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Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 32, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2012

Kevin J. O'Brien
Pages 151-168
DOI: 10.1353/sce.2012.0008

"La Causa" and Environmental Justice
César Chávez as a Resource for Christian Ecological Ethics

CHRISTIAN ECOLOGICAL ETHICISTS INCREASINGLY RECOGNIZE THAT MORAL response to contemporary problems such as mass extinction and climate change must incorporate and build upon established movements for social justice. This essay contributes to that work by learning from the twentieth-century union organizer César Chávez and his advocacy for justice and environmental health among farm workers. I argue that understanding key themes of Chávez's morality in his context, particularly the universality of human dignity and the importance of personal and collective sacrifice, can contribute to a Christian ecological ethics with a program for social change and justice.