Monday September 29, 2008

Faith and Politics

E.J. Dionne Jr., a nationally syndicated columnist, author and political analyst, comes to UD to discuss the state of faith and politics in the U.S.

E.J. Dionne Jr., a nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist and political analyst for National Public Radio, will discuss "Faith and Politics in the 2008 Presidential Race" at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, in the Kennedy Union ballroom at the University of Dayton.

The talk is free and open to the public. It is the main event in a three-semester lecture series commemorating a century of the U.S. Catholic Church sponsored by UD's Forum on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Today.

Dionne's new book, Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith & Politics After the Religious Right, was published in February. In it, he makes the case that the era of the Religious Right — and the exploitation of faith for political advantage — is finished. Dionne claims many Christians feel like they have been used to push a narrow agenda of causes such as opposition to gay marriage and abortion, but now those Christians are discovering common ground with secular Americans on issues of social justice, peace and the environment.

Dionne spent 14 years with The New York Times, reporting on state and local government, national politics and from around the world, including stints in Paris, Rome and Beirut. In 1990, Dionne joined the Washington Post, covering national politics. He is a frequent guest on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Acclaimed for his keen insights into the competing philosophies of American politics and shifting trends of public sentiment, Dionne often participates in TV and radio debates as the liberal counterpart to David Brooks, William Kristol and others. He is a firm believer that America is about to enter a new progressive era featuring reform in government and renewed civic activism.

The Forum on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Today was created in 1990 to foster and enhance Catholic intellectual tradition at the University of Dayton. The forum includes members from all academic areas and sponsors speakers, seminars and national conferences, coordinates the Marianist Award, holds book discussions and awards research grants.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.