Lord Williams of Oystermouth was speaking on Monday night at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, where he gave an address on Pope Francis’ green encyclical, Laudato Si’.
He praised the encyclical for highlighting that the Christian understanding of “who is my neighbour?’’ should embrace the whole of creation and that humanity’s treatment of the environment is self-destructive.
“For the Christian, the doctrine of creation is a declaration that all that is comes from God”, said Lord Williams. “But as Pope Francis says, it is not enough to avoid environmental disaster, to love our neighbour and ourselves…we have to ask how do we live in such a way to receive from God”.
Lord Williams, now the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, reserved his staunchest criticism for contemporary approaches to education.
“Children need to know what beauty is and we need to think how this can be nurtured and developed in education. We have increasingly lost sight of education as a humanising task,” he said.