Symposium to Explore Civic, Spiritual Health of Democracy Oct. 28-30

Oct. 15, 1999

WACO, Texas -- Well-known scholars will discuss the challenge of cultivating citizens in a contemporary, liberal democracy at Baylor University's annual Pruit Memorial Symposium. "Cultivating Citizens: A Conference on Soulcraft and Citizenship in Contemporary America" will run Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 28-30.

"In 1999, the material conditions of life in the United States have auguably never been better," said Dr. Dwight Allman, assistant professor of political science and co-director of this year's symposium. "However, what we might term the civic health of liberal democracy has become a subject of significant concern and controversy."

Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain, keynote speaker for the event, is best known for her examination of the connections between the nation's political and ethical convictions. The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago, Elshtain will deliver her speech at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Cashion Academic Center.

Other speakers include Dr. Alexander Astin of the University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. John Millbank of the University of Virginia; Dr. Alan Wolfe of Boston College; Dr. Carey Nederman of the University of Arizona; Dr. Walter Nicgorski of the University of Notre Dame; Dr. Nathan Tarcov of the University of Chicago; and Dr. Michael Sandel of Harvard University.

Additionally, concurrent sessions will include discussions on a variety of themes, including Christianity and Democracy, Educating for Citizenship, Race and Citizenship, and Legislation, Morality and Civic Virtue. The sessions will begin at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 28, 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and 9 a.m. Oct. 30.

"We have an all-star cast of speakers and more than 100 scholars who will participate in the symposium," said Allman. "This is the most significant event of its kind in the nation."

The Pruit Memorial Symposium is an annual event at Baylor University that brings the perspectives of the Christian intellectual community to bear on issues of common concern. The Pruit Memorial Symposium Endowment Fund was established in 1996 by Lev H. and Ella Wall Prichard of Corpus Christi, Texas, in memory of Mrs. Helen Pruit Matthews and her brothers, Dr. Lee Tinkle Pruit and William Wall Pruit.

The registration fee for the general public is $35 and $15 for non-Baylor students. Admission for Baylor students, faculty and staff is free. All events will be held in the Cashion Academic Center except the concurrent sessions on Oct. 29, which will be held in the Bill Daniel Student Center.

For more information, contact the Institute for Faith and Learning at (254) 710-4805.

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