The Political Captivity of the Faithful

A Public lecture by Dr. Nathan Hatch.

American historian and university president Hatch considers the current challenge and need to understand “the other side.”



Seigle Hall L006 Washington University in St. Louis

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130


  • The Political Captivity of the Faithful

    Dr. Nathan O. Hatch (March 28, 2019)


Dr. Nathan O. Hatch is president of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. He became Wake Forest’s 13th president on July 1, 2005. His commencement address to the WFU Class of 2018, “Both…And” asserts “the pressing need for all of us to understand the other side.” He is regularly cited as one of the most influential scholars in the study of the history of religion in America. He received national acclaim for his 1989 book, The Democratization of American Christianity, in which he examines how the rise of religious groups in the early 19th century helped shape American culture and foster democracy. The book was chosen in a survey of 2,000 historians and sociologists as one of the two most important books in the study of American religion. He is also the author or editor of seven other books on American history.

Dr. Hatch is an active leader in American higher education and in local and community affairs. He has served on the board of the American Council on Education and was Chair of the Division I Board of Directors of the NCAA. He is a past chair of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, he received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and held post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities. He joined the faculty at Notre Dame in 1975. He was named provost, the university’s second highest-ranking position, in 1996; a Presbyterian, he was the first Protestant to ever serve in that position at Notre Dame.

There will be time for audience Q&A and a reception for all attendees immediately following the lecture.

This event is free and open to all. 

RSVPs encouraged to or (314) 935-9345.


  • Nathan Hatch

  • R. Marie Griffith

    Director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities