The COVID-19 pandemic is provoking more and more people to rethink their lives, vocations, and the underlying norms and structures of a healthy society. How might we explore these questions together – with vision and Christian hope?
Join us on June 4 as we launch Breaking Ground, a special project dedicated to galvanizing the Christian imagination from a wide array of voices to equip tomorrow’s leaders, thinkers and caring citizens to participate faithfully in a world being remade.
Whatever happens on the other side of COVID-19, it is very likely to remake our world in fundamental ways. Already this global pandemic is revealing structural, social and moral realities previously hidden or denied, to say nothing of what it is revealing about the state of our own hearts. Many are asking: What gives life meaning? What does it require to live well together?
As everyone scrambles to make sense of a rapidly changing context, it is natural to revert to a survival mode characterized by reactive thinking, short-term analysis and feel-good meaning-making. We neither condemn these instincts nor feels exempt from their temptations. Still, this global epidemic provides a momentous opportunity for big questions to be considered. There is a new, pandemic-inspired social realization that we need a reset, one shaped by (1) a sober-minded, clear-eyed view of the present, (2) a discerning, rigorous study of the past, and (3) a pragmatic yet creative reimagining of the future as we face it together and build anew.
In a founding partnership with Plough Quarterly and The Davenant Institute, Comment has created Breaking Ground, a collaborative web commons dedicated to precisely these three questions. Over the next year, Breaking Ground will convene world-class scholars and seasoned practitioners, artists and pastors, community weavers and those made resilient by long-standing struggle to contribute original essays and participate in our podcast and virtual events. We will also celebrate and point you toward the work of those people, publications, and organizations that are providing particularly insightful moral leadership, weaving a broader tapestry that we hope will unearth an ecosystem that already exists but rarely sings as one.
Breaking Ground officially launches on Thursday evening, June 4. Please join us for a kick-off event at 7 PM with renowned philosopher Candace Vogler of the University of Chicago, Pancho Argüelles of the Living Hope Wheelchair Association, and writer and pastor Dante Stewart. Anne Snyder, Comment’s editor-in-chief, will moderate.
Candace Vogler is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago, and principal investigator on “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life,” a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation. She has authored two books and numerous essays in ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, gender studies, sexuality studies, and other areas. Her research interests are in practical philosophy (particularly the strand of work in moral philosophy indebted to Elizabeth Anscombe), practical reason, Kant’s ethics, Marx, and neo-Aristotelian naturalism.
Dante Stewart is a writer and speaker whose works have been featured in Christianity Today, The Witness: A Black Collective, Fathom magazine, Faithfully magazine, The Gospel Coalition, and Radical. He is currently pursuing his master of arts in religion at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. He and his wife Jasamine currently live in Augusta, Georgia, with their one-year-old son, Asa.
Francisco Argüelles Paz y Puente (a.k.a. Pancho) was born in Mexico City and has lived in the United States since 1997. For more than thirty years he has worked on human rights issues in Mexico, Central America, and the United States. He lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife, son, and daughter and serves as executive director of the Living Hope Wheelchair Association, a community-based organization of migrants with spinal cord injuries. Through PazyPuente, LLC, he provides training and consulting services to social and racial justice organizations across the country.
Anne Snyder (Moderator)
Anne Snyder is the editor-in-chief of Comment magazine. Since 2016 Anne has directed The Philanthropy Roundtable‘s Character Initiative, a program seeking to help foundations and business leaders strengthen “the middle ring” of morally formative institutions. Her path-breaking guidebook, The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape, was published in 2019. Anne is also a Fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens, and a Senior Fellow of The Trinity Forum.