October 8, 2015

Hobbits as agents of evangelisation – Dr Sweeney speaks at Dawson Society

by Tom Gourlay
In the latest instalment of the Dawson Society’s Speakers’ Forum, Dr Conor Sweeny, from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, led his audience on an unusual yet intriguing journey through the themes of faith and evangelisation. Photo: Marco Ceccarelli

In the latest instalment of the Dawson Society’s Speakers’ Forum, Dr Conor Sweeny, from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, led his audience on an unusual yet intriguing journey through the themes of faith and evangelisation. Photo: Marco Ceccarelli

By Dr Marco Ceccarelli

In the latest instalment of the Dawson Society for Philosophy and Culture Speakers’ Forum, Dr Conor Sweeny, from Melbourne’s John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, led his audience on an unusual yet intriguing journey through the themes of faith, sacramental culture and evangelisation.

Held at Rosie O’Grady’s on 29 September 2015 and titled The New Evangelisation: How to be a Hobbit, the presentation framed JRR Tolkein’s hobbits as embodying a “quintessentially Catholic ethos” and, therefore, as worthy agents of evangelisation.

Dr Sweeny initially focused on the character of hobbits, portraying them as good-natured, hard-working, friendly creatures who live a slow, community-based, unscheduled life that is at odds with “our own capitalist ethic of productivity and efficiency”.

In this leisurely lifestyle oriented towards contemplation rather than productivity, Dr Sweeny identifies a Catholic ‘way of being’ that presents hobbits as possibly leading the way in the new evangelisation.

Read more at The Record…