Greta Thunberg, the famous Swedish environmental activist, has been selected as one of the thirty new honorary doctorates which will be granted by Helsinki University.
Thunberg rose to renown after founding an activist movement dubbed Fridays for Future (also known as School Strike for Climate) in 2018. Despite the lack of any known dedication to the study of philosophy or theology, the degree that will be awarded to Thunberg is in theology.
Theology is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the study of religious faith, practice, and experience. especially: the study of God and of God’s relation to the world,” which begs the question of what precisely environmental activism has to do with the study of the divine.
Regarding the University of Helsinki’s awarding of the doctorate to Thunberg, Professor Martti Nissinen, explained that “By choosing Greta as an honorary doctor, we declare that we want to be as bold and influential as she is.”
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Last Monday, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report eight years in the making, which the IPCC claimed was the “final warning” for the world over the dangers of climate change.
Hysteric claims, such as those, are shared by environmental activists such as Thunberg, which form the core of her activism. For example, in October of 2022, Thunberg claimed that “Climate change has become a crisis sooner than expected” while criticizing the lack of action addressing her claims. Nonetheless, in recent days Thunberg has had some successes in her activism.
For example, recently, a court in Sweden gave Greta Thunberg and hundreds of other climate activists approval to proceed with a class action lawsuit against the Swedish government for “insufficient climate policy.”
This distinguished “opponent of fossil fuels” will be awarded her doctorate at a ceremony on June 9. It remains to be seen what, if anything, Thunberg achieves. Nonetheless, it is clear that Thunberg has significant influence in the academic and elite circles of the Western world.
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Author: Rodney Rios
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