The pope as philosopher: faith, climate change and public reason

The Conversation - In his landmark encyclical Laudato si', Pope Francis wrote the following words: “I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.”

Pope Francis is not the only public person of faith capable of speaking inclusively in the diverse civic sphere. The atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe, a member of the political science department at Texas Tech University, is an evangelical Christian and powerful public communicator on climate change. Dr Hayhoe's ability to acknowledge the concerns of her fellow Christians, explain the established science clearly and consistently connect theological concepts to the need for action on climate change has earned her a place on Time's list of the world's 100 most influential people. What makes Hayhoe so appealing across diverse ideological segments of society is her ability to acknowledge differences while emphasizing the inclusive framework of science and reason.

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