How Do We Talk? Religious Discourse and Public Life

Although the United States separates church and state in the sense that there is no establishment of religion, politics and religion have always intermingled in American society. There are those who object strenuously to this fact and who insist that a person with religious convictions cannot bring those convictions directly into the public square. At times they make an exception or two--Martin Luther King, for example--but for the most part this insistence holds. Religious believers argue back, insisting that religious convictions do have a legitimate role to play in public discourse.

This, however, is only the beginning of the debate between and among believers themselves. There is deep disagreement concerning the 'voice' that religious believers should bring to civil society. Jean Bethke Elshtain, Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago, will explore four different possibilities for 'how we talk', including the prophetic voice, the 'full bore' religious belief voice, the separatist voice, and the voice of contextual discourse. Does each distinctive modality have a legitimate role to play in political debate? These and other highly controversial matters will be explored.

Event Details

Tuesday, November 15
7:00 pm
Gamble Auditorium, Art Building
This event is free and open to the public. No registration required. Seating is on a first-come basis.