Scholars Shed Light on the Future of the Church

Monday, December 6, 2010

On Sunday, Dec. 5, the Catholic Intellectual Series hosted a forum featuring senior fellows from the Woodstock Theological Center. "The Future of the Church: Sources of Hope," attracted an overflow crowd of 321 to the Wolfington Teletorium. The forum discussed how the Church could change in the coming years. The visiting scholars addressed, among other issues, how ministry may change, how an engaged laity can affect positive change and how political, population and cultural demographics may impact the religion.

“The Woodstock Forum offered us a great way to take a look at what Pope Benedict XVI has called for – a new evangelization,” says Daniel Joyce, S.J., assistant to the Vice President for Mission. “There is a new concern regarding how the Church may engage the contemporary world in the context of the many challenges that beset the global community. The conversation was very fruitful.”

The forum featured Senior Fellows from the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. The independent research center is known for its theological and ethical reflection on issues facing humanity. Though they employ a Roman Catholic faith perspective, scholars from the Center strive to produce work that is inter-religious, and encourage the service of faith through the promotion of justice.

The Fellows who presented at SJU are respected experts in their fields. Thomas J. Reese, S.J., devotes much of his research to the relationship between Catholicism and civil society; Dolores R. Leckey, M.A., is the former executive director of the secretariat for family, laity, women and youth at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and focuses her research on women and theology; the Rev. Raymond B. Kemp, director of Preaching the Just Word and Faith in the City, studies Christian initiation, urban politics and development and community organizing. Carol Jean Vale, S.S.J., president of Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, moderated the event.


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