Lieberman, Danforth to discuss role of religion in politics Dec. 9

Part of Danforth Distinguished Lecture Series

Former U.S. senators John C. Danforth and Joe Lieberman will discuss “The Role of Religion in America’s Broken Politics” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, in Graham Chapel at Washington University in St. Louis.

Sponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics as part of the Danforth Distinguished Lecture Series, the discussion, which is free and open to the public, will explore the current relationship of religion and politics in the United States.

The event will be moderated by R. Marie Griffith, PhD, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.

“We’re quite fortunate to be hosting two of the nation’s most respected public servants, Sens. Danforth and Lieberman,” said Leigh Schmidt, PhD, the Edward C. Mallinckrodt Distinguished Professor and acting director of the center this year. “Both of them have reflected deeply over the course of their political careers on the role religion plays in American civic life. It should be a rich and varied conversation.”

The Danforth Distinguished Lecture Series was started by the Center on Religion and Politics and Washington University to foster discussion about the multiple intersections of politics and religion in American history, culture and public life. The inaugural event was held in November 2013.

About John Danforth


Danforth graduated with honors from Princeton University and earned a bachelor of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School and a bachelor of laws degree from Yale Law School. He began his political career in 1968 when he was elected attorney general of Missouri. He was re-elected to the position in 1972. Danforth began his Senate career in 1976 and served for three consecutive terms.

While in the Senate, Danforth initiated major legislation in the areas of international trade, telecommunications, health care, research and development, transportation and civil rights. After returning to St. Louis, he was appointed special counsel by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Later, he represented the United States as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and served as special envoy for peace in Sudan.

Danforth is the author of “Faith and Politics: How the ‘Moral Values’ Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together” (Viking, 2006) and is currently working on another book about the relationship of religion and politics to be published in 2015.

About Joe Lieberman


Lieberman earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale College in 1964 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967. Lieberman was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1970 and served there for 10 years, including the last six as majority leader. From 1983-88, he served as Connecticut’s 21st attorney general. Lieberman was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1988. In 2006, he was elected to a fourth term as an independent.

During his time in the Senate, Lieberman played a significant role in the legislation that led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. The legislation was part of a larger effort to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. Lieberman supported economic policies that sparked business growth and led the successful legislative efforts to repeal the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He also helped negotiate the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Lieberman is the author of “The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath” (Howard Books, 2012) and “In Praise of Public Life” (Simon & Schuster, 2000).

For more information about the lecture, visit here.