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St Augustine College is Proud to Incorporate the Vision of the Laudato Si’ Action Plan as part of its 2023 Philosophy and Peace Studies Curriculum

The involvement of St Augustine College with the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, an initiative of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is a commitment to adopting an ecological worldview that addresses the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor as in reality one interconnected cry. By aligning with this initiative, the College aims to offer real and lasting solutions to the ecological crisis and encourage concrete actions to protect our common home.

St Augustine College of South Africa is incorporating the vision of the Laudato Si’ Action Plan into its 2023 Philosophy and Peace Studies Curriculum. The Laudato Si’ Action Plan, inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, emphasizes the importance of integral ecology, where the interconnectedness between humanity, the Earth, and all living beings is recognized and prioritized. The vision is to create a world that embraces all beings as part of a common home.

A statement by St. Augustine College highlights its involvement in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform in South Africa, affirming its belief in the importance of adopting an integral ecological worldview that considers the interconnectedness between humanity, the Earth, and all living beings. 

Laudato Si’ Tools and Resources

The Laudato Si’ Action Platform offers tools and resources for a journey towards total sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology. It offers real and lasting solutions to the ecological crisis. This ever-growing program supports participants to develop tailored Laudato Si’ Action Plans to accomplish one purpose: Concrete actions to protect our common home.

In his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis refers to Saint Francis of Assisi who held that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. This sister now cries out because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.”

In 1971 Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity: “Due to an ill-considered exploitation of nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”.

In the Encyclical, Pope Francis quotes Patriarch Bartholomew: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins.”

“We Need a New and Universal Solidarity”

Says Pope Francis: “Bartholomew has drawn attention to the ethical and spiritual roots of environmental problems, which require that we look for solutions not only in technology but in a change of humanity; otherwise we would be dealing merely with symptoms. He asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion.”

“We need a new and universal solidarity” says Pope Francis in his appeal for the protection of our planet – our common home – by the human family “to seek a sustainable and integral development. It is precisely the lineaments of such a new worldview that the academic programmes and short courses offered at St Augustine College aim to trace and disseminate.

Waste and the throwaway culture

Further issues dealt with by the Laudato Si’ Action Platform includeare:

·        Pollution and climate change, including global warming, the growing concern about the depletion of natural water sources, the loss of biodiversity, inequality, decline in the quality of human life, the breakdown of society, and the waste of a throwaway culture.

·        An awareness of the gravity of today’s cultural and ecological crisis that must be translated into new habits.

·        The rich heritage of Christian spirituality that has a precious contribution to make to the renewal of humanity.

·        The need to regain the conviction that people need one another, that they have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent is worthwhile.

Integral Ecology is a way of thinking about these issues that is firmly rooted in the core values of the Christian tradition, while being applicable to many contemporary societal issues, and specifically to Peace Studies and peace building as personal, communal and societal practice.


St Augustine College is proud to be part of the Laudato Si’ Action Plan in South Africa. 

“It is our firm conviction that what the world needs is a conversion to an integral ecological worldview. A worldview that is radically relational, that is as open to the cry of the earth as to the cry of the poor; a worldview that strives to make practical the vision of the world as a common home for all beings. From 2023 onwards St Augustine’s offerings in Philosophy and Peace Studies will also reflect this vision.”

·         The Laudato Si’ Action Platform (

·         Watch the address of Pope Francis (

·         Read about St Augustine College (

Conflict is a part of life. It can be destructive and harmful, or it can be constructive and helpful. The way in which we deal with conflict has a huge impact on our lives, both individually and collectively. That is why it is so important to study peace.

So, what is peace and why is it so important? Read on to find out!

What is Peace Studies?

Peace studies is an interdisciplinary field that looks at all aspects of peace. It embraces four Ps: Peace Psychology; Philosophy; Politics; and Peace. It includes topics such as conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and post-conflict reconstruction. Peace studies also looks at the history of peace movements and the theory behind peace initiatives. In short, peace studies is a way to learn about everything related to peace, from the dignity of each human person through community peacebuilding to international peace-focused initiatives.

BA(Hons) in Peace Studies in South Africa

What is post-conflict reconstruction?

Post-conflict reconstruction refers to the process of rebuilding a country after a period of conflict. This can include rebuilding infrastructure, providing humanitarian aid, and setting up new institutions. It also involves dealing with the psychological aftermath of conflict, such as trauma and grief counselling. Post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation is a vital part of peacebuilding, with the hope of preventing further conflict.

Why do we need to study peace?

There are many reasons why peace studies are important. It helps us to understand the causes of conflict and how to prevent it. Peace studies also teaches us about different methods for resolving conflicts peacefully. In addition, it helps us to understand the importance of peacebuilding. Without peace studies, we would be missing a vital tool for creating a more peaceful world.

What is the importance of conflict resolution and peace building?

Conflict resolution is the process of resolving disputes between two or more parties. It can be done through negotiation, mediation, or other peaceful means.

Peacebuilding is a broader term that refers to all efforts to build peace, including conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and post-conflict reconstruction.

Both conflict resolution and peacebuilding are important to create lasting peace.

How can conflict resolution skills help?

Conflict resolution skills can help you in your personal life and in your professional life. For example, if you have two co-workers who are constantly arguing, you can use your skills to help them resolve their differences.

If you are a manager, you can use conflict resolution skills to prevent disputes between employees from getting out of hand. In addition, if you are in a relationship, you can use these skills to deal with arguments in a more constructive way.

What can you do with a Peace Studies degree?

A peace studies degree can lead to many different careers, such as working for a NGO, being a peacekeeper, or working in post-conflict reconstruction. You will have the knowledge and skills that are necessary to build peace in the world.

Upon completion of the Honours in Peace Studies degree at St Augustine College, students might also qualify to continue with a Masters Degree in Philosophy, in Applied Ethics, or in Culture and Education at St Augustine College.

How long does it take to finish a degree in Peace Studies?

A peace studies degree at St Augustine College takes two years to complete. In the first year, students study different aspects of peace. In the second year, students work to produce an independent research report. 

What is the difference between peace studies and peace education?

The Honours Programme in Peace Studies looks at all aspects of peace. Peace education, on the other hand, focuses specifically on teaching people about peace. Peace education can be part of a peace studies program, but it is not the same thing.

Peace building activities for youth:

There are many peacebuilding activities that can be done with youth. For example, peace camps, peace clubs, and peace gardens are all great ways to get youth involved in peacebuilding.

In addition, there are many peace education programs that can be used to teach youth about conflict resolution and peacebuilding. By getting youth involved in peacebuilding, we can create a more peaceful world for future generations.

Examples of peace-building efforts that have successfully addressed to conflict in the past:

Some examples of successful peace-building efforts include the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, the peace process in Northern Ireland, and the peace agreement between the government of Colombia and the FARC. These are just a few examples of how peacebuilding can successfully address conflict.

All for a better future…

Conflict resolution is important because it can help to prevent or end conflict. It can also help to improve relationships and communication. If you want to make a difference in the world, consider pursuing a degree in peace studies.

Ready to Join?

St Augustine offers short courses, certificate courses and a range of degrees from the bachelors through to the doctorate level, all of which are recognised and accredited by the relevant branches of South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training.
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