Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 15, 1997

Symposium Ponders
Religion In America

America was founded, in large part, by people seeking religious freedom. Finding it here, the Constitution took pains to make certain religion remained separated from the affairs of state. At a time when religion seems to be on everyone's mind, the debate rages on as to the rightful place of religion in American society.

The 1997 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium, "In God We Trust? America's Response to the Rise of Religion," will explore some of the most controversial and interesting issues that arise when this seeming religious revival clashes with America's institutional secularism.

Ralph Reed, Jesse Jackson and Michael Dukakis are among the national figures who will speak on topics like euthanasia, the separation of church and state, the racial divide in religion, prayer in schools, moral censorship in the entertainment industry, the powerful influence of the Christian right and abortion. Alan Dershowitz spoke on the "Vanishing American Jew" on Sept. 4.

Admission to all lectures is free and open to the public.

The MSE Symposium was established in 1967 by the Student Council to honor Milton S. Eisenhower, the university's eighth president. Every year since then, a team of two to three students, chosen by the Student Council, has arranged and managed all aspects of the free series. This year's symposium chairs are Andrew Levi and Craig Zapetis.

1997 Speakers List
All Events Are Free and Open to the Public

Thursday, September 4; Shriver Hall, 8 p.m.
"Religious Assimilation"
Alan Dershowitz, Professor, Harvard Law School; author, recent NY Times #1 bestseller The Vanishing American Jew.

Thursday, September 18; Shriver Hall, 8 p.m.
"The Rise of the Religious Right"
Ralph Reed, Former Executive Director of Christian Coalition

Tuesday, September 23; Shriver Hall, 8 p.m.
MSE Forum: "The Future of Religion in America'

  • The Rev. Oliver Thomas, Special Counsel, National Council of Churches
  • Mark Chopko, General Counsel, United States Catholic Conference
  • Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center
  • Steve McFarland, Director, Center for Law and Religious Freedom
  • Barry Fisher, former Chair, American Bar Association, Religious Freedom Subcommittee

    Monday, September 29; Shriver Hall, 8 p.m.
    "Judging God: The Supreme Court"
    Nadine Strossen, President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); professor NYU Law School.

    Monday, October 6; place TBA, 8 p.m.
    "The Success of Moralistic Social Policy"
    Michael Dukakis, 1988 Democratic nominee for President; Former Governor of Massachusetts

    Thursday, October 16; Shriver Hall, 8 p.m.
    "Race and Religion"
    Jesse Jackson, President and CEO of The National Rainbow Coalition.

    Wednesday, October 22; Shriver Hall, 8 p.m.
    "Religion and Education: school vouchers, prayer in schools, teaching creationism, parochial education."
    Judith Johnson, Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, elementary and secondary schools.

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