Jim Conlon: Author, Poet, Priest & Prophet
Geo-Justice: The Emergence of Integral Ecology
The New Book from Jim Conlon
A Book Whose Time Has Finally Come
The world has changed a lot since 1990. George H.W. Bush was in the White House, John Paul II was in the 12th year of his 27-year papacy, and the World Wide Web had yet to be launched. That year, an independent publisher out of Canada called Woodlake Books, Inc. published a title called Geo-Justice: A Preferential Option for the Earth, by Jim Conlon. The book melded profound insights from mystical theology with lively and passionate calls to action from prominent community organizers and environmentalists. In that book and others, Conlon’s faith-based exhortations to care for our planet combined with those of Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, and a small cadre of environmental prophets to help pave the way 25 years later for the landmark encyclical of the current pope, Laudato Si’.
Dedicated to Pope Francis, this new edition of Geo-Justice boasts not only a foreword by Thomas Berry and a new foreword by fellow priest and Earth-rights activist, Sean McDonagh, but also a fully revised text. The new edition contains fresh poetry from Conlon, reflections on Laudato Si’, and updated practices that incorporate another 25 years’ worth of experience in preparing lay people for community work and ministry.
Although the world has changed vastly in a quarter century, the need for an updated vision of Christianity that incorporates the truths of science with the soul of our faith has not.
PRAISE FOR GEO-JUSTICE
In this work, Jim Conlon unites prose, poetry, and prayer in a healing reflection on what humanity belongs to, and is called to strive toward and to celebrate. We encounter in this thoughtful exposition deep and challenging insights fueled by hope, courage, and profound wisdom—a graced vision!
This is a book of depth and wisdom. Jim Conlon has been deeply engaged in the greening of the Earth for many years and this succinct work draws us into a new vision for a new world. With a poetic heart and searching mind, Jim is a seer and a prophet for our age. Read this book slowly and prayerfully, and you will awake to see the world in a new way.
Conlon provides the reader with challenging questions. He asks us to discuss how we might "build mediating institutions between the powerful structures of greed that dominate our lives."
Geo-justice initiates a new context for theological discussion of justice issues. Gone forever are the former dualism that pitted human social concerns on one side, and environmental concerns on the other. Conlon establishes a holistic orientation that assists us in exploring the justice implications of one Earth, that helps us hold our minds open both to the beauty and the crisis of our time, and that enables us to articulate our deepest convictions and plan for action.
Jim Conlon wrote this book with passion and intelligence. What a wonderful and rare combination! I assure you that you will be inspired—set aflame, actually—as I was by Jim’s unsentimental, wise, and absolutely timely message. He writes as a theologian activist. I miss this important voice in the Catholic tradition: visionary, compassionate, earth-loving.
With inspiring wisdom from the past and engaging contemporary insights, this most welcome volume boldly takes on the serious ecological challenges facing us today. The text is informed by evolutionary science, scriptural insight, and open-eyed social engagement. Each page is written with an evident spirit of deep concern for our fragile ecosystem and abiding compassion for all its inhabitants. The author’s call for harmony, balance, peace, and care for the earth is exactly what we need to hear today: the message of geo-justice. This well-articulated vision of a healthier cosmos will allow all who read this book to grow in awareness of the sacredness of all creation and will energize us to work for a better world.
Jim Conlon identified the needed linkage of ecology and justice twenty years ago. Now he is revisiting geo-justice through the lens of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’. The result is a passionate book that needs to be read and put into practice by all who care about the future of our planet.
To address our present ecological predicament, we need a new vision of the world and a creative new way of understanding our relationship to it. Conlon’s compelling notion of geo-justice is not only indispensable to such a vision but also a prime candidate for becoming the operative myth for our time.
When this book first appeared in 1990, it was a landmark publication, highlighting the fact that justice can no longer be confined to personal rights and privileges, but must incorporate the major global and ecological issues facing humanity today. In a word, there can be no justice for persons without an equivalent commitment to justice for the earth itself and for all its life-forms. Quite rightly, therefore, this updated and revised edition highlights the parallels with the wisdom of Laudato Si, and and many other efforts made in the intervening years to align the pursuit of justice in an interdependent way, and not merely to serve human needs in isolation. For me, this book remains one of Jim Conlon's most fertile works, and I trust it will get the wide readership it deserves.