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Cover of "The Glory of the Cosmos"What are the Christian’s responsibilities toward the environment and its care? A new book sets out to answer this question, decoupling it from the snares of ideology and partisanship and turning instead to the intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church.

“Today we have those who view the natural world as little more than raw material for our use and exploitation, and on the other hand, those who want to attribute some sort of divinity to that world,” writes Thomas Storck, editor of The Glory of the Cosmos: A Catholic Approach to the Natural World. “The Church has her own approach to these questions, an approach that, while of course not seeing the natural environment as possessed of divinity, neither does it see it as simply so much inert stuff, stuff meant solely for our manipulation, profit, and pleasure.”

In The Glory of the Cosmos, Mr. Storck and several Catholic scholars consider environmentalism from the vantage of Catholic philosophy and theology, particularly the works of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. Eschewing both the paganism and the deism that are too often at root in contemporary environmental debates, the authors consider what it means to contemplate and honor the splendor of God’s creation. The book features four alumni-authored essays:

“In this collection you will find not only an edifying series of reflections on the Catholic Church’s teaching on our place and role in the natural world, but you will meet the Catholic tradition’s great sources of philosophical and theological insight,” writes Dr. John G. Brungardt, an assistant professor of philosophy at Newman University, about The Glory of the Cosmos. “Readers will encounter the calm strength of the Catholic contemplative spirit, asking them to turn and see the glory of the cosmos and showing them how.”