Seeing with The Eyes of the Heart (Eph 1:18)

Cultivating a Sacramental Imagination in an Age of Pornography

icon of Mary with baby JesusAcademic & Pastoral Conference: March 26-27, 2015

Pornography is today available and accessible to a degree unprecedented in human history, largely because of the internet.  According to one estimate, 25% of search engine requests are for pornographic material, and a Kaiser Foundation study found that teens are exposed to internet pornography without even seeking it out. Contemporary pornography often includes not only sexually explicit images but also verbal and physical aggression against women, and some forms of pornography perpetuate unjust ethnic stereotypes.

What is the effect of a pornographic visual culture on the human imagination? On men? On women? On children and youth? On relationships, marriages, and human society? In the midst of this culture, how can we cultivate a sacramental imagination that beholds in male and female humankind the divine image in which we are created (Gen 1:27) and redeemed (2 Cor 3:18)?

Join psychologists, theologians, iconographers, campus ministers and others for an interdisciplinary exploration of these questions.  Identify and develop resources from the Catholic and Christian traditions to enable us to behold in female and male humankind the divine image in which we are created and redeemed.

Schedule for Academic Conference

Advance registration including four meals is $99. Registration after March 1, 2015 is $140.

Registration exclusive of meals is complementary for all students, staff, and faculty at Saint Mary's College, the University of Notre Dame, and Holy Cross College.

Lodging and Travel

Rooms are available March 25-27 at The Inn at Saint Mary's at a special conference rate of $110 (including tax) per night. A buffet breakfast is included in the price of the room. For more information on lodging or travel to South Bend, Indiana, contact Kathy Guthrie at or (574) 284-4636.


These events are made possible through a generous grant from the Our Sunday Visitor Institute and the support of these cosponsors:

Belles against Violence (BAVO), Saint Mary's College
Campus Ministry, Saint Mary's College
Office of Student Affairs, Saint Mary's College
Campus Ministry, University of Notre Dame
Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Gender Relations Center, University of Notre Dame
Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame
Division of History, Philosophy, and Theology, Holy Cross College