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Speaker to discuss religion, lifestyles

Jan. 25, 2001

Yale law professor

once clerked for Thurgood Marshall

BY MARY PHAM

Reporter

A man the New York Times deemed one of the nation's leading public intellectuals and Time magazine recognized as one of the 50 leaders of the next century will speak today at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center.

Stephen L. Carter, a William Nelson Cromwell professor of law at Yale University and a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, will speak as part of the Emmy Parrish Lectures in American Studies.

Carter's first speech is titled The Role of Civility and Religion in Vocation, and his second speech is Civil Engagement and the Nature of Voting.

'Carter talks, writes and thinks much more deeply about the proper relationship between one's private beliefs and one's public life,' said Dr. Donald Greco, assistant professor of political science and director of the American studies program at Baylor. 'His first lecture is more focused on what these things mean and how they relate to our careers. His second lecture [is] on how they relate to the political aspect.'

Greco said that when he announced that he had secured Carter to come and lecture, 'the reaction was overwhelming.'

'There couldn't be a better place than Baylor [for Carter to lecture] -- a university concerned with exactly these types of issues,' Greco said. 'There's concern for how religion relates to other aspects of life, and we would gain great benefit by listening to someone who has written about these very core issues: what it means to be a citizen who cares about religion.'

Greco said he believes it would be 'an awful shame for students to miss out' on Carter's lecture and encourages everyone to come out and hear Carter speak.

'Students may gain better appreciation [for the relationship] between religion and politics,' Greco said. 'Younger people have taken for granted that religion and politics should overlap and intrude on one another. Carter could get people to think and be analytical about their own beliefs and to learn about alternative positions that may change minds or strengthen convictions.'

Dr. Joseph Brown, associate professor of political science, is looking forward to attending Carter' lecture.

'He's an interesting speaker that has written on a number of subjects,' Brown said. 'It's a very good idea for American Studies to bring in Carter because this will introduce to students a wide variety of perspectives on a number of very important issues.'

Greco has been director of the American Studies program for two years.

'My vision for this series was to use it as another voice to get people to listen and think about what it really means to be a citizen of the U.S.,' Greco said. 'We thought Stephen L. Carter would fit that role perfectly.'

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