Mormonism & American Politics: Politics and Religious Identity
Mitt Romney's run for the White House raises perennial questions about the place of religion in the public square and offers scholars an interesting occasion to reconsider the relationship between religion and American politics. The media has made much of Romney'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 careers of other Mormon politicians shed any light on this question? In what ways is Mormonism politically comparable to other religious groups?- Center for the Study of Religion, Princeton University
Francis J. Beckwith is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies, Baylor University, where he teaches in the departments of philosophy and political science as well as the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies. A 2002-2003 Visiting Research Fellow in Princetonâ€™s James Madison Program, his books include Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press, 2007), To Everyone An Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview (InterVarsity Press, 2004), and The New Mormon Challenge (Zondervan, 2002), a finalist for the Gold Medallion Award in theology and doctrine.
He earned his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and a Master of Juridical Studies degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
Professor Robert George is a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and formerly served as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He was Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.
He is the author of In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality, and The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis. He has published numerous scholarly articles and book reviews. Professor George is a recipient of many honors and awards, including a 2005 Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement and the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Teaching Award from Princeton's Department of Politics. He holds honorary doctorates of law, ethics, letters, science and humane letters.
Professor George is the 2007 John Dewey Lecturer in Philosophy of Law at Harvard University.
Judge Thomas Griffith
Thomas Griffith is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before his appointment to the bench he was Senate Legal Counsel, the chief legal officer of the United States Senate. In November of 2011, Griffth was included on The New Republic's list of Washington's most powerful, but least famous, people.
Princeton and Oxford educated, Dr. Richard Land has served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission since 1988.
During his tenure as representative for the largest Protestant denomination in the country, Dr. Land has represented Southern Baptist and other Evangelica concerns in the halls of Congress, before U.S. Presidents, and in the media.
In 2005, Dr. Land was featured in Time Magazine as one of "The Twenty-five Most Influential Evangelicals in America."
Alan Wolfe is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College.
His most recent books include Does American Democracy Still Work? (Yale University Press, 2006), Return to Greatness: How America Lost Its Sense of Purpose and What it Needs to Do to Recover It (Princeton University Press, 2005), The Transformation of American Religion: How We actually Practice our Faith (Free Press, 2003), and An Intellectual in Public (University of Michigan Press, 2003).