Barack Obama and the Paradoxes of Progressive Christianity (Keynote lecture of “Beyond the Culture Wars” Conference)

Keynote lecture by James Kloppenberg, Harvard University, at the Beyond the Culture Wars conference of scholars considering the most recent advances in the historical study of U.S. religion and politics.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Umrath Lounge Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63130

rap@wustl.edu

Videos

Drawing together several talented and esteemed scholars from across the United States and United Kingdom, the conference Beyond the Culture Wars: Recasting Religion and Politics in the Twentieth Century reconsidered and recast historical study of religion and politics in modern America.

The public keynote lecture was given by James T. Kloppenberg, Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University, will deliver a public keynote address, Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., titled “Barack Obama and the Paradoxes of Progressive Christianity.”

The full conference schedule follows:

THURSDAY, MARCH 27
8:40-9:00 a.m. WELCOMING COMMENTS 

9:00-10:20 a.m.  PANEL 1: Populist Faiths and Politics in an Age of Reform
Chair: Marie Griffith (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Charles Postel (San Francisco State University)“Waco’s Baptist-Iconoclast Conflict and the Contexts of Populist Belief”
“Waco’s Baptist-Iconoclast Conflict and the Contexts of Populist Belief”
Presentation: Joseph (Kip) Kosek (George Washington University)
“Property, Labor, and Spiritual Renewal in the American Religious Depression”
Comment: Paul Harvey (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)

10:30-11:50 a.m.  PANEL 2: Religious Liberty and Republican Visions at Century’s Turn
Chair: Mark Jordan (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Max Perry Mueller (Harvard University)
“Joseph F. Smith’s Republican Vision: Centralized Government, Centralized Church”
Presentation: Brendan Payne (Baylor University)
“‘Fidelity to that Liberty’: Black Preachers and the Brewers Coalition Against Poll Taxes and Prohibition in Texas, 1902-1916”
Presentation: Cara Burnidge (Florida State University)
“‘By the Hand of God Who Led Us’: The Senate’s Crusade Against the League of Nations”
Comment: Audience

1:00-2:20 p.m.  PANEL 3: Liberal Legacies of the Thirties
Chair: Leigh Schmidt (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Charles Louis Richter (George Washington University)
“Brotherhood Day, Loyalty Day, and the Red Mass: Forging National Unity in the Pews”
Presentation: Jamil Drake (Emory University)
“The Culture and Class Dilemma in the Myrdal-Carnegie Study: Liberalism, Race Relations Research, and the Problem of Black Folk Religion”
Presentation: Gene Zubovich (University of California, Berkeley)
“Ecumenical Protestants, the Laity, and the Fate of the New Deal”
Comment: Audience

2:30-3:50 p.m.  PANEL 4: Liberalism’s Postwar Struggles for America’s Soul
Chair: Lerone Martin (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: K. Healan Gaston (Harvard Divinity School)
“Waging the Conceptual Cold War: Secularism, Pluralism, and the Struggle for Religious Authenticity”
Presentation: Mark Brilliant (University of California, Berkeley)
“The Liberal Roots of Neo-Liberalism in American Public Education: School Finance Reformers and the Case for School Vouchers”
Comment: Sarah Barringer Gordon (University of Pennsylvania)

4:00-5:20 p.m.  PANEL 5: Sacred Space, Neighborhood Activism, and Crisis in the Modern City
Chair: Laura Westhoff (University of Missouri, St. Louis)
Presentation: Lila Corwin Berman (Temple University)
“Jewish Spiritual Politics in the Postwar American City”
Presentation: Scott Kurashige (University of Michigan)
“What’s Bad for Detroit is Bad for America: Race and the Politics of Bankruptcy”
Comment: Kevin Boyle (Northwestern University)

7:00-8:30 p.m.
PLENARY ADDRESS
James T. Kloppenberg (Harvard University)
“Barack Obama and the Paradoxes of Progressive Christianity”

