Is Idolatry Dead? Disenchantment and Misenchantment in the Contemporary World

:: Please Note :: 

  • For the most up-to-date information, including the full speaker lineup and final schedule, please visit the conference website.
  • This is a hybrid event, hosted both in person and via livestream. 


We often hear of the contrast between an "enchanted" global South and an increasingly secular and "disenchanted" North. At the same time, however, Pope Francis has revived idolatry critique, focused especially on the false gods of the supposedly secular economic and political systems dominated by the global North. But idolatry critique can be dangerous; colonial powers frequently denigrated indigenous people as idolaters in need of conversion. This conference takes up these issues, exploring the question: How is the language of idolatry and enchantment used—and misused—in today's world?

Our speakers will address the following topics:

  • Colonialism and idolatry critique 
  • Enchantment, disenchantment, and misenchantment in the global North and global South 
  • Scriptural and theological reflections on idolatry 
  • Naming today's idols


  • William T. Cavanaugh (DePaul University)
  • Victor Carmona (University of San Diego)
  • Emilce Cuda (Pontifical Commission for Latin America)
  • Paul Gifford (SOAS, University of London)
  • Patrick Gilger, SJ (Loyola University Chicago)
  • Stan Chu Ilo (DePaul University)
  • Bungishabaku Katho (Shalom University of Bunia, DR Congo)
  • David Lantigua (University of Notre Dame)
  • Eugene McCarraher (Villanova University)
  • David Ngong (Stillman College)
  • Andrew Redden (University of Liverpool)
  • Jung Mo Sung (Methodist University of São Paulo)
  • Stephanie Wong (Villanova University)

Dial-In Information

We'll be broadcasting via Facebook Live, but please note that you do not need a Facebook account to access the link below and watch the livestream.

Saturday, April 13 at 9:30am to 6:00pm

2250 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, 314AB

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