Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Religion in the White House

second annual wolfe lecture on religion and american politics

white house

Second Annual Wolfe Lecture on Religion and American Politics

Kenneth L. Woodward
Former Religion Editor, Newsweek

Date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Time: 6 - 7:30pm
Location: Gasson Hall 305

RSVP Requested.

Abstract: This lecture argues that most of the ways we think about the relationships between religion and politics are wrong. First, Woodward will argue that no connection can be found between any American president’s religious faith, or lack of it, and his foreign or domestic policy. Woodward will illustrate his argument by examining several recent presidents who were mistakenly thought to be basing at least some policies on their religious convictions. The second part of this lecture examines the so-called “religious vote.” Woodward will pay particularly close attention to the Evangelical vote in the 2016 election, and offers all the reasons, other than religion, why Trump won that vote.

headshot of Kenneth Woodward

Kenneth L. Woodward was the Religion Editor of Newsweek for thirty eight years. Over the course of his distinguished career he has written more than 1,200 articles, essays, and reviews for a variety of publications, including seventy cover stories for Newsweek. He is the author of four books, which have been translated into nine languages. His most recent, on which this lecture is partially based, is Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Ascent of Trump.  

read more
Woodward photos
Click to read recap
Click to access Woodward flyer.


In an article from May of last year, Kelsey Dallas, the faith editor for Deseret News InDepth, interviewed Kenneth Woodward about his time as Newsweek’s religion editor during a time of enormous social change and today’s religion crisis. Woodward argues that religion is disappearing from today’s public life and notes the absence of “national religious heroes”. On March 14th, the Boisi Center will host Kenneth Woodward for the 2nd Annual Wolfe Lecture, where he will speak about his most recent book, Getting Religion: Faith Culture and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Ascent of Trump, as well as the relationship between faith and the White House.