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What does Anthropocene mean?

March 15, 2014
What does Anthropocene mean?

Andreas Carlgren Have human beings permanently changed the planet? It seems to be a simple question but it has enormous implications as we look into today’s realities. If so, what does it mean? How could it be described? And what to do? Issues like these where recently discussed at a seminar  in Stockholm, Sweden hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Stockholm Environment Institute in cooperation with the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)  and where the value of the concept of Anthropocene was explored within the natural and social sciences as Earth enters a “no analogue state.” Dr Sibyl Seitzinger, IGBP Executive Director and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, gave an open lecture on the origins of Earth system science leading to the concept of Anthropocene. She was joined by a panel of different experts and researchers that included, among others: Dr Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Center and Dr Richard JT Klein of the Stockholm Environment Institute. Dr Klein is also a member of the UN International Panel on Climate Change. The term Anthropocene – from anthropo, for “man” and cene for “new” – wants to describe a new geological epoch
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Healing Earth, Living Text

February 15, 2014
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  Healing Earth  is a living textbook of the International Jesuit Ecology Project headed by Michael Garanzini, SJ, President of Loyola University Chicago and Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus. Scholars from Jesuit universities and social apostolates around the world are writing this text to heighten awareness of environmental issues. The text is a living text as it has a living and changing community of people who contribute, update, and refine the work coming from across the continents and sharing the different regional contexts. In a recent workshop to advance the various chapters, Fr Garanzini addressed the group and shared the vision that this textbook is going to do something that other textbooks do not. It weaves together science, spirituality, and ethics so that science teachers and the students have a deeper human understanding of the world around us, and how we need to strengthen our knowledge and cooperation. Bringing the knowledge and experience of these three fields together is risky as writers might earn the disrespect of others in any of these fields unless the methods and interrelations are well defined. “Trying to reach a global audience is trail blazing,” Fr Garanzini said, “and risking your
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Living and praying with the land

Living and praying with the land

Andy Otto Situated on 600 acres of farmland in Guelph, Ontario, Canada is Loyola House, a Jesuit retreat house where I made an eight-day retreat. The expanse of land, agriculture, and miles of trails make it an ideal place for a retreat house. In fact, retreatants are encouraged to wander and pray with the...

Un paisaje de las tierras altas en el norte de Mindanao, Filipinas. Foto de: P Walpole

Ecology and Ignatian spirituality

José Antonio García, SJ The project of caring for the earth is so crucial to the future of humankind that all traditions – humanistic, scientific, or spiritual – ought to make a contribution. From this conviction, there arises the question whether Ignatian spirituality has some distinctive inspiration to bring to the service of the...

News and Programs

Mobilizing the worldwide Jesuit network in collaborating for global sustainability: The IAJBS 20th Annual World Forum

The Sogang Business School  at Sogang University  in Seoul, Korea, is hosting the 20th...

Mapping ecological conflicts

Paula Sendín Many countries are affected by multiple ecological conflicts, often generated by the...

Who we are

Jesuits and their partners throughout the world are invited to understand and share in the critical work of reconciliation and ecological concern (GC35 Decree 3)., initiated by the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC) and the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP), is an online communication currently in Spanish and English, open to all who share in this vision and action.


Jesuits and friends are promoting greater awareness of our ecology and engagements through responsibility for how we live, deeper and more sensitive formation and engagement with an even broader global basis for action. These endeavors to heal the world need opportunities for reflection and communication of good information sources, to build up confidence and experiences and exchange best practices. seeks to offer such a service.