• Course Code:  LS

  • Term:  September 2015

  • Start Date:  Sep 1 2015

  • End Date:  Aug 31 2018

  • Enroll by:  Aug 12 2018

  • Duration:  157 weeks

  • Course Author(s)

This course has ended

Laudato si

Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

September 2015

Religion|Sustainable Development

  • Jeffrey sachs
    Jeffrey Sachs


Special thanks to Bono, who generously provided the narration for the Laudato Si' mini-series. 


This course is self-paced – you can enroll anytime before August 12, 2018 and complete the course materials any time before August 31, 2018. To enroll for this course (and others) after August 12, 2018, please visit our website or sign up for our newsletter!


What is “Laudato Si’”? First presented by Pope Francis – spiritual leader to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics – to his faith-based cohort, it is a call to action addressed not only to Catholics, but to all people of the world. Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home raises the profile of the grave ecological crisis that humanity has created and issues a moral clarion call for urgent action to protect the earth and its inhabitants from ruin.


This short course provides an overview of the main themes and messages of Laudato Si’. No affiliation or prior familiarity with Catholic teaching is required, nor any prior knowledge of the sustainable development agenda. Students are guided through the basic structure of the Laudato Si’ message – diagnosis of the ecological crisis, an overview of its theological and philosophical underpinnings, evaluation of the human behavior at its root, the need for institutional solutions, and the call for personal action. Issued in the months leading up to adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, Laudato Si’ can be read as a moral charter for sustainable development. It provides a firm ethical foundation for actions that need to be taken urgently at all levels – global, national, local and personal, too. This is what makes it so important.



Because this is offered as a mini-series, there are no quizzes or assessments, and no certificates will be offered upon completion. Our objective with this mini-series is to encourage dialogue about a critical aspect of sustainable development: the moral responsibility to live in a sustainable manner. We encourage you to use the discussion forum and share your thoughts and ideas for the course with other students from around the world.


Mini-Series Outline

Chapter I: Pope Francis & the Encyclical

Presented by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson


Chapter II: On Care for Our Common Home

Presented by Professor Jeffrey Sachs


Chapter III: Theology, Philosophy & the Encyclical

Presented by Bishop Marcelo Sachez Sorondo


Chapter IV: Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis

Presented by Dr. Anthony Annett


Chapter V: Global, National & Local Solutions

Presented by Professor Jeffrey Sachs


Chapter VI: International Ecological Conversion

Presented by Dr. William Vendley



Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

President, Pontifical Council for Justice & Peace

Cardinal Turkson is a Ghanaian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 24 October 2009. Cardinal Turkson is one of the primary architects of the Laudato Si' and has served as the public face of Pope Francis' position on human-induced climate change.


Professor Jeffrey Sachs

Director, Earth Institute & Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Professor Jeffrey Sachs is the Director of the Earth Institute, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers, and leads several other SDSNedu courses, most notably The Age of Sustainable Development.


Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo

Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences & Social Sciences

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo is an Argentine Catholic Bishop and the current Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, based at the Vatican. Having issued various publications in the sciences, Bishop Sorondo has also earned a number of honors, including the Legion d'Honneur of France in 2000.


Dr. Anthony Annett

Climate Change Development Advisor, Earth Institute

Anthony Annett is a Climate Change and Sustainable Development Advisor at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Working closely with Religions for Peace, he leads the institute's initiative to strengthen the engagement of the world's religious communities in the climate change and sustainable development agenda. 


Dr. William Vendley

Secretary General, Religions for Peace International

Dr. William Vendley is the Secretary General of Religions for Peace International, the world's largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace by working to advance multi-religious consensus on positive aspects of peace as well as concrete actions to stop war, help eliminate poverty, and protect the earth. He is a member of its World Council, which consists of 60 senior religious leaders from all continents. 


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Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home


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