Stewardship: Recovering the Human Vocation
There's a fatalistic sense among many in the environmental community that the best thing human beings could do for planet Earth is to allow ourselves to go extinct. Looking back on the centuries of unfathomable destruction wrought by human hands, it’s understandable that we would be short on hope that human beings could make a neutral impact on our ecosystems, let alone a positive one. Nevertheless, if, in the face of the climate and ecological crises, we are to pull off the widespread change that will be necessary to preserve a just and thriving planet, we must have something for which to hope. For years, the creation stories in the Book of Genesis have been misused to perpetuate what Pope Francis called in Laudato Si’ a “misguided anthropocentrism,” in which humans “dominate” and “master” the non-human environment. In a world so shaped by these paradigms, it can be hard to imagine that human beings could, in fact, benefit our ecosystems. Revisiting the Genesis stories in light examples from regenerative agriculture and the land practices of indigenous communities, this Earth Talk argues for the retrieval of a positive vision of humans’ place in the web of life as a necessary component of our work for climate justice in both secular and sacred realms.
Anna Robertson is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Mobilization at the Catholic Climate Covenant. I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee and, since graduating from high school, I've called many places home, including Cincinnati, Central America, West Virginia, Boston, and Seattle. I have a Master's of Theological Studies from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Xavier University in Ohio. Prior to working at the Catholic Climate Covenant, I worked as Campus Minister for Retreats at Seattle University, supported families of women experiencing incarceration, conducted research on collective memory in El Salvador, and accompanied students on international immersions at the intersection of faith and justice in Latin America. I'm passionate about supporting the emergence of the widespread ecological conversion of hearts called for by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’. In my free time, I enjoy playing music, getting outside, and writing.