naïve romanticism,” recognizing the inherent value of all creation, and seeing the connection between abject poverty and environmental degradation and that is how the rest of the commentary is broken down.
Over in America they have an overview on the Encyclical it’s a great study guide as it condenses the whole 180 some pages into eight easy to read pages, two which offer an overview on the Encyclical as a whole and the other six covering each chapter of the Encyclical.
The other interesting commentary by America Magazine was by Kerry Weber who sums up the Encyclical as a pitch to the younger generation as the environment is a big deal to the Millennials. Now that this covers a concern of the Millennials hopefully this will attract some of them to actually read it. and perhaps explore other aspects of Catholic Social Teaching. Especially since there seems to be a large number of Millennials who are only loosely affiliated with a church. Weber brings up reasons why it should be read but this really doesn’t do much as to getting people to actually sit down and read it. Sure I agree that more people should be reading official Church Documents but the problems that the millennials see are similar to the problems that other generations see.
Finally in the Tolkien article, it offers some broad strokes on Tolkien and how he was influenced by nature see Lord of the Rings if you are wondering how nature plays into Tolkien’s life. If you’ve read Tolkien you might find the article worth a look. Perhaps I’ll reflect upon this as I finish up the Encyclical.