Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The contemporary ecological crisis, manifest in human-induced climate change, is a powerful form of structural violence against the poorest communities on the planet. As such, my research resides at the nexus of structural poverty, gender disparity, ecological degradation, and climate-induced displacement. The social justice implications emerging from this nexus require responsible moral deliberation and discernment over the international community's role in minimizing the human tragedies accompanying forced displacement and migration. While asserting the interconnectedness and dependency of all life upon mutual flourishing, responsible decision-making expands the range of felt moral concern to include ecological flourishing. Social justice is only possible in tandem with climate justice and a concern for the whole person cannot be fully separated from environmental concern. As a response to both concerns, I critically correlate traditionally humanitarian issues within the context of the ecological crisis and I rely on an expanded understanding of a preferential option for the poor and oppressed as my orienting theological framework. My goal is to inspire a practical vision of social justice and ecological responsibility that together form a "Theology of Mobilization" that seriously addresses the systemic plight of those carrying the heaviest burden of the ecological and climate crisis. My work makes an appeal to all people of good will who are open to critical engagement with Christian moral and intellectual traditions, while also pushing for an attentive response to the needs of the planet's most vulnerable communities.
Mastaler, James Stephen, "Social Justice and Ecological Responsibility: A Moral Case for International Collaborative Action on Environmental Degradation and Climate-Induced Displacement" (2015). Dissertations. 1646.
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Copyright © 2015 James Stephen Mastaler