First Vatican “Courtyard of the Gentiles” event in the U.S. to be hosted at Georgetown

Georgetown University will be hosting a three-day conference from April 9-11 titled Faith, Culture, and the Common Good to examine how those of various religious beliefs, as well as those who claim no religion, can work together to foster a rich and diverse civil life.

The event is a part of the Vatican’s global “Courtyard of the Gentiles” initiative that was established in 2010 by the Pontifical Council for Culture to facilitate meaningful, inclusive religious dialogue that is open to all, regardless of one’s faith. The Council has held “Courtyard of the Gentiles” events in more than a dozen cities, including Budapest and Mexico City, but the Faith, Culture, and Common Good conference here at Georgetown will be the first one to ever be hosted in the U.S.

Partnering with the Archdiosese of Washington, Georgetown University and the Pontifical Council for Culture are sponsoring various events on campus as well as public events in the larger D.C. community. Vox has compiled a short list of events for you to explore.

Wednesday April 9th: Faith, Hip-Hop, and the Common Good

Hosted by Russel Simmons at the Kennedy Center, this performance features artists of diverse faiths—including MCs Talib Kweli, Jin, Poetic Pilgrimage, AmKoullel, The Narcicyst, and Mandeep Sethi and DJ Boo—to showcase interreligious diversity and tolerance through the hip-hop lens. A short post-show discussion led by Professor Michael Eric Dyson will immediately follow the performance. Free tickets will be distributed two per person in line on Wednesday, April 9 at the entrance to the Hall of Nations beginning at 5 p.m. The show itself begins at 6 p.m.

Thursday April 10th: Realizing the Common Good

From 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Gaston Hall, there will be two separate panels examining how people of different faith traditions work together to enrich civic life in America. The first panel, comprised mainly of scholars and journalists, will focus on how both religious and secular traditions can help us realize the common good. The second panel of writers from diverse backgrounds will explore ways in which religious questions are addressed in literature, especially within their own respective works. Smaller breakout groups to continue the dialogue will follow each session on the University’s front lawn. An RSVP for this event is required.

“Everything That Rises Must Converge” performance

At 8 p.m. in the Lohrfink Auditorium, the acclaimed theater troupe Compagnia de’ Colombari will perform Flannery O’Connor‘s classic short story “Everything that Rises Must Converge”. This story, written in 1964 and set in the newly integrated south, portray’s O’Connor’s encounter between black and white passengers on a city bus. It has come to represent the struggles over love and justice that have become an integral element of literature and culture not only her time, but also here in the present day. An RSVP is required for this event as well.


Photo: Tejvan Pettinger via Flickr

One Comment on “First Vatican “Courtyard of the Gentiles” event in the U.S. to be hosted at Georgetown

  1. If the vatican holds more events here, people will start to forget that Georgetown isn’t catholic enough.

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