Real Presences: Eucharist, Society, and Global Catholicism
The past century has seen a revival in awareness of the social dimension of the Eucharist. As Lumen Gentium, the Vatican II constitution on the Church, emphasizes, the Eucharistic mystery is not simply for individual consumption and edification; rather, "in the sacrament of the eucharistic bread, the unity of all believers who form one body in Christ is both expressed and brought about" (Lumen Gentium, 3). The Eucharist counters the scattering of sin by gathering together the Church, a "sure seed of unity, hope and salvation for the whole human race" (Lumen Gentium, 9). This conference will explore how the Eucharist is enacted in--and has an impact on--different social contexts worldwide.
How is the celebration of the Eucharist affected in situations of poverty, affluence, violence, and interreligious confrontation? How does the Eucharist inspire and inform social action, peacemaking and community-building, both within and without the visible borders of the Church? Under what circumstances is a true celebration of the Eucharist impeded? In exploring the resources of Eucharistic theology and practice for social action, this conference hopes to bring together the social teaching of the Church with the central mystery of Christ's real presence among us.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Opening Plenary--The World Reconciled: Eucharist & Politics
Speaker: William Cavanaugh, Senior Research Fellow, Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology (CWCIT), DePaul University
Respondents: Maria Clara Bingemer, Associate Professor of Theology, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Emmanuel Katongole, Co-Founder & Senior Strategist, Center for Reconciliation, Duke Divinity School
Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago
Moderator: Peter Casarella, CWCIT Director, DePaul University
This opening session will address the resurgence of Eucharistic ecclesiology in the 20th century, especially in the work of Henri de Lubac, and explore the extent to which the social dimension of the Eucharist is applicable to the political world.
Tuesday, April 17
Eucharist & Society
Speakers: Susan K. Wood, SCL, Professor & Chair of Theology, Marquette University
Michael Budde, Senior Research Fellow, Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, DePaul University
Moderator: Peter J. Bernardi, SJ, Associate Professor, Theology, Loyola University Chicago
In her part of this session, Dr. Wood draws on a theme prominent in the Early Church Fathers & developed at length by the French Jesuit Henri du Lubac (1896-1991) to explore how the Eucharist reconciles all things to Christ (in the manner proclaimed by Colossians 1:15-20
). In particular, she will discuss how the Eucharist remembers & re-members the broken body of Christ to become a reconciling presence in the world, restoring the unity of the human race & bringing that unity to sacramental fulfillment.
In Dr. Budde's presentation, "Real Presence & False Gods: The Eucharist as Discernment," he explores the social, political & ecclesial implications of Eucharistic discernment in the contemporary Church. As a central means by which Christian disciples are formed, the Eucharist--when practiced rightly--shapes the affection, dispositions & desires of Christians. To the extent that the Eucharist instantiates the Real Presence of Christ in and for the Church today, so must the sacrament reveal to Christians those practices & collective gatherings that form identities & allegiances at odds with the Lordship of Christ.
Recent Papal Teaching on Eucharist as Communion & Solidarity
Speakers: Thomas Dalzell, SM, Head of Theological Studies, All Hallows College (Dublin, Ireland)
Edward J. Oakes, SJ, Chester & Margaret Paluch Professor of Theology, University of St. Mary of the Lake
Moderator: Ralph McMichael, Founder & Executive Director, Center for the Eucharist
In this session, Rev. Dalzell will give a presentation entitled "Eucharist, Communion & Orthopraxis in Joseph Ratzinger: The Priority of the Vertical." Rev. Oakes will speak on "Solidarity & Eschatology in the Teaching of Pope Benedict XVI," using the word teaching in both the classroom & magisterial sense.
Eucharist in Asia & Latin America
Speakers:Diego Irarrázaval, CSC, President, Chilean Society of Theology
Antony Kalliath, CMI, President, Indian Theological Association
Moderator: Michael J. Baxter, Visiting Associate Professor, CWCIT, DePaul University
This session will consider eucharist and society from a Latin American liberation and an Indian perspective, highlighting implicit eucharistic symbols in the Catholic celebration of the faith. Fr. Irarrázaval will present "The Fiesta of Faith in Latin America," and Fr. Kalliath's presentation will explore "Eastern Liturgy in the Present Asian Context: An Indian Eucharistic Theology."
