Fall 2012: Sacred Politics

So Help Me God? Scriptural Authority and Public Conscience

Leading into the 2012 presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections in the United States, the fall quarter of the 2012–13 Bannan Institute will host a series of public lectures exploring Christian texts relevant to issues of significant public debate, and engaging major questions of authority, national identity, and public conscience.

Scriptural Politics of the American Presidency

Religion in the 2012 Presidential Election

by James Bennett |

November 6, 2012 | 4:00 - 5:15 pm
St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons | MAP

Despite the Constitutional prohibition of a religious test for office, religion has long played an important role in Presidential elections and the American Presidency. The 2012 Presidential election marks a new chapter in that story as the major party candidates represent a unique combination of religious affiliations in U.S. electoral history. How have those identities shaped the candidates and the election, and what are the implications for the Presidency of the winning candidate?

James B. Bennett is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, where he has taught since 2002. Prior to coming to Santa Clara University he taught at the University of Oklahoma. He earned his Ph.D. in American Religious History at Yale University. He also holds degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and UCLA (B.A. English/American Studies). He is the author of Religion and the Rise of Jim Crow in New Orleans (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005) as well as articles on American Christianity and the intersection of religion and race in the United States. He also serves as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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