SCIENCE AND FAITH: SEASON 2 EPISODE 3- Subdue the Earth: Catholics and the Environment

Written by on 26/09/2021

Radio Maria England Science and Faith

Season 2 Episode 3 Subdue the Earth: Catholics and The Environment

Broadcasts: Mondays at 11am, Tuesdays at 9pm, Wednesdays at 2am and Saturdays at 5pm

In episode three of our series, we delved into what our relationship with God and our global neighbour has to do with the care for the environment and how today’s climate crisis fits into the much broader picture of the story of salvation for us as Christians. To help us answer those questions, we were very fortunate to host Sr Margaret Atkins, an Augustinian Canoness specialising in faith, ethics and ecology, and Xavier de Bénazé, a Jesuit and newly-appointed deacon building bridges between Ecology and Theology. 

What’s climate change all about and why is it so important? What are some of the key ideas Pope Francis discusses in Laudato Si’ that can help us better understand our relationship with the environment and our care for it? How do we act responsibly  at different levels: World – Community – Family? Ultimately, how does care for the environment connect to the story of salvation?

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Sr Margaret Atkins-Caring for the Planet We Share



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Sr Margaret Atkins

Sr Margaret Atkins is an Augustinian Canoness of the Mercy of Jesus, based at Boarbank Hall in Cumbria. She studied Classics in Cambridge, writing a doctorate on Cicero’s philosophy, before switching to Theology, studying with the Dominicans at Blackfriars, Oxford. She taught Theology at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds, before joining the Augustinians in 2005. She has translated ethical and political writings by Cicero, Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas, and has over many years written and given talks on St Augustine, and on the links between faith, ethics and ecology in both popular journals and academic publications. She is currently running with the Ecological Conversion Group a series of zoom seminars entitled Living Laudato Si’: Your Parish and Your Planet, while working to help make her own Community garden and buildings more sustainable. (Recent rewards for this include a resident baby hare in the grounds!)

Xavier de Bénazé

Xavier de Bénazé is a French Jesuit and an agro-engineer. After his first post-grad studies, he worked in a consultancy company on Sustainable Development, and finally joined the Jesuits in 2011. During the past 10 years, he has been given the mission to explore the links between ecology, philosophy, spirituality, and theology. That is why he came to London, for the MA program “Theology, Ecology & Ethics” at Roehampton University. These explorations also include practical actions, including the launch of the Campus de la Transition in France, and the mission of Laudato si’ delegate for his Jesuit Province.


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