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An open-source teaching module on Laudato si’ and applied ethics

15 August 2015
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University at Santa Clara, California, USA

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University at Santa Clara, California, USA

Following the release of the environmental encyclical Laudato Si’, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics  at Santa Clara University posted a teaching module that provides selections from the document, with background, specific discussion questions, and key points for classroom dialogue.

The module permits both students and instructor to discuss the environmental encyclical and its major themes without having to read the entire material. It can be used in different types of courses such as business ethics, environmental studies, or religious studies, and is designed for a single 50- to 60-minute class period, or a shorter period over several days.

The module also has a teacher’s note and a student handout. The teacher’s note identifies the key points that the students and the instructor should make during the discussion. The student handout is a separate document to be read by students before class and consists of a short description of the five key themes in Laudato Si’, the important questions raised by each theme, and selected paragraphs from the encyclical addressing such themes.

The five themes in the teaching module cover particular ethical significance drawn from the encyclical and these are:

  1. The relationship of science, religion, and ethics
  2. The dangers of the technocratic paradigm
  3. The integral ecology of humankind and the environment
  4. The call to ecological conversion
  5. The importance of dialogue with business

The teaching module is provided at no cost. Interested users though must secure a written permission from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. An email must be sent to ddecosse(at) and bpgreen(at) that shares how the module was used, how the students responded to the reading assignment and to the discussion, and what changes are recommend in this module and future similar modules.

The module is also available on the new shared platform, Jesuit Digital Network, a global network connecting high quality academic content in the Jesuit tradition with educators and learners across institutions and regions.

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