A Forum to Examine War and Peace in Light of Our Gospel Call to Respect
and Promote the Human Dignity of Each Person.

Summits like this are frequent occurrences at universities and colleges around the world; oftentimes the goal of these summits is to bring influential voices together to affect change in policy, procedure and the world in which we live. These summits serve as an immersion experience through which students are asked to reflect on how their Christian faith calls them to respond to a complicated world.  While we realize the majority of our students are not yet of voting age, we nonetheless recognize their capacity for change as young people who are in formation.  And so, it is Brophy’s hope that our annual summit might contribute to the formation of our students such that they become young men of conscience and conviction, willing to stand up against a culture that too often values expediency and efficiency at the expense of human dignity. Ultimately, Brophy hopes to graduate young men who will one day participate in summits at colleges and universities, young men who will have voices that can positively influence real change in policy, procedure, and the world in which we live.

 

For Brophy’s 2008 Summit on Human Dignity, speakers and presenters have been invited to address the issue of human dignity as it relates to war and peace particularly in the context of the United States. 

We have noticed that while our country has struggled with the present war in Iraq, we have been encouraged to seek out debate as the primary expression of our thoughts and feelings about the war.  This year’s Summit seeks to move beyond debate; it aims to create a forum in which Brophy students and faculty will consider the realities of war and the Catholic tradition’s perspective on war and peace, both of which will guide our response to war. 

In spite of the complexities of war, we hope to foster a sensitivity to what is to be valued most when reflecting upon war, and, how best to weigh those values.  Such a sensitivity, gained through reflecting on experiences of war and to the voice of the Church, allows students to begin developing a framework for a personal response when asked either as citizens or public servants to discern the course of war. 

We have structured the Summit according to two themes:  the realities of war (the individual, economic, political, cultural, and social effects on the human person), and the potential for peace (the possible and creative ways in which we can cultivate peace between peoples and nations).  These issues will be addressed throughout the Summit weeks via presentations and discussions.  It is Brophy’s hope that through this educational experience we might come to view war not merely as a political or economic issue, but as one of human dignity.

Good teaching often means facilitating discomfort in ourselves and in those whom we teach.  This year’s Summit offers a sanctuary for the discomfort already present within our student body about the war in Iraq in order that students can begin understanding their discomfort and thus engage their world, which still waits to hear their much needed voices.

 

 

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