Preserving a United Nation: Moving Forward Together Despite Our Differences

A Conversation with John C. Danforth

A public interview with the former U.S. Senator from Missouri and Episcopal priest.



Emerson Auditorium in Knight Hall Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130


  • Preserving a United Nation: Moving Forward Together Despite Our Differences

    Sen. John C. Danforth and Prof. Marie Griffith (September 6, 2017)


Please join us as Center Director Marie Griffith interviews former U.S. Senator Jack Danforth about the challenges facing our divided nation and how citizens across the political spectrum can recommit ourselves to preserving unity despite our many differences.

“Holding ourselves together is, as it has always been, America’s great mission. It’s our motto—e pluribus unum. We are many people from many backgrounds, with many competing interests, and we are one—one indivisible nation. Our Constitution was written to make it so…. This American mission of holding things together is so elementary that in most times it might escape our attention. But in this year of 2017, we must attend to it because it is under attack both in our relations with allies abroad and in our common life at home.”
   –  John C. Danforth, upon receiving the Winston Churchill Medal for Leadership, June 2017

John C. Danforth served three terms representing the state of Missouri in the U.S. Senate after eight years of service as Missouri’s attorney general. Following his elected service, Danforth held appointments in both Republican and Democratic administrations. He was Special Envoy to Sudan, where his focus was negotiating an end to the civil war in the South, and later U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He was also special counsel in the investigation of the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. He is currently a partner at Dowd Bennett LLC in St. Louis, Missouri. An ordained Episcopal priest, Danforth is the author of Resurrection (1994), Faith and Politics: How the “Moral Values” Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together (2006), and The Relevance of Religion (2015).

R. Marie Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, is the director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and the editor of the Center’s journal, Religion & Politics. Professor Griffith obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in Political and Social Thought and her Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard University. 

This event is cosponsored by the WU Law Public Interest Law and Policy Speakers Series.

Please join us for a reception in Frick Forum immediately following the event. Free and open to all.

Please RSVP to or at (314) 935-9345. Your RSVP will ensure you receive parking information and any event updates. Please check this website the day of the event for any updates.


  • John C. Danforth

    Former U.S. Senator from Missouri

  • R. Marie Griffith

    Director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities

  • Mark Wrighton