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Impatient Optimists: The Gates Foundation and TEDxChange

I am very excited about participating in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's TEDxChange program on "Positive Disruption," which will take place on April 3, 2013, in Seattle, Washington.Is religion a force for positive disruption? Can religious communities be positively disrupted? What would Cardinal Newman say?

About the Author

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.



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Cathleen, if there is a way to share your content with us, I'm sure we'd all love to see it.

"Disrupt tradition to deliver solutions". With a clip art of a Lectionary / Missal / Bible? Is the sacred text the disruptor, or the disruptee?

I think the idea is that it is both--religious traditions are positive disruptors and can be positively disrupted.

"Not everything that exists in the Church must for that reason be also a legitimate tradition; in other words, not every tradition that arises in the Church is a true celebration and keeping present of the mystery of Christ. There is a distorting, as well as legitimate, tradition,....[and] consequently...tradition must not only be considered affirmatively but also critically" (Joseph Ratzinger).Scott Peck, in his PEOPLE OF THE LIE if I recall, wrote that he once was pondering what is the opposite of "live". His son replied that the opposite of "live" is "evil".Catholic hierarchs have certainly demonstrated how clinging to tradition (lower case) can promote a dying institution. They have even hoodwinked the laity into believing that such tradtion is synonymous with Tradition (upper case). Dysfunction = Dying

Can any idea sold by turning the letter i upside down be sold outside the room in which the panelists have a lot of fun discussing it? The chances of it being sold rise if Power points are prohibited from the discussion. But even then, the chances are not so good. Seattle is always a good place to be, though.

"Tradition does not have it easy in contemporary life. The burden is on traditionalists to explain what condition their condition is innot only to themselves, but to non-traditionalist others. Whether traditionalists choose to emphasize the durability or the flexibility of their beliefs and practices, they encounter the same problem. Often, from an outside perspective, traditions appear arbitrary or incoherent, and traditionalists may seem dishonest about the degree to which their inheritances are mere preferences. But what defines the current era is how traditions now commonly appear from the inside. Increasingly, our attention is drawn to the possibility that traditions cannot supply their own foundations in contemporary life. Today, what struggles most to survive within traditions is their authority itself."James Poulos, January 19th, 2011

To give the trads equal time:TRADITIONALISTS LAMENT: (to the tune of Supercalifragiisticexpialidocious) Refrain: Introibo, Tantum Ergo, Kyrie Eleison Give me back my pamphlet rack and surplices with lace on. If Catholic means rock-and-roll Id rather be a Mason. Introibo, Tantum Ergo, Kyrie EleisonI used to sing of Christ the King and goodly saints of yore,But now some fool named Michael tries to row his boat ashore.The Father, Son and Holy Ghost have given way to trash;The Trinity has been replaced by Crosby, Stills and Nash! (Refrain)They say they dropped the Latin hymns cause they werent understood;And hymns that no one understands are neither wise nor good.Well, I will stop my nagging and shut up my wagging jaw,If someone will just tell me what is meant by KUM-BY-YAH! (Refrain)I fondly sign that, when I die, no matter how Ive sinned,The choir will sing Grant Him Rest and not Blowin in the Wind.And as I soar to heavens door to rest among the stars,Please bear me there with angel harps not banjos and guitars! (Refrain)(Ray Orrick, Oakland, CA columnist and humorist. Presented to St. Francis de Sales congregation during the 1971 4-week summer series, Humor. Recorded in *How Awesome is This Place*, E. Donald Osuna, 2011.)

It sounds interesting. Melinda Gates, a Catholic, has done a lot to further the availability of contraception for women around the world. Here's one of her TEDXChange videos on that ... international women's day :)

It should be a lot of fun!

Crystal --The Melinda Gates video is very impressive. She seems to be a very gentle person who cares particularly about women and families.

Ann, yes, that's what I thought too.

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