March 11, 2009
Mayer Theater, 7:30 p.m.
Is it okay to root political views in a set of religious beliefs? Are we facing a liberal religious revival? Is it legitimate for priests to deny Communion to those supporting candidates who favor abortion rights?
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. is a liberal, a Catholic—and an optimist. He believes America is about to enter a new progressive era.
Cokie Roberts calls Dionne “the country’s single most knowledgeable writer on religion and politics.” In his most recent book, Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right, Dionne argues that American religion is undergoing a renaissance, and will emerge as a liberal force pushing social justice, education, health care, peacemaking, and concern for the poor and elderly.
“It is a great sellout of religion to insist that it has much to teach us about abortion or gay marriage but little useful to say about social justice, war and peace, the organization of our work lives, the death penalty, immigration policy or our approach to providing for the old, the sick, and the desperate,” he writes.
A National Book Award finalist for Why Americans Hate Politics, Dionne is also the author of They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era and Stand Up, Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps and the Politics of Revenge.
Dionne grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts. He earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1973 and received his doctorate from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes scholar.
Before joining the Washington Post, Dionne spent 14 years covering politics for the New York Times. He is a regular political analyst for National Public Radio, a frequent television political commentator, and is the series co-editor for the Pew Forum Dialogues on Religion and Public Life.
Please join us for a conversation with Dionne. A book signing will follow.