The Recession and God: Where do we go from here?
A Public Talk by Fr. Gerry O’Hanlon, S.J., (Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice)andDr. Nat O'Connor (TASC)Chairperson: Ms. Dearbhail McDonald (Irish Independent)
Thursday, 11 March, 2010 - Manresa
The Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising…it counts the destruction of the redwood…it does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials…it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile’ - Robert Kennedy, 1968.
In the light of the current economic crisis which is affecting all of us, not just in Ireland but globally, you are invited to participate in an evening of conversation at Manresa about an alternative way forward that would build on past experience and learn from past mistakes. Can we marry a new vision of human progress, inspired by authentic values, with concrete economic models without a simple return to ‘business as usual’? Can we learn from the current recession to develop a healthier notion of economic success? Can we initiate a conversation among ourselves around banking, financial markets, the economy, culture and values, politics and religion which might lead to a different, more holistic economic model?
In this talk Fr. Gerry O’Hanlon, S.J., and Dr. Nat O’Connor will present a different economic and theological analysis, and a different vision than is currently in place. Drawing on the rich resources of the Christian tradition, Gerry will argue for the need for a new, more socially responsible economic paradigm, based on a vision of the common good. He will urge that we use this time of crisis as an opportunity to commit ourselves to the search for a more sustainable future. Convinced of the relevance of theological thought for practical living he will show how Christian wisdom can inform the debate and bring healing and vitality to a damaged society. Dr. Nat O’Connor will argue that challenging the received wisdom can open up ways for new decisions that can benefit the whole of society, not just those with the most powerful voices. These and other issues will be addressed during the course of this Public Talk in Manresa and the event will be chaired by Ms. Dearbhail McDonald, Legal Editor of the Irish Independent.
Fr. Gerry O’Hanlon, S.J., is a staff member of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and is Associate Professor of Theology at the Milltown Institute, where he was Dean of Theology for many years. He completed his Doctoral studies at Queen’s University Belfast, where he was resident for two years at the Presbyterian Chaplaincy. He was Provincial of the Irish Jesuit Province from 1998 to 2004. Resident since 1987 in Cherry Orchard, he has a strong interest in social theology and Christian-Muslim dialogue. He is author of many publications, most recently The Recession and God (Messenger Publications, 2009) and ‘The Murphy Report: a Response’ (The Furrow, February 2010).
Dr. Nat O’Connor holds a PhD in Political Science and joined TASC from the Homeless Agency, where he led the Research and Information Team. In this capacity, he was responsible for commissioning research as well as designing statistical reporting systems, and project-managed the 2008 Counted In census of all those using homeless services. Prior to joining the Homeless Agency, Nat was a lecturer in Political Science at Trinity College Dublin, and continues to be retained as an ‘occasional lecturer’ in Social Policy at NUI Maynooth. Since joining TASC in June 2009, Nat has led a joint TASC-Amnesty project on human rights auditing of budgetary processes, and is currently developing policy proposals on housing and freedom of information.
Ms. Dearbhail McDonald, from Newry, County Down, is the Legal Editor for The Irish Independent. Dearbhail is a former news correspondent with The Sunday Times Newspaper, has won several Justice Media Awards for her legal reporting and is a former Young Irish Medical Journalist of the Year. Dearbhail, 30, who began her journalism career in New York, holds an LL.B (Law) from Trinity College Dublin and a Master of Arts in Journalism from Dublin City University. Dearbhail is a board member of MediaForum, an organisation that provides, supports and facilitates media literacy education in Ireland. A classically trained violinist, Dearbhail is a member of the Dublin Symphony Orchestra and the Serafina String Quartet.
Venue: Manresa, Jesuit Centre of Spirituality, 426 Clontarf Road, Dollymount, Dublin 3.Date: Thursday, 11 March, 2010.