The Catholic University of America Press

The Garden of God

Toward a Human Ecology

Pope Benedict XVI

Foreword by Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès

Paper 978-0-8132-2579-1 $24.95
April 2014 In Print Add to Cart
E-Book 978-0-8132-2580-7 $24.95
April 2014 In Print Add to Cart

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, tells of the creation of the world and our dominion over it. But is this the whole story? The planet on which we live is ecologically fragile, and all people of good will have a responsibility to take care of this most precious gift. During his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly drew attention to the environment, whether in terms of preserving it such as his address concerning Amazonia and his letter regarding the Arctic or distributing its vital resources such as water more equitably. What is more, during Benedict's papacy, the Vatican became the first, and remains the only, carbon-neutral country in the world.

This book gathers together the audiences, addresses, letters, and homilies of Benedict on a wide-ranging set of topics that deal with the world about us. The major themes and connections he explores are creation and the natural world; the environment, science, and technology; and hunger, poverty, and the earth's resources.

In these pages, Benedict insists that if we truly desire peace, we must be increasingly conscious of and nurture all of creation. Furthermore, he argues convincingly that as our love of God should cause us to protect the environment, so should our heightened sense of appreciation of the natural world draw us closer to God. Benedict speaks out against the spread of nuclear weapons, threats to biodiversity, and in favor of alternative energy. He urges sustainable development, equitable distribution of food and water, and an end to hunger.

This book is a valuable resource for all those who seek to understand more fully the relationships among the environment, Catholic social teaching, and theology. Whether speaking to a vast crowd, meeting with a small group of scientists, or writing letters to world leaders, Benedict has shown a clear path towards a theologically cogent concern for the planet on which we live.


Born in 1927 in Germany as Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI became head of the Roman Catholic Church in April 2005. A prolific author, theologian, and professor, Ratzinger served as an expert at the Second Vatican Council; led the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising; and, in 1981, was called to Rome by Pope John Paul II to head the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he served until his papal election. In 2013, he became the first pontiff in 600 years to resign office.

Product Details

Pages:232 pages

Dimensions:5½ x 8½ inches

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