Third Workshop: Religious Futures


December 12-14, 2022

“At a time when everything seems to disintegrate and lose consistency, it is good for us to appeal to the solidity born of the consciousness that we are responsible for the fragility of others as we strive to build a common future” (Fratelli Tutti 115).

What will the world look like in thirty years? A Pew Research report forecasts a more populous planet in 2050, with as many Muslims as Christians. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that absent radical action, global temperature will rise another half degree Celsius, further intensifying our slow-motion global disaster. But utopian thought leaders on the other hand envision gender equality, electric cars, designer genes, and the elimination of global poverty. How are religious individuals and institutions (some of which have been around for a millennium or two) planning for this brave new world? What does the long view look like for religions, and how should we report, study, and teach about that which has not yet come to pass?

Prophets, priests, and philosophers have long been in the business of forecasting uncertain futures and sharing resources for shaping and withstanding them. For our December 2022 workshop, we will solicit commentary and reflection on global religion’s many futures. These futures may include great shifts in demography, technology, education, and global political economy. Some, like Pope Francis’, build on the insight that these futures are indeed interdependent, and therefore humanity’s singular future is shared.

What are the next chapters in the story of humanity? How long, how joyful, and how arduous will they be? Whose stories of the future should be circulated more widely?

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash