“The gift of this beautiful earth is not to be ignored or regretted; instead, this world is the central setting in which the Christian life is to be attentively lived and faithfully pursued.”

Regard for creation and its creatures has been a perennial part of Christian spirituality for centuries. In more recent decades it has been the special concern of Catholic social teaching. Yet many Catholics today are unfamiliar with this aspect of Church thought. And until the splendor of creation is recovered, the path to a vibrant Catholic culture seems cut off.

The Joyful Mystery seeks to revive the Church’s practice of integral ecology and encourages a deeper awareness of the presence of God, the Creator and Lord of the universe. In it, author Christopher Thompson draws from the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas and the “Green Thomism” he inspires in contemporary life. Readers will come away moved by the presence of God manifest in his glorious cosmos and be drawn to integral ecology as a spiritual response.


About the author:

Christopher J. Thompson teaches moral theology at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife and three children. He has a PhD from Marquette University. His books and essays focus on issues in moral theology, ecology, and Thomas Aquinas.



“In wonderfully accessible prose, Thompson leads us from common sense to Catholic truth and back again, showing that the paths of theology and philosophy run through forests, fields, and farms.”
Matthew Levering
James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology,
Mundelein Seminary


“With remarkable clarity and poetic flare, Christopher Thompson gives us the philosophical and theological roots of an environmental ethic so desperately needed today. Deeply grounded in an order of creation informed by natural law and revelation, he weaves a challenging argument that all creation is the embodiment of God’s wisdom.”
Michael Naughton
Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and Koch Chair in Catholic Studies, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)


The Joyful Mystery engages environmental concerns guided by the wisdom of St. Thomas and in light of God’s presence as a loving Creator. A nicely integrated perspective that makes a vital contribution to the contemporary discussion.”
David L. Schindler
Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology, The John Paul II Institute, Washington D.C.


“Christopher Thompson’s The Joyful Mystery is an immensely rich, well-researched book that makes beautifully clear that Catholics should be leading the environmental movement, rather than trailing behind.”
Benjamin Wiker
Professor of Political Science and Director of Human Life Studies, Franciscan University of Steubenville and author of In Defense of Nature



Product Details

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Publish Date

November 2017



5.5" x 8.25"

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The Joyful Mystery: Field Notes Toward a Green Thomism