«Common home and new ways of living interculturally»: Public theology and ecology of culture in pandemic times


Common Home is a shared concept between the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’ (Ls) about the care of the Common Home, published months earlier. The new scenario of COVID19 and humanitarian crisis demands even more the adoption of a public agenda for a collective political and social effort that overcomes the cultural contradictions of economic determinism and calls for shared responsibility, supported by a culture of solidarity. In the words of Pope Francis, this moment reveals a humanity thinking that it would be possible to always be healthy in a world that is sick. At times like these, religions have a great potential for empathy and social cooperation with public agendas.

The aim of the project is to offer public theological hermeneutics that incorporates the 2030 Agenda into religious culture, based on the notion shared with the Ls of Common Home. As specific objectives it aims to:

a) develop an epistemological model that interacts with the potential for cooperation and solidarity in the religious field with the diverse areas of knowledge for a review of moral and mental outlooks, in an intercultural key that seekscooperative solutions between different people and institutions for common problems;

b) promoting an ecological cultural creation for the interdependent SDGs that focus on languages that bring together critical and common sense;

c) everyday practices, which brings about the need to think of vulnerability as a central category of an ethics and aesthetics of care.

The cultural dimension of the crisis, as well as the social and ecological dimensions, is evoked by Ls, as a way of resisting the monopoly of the technocratic paradigm and its globalizing and mass modes of production, rooted in epistemological anthropocentrism and the throwaway culture, which has been nourished by a consumerist.

Ls thus calls for a bold cultural revolution that establishes the interdependence between scientific and economic solutions, education and culture, integrating in public discourse, cultural diversity, art, poetry, and expressions of inner life.

The review of specialized literature and the assessment of its impact revealed the need to fill a gap in the current debate on Common Home, which is the role of cultural ecology in integral ecology, and its interdependence with the ecology of everyday life. The hypothesis of this project is that cultural ecology, which emerged in the 1980s, and which has been reemployed by Pope Francis since the epistemology of Michel de Certeau's everyday life, can be developed as a platform for integral ecology and multithematic goals and interdependent SDGs.

De Certeau, in addition to being the theologian most appreciated by Pope Francis  and despite not having developed a specific thought on ecology, dedicates his work to the constant cultural transformations in the society of consumption and mass culture. His work privileges the challenge of recognizing otherness, especially those arising from the contradictions of society such as excluded, immigrants, minorities and the worsening of the gender inequality. Alternative cultural dynamism arises from the ability to discern the tension between what has been preserved and what has been invented in the cultural fabric, caused by the presence of otherness, demanding the creation of a common place of cohabitation. His notion of the common makes it possible to suspend a dichotomous view of identity and otherness, in favor of a relational view.

Theologically, the otherness can be seen under the sign of the unpredictable and is exactly the way it represents the unveiling of God, deconstructing the hegemonic attempts and promoting a reconciled diversity. The intended contribution aims at a new imaginary, integrating cultural and social boundary, for use in formal and informal education in religious communities that adopt the 2030 Agenda. Thus, it aims to discern new ways of operationalizing the public feeling of solidarity in post-pandemic times through the development of a digital platform (websites, mobile phone apps, audiovisual content...).

The use of digital technologies aims the development ecological competencies of Common Home's Theology of everyday life in promoting community education (intercultural learning), civic participation (citizenship), communication (creativity), and expression (ethics and aesthetics), translated into ordinary language in order to reduce the incongruities between ecological systems, social and economic context. CITER has investigated the contemporary religious phenomenon connected with culture, public space and ecology, including the theoretical framework of M. de Certeau, with other R&D units.

This allow this project a transdisciplinary research which brings together 42 researchers from 11 R&D units and knowledge areas across the country.

National Partnerships [view site]

  • CECC - Centro de Pesquisa em Comunicação e Cultura (UCP)
  • CEFH  - Centro de Estudos Filosóficos e Humanísticos (UCP)
  • CEHR - Centro de Estudos de História Religiosa (UCP)
  • CIIS - Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Saúde (UCP)
  • CUBE- CATÓLICA-LISBON's Business and Economics Research Unit (UCP)
  • CECH - Centro de Estudos Clássicos e Humanísticos (Universidade de Coimbra)
  • CEIS20-UC - Centro de Estudos Interdisciplinares do Século XX (Universidade de Coimbra)
  • CFUL - Centro de Filosofia (Universidade de Lisboa)
  • CIEBA - Centro de Estudos e Investigação em Belas-Artes (Universidade de Lisboa)
  • CLLC - Centro de Línguas, Literaturas e Culturas (Universidade de Aveiro)       
  • PRAXIS - Centro de Filosofia, Política e Cultura (Universidade de Évora e Universidade da Beira Interior)

International Partnerships

  • Université Laval, Canadá
  • Universität Bern, Suiça
  • Universität Augsburg, Alemanha
  • Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Espanha
  • Université Strasbourg, França
  • Northwestern University, Illinois, Estados Unidos
  • Universidad Católica Argentina
  • Pontificia Università Lateranense, Itália
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brasil

Scientific, cultural and artistic activities to be developed on the following themes:

Stage I: September /2020 - August/2021: Inhabit critically.

  • Common Home's Epistemology
  • Laudato si ’ critical analysis

Stage II: September /2021 - August/2022: Inhabit poetically

  • Common Home Theopoetics
  • Common Home's Ethics and Aesthetics
  • Common Home Spirituality
  • Common Home Digital Ecology
  • Common Home and Francesco's Economy

Stage III: September /2022 - August/2023: Inhabit ethically and interculturally

  • Common Home Practices
  • Common Home and forest fires
  • Common Home Digital Platform




Workgroupos and coordinators


CITER - Projet Common Home