Faith, Culture, and the Common Good

The American experience of democracy is inextricably bound with the country's history of religious and cultural pluralism. Yet in recent years, deep divides rooted in politics and ideology have challenged the American ideal. How can people of different faith traditions, as well as those who claim no religious affiliation, work together to enrich civic life in America?
Georgetown convened two panels of leading scholars, journalists, and authors to examine this question. During the first panel, scholars and journalists discussed how our diverse traditions—religious and secular—can help in realizing the common good. A second panel with writers of diverse backgrounds explored how questions with a religious dimension are taken up in literature and specifically in their own work. Following each session, panelists, students, and the wider community were invited to break into smaller groups and continue the conversation in Tents of Dialogue on the university's front lawn.

The event was part of the Faith, Culture, and the Common Good conference at Georgetown April 9-11, 2014. The conference was part of the Courtyard of the Gentiles initiative, a structure for permanent dialogue, created by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture in 2010. Georgetown University, the Pontifical Council for Culture, and the Archdiocese of Washington cosponsored the conference.


Morning: Realizing the Common Good

Welcome Remarks | John J. DeGioia, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Plenary Session | Michael Gerson, Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Saba Mahmood, Cokie Roberts, Phil Zuckerman

Afternoon: Faith, Culture, and Community

Plenary Session | Alice McDermott, Paul Elie, Alan Lightman, Ayana Mathis, Robert Pinsky

Related event | Everything That Rises Must Converge
Related | Resources on previous Courtyard of the Gentiles meetings

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