Cultivating Public Values
In today's world, Western societies are facing contemporary challenges in relation to the public realm. These problems embrace local issues, such as the decline of traditional neighborhoods and the loss of neighborliness in large cities, as well as wider issues, such as the fear of difference and "otherness" (particularly seen in large, radically plural cities), the growth of nationalism and populism, and the anger within citizens that perpetuates these issues.
Philip Sheldrake argues that many of these societal dysfunctions can be mitigated through shared, critical public values: community, reconciliation, hospitality, solidarity, peacemaking, and mercy. But how are critical public values to be cultivated? And who has a role in cultivating them? How do public leaders, both local and national, affect the presence of these standards? Sheldrake explored these questions in his public talk, followed by a conversation with the audience.