In November of 2015, the Lilly Endowment awarded Loyola University Chicago a grant to launch a summer theology institute for high school students - the THEA Institute. Theology of Healing Earth in Action (THEA) takes its name from the e-textbook, Healing Earth, which was developed by an international team under the leadership of Dr. Nancy Tuchman and Dr. Michael Schuck, Co-directors of the International Jesuit Ecology Project. The Institute will use the Healing Earth curriculum for its primary content in order to cultivate a new generation of leaders moved by both faith and reason.
In his encyclical, Laudato Si', Pope Francis describes environmental degradation as the grand challenge of the 21st century and calls on all people to care for our common home. Loyola University Chicago's Theology of Healing Earth in Action Institute has elected to take on the mantle of environmental justice by demonstrating that theology, alongside other fields of study, plays an important role in changing the world and that religion is a powerful tool with which to address contemporary social challenges.
The Lilly Endowment is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by the Lilly family. Lilly exists to support the causes of religion, education, and community development, with special emphasis on projects that benefit young people and promote leadership.
Lilly's goals include:
- Explore in-depth sacred scriptures and theological traditions and examine the moral and ethical dimensions of contemporary challenges.
- Draw on wisdom of their religious traditions as they make decisions about their futures.
- Consider vocations in full-time ministry and religious leadership.
Healing Earth is a free, online environmental science textbook written by people who share concern for the natural world. This is an ongoing project by an international group of scientists and humanists who imagine - and work for - a cleaner and healthier planet.