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ENRICH-0048 – Relig: Religion in the Public Square (ENRICH-0048_RELG)

Religion in the Public Square: Is the Debate Changing?

It’s nearly impossible to discuss democracy without mentioning values, and it’s nearly impossible to discuss values without mentioning religion. But Americans don’t like to mix religion and politics. (Whose religion is right?) Yet, in separating these topics, are we undermining ourselves? Does that inhibit some from participating fully in our democracy? Join Professor Ted Vial of the Iliff School of Theology to examine the question: “What is the proper role of religion in the public life of a modern democracy?” Begin with Jeffrey Stout’s definition of democracy: “a form of government in which the adult members of the society being governed all have some share in electing rulers and are free to speak their minds in a wide-ranging discussion that rulers are bound to take seriously.” If this is true, don’t the opinions of the deeply religious matter as much as anyone else’s? On the other hand, is secularism necessary to protect our right to freedom of conscience? Drawing additional insight from weekly readings, explore the history behind our separatist laws, discuss this issue in the context of current events, and refine your own ideas on the role of religion in the public square. Some say that religious values (e.g., “treat others as you would have them treat yourself") are the same values that make democracy possible in the first place. What do you think?

Four sessions
Mon., 7-9 pm, Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, 2017
Location: Room 187, Sturm Hall, DU campus

Ted Vial is professor of Theology and Modern Western Religious Thought at the Iliff School of Theology. He wrote Modern Religion, Modern Race (Oxford 2016), and has published articles in Numen, Harvard Theological Review, and Religion, Method & Theory in the Study of Religions.
Course Details
Location: DU Main CampusMode of Study: In-personPlaces Left: 36Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $175


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Monday9th October 201730th October 201707:00PM - 09:00PMSturm HallTheodore Vial