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Lesson Plan September 21, 2015

Religion and Environment: Similarities and Differences Between Pope Francis's Activism and Chinese Buddhist Traditions

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Questions for "Meet the Journalist: Justin Catanoso" and "Peru: Pope Gets Pushback on Environment"

  1. In the video, what larger context does Catanoso give to explain his decision to report from South America? What is the specific conflict in Cocachacra that Catanoso sees as an important test of Pope Francis's influence in the region?
  2. In the article, what is surprising about the resistance to the pope's message in La Oroya? What will be necessary to resolve the conundrum of jobs versus environment in that region?

Questions for "Searching for Sacred Mountain"

  1. Pope Francis in his Encyclical addressed environmental challenges through a Christian perspective but this is a debate that engages faith and cultural traditions across the globe. Watch this video, a 20-minute documentary that tells the story of a Chinese investigative journalist who converts to Buddhism. Explain why his story is surprising, in the context of China, and how Chinese perspectives on religion and the environment relate to Pope Francis’s message on these same issues.

Questions for "Ecological Civilization”

  1. You can access this resource either as a free iBook download from Apple or as a PDF (see link within the resource). You’ll find edited excerpts from a conference that took place in Beijing earlier this summer (June 2015), addressing the subject of what it means to create an “ecological civilization” from a variety of different perspectives—religious, business, journalist, scientific and educational.
  2. In the book each perspective is discussed in its own chapter. Choose one of the chapters to read and then imagine that you are one of the people described: a journalist, a business person, a religious leader, a scientist, or an educator. From that perspective how would you describe the role of religion or cultural traditions in helping us solve environmental challenges?

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