1999 Theme

Theme – Creation, Culture, Community: How do we meet God?

All human society practices religion in some form. It seems to be a natural part of the makeup of the human person.  It therefore falls to Science to explain the existence of religion.  Many scientists believe that religion is set in evolution.  This widely held view corresponds to Rahner’s perception that the human person is by nature open to the transcendent.  How do these theories fit in with our experience in Ireland today?

Ireland Y2K, urban and rural, young and old, is reassessing religion, often dispensing with formal practice, yet willing to sample spirituality in many guises.   One can reasonably suggest that society today is simply, yet inexorably, attracted to other icons or shrines – art in all its forms, sport, fashion and media, consumer goods and technology.   Do these things weaken or strengthen our sense of mystery and belief in God?

What can we see in the evident social interchange and the voluntary communities that spontaneously develop around our current preoccupations and diversions.  If we see the Good do we see the God?  Can we come to know, relate and respond with committed love in our own way unaided or unguided by instruction?

Have these developments, both threatening and wondrous at the same time, become a problem beyond the reach of the institutional Church?   How do Christians who are called to be a community of love and service discern and inculturate these exciting changes in the way we live and worship?   This raises a challenge for all of us that is not to be ignored. How is it best met?

The Conference, through speakers, panelists and full participation of all who attend, will seek to explore ways and means that match the experience of our times and expectations for the future.  You are welcome on this journey of enquiry.