Religion in Public & Political Life Conference Set for Oct. 17-19

Oct. 10, 1997

WACO, Texas - Representatives from church-related institutions across the country will convene at Baylor University Oct. 17-19 to discuss religion in political and public life during a conference titled "The City of God Revisited: Church and State in the 21st Century."

The seventh annual National Conference of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts is being held outside of Valparaiso University, which headquarters the Lilly Program, for the first time since it began in 1991. Baylor houses the country's only Institute of Church-State Studies, which was a factor in the university's selection as host.

Dr. James Dunn, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., will headline a group of internationally recognized speakers. Dunn will speak on "Christian Citizenship and Political Advocacy." He will discuss how people of faith can properly engage in politics without violating the separation of church and state.

"Religion and politics are inevitably entangled," Dunn said. "Our religion informs our politics and our politics reflects our theology and experience." Dunn will discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court case Boerne vs. Flores in which the court declared the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional.

Dr. Kent Greenawalt of Columbia University School of Law and Dr. Eileen Barker of the London School of Economics also will speak at the conference.

Greenawalt will focus on the relationship between historic and modern expression of religion within the state. He will address giving state aid to religious institutions, religious conscience exemptions and religious convictions in politics. Barker will talk about religious diversity in public philosophy.

The Lilly Fellows Program was established in 1991 to help church-related institutions strengthen their sense of purpose and identity and to provide a network for young scholars who wish to pursue their careers at church-related colleges and universities.

For more information, contact Dr. Donald Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Baylor, at (254) 710-3601

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