Symposium To Focus On Civil Society

March 21, 2002

Baylor University's College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Public Justice in Washington, D.C., will host "Civil Society and Christian Social Thought: Three Views" on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, in Armstrong Browning Library. The symposium, which will begin at 9 a.m. both days, will explore views on civil society held by the Catholic, Baptist and Reformed traditions.

"Recent years have witnessed a widespread concern about the condition of groups and institutions that constitute civil society," said Keith Pavlischek, director of Civitas, A Program in Faith and Public Affairs and a fellow at the Center for Public Justice. "There is growing agreement that the decline of these groups and institutions has played a pivotal role in precipitating many of the social pathologies and political dysfunctions that afflict us.

"The conference will consist of three sessions with papers addressing issues of civil society from three broad traditions of Christian social thought: Reformed, Roman Catholic and Baptist. We hope to clarify the positions of each tradition, particularly as it relates to the plural structure of society and the relation of non-state institutions to government."

Dr. Clarke Cochran, professor of political science at Texas Tech University, will serve as symposium moderator. Dr. Thomas Hibbs, associate professor of philosophy at Boston College, will deliver the keynote address titled "Pluralism, Community and The Body" at a banquet at 7 p.m. Friday at Harrington House. Other symposium participants include scholars from Pepperdine University, the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, Canada, Fordham University, the University of Tulsa and Southwest Texas State University, as well as Dr. Derek Davis, Dr. Barry Hankins, Dr. Marc Ellis and Dr. Christopher Marsh, who are members of the Baylor faculty.

Except for the symposium banquet, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the College of Arts and Sciences at 710-3361.

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