FRIDAY, MARCH 28
8:40-10:20 a.m.  PANEL 6: Spirits of Resistance, Resettlement, and Dissent
Chair: Laurie Maffly-Kipp (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Sher Afgan Tareen (Florida State University)
“The Liberal is Conservative: Thinking the Question of ‘Pluralism’ and “Islam’ Since Postwar America”
Presentation: Ronit Stahl (University of Michigan)
“Moral Objection and Religious Obligation: The American Military Chaplaincy and the Politics of Conscience During the Vietnam War”
Presentation: Mauricio Castro (Purdue University)
“‘The Cuban Turned to the Church for Help’: The Catholic Church and Federal Refugee Policy in Miami”
Presentation: Laura McTighe (Columbia University)
“Born in Flames: Religion, Incarceration, and the Spirit of Grassroots Resistance in New Orleans”
Comment: Audience

10:30-11:50 a.m.  PANEL 7: Catholic Challenges to the Status Quo
Chair: Kate Moran (St. Louis University)
Presentation: Michelle Nickerson (Loyola University, Chicago)
“The Camden 28: Fratres Sororesque in Pace”
Presentation: Kathleen Sprows Cummings (University of Notre Dame)
“The Nun in the World: Catholic Sisters, Vatican II, and American Politics”
Comment: Robert Self (Brown University)

1:00-2:20 p.m.  PANEL 8: Faith, Identity, and Empowerment During the Global Turn
Chair: Rachel Lindsey (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Ben Francis-Fallon (West Carolina University)
“The Other ‘White Ethnics’: Faith, Family, and ‘Spanish-speaking’ Voters in the 1970s”
Presentation: Kate Bowler (Duke Divinity School)
“Latino Pentecostalism and the New Liberation Theology”
Comment: Thomas (Tim) Borstelmann (University of Nebraska)

2:30-3:50 p.m.
PANEL 9: The Contested Politics of Pluralism
Chair: Anne Blankenship (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Josef Sorett (Columbia University)
“‘The Answers were Apocraphyl’: Religion and the Politics of Studying Race at Phylon, 1940-1957”
Presentation: Wendy L. Wall (SUNY Binghamton)
“‘A Gauge of Our Faithfulness’: Religion and the Politics of Immigration Reform”
Comment: Barbara D. Savage (University of Pennsylvania)

4:00-5:20 p.m.  PANEL 10: Statecraft, Security, and the Sacred in America’s Century
Chair: Elizabeth Borgwardt (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Matthew A. Sutton (Washington State University)
“God’s Spooks: Religion, the CIA, and the Myth of Church-State Separation”
Presentation: Andrew Preston (Cambridge University)
“An American Crusade: The Religious Liberty of Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union”
Comment: Melani McAlister (George Washington University)

SATURDAY, MARCH 29
8:40-10:20 a.m.  PANEL 11: Recasting Evangelicalism’s “Culture War” at Century’s End
Chair: Steven Miller (Webster University)
Presentation: Stephanie Wolfe (Northwestern University)
“Discovering God in the City: Evangelical Responses to the Crisis of the Post-Industrial City, 1968-Present”
Presentation: Rebecca Wagner (Cambridge University)
“The Evangelical Left and Abortion over the 1980s”
Presentation: Kip Richardson (Harvard University)
“Consider the Megachurch: The Political Work of Evangelical Congregations”
Presentation: Kate Netzler Burch (Indiana University)
“Becoming Pro-Life: American Evangelicals and the Consistent Life Ethic”
Comment: Audience

10:30-11:50 a.m.  PANEL 12: Environmental Encounters
Chair: Darren Dochuk (Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis)
Presentation: Patrick Mason (Claremont Graduate School)
“The Fullness of the Earth is Yours”: Environmental Politics in the Mormon Culture Region
Presentation: Keith Woodhouse (Northwestern University)
“In Defense of People, In Defense of the Earth: Environmentalism and the Religious Right in Late-Twentieth-Century American Politics”
Comment: Adam Rome (University of Delaware)

11:50 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.  CLOSING COMMENTS

Presenters

  • James T. Kloppenberg

  • Darren Dochuk

    Associate Professor in the Humanities