John Danforth to discuss divided nation Sept. 6

Sen. John "Jack" Danforth

Former U.S. Sen. John C. “Jack” Danforth will discuss “Preserving a United Nation: Moving Forward Together Despite Our Differences,” from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, in Knight Hall’s Emerson Auditorium at Washington University in St. Louis.

Marie Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, will lead the conversation with Danforth. Griffith is director of the university’s John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and editor of the center’s journal, Religion & Politics.

Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton will offer a welcome and introduction to the program.

After the conversation, sponsored by the Danforth Center, a reception will take place in Knight Hall’s Frick Forum. Both the conversation and the reception are free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but an RSVP is requested. For more information, visit the Danforth Center website or call 314-935-9345.

In his recent book, “The Relevance of Religion: How Faithful People Can Change Politics,” the three-term former Republican senator from Missouri and ordained Episcopal priest offers a deeply personal look at the state of American politics today — and how religion can be a bridge over a bitter partisan divide.

Decrying the narrow interpretations of religious orthodoxy, Danforth supports an inclusive philosophy that embraces conflicting opinions and beliefs.

Danforth retired from the U.S. Senate in 1995, having served 18 years. Since then, he has served the country as: a special envoy to Sudan; special counsel over the federal government’s investigation into the Waco incident; and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

He entered politics at an early age. In 1968 — at age 32 — he won his first election as Missouri’s attorney general; he was re-elected to the post in 1972.

Widely known and respected as a leader in the Episcopal faith, Danforth officiated at the funeral of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

He is a partner in the law firm Dowd Bennett, based in St. Louis.

Co-sponsored by the School of Law, the Danforth conversation also is the first event in the school’s fall 2017 Public Interest Law & Policy Speaker Series.

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