Environmental education and eco-theology: insights from Franciscan schools in Indonesia

Suhadi Cholil, Lyn Parker*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper examines how the eco-theology of St Francis of Assisi is translated into practice in Franciscan schools in Jakarta, Indonesia. We also investigate if the environmental conclusions of the Pope’s Encyclical, Laudato Si’, are understood by students. An ethnographic approach, using participant observation, interviews and focus group discussions with the friars and nuns, teachers and students, was used. We found that Franciscan religious practise Francis’s teachings, but it is difficult to bridge the gap between his teachings and the contemporary context. Students generally identify as environmentalists and respect the environment, but their environmental practice is highly dependent on home life. Both schools and students have to contend with a broader socio-economic context which is pro-Development, with scant regard for the environment. Student understanding of complex global environmental problems, and their causes, is minimal. Nevertheless, we argue the relevance of St Francis’s eco-theology in a world searching for environmental sustainability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1759-1782
    Number of pages24
    JournalEnvironmental Education Research
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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