Disposable Culture and Our World Today: 1st Annual John Courtney Murray Forum

On March 31, 2014, the Catholic Studies Minors will host a day-long forum to share ideas, engage in debate and discussion, and grow in knowledge and compassion by delving deeply into the topic of Disposable Culture. Pope Francis has spent much of his first year as pope discussing the world in which we live and calling for a return to loving compassion for the poor, the earth, and all that we so easily dispose in our culture today. Inspired by Pope Francis, we aim to offer to the Loyola community a perspective and a fresh take on the topic of disposable culture as it applies to us, college students in 2014.
Because the Catholic Studies program encourages interdisciplinary scholarship and mixed media, we are looking for you to present on disposable culture from your very unique lens. Are you an artist? Paint, dance, or draw something that represents disposable culture for us. Are you a scientist? Demonstrate for your peers the ways our disposable culture affects the environment and our natural resources. Are you a social scientist? Debate the social costs of government cuts on the poor and marginalized.

Will you make a short film? Will you and 2-3 others propose a panel? Do you want to rant? This forum is unique because it's for students, by students. And we are looking for YOU to share your gifts to make it a success.

All proposals are due no later than Monday, February 10, 2014. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact Dr. Murphy, Director of Catholic Studies (mmurphy23@luc.edu) or Sophomore student and Catholic Studies Minor, Maura Rocks (mrocks@luc.edu).

    What, you might ask, even is disposable culture?

    For a quick lesson, here are two quotes from Pope Francis on the topic: "Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a "throw away" culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live' those excluded are no longer society's underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised - they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the 'exploited' but the outcast, the "leftovers" (Evangelii Gaudium, 53). "Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us" (Evangelii Gaudium, 54). In addition, here are a few additional perspectives on disposable culture to get your mind moving! Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324178904578340440620982664 U.S. News & World Report: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2012/09/21/the-wasteful-culture-of-forever-21-hm-and-fast-fashion
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