Loyola University Chicago's Healing Earth Free Textbook Wins Vatican Prize

Five years ago, under the vision of Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.,  Loyola University Chicago Professors Nancy C. Tuchman and Michael Schuck worked together to write the free e-textbook Healing Earth. Healing Earth is an important resource because it brings together science, ethics, spirituality and action and it "embodies the integral ecology and interdisciplinary approach that Pope Francis discusses in his encyclical and that Pope Benedict XVI champions through this award, as well as the Jesuit response to throwaway culture and climate change."

On the textbook website, Tuchman and Schuck describe the goal of Healing Earth:

to help all of us grow into integral ecologists, people from every walk of life and region of the world who dare to imagine a healed Earth and are willing to put their hands, hearts, and minds to the task

This textbook is more important than ever because it aims to create all persons into informed citizens willing to make caring for the earth central to the work for justice and community. Much of the inspiration for the textbook came from animating Pope Francis’ Laduato Si’ through the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm.

Tuchman, Schuck, and all in the Jesuit Higher Education community who contributed to the textbook are rightfully very proud of this project. Healing Earth recently received the Expanded Reason Award from the Vatican’s Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI Foundation. This high honor included the opportunity to meet the Pope, participate in a two-day conference, and a $29,500 honorarium. Much of the prize money will be used to translate the textbook into French and Polish.

In an interview for the Society of Jesus, Schuck stressed how important it is that the Healing Earth textbook exists: “We know how necessary it is to educate students as whole persons — as intellectually inquisitive, morally developing and spiritually graced human beings. That is the trademark of a Jesuit education. But we also know that there are few teaching resources that can guide exploration of the scientific, ethical and spiritual dimensions of today’s environmental challenges in one textbook.”

How might Jesuit colleges and universities across the nation respond to environmental degradation by imagining and creating a healed earth? How can our schools participate more prophetically in the project of healing our common home? How can the Healing Earth textbook support that work?

Visit the Healing Earth textbook website to access this free textbook today. More information about the authors can be found on the website of Loyola University Chicago's International Jesuit Ecology Project. 

Conversations Magazine published an issue of the magazine about Laudato Si’. Click here to view that issue and learn environmental justice projects and ideas at Jesuit colleges and universities across the country.