Urban Studies in the Mirror of World Catholicism
Thursday, April 14
This seminar on Urban Studies and Global Catholicism is intended for faculty but is open to the general public.
DePaul brands itself as a university that is Catholic, Vincentian, and urban. Since its founding, there has been a close connection between the Catholic mission and the commitment to serving the underrepresented in its own urban setting. In this session, we will examine the theological origins of the very notion of the city and, with the help of noted theologian Graham Ward, begin to explore how the self-understanding of the Christian community is intimately related to the body politic by way of the concrete practices of urban life like working at minimum-level wages, shopping to satisfy a consumerist desire, dwelling in high-rise apartments, and being homeless.
The panel discussion following Ward’s lecture will include experts on different aspects of the interface between urban studies and the theology of the city.
Each year, the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology sponsors a faculty seminar as part of World Catholicism Week. Last year, journalist John Allen gave a presentation on Pope Benedict XVI's environmental theology in order to stimulate a conversation by DePaul faculty on the religious dimensions of environmental sustainability. Graham Ward's presentation follows in this tradition and is being named the First Annual Peter V. Byrne, C.M., Lecture. The controversial and visionary first president of DePaul University, Byrne forged ahead in 1907 with the bold desire to build a Catholic university and liberal arts curriculum for all the urban immigrants of the city of Chicago and in which there would be no religious test for admission to the college or to the faculty.
Listen to Graham Ward preview his talk in this recent podcast (his segment of the podcast begins at 46:35).