On Friday, October 6th, Illumine Talks hosted their first international guest speaker for their event “My X-Rated Life:  A Sociological and Theological Look at the Rise of an Individual-Centered Approach to Sex and Sexuality” at the University of Ottawa. Students from University of Ottawa, Carleton University, and Algonquin College (alongside members of the public) were invited to enjoy free Bridgehead catering, and bring their unique backgrounds to participate in a discussion about the topic of pornography.
 
Our guest speaker, Kent Reeder (M.Div), is an international speaker and Lutheran Pastor in South Carolina. He currently works with groups to educate individuals, and to counsel spiritual leaders on how to approach the subjects of sex and pornography.
 
This semester’s talk focused on the prevalence of the topic of sex, once taboo, in today’s society.  This was examined through the study of this history and promulgation of pornography throughout history, and what contributes to its creation. Kent introduced the talk as an anti-pornography talk, and began by encouraging students to discuss different definitions of pornography as a way to better understand the topic, and the distinction (sometimes difficult to discern) between porn and art.
 
The study began with a discussion of Adam and Eve’s original sin in the Garden of Eden. It then looked at historical and cultural movements throughout history, and demonstrated how pornography has reached the magnitude of its current multi-billion-dollar industry. Common themes were drawn out, such as a desire for power and success among producers of pornography, alongside monetary gain. Kent was able and willing to also discuss myths and common misconceptions surrounding pornography, and ultimately led the discussion towards how pornography is harmful to healthy, loving relationships.
 
Illumine is a group based in Ottawa that hosts talks at both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. The talks focus on current pop-culture phenomena and recurrent topics in student life, and how they relate to theology. Illumine also meets once a week to host relevant series discussions, such as their current series “True and Reasonable”, and also hosts parties and Film and Theology nights to catalyse discussion with students about the world around them, and how it relates to the Bible and their faith.

The talk can be found here on youtube.