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Beyond the Left & Right: Mapping Ideology for a Better Kind of Politics

February 22, 2022 @ 7:00 PM CT - February 22, 2022 @ 9:00 PM CT

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Jason Blakely

Pepperdine University

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Melissa Cedillo

Latino Catholics Fellow at the National Catholic Reporter

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Mūmbi Kīgūtha, C.PP.S.

Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network

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Moderator: Emily Davis

Catholic Theological Union

Beyond the Left & Right: Mapping Ideology for a Better Kind of Politics

Both in the Catholic Church and in the world, public discourse has become all the more difficult due to polarization and ideological divide. Pope Francis acknowledges this evolving reality in Fratelli Tutti and calls for public engagement that embraces the fullness of complexity with hope for transformation. In a world that has moved beyond conservative or liberal, how do we approach public life as people of faith? What are the particular ideological clashes? And how do we navigate this changing landscape?

 

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Panelists:

Jason Blakely

Jason Blakely is Associate Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University. Blakely has written extensively on political theory, political theology, and the social sciences. His most recent book, We Built Reality: How Social Science Infiltrated Culture, Politics, and Power (Oxford, 2020), received accolades from luminaries like Charles Taylor, David Bentley Hart, and Bishop Robert Barron. He also writes regularly on politics and culture in popular venues like Commonweal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, America Magazine, and The Atlantic. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and B.A. from Vassar College. He is a Senior Fellow at the Nova Forum for Catholic Thought at the University of Southern California.

 

Melissa Cedillo

Melissa Cedillo was born and raised in California’s Coachella Valley. She attended Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles where she earned a BA in Theological Studies. After college, Melissa spent time in Washington, DC as a campaign associate for Faith in Public Life working to defend the integrity of the 2020 Census. Melissa then went on to complete an MTS at Harvard Divinity School where she studied religion, ethics, and politics through a public policy lens. Melissa currently works at the National Catholic Reporter as the Latino Catholics Fellow.

She is passionate about bridging the gap between progressive politics and religion in America. Melissa is dedicated to learning about and advocating for preventative domestic violence policy, reproductive justice, immigration advocacy, pushing for prison divestment, and decarceration work.

 

Mūmbi Kīgūtha, C.PP.S.

Mūmbi Kīgūtha was born and raised in Kenya and is a member of the Sisters of the Precious Blood. She has worked with many diverse vulnerable populations including stints with various UN agencies. Mūmbi currently resides on the southside of Chicago working as the Organizing Secretary for the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network. She also does consultancy work in the area of reconciliation for various organizations including Jesuit Refugee Services. Mūmbi is a prolific writer, contributing regularly to the Horizons column of Global Sisters Report, amongst other publications and also an activist who regularly speaks on the topics of racism, creating equity in the church and advocates for an end to abuse in the church and religious institutions.   She is a certified executive coach and derives great joy in using those tools to accompany different people in achieving different goals. Mūmbi graduated from Catholic Theological Union with a Master of Arts in Justice Ministry and a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry in addition to her previous MBA in Marketing. She is also trained in facilitating the Circle Process as a tool for dialogue.

 

Moderator: Emily Davis

Emily Davis is a MDiv student at Catholic Theological Union. She has been working with the Bernardin Center for the past year as a ministry practicum student. She completed her undergraduate work in 2015 at Mount St. Mary’s University with a bachelor’s in International Studies and is particularly interested in public theology and the involvement of communities of faith in public life. She works primarily with high school youth, formerly in youth ministry, and now as a member of the theology department at DePaul College Prep and is passionate about the specific contribution young people make in enlivening our communities for justice. 

 

Beyond the Left & Right: Mapping Ideology for a Better Kind of Politics

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