The textbook, Healing Earth, is free on www.healingearth.ijep.net and has been written and edited by Jesuit teachers and scholars over the past years. The book goes into detail about the science behind some of the problems facing our world and takes a look at the morals and spirituality behind these problems as well.
Anderson has started testing the textbook in his classes.
“The textbook is great,” said Anderson. “It does all the good science but also gets at the ethics and spirituality, it takes a much more holistic approach to this topic.”
Dr. Schuck is an associate Professor of Theology at Loyola-University Chicago and has been leading the production effort since 2011.
“It discusses today’s ecological challenges from not only a scientific perspective, but also from the perspective of environmental ethics, spirituality, and environmental action,” said Schuck. “It is the only environmental science textbook that does this.”
When classes began using the book, it was still in production and was being constantly edited as they used it.
Anderson is using the book as the main text this year and is supplementing it with the book he has used in past years. In the future, he would like to use this as the only text, along with journals and other small readings.
The book is a collaboration between different educators and scholars from all over the world. The contributors totaled 92 people from 13 countries.
“It’s nice because it’s not just the Catholic/Christan perspective,” said Anderson. “It brings in views from people all over the world and shows how they look at problems differently.”
The book, having been written and edited by people from all over the globe, gives perspectives not found in other textbooks, on issues that face many types of people; people in different situations might look at the same problem in vastly different ways.
The book was written as an extension of an earlier document produced by the Jesuits called Healing a Broken World.
The new textbook is a response towards some of the environmental issues explained in Healing a Broken World and is aimed at high school and college students as a call to action.
The production of the book began in 2011 when the International Jesuit Ecology Project was founded and tasked with creating a free textbook for upper level students that centered around helping the environment and the natural world we live in as a whole.
Just two weeks after the official launch on Jan. 29, 495 teachers and helpers were already involved, from 39 different countries around the world.
Anderson got involved in the production of the book several years ago through an online journal called Eco-Jesuit, which expressed an interest in people who wanted to proofread chapters of the book in its earliest stages.
“I was really impressed by the idea of the textbook,” said Anderson. “So I figured it would be worthwhile looking into it and it’s just sort of grown from there.”
Anderson’s main role has been proofreading but he also was involved in a meeting held at SLUH last year to show students and faculty what the book was about. The meeting was led by Dr. Michael Schuck.