Here is a link to Part I of my interview with Zoe Romanowki on Aleteia’s series on Catholic innovators. I discuss a number of things including charity, poverty, and inclusion for the poor, the film Poverty, Inc, and about Catholicism, truth and creativity. You can read also read Part 2 Here
Here is a short selection.
Zoe Romanowsky: In much of your work, you seek to bring innovative and effective solutions to real-world problems — poverty being the big one — and doing so in a way that’s rooted in the Catholic view of the human person and society. What did you want to accomplish with the film?
Matthew Matheson Miller: One of the things we’ve tried to do is re-articulate and reframe the discussion about poverty. We tend to treat poor persons as objects — objects of our charity, objects of our pity, objects of our compassion — instead of treating them like subjects and protagonists of their own stories. And when I say “subjects,” I don’t mean of a king or queen, but in the sense of the grammatical, as another “I.” We did more than 200 interviews around the world for the film, and we let people tell their stories and share their experiences so the audience can better understand the “poverty industry.”
This is a secular film, for general audiences, but for those who are aware of it, the whole driving force is really the philosophical anthropology of the Catholic Church, and specifically the philosophical anthropology of John Paul II.
I’m not sure that when people think “Catholic” they think “innovative.” Do you agree, and if so, why do you think this is the case?
Maybe we’re not innovative because that’s not our highest goal — our highest goal is to seek after the truth and then conform ourselves to it. Aquinas says that “truth is the conforming of the mind to reality.” That’s hard. But a culture that takes truth seriously will seek after truth — and when we do this, we become philosophical rather than ideological, which opens up a host of possibilities.
Catholicism/Christianity is not ideological; it’s philosophical, and at this point in time a lot of our work is about “recapturing.” I actually think that as we continue to recapture — and we’re not struggling so much to understand and wrestle with what was historically and traditionally a Catholic view of the world — what we’ll see is a flourishing of creativity that’s going to be more innovative and interesting than defunct secularism can provide.
– See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/06/08/filmmaker-michael-matheson-miller-the-way-we-fight-poverty-actually-makes-things-worse/#sthash.fX9lZPBe.dpuf