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Exploring Catholic thought in an old-growth forest

Commonweal magazine turned to Vincent Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture and Sustainability Scholar at the Hanley Sustainability Institute, for the January cover story “A Cathedral Not Made by Hands,” exploring lessons on connectedness and creation in an old-growth forest.

Forests such as the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest near Blue River, Oregon, Miller writes, provide scientific confirmation of the key theme of Pope Francis’ ‘Laudato si’. “Far from a ruthless competition of individuals for water and nutrients, we find diverse communities supporting their members. Vast, complex, multi-species networks thrive by sharing resources and information. The vocabulary used is as consonant with Catholic social thought as the reality it describes…. There is a common good in the forest.”

Miller’s article is accompanied by photos of the Andrews forest by Oregon coast photographer David Paul Bayles. Find the article here.


News and Communications Staff