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The doctrine of human nature, and the denial of human nature, is one of the most fraught issues of our day. The recent conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology addressed this issue, with several of its specific topics covered by recent articles. Living out the Christian doctrine of human nature is something many find challenging or undesirable in our day, and was the topic of the final presentation at the conference on June 5.
Donna Freitas of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame discussed the campus life common on American colleges and universities. In particular, she discussed the impact of technology, social media, and the acceptance of promiscuity as normal, or “the hookup culture.”
Freitas - Christian - Parable - Good - Samaritan
Freitas identified herself as “a progressive Christian.” Referring to the parable of the Good Samaritan, she said that we should give attention to other people, and to people in trouble, but not approach them with the message “I see something wrong with you.” Her subsequent comments indicated that she believes Christians should approach the contemporary world using the Christian tradition to alleviate suffering that people report.
Freitas asked “what does it mean to cultivate an interior life?” She said people today “grab for the smartphone … whenever they’re alone.” She believes that it may be that people are afraid of cultivating an interior life. In living in the contemporary world, she believes that “the Christian tradition has a lot to offer.” With respect to life and contemporary technology, she asks the questions “is it useful? Is it empowering? Is it problematic?” Things that are “disempowering or disinviting” should be gotten rid of. She finds that the current generation of young adults and those approaching young adulthood are dealing with “incredible alienation and loneliness.” In assessing what can...
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