On September 28, I was privileged to be able to attend the John Kelly lecture sponsored by the University of St. Michael’s College. The lecture is entitled: To Evangelize the Culture and was given by Father Robert Barron, who is my favorite online homilist. (Check out Father Barron’s efforts to evangelize culture at www.WordonFire.org.) Given Father Barron’s engagement in the culture, initially I thought that I’d be enjoying a talk specifically oriented towards Catholic artists. Instead, he wanted to give more of the theoretical underpinnings to his work. So we received a wonderful three-part exploration of the title. In only an hour, he explored: What is evangelization? What is culture? and then, how do we bring the two together, or How can we evangelize our culture? I highly recommend the entire lecture, which you can watch here, or streamed here at Salt + Light TV.
My favorite part is the last seven or eight minutes, where Father Barron talks about evangelizing the culture in the light of beauty and the arts. He gives a reasoned analysis of the underlying challenges that our current cultural milieu presents to today’s Catholic artists, and I think it can be quite helpful for those of us who specifically seek to engage in the arts and pop culture.