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When Heaven and Earth Embrace:
How Do We Engage Spiritually in an Emerging Universe?
Mary M. Tinney, PhD
Australian Catholic University
Sr Mary Tinney, RSM has been the founder and coordinator of Earth Link a community which envisions a world where there is respect, reverence and care for the whole Earth community. They believe that the heart of this lies in deepening our bond with Earth. Earth Link is endorsed by the Sisters of Mercy, and open to all who share their concern for the whole Earth community.
Abstract: In this thesis I am proposing that we can engage spiritually in an emerging Universe if we have a vision of the embrace of Heaven and Earth that is informed by contemporary science, if we underpin that with an ecotheology that recognises Heaven and Earth as interconnected while respecting their differences, and if we have an ecospiritual praxis that is open, attentive to and aware of divine presence in all that is. I am convinced that a vision of the embrace of Heaven and Earth has the potential to drive action for justice for Earth at a time when there is ecological devastation in our evolving cosmos. This vision is at the heart of Christian ecospirituality in an emerging universe. Using the craft of practical theology, the thesis is a study of how one community group, Earth Link, engages spiritually in an emerging universe in a way that moves it to transformative practice towards its vision of a world where there is “respect, reverence and care for the whole Earth community.” The dialogue partners in the process are Thomas Berry and Elizabeth Johnson in the fields of ecospirituality and
ecotheology respectively, with some reference to Laudato Si, the 2015 encyclical of Pope Francis. The thesis concludes by proposing enhanced principles for Earth Link in the light of this dialogue. The author is the instigator and currently the facilitator of Earth Link, so approaches the work as both participant and observer.
Submitted by Mary M Tinney, B A (UQ), M Ed (Boston College), M Pastoral Studies (Loyola, Chicago), School of Theology, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, McAuley Campus, Brisbane,
in fulfilment of the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy. ACU Graduate Research Office, Level 16, 8-20 Napier St, North Sydney NSW 2060. Date of submission: 16/10/2017
Mary has been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy as a result of this research.
For the complete thesis, go to: https://researchbank.acu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1713&context=theses
Thursday, 14 February, 11am Brisbane time. Mary Tinney will be providing insights into her thesis, When Heaven and Earth Embrace: How Do We Engage Spiritually in an Emerging Universe? Register here. A recording will be available afterwards.