The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination was a conference held at the headquarters of La Civiltà Cattolica, from May 25-27, 2023. Organized by our magazine together with Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The meeting brought together over 40 poets, storytellers, screenwriters and filmmakers from various countries around the world who identify as Catholic, or who feel that Catholicism has been a formative dimension of their artistic development.
Participants engaged in a conversation about the spiritual and religious dimensions of life that continue to shape their poetic and literary imagery. Many questions were asked: how do artists from various cultures experience Catholicism as a resource for their creative work? What are the ways in which faith interrogates life, explores the human condition, and responds to the hunger for meaning? In what ways do artists use discourses – sometimes even transgressive or heterodox – that challenge the intellectual, social or political legacy in which this faith is lived out in the contemporary world?
The keynote speeches were given by Card. José Tolentino de Mendonça, prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, director of La Civiltà Cattolica. On the last day, a conversation was held between American director Martin Scorsese and Fr. Spadaro. On Saturday, May 27, at 10:30 a.m., the participants, together with their families, were received in audience by Pope Francis, who addressed those present with the speech that we reproduce below.