Eco-Justice Ministries
   Eco-Justice: "the well-being of all humankind on a thriving Earth"
 

THE CURRICULUM DATABASE IS NO LONGER BEING UPDATED
We hope the information in these reviews will be helpful to you,
but we cannot guarantee that the curriculum resources are still available
or that links to other websites will be active.

Eco-Curriculum Review for the title
A Catechism of Creation

This is the general report format.
Shorter and more detailed report formats are also available for this title.

Short Description:   The Catechism of Creation is written in the question-and-answer format like the “Outline of the Faith, or Catechism” in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. The Catechism of Creation may also serve as a resource for devotional purposes.
Long Description:   The Catechism of Creation, written in a question-and-answer format, provides educational and devotional material. The Committee on Science, Technology and Faith offers this Catechism as part of its ministry of education. It is designed for Episcopalians to become better informed about fundamental elements of both Christian faith and modern science. It also invites congregations to develop an intentional ministry of caring for creation in their own communities, and inspires them to incorporate celebration of the creation in common worship.

Part I outlines the doctrine of creation, drawing upon the Bible and the theology of the early Church.

Part II presents basic information about modern scientific discoveries and theories about the history of the universe and of life. It also gives examples showing how science has informed and inspired a new theological understanding of God’s relationship to the creation.

Part III presents the biblical basis for the church’s commitment to an ethic of caring for creation, and suggests ways in which individuals and congregations might live out this ministry.

The Appendix includes a select bibliography a lectionary guide for preaching on creation.

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   The Committee on Science, Technology and Faith of The Executive Council, The Episcopal Church in the United States of America
Publisher:   The Episcopal Church in the USA
Publication date:   2005 Website for this resource:   www.episcopalchurch.org/19021_58393_ENG_HTM.htm

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool     Primary     Jr. High     Sr. High     Adult
The reviewer specifies:   Catechism applies to any inquirer
NOTE: Our reviewer may have checked a wider age range than specified in the curriculum itself.
Optimum class size The reviewer did not comment - assume 10-20 
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 3 class sessions each lasting about 1 hour
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? The Catechism is not necessarily a curriculum, but can easily be adapted to form a three part study.  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 using these materials, or even just one session from them, a reasonable, coherent and self-contained class can be offered in a single session of about an hour.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Are learners expected to do homework? The reviewer did not describe any homework  
Target audience:
 Interfaith - addressed people of many faiths
 Judeo-Christian - addressed to Jews & Christians
 Christian - addressed explicitly to Christians
 Not explicity faith-based - not much religious content
Note: In the opinion of the reviewer, meaningful use of this curriculum is largely confined to members of the denomination or agency that developed it , Episcopal .
For example, it may explore a denominational policy statement.

Materials provided
Materials include:
 Leader's guide
 Student book
 Discussion questions
 Class activities - arts & crafts
 Class activities - group participation 
 Video
 Reading materials
 Presentation or lecture notes
 Prayer or worship resources
 

Other supportive materials provided: Catechism is in question-and-answer format; neither leader or student guide nor activities recommended.
Other materials required:Catechism appendix provides Scripture Passages mentioned in the Catechism of Creation and creation passages in the Episcopal Lectionary (The Book of Common Prayer, 1979).
Description of the Leader's Guide:A CATECHISM OF CREATION, An Episcopal Understanding was prepared for study in congregations. While the catechism is set up in a question-and-answer format, it could be adapted into a three-part study series.

The catechism provides extensive scriptural references, so leader would need to be prepared with a bible and BCP for each participant.

Part I outlines the doctrine of creation, drawing upon the Bible and the theology of the early Church.

Part II presents basic information about modern scientific discoveries and theories about the history of the universe and of life. It also gives examples showing how science has informed and inspired a new theological understanding of God’s relationship to the creation.

Part III presents the biblical basis for the church’s commitment to an ethic of caring for creation, and suggests ways in which individuals and congregations might live out this ministry.

The appendices include a bibliography for further study of theological, scientific, and environmental topics presented in the Catechism. A Lectionary Guide for preachers, including both the Prayer Book Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary, keys biblical passages on creation to the Liturgical Year.

Description of the Student's Book:The Catechism is the student´s book.

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Minimal - the gist is present, but the leader will need to work at organizing or completing it  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Minimal - the gist is present, but the leader will need to work at organizing or completing it  
Will it be helpful to have a teacher with above-average expertise in the subject matter? Helpful to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Catechism will require light preparation; Leader could read through once to facilitate discussion. Further research on scriptural passages would aid comprehension. 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as one of several emphases  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? Catechism provides perspectives for a Theology of Creation, a set of answers about Creation and Science and ways to Caring for Creation.  
How is the scope of the environmental impact positioned?  Impact on specific human communities
 Impact on humans in general
 Impact on humans and non-human parts of creation
 Impact on non-human parts of creation only  
Does the curriculum address questions of social or economic justice in relation to environmental issues? No  
Biblical/theological content
Does the curriculum have explicit biblical or theological content? Yes, as a major emphasis  
How are the Biblical materials used? Individual texts are presented as meaningful ('proof texts')
Several texts are developed to show a larger biblical theme
Texts are placed in a historical or cultural context
Texts are presented as authoritative
Students are invited to comment/reflect on the meaning or authority of texts
Biblical texts are of equal importance to other scriptures/readings  
The checked statements reflect how ethical guidelines are grounded The Bible tells us how we should live/act
A theological tradition or other authority tells us how we should live/act
We should make decisions about how to live/act based on defined ethical norms
Caring for creation is an assumed norm  
The curriculum views humanity's role in creation as:
The checked lines are clearly affirmed
Domination - God created the Earth for human use; there are no real restrictions on what we can or should do.
Stewardship - "The Earth is the Lord's"" and humans are in a position of managing the creation according to God's will.
Partner - Humans are part of the web of creation, and participate in it as one species among many.
Intruder - Humans are separate from nature, and inherently destructive.
In evaluating changes to "solve" environmental problems, does the curriculum tend toward an approach that is: Confessional - I/we need to change
Confrontational - Some other person, policy or institutions needs to change
Combination - a mix of confessional and confrontational

Content approach
Which of these are a primary target outcome of the curriculum?  Increase awareness or concern about the environment in general
 Increase awareness of concern about a specific environmental issue
 Acquiring factual knowledge about an issue
 Changing or deepening personal beliefs
 Change in self-awareness or self-identity
 Changes in personal behaviors or lifestyle choices
 Influence on institutional (church or other) practices
 Increased political advocacy
 No change, or goal not clear
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented


Eco-Justice Ministries   *   400 S Williams St, Denver, CO   80209   *   Home Page: www.eco-justice.org
Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
To contact a representative of the agency by e-mail, please use the contact form