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Catholic Energy Ethics: Commitments and Criteria

Erin Lothes Biviano


Diverse religious worldviews and values construe foundational defenses of life, health, and wellbeing through the richness of their traditional texts, symbols, and rituals, offering a “thick description” of human meaning and purpose that empowers comprehensive ethical direction. The values and commitments that shape a Catholic energy ethic flow from the doctrine of creation, which views all relationships within a covenantal economy of creation and salvation. A Catholic theology of energy is theocentric, oriented to God’s plan of creation, salvation and the wellbeing of creation. A Catholic energy ethic is covenantal, acknowledging that humanity’s unique dignity confers mutual rights and responsibilities to all persons as brothers and sisters. A Catholic energy ethic is social, recognizing that the integral development of persons occurs in the integral ecology of family, community, society, and earth.


Catholic social teaching; energy ethics; environmental ethics; fossil fuel divestment; socially responsible investing; Laudato Si’; care for creation; religion and ecology; Catholic ethics; energy

Full Text:



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/rela-2018-001-loth

Copyright (c) 2018 Erin Lothes Biviano – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie

Relations. Beyond Anthropocentrism
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (04/05/2012 n. 211)
Online ISSN 2280-9643 - Print ISSN 2283-3196

Executive Editor: Francesco Allegri
Associate Editor: Matteo Andreozzi 
Review Editors: Sofia Bonicalzi - Eleonora Adorni
Editorial Board:
Ralph R. Acampora - Carol J. Adams - Vilma Baricalla - Luisella Battaglia - Rod Bennison - Matthew R. Calarco - Piergiorgio Donatelli - William Grove-Fanning - Serenella Iovino - Luigi Lombardi Vallauri - Christoph Lumer - Joel MacClellan - Dario Martinelli - Roberto Marchesini - Alma Massaro - Barbara Muraca - Serpil Oppermann - Simone Pollo - Paola Sobbrio - Kim Stallwood - Sabrina Tonutti - Jessica Ullrich - Federico Zuolo