“Religious Outsiders and the American Presidency: Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and American Civil Religion” with Dr. Eric Baldwin

Join us on Tuesday, October 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill as we continue the series, “Caesar’s Rending: American Electoral Politics, Duplicity, and the Christian Conscience.  In his talk, which begins at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Eric Baldwin will talk about “Religious Outsiders and the American Presidency: Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and American Civil Religion.”

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“Caesar’s Rending: American Electoral Politics, Duplicity, and the Christian Conscience” Politics sometimes divides Christians, and at times has even torn the Church along the seams of political ideologies.  Yet the Church’s worldview and its political ramifications are sewn together by different threads – the authority of scripture, tradition and reason.  Is it even appropriate though to begin with Christian premises to make public policy decisions?  Or should faith having nothing to do with politics?  In this series we look at compromised loyalties, divisive denominations, and the political use of Christian theology in war and peace.  Join us as we seek a clearer understanding of the foundations Christians have used for political involvement, even while looking ahead toward the “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11: 10).

Romney and Obama

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

“Religious Outsiders and the American Presidency: Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and American Civil Religion.”

Dr. Eric Baldwin, Research Associate, Harvard Business School

In the 2012 election, both men at the top of the ticket identify with religious traditions that have historically been on the margins of, and often at odds with, the mainstream of American culture.  Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have taken pains to reassure a nervous electorate that their religious backgrounds—Romney’s Mormonism and Obama’s connection to the black church—do not make them too radical, dangerous, or strange to hold the highest office in the land.  Eric’s talk will explore why and how they have done so and will ask how their efforts to downplay their distinctive religious commitments reveal what kind of religion is politically acceptable in contemporary American culture.

Eric Baldwin holds master’s degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School as well as a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Boston University.  He has been a Lecturer at Boston University and a Visiting Professor at Franklin & Marshall College, where he taught courses on World Religions and American religious history.  Eric also served as senior researcher and editorial consultant for the PBS documentary “God in America,” broadcast in 2010.  He currently works as a research associate at Harvard Business School.

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