Green Thomism

Co-sponsored by the Society of Catholic Scientists ( Professor Christopher Thompson—professor of moral theology at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity—joined us to explore his idea of Green Thomism, which “seeks to integrate the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas with the questions of environmental stewardship, sustainability, and awareness… [and] interprets the signs of the times to indicate the need for a renewal of some of the most basic principles of Thomistic thought: the goodness of created things, the purposive structure of created being, the inescapable embodied character of human existence, the capacity of reason to discern an order of creation which is to be respected, the contemplative nature of human happiness… All of these claims are rooted in St. Thomas’ vision of creation, the human person, and God; each of them has the capacity to enliven the best of what is happening in the ever-growing movement of environmental concern.”

We discussed:

Bringing our Church’s philosophical and theological tradition into environmental thinking;

  • The critical role of contact with nature in our spiritual lives;
  • Confidence in the natural world; and,
  • Building a relationship with the natural world informed by the immense Creation wisdom of our Catholic faith, and how such a relationship differs from a technocratic or transhumanist vision.


Christopher Thompson is a professor of moral theology at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity where he also serves as the Academic Dean since 2006. He has written and lectured extensively on the subject of integral ecology, its place in the moral imagination and its implications for a theological appropriation of creation and the dignity of the human person. He also serves as a team mentor and formator on behalf of Catholic Rural Life, a national organization dedicated to the formation of rural pastoral leaders through professional and spiritual development. His book, The Joyful Mystery: Field Notes Toward a Green Thomism, (2017) outlines what he describes as a Green Thomism, the integration of ecological attitudes and the spiritual tradition inspired by the medieval saint, Thomas Aquinas. He has written and lectured extensively on such themes in the United States and around the world. He is one of the principal drafters of The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader, an international collaboration including global agricultural communities and the Vatican.


Joyful Mystery: field notes toward a Green Thomism
by Christopher Thompson

Catholic Rural life

The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader

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