Religion and Politics in 21st Century America

Thursday, November 6, 2014

9:00 am - 8:00 pm

Southern Methodist University

Featured Speakers

Lecture Series

Religion and politics are the two subjects we are not supposed to talk about. 

And yet, these two subjects have infiltrated every sliver of American history and society.  21st-century America is no exception to this rule.  In fact, the new century has brought new points of contact between religion and politics into focus.

Together with the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, the SMU Center for Presidential History is sponsoring this conference, and its ensuing book with Oxford University Press.  This all-day event is free and open to the public, and will occur in two parts:

Part 1 – Conference, 9am-4pm
The daytime conference will feature four panels, and more than a dozen of today’s top scholars on the roles of religion in American history.  Topics will include Transitions in American Religion, Faith and Politics, Christian Nationalism, Race, Immigration, and Policy.  In each case, our guests will explore a 21st-century issue in religion and politics, and then reach back into American History to provide context and explanation for the issue at hand.

Part 2 – Keynote Presentation, Featuring Senator John C. Danforth, 6-7:30pmDanforth Book Cover
One would be hard-pressed to find a better person than John C. Danforth to deliver the keynote presentation for a conference on 21st-century religion and politics.  Danforth is an ordained Episcopal priest, and served formerly as Ambassodor to the United Nations,  special envoy to Sudan, U.S. Senator from Missouri, and Attorney General of Missouri.  He is also the author two books (one forthcoming) on religion and politics in America, including Faith and Politics: How the “Moral Values” Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together.

Conference Speakers will include:

Edward Blum (San Diego State)
Anthea Butler (University of Pennsylvania)
Mark Chancey (SMU)
Darren Dochuk (Washington Univ. at St. Louis)
Kate Carté Engel (SMU)
J. Spencer Fluhman (BYU)
Rebecca Goetz (Rice)
Jennifer Graber (UT-Austin)
Alison Green (Mississippi State)
Matthew Hedstrom (Virginia)
Charles Irons (Elon)
Steven Miller (Washington Univ. in St. Louis)
Amanda Porterfield (Florida State)
Andrew Preston (Cambridge)
Arlene Sanchez-Walsh (Azusa Pacific)
Kevin Schultz (Illinois-Chicago)
Matthew Sutton (Washington State)

More details on the event and registration will appear in the Fall of 2014.