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World Catholicism Week

​​​​​​ World Catholicism Week 2024 April 12-13

Is Idolatry Dead? Disenchantment and Misenchantment in the Contemporary World

April 12-13, 2024
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(Chicago & livestream)

We often hear of the contrast between an "enchanted" global South and an increasingly
Photo credit: AndreyKrav
secular and "disenchanted" North. At the same time, however, Pope Francis has revived idolatry critique, focused especially on the false gods of the supposedly secular political economies dominated by the global North. But idolatry critique can be dangerous; colonial powers frequently denigrated indigenous people as idolaters in need of conversion. This conference takes up these issues, exploring the question: How is the language of idolatry and enchantment used—and misused—in today's world?

Our speakers will address the following topics:

    • Colonialism and idolatry critique
    • Enchantment, disenchantment, and misenchantment in the global North and global South
    • Scriptural and theological reflections on idolatry
    • Naming today's idols ​​

Conference Speakers

  • Victor Carmona (University of San Diego)
  • William T. Cavanaugh (DePaul University)
  • Emilce Cuda (Pontifical Commission for Latin America)
  • Paul Gifford (SOAS, University of London)
  • Patrick Gilger, SJ (Loyola University Chicago)
  • Stan Chu Ilo (DePaul University)
  • Bungishabaku Katho (Shalom University of Bunia, DR Congo)
  • David Lantigua (University of Notre Dame)
  • Eugene McCarraher (Villanova University)
  • David Ngong (Stillman College)
  • Andrew Redden (University of Liverpool)
  • Jung Mo Sung (Methodist University of São Paulo)
  • Stephanie Wong (Villanova University)

Conference Organizers/Sponsors

Organized by DePaul University's Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology (CWCIT), World Catholicism Week is an annual event, now in its 15th year, that gathers scholars from around the world to explore a single topic. CWCIT is grateful to its conference cosponsors here at DePaul: