Original Research - Special Collection: Theology and Nature

The religious vision of nature in the light of Laudato Si’: An interreligious reading between Islam and Christianity

Antonino Puglisi, Johan Buitendag
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a6063 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.6063 | © 2020 Antonino Puglisi, Johan Buitendag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 April 2020 | Published: 15 September 2020

About the author(s)

Antonino Puglisi, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria; Faculty of Science and Letters, Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey, South Africa
Johan Buitendag, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


The environmental crisis is undoubtedly one of the most critical and urgent problems of our times. Many people are raising their voices in support of nature to build a better future for humanity and for our planet. In this article, the authors explore the specific contribution that Christianity and Islam can offer in this debate and how religions can help bring back into the ecological discourse the element of the sacred that abandoned the reflection about nature since the advent of the Enlightenment. Moving from the spiritual dimension of nature in the light of Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical on ecology Laudato Si’, the authors argue that the current ecological crisis can represent an opportunity for a renewed encounter among religions, bringing together the ethical and the spiritual, recovering the element of communion between human beings and nature that points to something beyond themselves. The authors present the Laudato Si’ as a universal invitation and a space for encounter between world religions that puts at its heart love as a guiding principle and animating force of a much-needed ecological, spiritual and anthropological conversion.

Contribution: This article focuses on the spiritual dimension of nature in Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical letter Laudato Si’. The authors argue that the document with its emphasis on love represents a platform for dialogue between Christianity and Islam by bringing back the element of the sacred in the current ecological debate.


Nature; Laudato Si’; Islam; Christianity; Love; Dialogue; Ecology; Religion


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