Danforth Dialogues explore future of religion and politics Oct. 8

Danforth Dialogues panelists
Participants in the Oct. 8 Danforth Dialogues include (clockwise from top left) David Brooks, E.J. Dionne Jr., Natasha Tretheway and Eboo Patel.

“Envisioning the Future of Religion and Politics in America” will be the focus as the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis welcomes national news media superstars Krista Tippett, David Brooks and E.J. Dionne Jr. for a pre-presidential debate dialogue Saturday, Oct. 8, in Graham Chapel on the Danforth Campus.

Scheduled one day prior to the Oct. 9 Washington University debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Danforth Dialogues event will include two back-to-back discussions, the first beginning at 5 p.m., both moderated by Krista Tippett, host of the Peabody Award-winning “On Being” radio show and podcast. Tippett is the author of “Becoming Wise,” a recent New York Times bestselling book about nurturing moral imagination in individual and common life.

Tickets are now sold out for the Danforth Dialogues seating in Graham Chapel, but the event also will be simulcast in Tisch Commons in the Danforth University Center. No tickets are required to view the simulcast, but public access to the Danforth Campus of Washington University on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 will be restricted to university students, faculty and staff with a valid university ID; credentialed media or vendors; and participants in certain ticketed events. For more information see rap.wustl.edu.

The first dialogue features a discussion called “Religion and Conceptions of the Common Good,” with comments from Eboo Patel and Natasha Trethewey. Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core. Trethewey is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former poet laureate of the United States.

The second dialogue brings together Brooks and Dionne, two of America’s most prominent political commentators and influential authors, for a discussion of “Religion and National Politics.”

Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times since 2003, also serves as a political commentator on PBS “NewsHour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Dionne, who writes about politics for the Washington Post, is a frequent commentator on politics for NPR, ABC’s “This Week” and MSNBC.c_symbol_type_4c_onwhite_s

Following the discussions, all ticketed audience members are invited to attend a reception from 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m. in Hillman Hall’s Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Forum. For those who have access to campus, books signed by the panelists will be available for sale from 3-4 p.m. in Tisch Commons in the Danforth University Center. Dionne and Trethewey will be present to sign their books.

The Center on Religion and Politics is dedicated to modeling respectful debate among divergent viewpoints and spurring discussions that might identify new trajectories for religion and politics in American life.

The Danforth Dialogues are designed to explore the place of religion in our current politics and public life, along with its future possibilities, including such questions as:

  • How are recent debates about constitutional issues and religion important for larger questions about the place of religious and moral values to democratic life?
  • What are we learning, at this stage in the American experiment, about the limits and potentials for the constructive engagement of religious convictions and moral values in political discourse?
  • How can religious and secular people alike best engage the political process in its current form and promote the common good?
  • What are some of the meaningful contributions that religious perspectives might make to political life and formulations of the common good in the next decade?
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