EcoMartyrdom in the Americas: Living and Dying for Our Common Home
By: Elizabeth O'Donnell Gandolfo
“What are the consequences of living into the ecological relationships that Pope Francis proposes in Laudato Si? Simply put, ecomartyrdom—the murder of land and of environmental defenders. EcoMartyrdom illuminates the spiritualities that give life to those who are killed for struggling against the anti-social logic of extractivism and argues for a capacious theology of martyrdom that recognizes how Creation (human and more-than-human) is sacrificed to the idols of capitalism, racism, and patriarchy. Gandolfo makes presente a Latin American prophetic vision where everything is alive and where resurrection continues in a people’s ongoing journey toward an-other world already in our midst. Beautifully written with piercing analysis, it is a book for re-forming the church unto solidarity with all Creation.”-- Leo Guardado, Fordham University
“EcoMartyrdom in the Americas is beautifully written and profound in its insight. Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo’s careful and compassionate analysis of the struggle for ecological justice in Latin America elucidates the concrete demands that the call to love neighbor and earth lay before people of faith and goodwill. EcoMartyrdom in the Americas is a timely and urgent call to conversion. “–Daniel P. Castillo, Loyola University Maryland, author of An Ecological Theology of Liberation: Salvation and Political Ecology
“From Romero to Marielle Franco and the Guardians of the forest in the Amazon. We live among the living memories of those who were assassinated for fighting and holding our common life together. While we live our lives in cities, there are people at the frontline of the protection of the land against the capitalist extractivism that wants to devour everything. Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo give us an absolutely timely book that help us understand how these ecomartyrs are the canaries of the coal mine. Unless we remember those who are gone and the ones still protecting the earth and our common living, and join in their struggle, we won’t have any world left to live. This is a desperately needed book for any one of any religion to understand the times we are living now. “ -- Cláudio Carvalhaes, Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York
This book lifts up the witness of women and men in the Americas who have been murdered for their commitment to environmental justice and ecological liberation. The central claim here is that murdered environmental activists can and should be understood theologically by Christians as eco-martyrs. Therefore, their witness should challenge the church, especially in the Global North, to enter into solidarity with the ecological struggles of poor and indigenous communities not only in the Americas, but around the world.
Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo is Edith B. and Arthur E. Earley Assistant Professor of Catholic and Latin American Studies at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, NC. Gandolfo earned her BA in Theology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, her MTS in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame, and her PhD in theological studies at Emory University. Her published works include The Power and Vulnerability of Love: A Theological Anthropology (Fortress Press, 2015) and the co-edited volume, Parenting as Spiritual Practice and Source for Theology: Mothering Matters (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).