“A timely investigation of a promising model of responding to the ecological crisis, using both a theoretical and practical approach. ”
While the notion of "integral ecology (proposed by Pope Francis), seems to be a promising response to the urgent ecological crisis, its meaning, applicability and full potential has not been fully studied. Using a scholar practitioner approach, "Sowing Hope" investigates the (a) meaning - what is it and how does it relate to other ecological approaches (b) applicability - how is it cultivated, taught, learnt, and (c) impact - how effective is it in responding to twin cries of the earth and of the poor? The overall goal of the project will be to develop a clearer understanding of integral ecology, and study a practical model of its application, which will hopefully inspire other models, but also offer an opportunity to assess the promise, adequacy, as well as the challenges related to “integral ecology” as a response to the twin challenges of ecological degradation and poverty. The research will result in two monographs (a) a theoretical book on ecotheology, and (b) a memoir detailing my journey as a theological peace scholar practitioner. The research will also result in new courses, conference papers and journal articles. The research is relevant to the church in North America for even as the urgency of the ecological crisis is recognized, we lack literature and other resources to inform and shape the church’s conversation on the meaning and nature of integral ecology, which is attracting a lot of interest in the wake of Pope Francis' Laudato Si (2015). There is also a dearth of concrete examples to inspire communities and congregations on what a model of integral ecology on the local level might look like. Sowing Hope fills this lacunae. The fact that the studied model (BLI) is located in the global south, will give Christians in North America an opportunity to learn from former mission fields, thus deepening the conversation and collaboration of global Christianity in the search for solutions to a global challenge affecting "our common home".