August 31st, 2016
Hurtado’s Summer 2017
At the heart of the Hurtado’s summer was a Study Day. This is a new venture for us so very exciting. Twenty five people came to Wapping to explore the question ‘Is Relgion Good for You?’. enjoy. It is a theme presented to combat the widespread secular sentiment that ‘Religion is bad for you’; bad for your health, divisive and even instrumental in causing violence.
Nick Austin SJ started with a session based on the consideration of four main words; desire, happiness, sin and virtue. He encouraged us to review what we understood by these terms and how they could be understood wisely, respecting the best of our Christian religious tradition (or not). A good test of what we might judge and worthwhile is to ask the question, ‘What would we want for our children?’ Possible answers might include: relating well to others, making good decisions, learning from mistakes, being strong in difficulties, enjoying life without addiction or superficiality, having self-worth, caring for others, Knowing life as a journey to God)
After the lunch provided which gave participants time to socialise, Sarah Broscombe gave a presentation on the effect of religion in development work. Many found her presentation on the bases of modern development work an enlightening start. She also covered the role of women, good and bad aid, the Sphere Project and then how religions can have a positive influence in development (noting also some negative misuse of the religious card by some in the sector).
Damian Howard SJ ended the afternoon with a lively session on how Islam as a religion can be good. It certainly acts as social glue for many in society. Several participants had the chance to raise concerns on topical issues well-known in the media of today.
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre intends to put on other study days and if you have suggestions on topics for 2017 do let us know!
Stephen Power SJ