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140410faithculturecommongoodcourtyardgentiles

April 10, 2014

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

9:00 a.m. | Welcome Remarks
Dr. John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President, Pontifical Council for Culture


Plenary Session
Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Harvard Kennedy School
Michael Gerson, ONE Campaign
Saba Mahmood, University of California, Berkeley
Phil Zuckerman, Pitzer College
Cokie Roberts, ABC News and NPR (moderator)


11:15 a.m. | Tents of Dialogue

AFTERNOON: Faith, Culture, and Community

1:45 p.m. | Plenary Session
Alice McDermott, author
Robert Pinsky, Boston University
Ayana Mathis, author
Alan Lightman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Paul Elie, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs (moderator)


3:20 p.m. | Tents of Dialogue

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

TAGS

democracy

Participants

John DeGioia

John DeGioia

John J. DeGioia is the forty-eighth president of Georgetown University and a professorial lecturer in the Department of Philosophy. For more than three decades, he has served the Georgetown community in both senior administrative and academic...
Paul Elie

Paul Elie

Paul Elie is a senior fellow with the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the director of the American Pilgrimage Project, a university partnership with StoryCorps based in the Berkley Center. His work deals primarily with...
Michael Gerson

Michael Gerson

Michael J. Gerson has been a senior advisor at ONE, a bipartisan organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases, since August 2010. He is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the ...
J. Bryan Hehir

J. Bryan Hehir

Father J. Bryan Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Previously he served on the staff of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as President...
Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman is Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also the John Burchard Professor of the Humanities at MIT until 2003. An accomplished physicist and author, Lightman bridges the...
Saba Mahmood

Saba Mahmood

Dr. Saba Mahmood is an associate professor of Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores the relationship between modern religion and secularism, with a special focus on gender, Islamist politics...
Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis

Ayana Mathis is a novelist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (2012), her first novel, was a New York Times...
Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott is the author of the novels A Bigamist’s Daughter (1982); That Night (1987), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award; and At Weddings and Wakes (1992), a New York Times...
Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky

Poet Robert Pinsky is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Boston University. He is the author of nineteen books, most recently his Selected Poems (2011) and the anthology Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying...
Gianfranco Ravasi

Gianfranco Ravasi

Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi is the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Ravasi was born in 1942 in northern Italy and was ordained in 1966. He has extensive education and training in both...
Cokie Roberts

Cokie Roberts

Cokie Roberts is a journalist and author. A contributing senior news analyst for National Public Radio, she also serves as a regular roundtable analyst for This Week with George Stephanopoulos and is a regular political commentator and on-air...
Donald Wuerl

Donald Wuerl

Donald Cardinal Wuerl is the Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, DC and was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010. He serves on numerous national and international bodies, including the Vatican Congregations for the Doctrine of the...
Phil Zuckerman

Phil Zuckerman

Phil Zuckerman is professor of Sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. His research interests focus on secularity, atheism, apostasy, and Scandinavian culture from a sociological perspective. He is the author of Living the Secular Life: New...