The 2009-2010 Somerville Lecture in Christianity and Communications
Research, public dialogue and political advocacy in Canada are not traditionally perceived as necessary steps towards personal holiness. Yet Catholic social teachings and numerous other Christian traditions direct conscientious and concerned believers to engage in these very pursuits. In recent years the churches have downplayed their social justice ministries. If and when church leaders do speak out, the press, airwaves, and especially the blogosphere are often filled with cynical retorts seeking to undercut the legitimacy of the message. What contribution should faith communities bring to bear on social issues today? How can they communicate in a “post-secular” but increasingly diverse society? Are Canadians listening anymore?
Mr. Gunn holds a Master’s of Political Science from Regina University. He has worked in Latin American refugee camps and served as a Country Director for Canadian Save the Children. For over ten years Joe worked at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops developing policy and coordinating work in areas of social justice, missions, and Aboriginal peoples. He served as the founding vice-chair of KAIROS - Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives and has been active in the Canadian Council of Churches’ Commission for Justice and Peace as well as the churches’ ecumenical health care initiative. Joe has coordinated the Make Poverty History campaign, and engaged in research, public speaking and advocacy on national and international issues.