News and Events
Faculty Examine the Issue of Faith and Politics on the National Scene
The 2008 U.S. presidential election is fostering livened debate concerning the role of religion and politics. The matter of candidates' faiths has garnered media and academic scrutiny, prompting candidates to discuss their religious convictions openly, as well as how those convictions affect their policy-making. Several Pepperdine University faculty members have discussed the subject on a national level.
In response to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's speech about his Mormon faith, commentary from School of Public Policy professor David Davenport appeared in an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, an audio commentary on Townhall.com, as well as commentaries on CBS and PBS.
Also commenting on Governor Romney's speech, School of Law professor Douglas Kmiec's op-ed appeared on FindLaw.com. Kmiec is a constitutional law advisor to Governor Romney's campaign.
Further informing the topic, Seaver College political philosophy professor Caleb Clanton's new book Religion and Democratic Citizenship critically examines a variety of proposals on whether and how religion should influence the activities of the American public square. Clanton outlines the two broad types of familiar strategies regarding this issue: on one hand, mainstream liberal political theorists like John Rawls seek to keep religion and politics largely separate. Meanwhile, pragmatists like William James, John Dewey, and Cornel West seek to reinterpret the meaning of religion itself, rendering it compatible with democracy.
The book ultimately offers a strategy to accommodate religious participation in the activities of the democratic public square -- a strategy that enables citizens to employ religious reasoning and meet the epistemic obligations of good deliberative democratic citizenship.