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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Do the Democrats have a Religion Problem?

panel discussion

mirage of democrats

Do the Democrats Have a Religion Problem?
Panel Discussion

Mark Silk, Trinity College
Peter Skerry, Boston College
Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter
M. Cathleen Kaveny, Boston College (moderator)

Monday, October 28, 2019
Fulton Hall 511 • 5:30 - 7pm

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Abstract: The press and many politicians portray the contemporary Republican Party as the political standard bearer for persons of faith, while the Democratic Party -- long the party of Catholics and working class Southern Protestants -- is seen as the party of the non- (or even anti-) religious voter. There is much evidence to question that understanding. This lively panel will discuss, critique, and question that evidence.


Mark Silk

Mark Silk is the director of the Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life and professor of religion in public life at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Silk served as editor of the Boston Review as well as a reporter, editoral writer, and columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is the founding editor of Religion in the News, a magazine published by the Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life that examines how the news media handle religious subject matter. Silk's publications include: Spiritual Politics: Religion and America Since World War II (New York: Simon and Schuster) and Unsecular Media: Making News of Religion in America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press). Silk received his A.B from Harvard College and earned his Ph.D. in medieval history from Harvard University.

Peter Skerry

Peter Skerry is a professor of political science at Boston College. He was previously professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College, and taught political science at UCLA, where he was Director of Washington Programs at the Center for American Politics and Public Policy. Skerry’s writing and research focus on social policy, immigration, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and religion. He is author of Counting on the Census: Race, Group Identity, and the Evasion of Politics (Brookings) and Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority (Free Press/Harvard University Press), which was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is currently completing a study about Muslims in the United States entitled From the Brotherhood to the Neighborhood: Muslims in American Society and Politics.       

Michael Sean Winters

Michael Sean Winters is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter where his blog "Distinctly Catholic" has been published for ten years. He is also the U.S. correspondent for the Tablet, the international Catholic weekly based in London. Winters is the author of two books: Left at the Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats and God's Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right. He lives in Hampton, Connecticut.

headshot of Cathleen Kaveny

M. Cathleen Kaveny (moderator) is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor of Law and Theology at Boston College. She is currently working on a book on complicity with wrongdoing, which will draw on theology, philosophy, law, and history to illuminate the moral problems involved in contributing to or benefiting from other peoples' wrongdoing.

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