The 2007-2008 Somerville Lecture in Christianity and Communications
In recent years, the world has witnessed a remarkable upsurge of popular interest in cities. Architects, planners and myriad ordinary citizens are talking, as never before, about what makes cities work and what can be done to make them work better. Despite cities being one of the most serious issues in contemporary life, many Catholics are silent on these issues. This lecture engages the tasks lying before Christian urbanism in the present moment, including the development of new religious understandings of how cities work and why they work, and new appreciations of the roles played by architecture, art and urban planning in the task of city-building. The discussion is framed by the Christian critical thought about urban culture that developed in the wake of Harvey Cox's The Secular City (1965), and that has been addressed more recently-especially in the writings of Pier Giorgio di Cicco-by the debate about the "creative city."
John Bentley Mays
John Bentley Mays is an award-winning Toronto writer on architecture, visual art and design, and general topics in contemporary culture. He is architecture columnist for the real estate section of the Globe and Mail , and a frequent contributor to Azure , Canadian Architect , Canadian Art and other periodicals, including the Catholic Register , where he has a regular column. He is currently at work on a book that profiles key shapers of modern Toronto 's culture and public life.
As part of the Somerville Lecture, which is sponsored by the Catholic Register , John Bentley Mays will deliver this same lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, 2007, at the Newman Centre Chapel, University of Toronto , 89 St. George Street , Toronto .