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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

2011-2012 Symposium on Religion and Politics

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The Boisi Center presents:

The Boisi Center

Symposia on Religion and Politics


The Boisi Center is pleased to offer opportunities for students, staff, alumni, and faculty to come together to discuss the relationship between religion and politics in the United States. Participants read short texts from seminal thinkers in American politics and discuss current events in the light of these texts. To learn more about the Boisi Center Symposia, follow the links below.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Symposium

Faculty, Staff and Alumni Symposium  

Student Symposium on Religion and Politics

 

Description: Why do references to God and faith play such an important role in the current presidential campaigns? What role has God and faith played in American political history?

In this non-credit reading and discussion group, we read seminal speeches in American political history that address contemporary political questions. Topics include: immigration, racism, national crisis, American exceptionalism, public morality, and social welfare. In six sessions over the course of the academic year (two in the fall and four in the spring), the group will discuss different views expressed in these speeches about God and the proper role of God and faith in American political rhetoric.

No expertise or previous coursework in the subject is expected or required. Discussion will be facilitated by political science Ph.D. candidate Brenna R. Strauss, and led each week by symposium participants. Lunch will be provided by the Boisi Center at each session.

Reading Packets:
Introduction to Dialogue
The Founding and Nation Building
National Crisis and War
Religion and the Politician
Public Morality and Federalism
Slavery and Race
Election 2012 and the Contraception Debate

Note: The Boisi Center is no longer accepting applications for the 2011-2012 symposium.

 

Faculty, Staff and Alumni Symposium on Religion and Politics

 

Description: Is God-talk a requirement in American politics? Why are presidential candidates’ religious views so important to Americans? What is the proper role of God-talk in American politics?

In this non-credit reading and discussion group, we will read seminal speeches in American political history that address these and related questions, including those of Washington, Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, as well as more recent speeches. Topics will include: the founding, war and national crisis, religion and the presidential candidate, racism, public morality, and social welfare. In five sessions over the course of the spring 2012 semester, the group will discuss the theology behind these speeches and the proper role of God and faith in American political rhetoric.

No expertise or previous coursework in the subject is expected or required. Discussion will be facilitated by political science Ph.D. candidate Brenna R. Strauss, and led each week by symposium participants. We expect the seminar to meet Friday mornings from 8:30-9:30AM, but this can change depending on the participants’ schedules. A continental breakfast will be provided by the Boisi Center at each session.

Reading Packets:
Introduction to Dialogue
The Founding and Nation Building
National Crisis and War
Religion and the Politician
Public Morality and Federalism

Note: The Boisi Center is no longer accepting applications for the 2012 symposium.

 

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Boisi Center Featured in Boston College Magazine

The Boisi Center Symposium on Religion and Politics was featured in the winter 2012 Boston College Magazine. In this yearlong symposium, students discussed the extent to which God-talk is a reqiurement in American politics. Click here to read the article.