There has been much discussion of Mitt Romney’s run for the White House, both here and throughout the Bloggernacle. Predictably, scholars don’t want bloggers to have all the fun.
An upcoming conference at Princeton University plans to address both perennial questions about the place of religion in the public square and the contested intersection of religion and politics, as well as the particular issues which Romney’s candidacy adds to those questions. The media has made much of Romneyâ€™s religion and so have some sectors of the American public. What can we learn from public attitudes about Mormonism? Are the religious beliefs of a political candidate relevant to serving in office, and if so, how? Are there political implications to Mormonism? Do the legislative records and political careers of other Mormon politicians shed any light on this question? In what ways is Mormonism politically comparable to other religious groups?
This conference will explore some of these issues in four separate panels that will discuss 1) the earliest encounters of Mormonism and American politics, 2) Mormonism as a case study for church/state separation 3) the media perceptions of Mormonism and 4) the role religious identity plays in the public square.
Participants include Richard Bushman, Richard Land, Kathleen Flake, Philip Barlow, Marci Hamilton, Alan Wolfe, Helen Whitney, Mark Silk, Noah Feldman, Sarah Barringer Gordon, Stephen Macedo, Thomas Griffith, Melissa Proctor, Robert George, Russell Arben Fox, Chris Karpowitz, David Campbell, John Green, and Francis Beckwith.
The event begins Friday, November 9th at 8:00 p.m. and continues until 5:00 Saturday, November 10th. It is free and open to the public. For more information please click here.
(I just noticed that this same announcement was made earlier on Faith Promoting Rumor. They’re on the ball, those guys.)