Eucharistic Ecclesiology in East Africa
Speakers: Jay Carney, Assistant Professor of Theology, Creighton University
Philomena Mwaura, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy & Religious Studies, Kenyatta University (Nairobi, Kenya)
Moderator: Ryan J. Dowd, MPA, Executive Director, Hesed House
This session explores two themes in Catholic East Africa (e.g., Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania). Dr. Carney addresses the Eucharistic, conciliatory, and peacebuilding characteristics of the Small Christian Community (SCC), which has become the leading "emerging church" paradigm in this region. Drawing on the value of communal solidarity in African spirituality and the Catholic social teaching as lived out in Kenya's SCCs, Professor Mwaura explores how the celebration of the Eucharist can promote wholeness, peace, and healing in a region marked by myriad difficulties that include wars, poverty, the HIV/AIDS scourge, poor governance, international debt, and challenges attaining the Millennium Development Goals.
A Church at the Border?
Speakers: Farrell O'Gorman, Associate Professor of Catholic Studies and Literature, DePaul University
Daniel G. Groody, CSC, Associate Professor of Theology & Director of Center for Latino Spirituality & Culture, University of Notre Dame
Moderator: John F. Burke, Professor of Political Science, University of St. Thomas
This session will look at borders and immigration in light of the Church's mission of reconciliation. Amidst the contemporary social divisions and polarized debates, we will examine the hunger for communion across American borders as reflected in enduring works of Christian literature. We will explore the call to build right relationships through the means of a "rite relationship." We will examine how the Eucharist gives us a way of understanding what it means to be human before God in light of God's movement to us in the incarnation and our return migration to God in discipleship.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Eucharist & Martyria in the Present Age
Speakers: Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Julian Filochowski, Chair, Archbishop Romero Trust (London, England)
Moderator: Karen Scott, Chair of Catholic Studies, DePaul University
To begin this session, Dr. Cunningham will explore the idea of the Eucharist as “witness” and the witness (i.e., martyr) as having a eucharistic element. Building on these foundational themes, Mr. Filochowski will then discuss a case study: the modern-day witness of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.
Intercultural Reflections on Human Suffering & Eucharistic Promise
Speakers: A. Maria Arul Raja, SJ, Director, Studies in the Theologate, Vidyajyoti College's Arul Kadal Centre (Chennai, India)
Daniel Pilario, CM, Dean, St. Vincent School of Theology, Adamson University (Manila, Philippines)
Moderator: Chris Tirres, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, DePaul University
Rev. Pilario's part of this session aims to see the Eucharist from the perspectives of many social locations in the Global South where hunger, suffering, and poverty are part of the everyday landscape. It tries to evaluate the recent Vatican direction and contemporary theological reflections on Eucharistic theology vis-à-vis this stark reality of our times. If there are millions in the world today who live on less than $1 a day, how does this impact our Eucharistic celebrations?
In his part of the session, Fr. Arul Raja addresses the South Asian socio-cultural location which, under the grip of the centuries-old culture of exclusion and casteism, has reduced over 250 million to "untouchables" (i.e., the Dalits). But the Eucharist necessitates the ongoing promotion of the culture of community-building towards communion. How can those committed to the Eucharistic Lord seek to break the caste-minded culture of exclusion and sustain the communion-minded culture of egalitarianism?
Theology of Food: Eucharist & Body Politics
Speakers: Angel Méndez Montoya, OP, author of The Theology of Food: Eating & the Eucharist
Neomi DeAnda, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies and Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies, DePaul University
Moderator: Vincent J. Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture, University of Dayton
This session will propose embodied Eucharistic imaginations. Br. Méndez-Montoya’s presentation will address calls to caring for “other bodies,” particularly those who find themselves in the territory of absence of God, those who are abandoned or forgotten, the most vulnerable in our midst, those “indecent bodies” (in Marcella Althous-Reid´s words), the wretched, excluded bodies where God also is present. Dr. DeAnda will focus on the sharing of bodies particularly through the image of breast milk as found in the writings of Sor María Anna Águeda de San Ignacio and Bernard of Clairvaux.
Closing Plenary--Ite Missa Est: Going Forth Into the World
Virgilio Elizondo, Notre Dame Professor of Pastoral & Hispanic Theology & Fellow at Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame
Moderator: Peter Casarella, CWCIT Director, DePaul University
Ite missa est…for centuries, these were the Latin words used in the Mass for the dismissal. Today, in the new English translation, we hear “Go forth. The Mass is ended.” Best translated as “the sending,” missa is the word from which “Mass” itself is derived. And what is the Mass, ultimately, if not a sending forth of a people transformed by celebrating the Eucharist? As Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21). It is more than just a blessing as we leave; it is a charge to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will remain” (John 15:16). We are commissioned to go forth, transformed, into the world and bear fruit in the same way that Jesus did—through self-emptying love. This love impels us, in our daily lives, to be the body of Christ to all people, especially the poor, the marginalized, and all those with whom Christ shared his ministry of peace, justice, and reconciliation.