Faith Angle Forum: November 2013

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The Faith Angle Forum held its semi-annual Conference on Religion, Politics & Public Life from November 3-5, 2013, in South Beach, Florida. The series brings together a select group of nationally respected journalists and distinguished scholars for in-depth discussions of cutting-edge issues at the intersection of religion and public life. Under the leadership of Michael Cromartie, Vice President at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Faith Angle Forum provides extended discussion and the kind of deep reflection that is not always possible in today’s fast paced world of breaking news.

November 2013 Conference topics:

“Welcoming the Stranger? Religion & the Politics of Immigration”

Dr. John GreenDistinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Akron

Dr. Peter SkerryProfessor of Political Science, Boston College

audio | transcript

“Spinning Sorrow: The Uses & Abuses of Forgiveness in the Public Sphere”

Dr. L. Gregory JonesProfessor of Theology at Duke University Divinity School and Strategic Director of the Laity Lodge Leadership Initiative

audio | transcript

“Same Universe, Different Lenses: Science, Ethics, & Religion in Dialogue” 

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Program

audio | transcript

Speaker Bios:

GreenHeadshotDr. John C. Green is the director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Akron. He is also a senior research adviser at the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, specializing in religion and American politics, American evangelicals and politics, the Christian right, religion and elections, and religion and presidential politics.Dr. Green has done extensive research on American religious communities and politics. He is co-author of The Diminishing Divide: Religion’s Changing Role in American Politics (Brookings Institution Press, 2000).

In addition to publishing his most recent book The Faith Factor: How Religion Influences American Elections (2007), Dr. Green is also the co-author of The Values Campaign: The Christian Right in American Politics (Georgetown University Press, 2006), The Bully Pulpit: The Politics of Protestant Clergy (University Press of Kansas, 1997), and Religion and the Culture Wars (Rowman & Littlefield, 1996). The Los Angeles Times described Dr. Green as the nation’s “pre-eminent student of the relationship between religion and American politics.”

He received his Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University.

JonesHeadshotDr. L. Gregory Jones is a professor of theology at the Duke Divinity School. He served as the dean of the Divinity School from 1997 to 2010. He is also the Strategic Director of the Laity Lodge Leadership Initiative. Dr. Jones is widely recognized as a scholar on such issues as forgiveness and reconciliation, Christian vocation, and leadership.

He is the author or editor of 16 books, including the acclaimed Embodying Forgiveness, and, most recently, the co-author of Forgiving as We’ve Been Forgiven. He is also the author of Everyday Matters: Intersections of Life and Faith and the co-author of Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry. For 10 years he was co-editor of Modern Theology, a scholarly journal published by Blackwells in Oxford, England, and he currently serves as an associate editor for the journal.

Dr. Jones has traveled extensively, often addressing issues of forgiveness and reconciliation in lectures and sermons. In recent years he has been in South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, China, India, and South Korea.

He received his PhD in theology from Duke University.

Chronicle 10/22 storyDr. Peter Skerry is a professor of Political Science at Boston College and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where his research focuses on social policy, racial and ethnic politics, and immigration. Professor Skerry has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and Legislative Director for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.His writings on politics, racial and ethnic issues, immigration and social policy have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications, including Society, The New Republic, Slate, The Public Interest, The Wilson Quarterly, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His book, Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority (Harvard University Press) was awarded the 1993 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His most recent book is Counting on the Census? Race, Group Identity, and the Evasion of Politics, published by the Brookings Institution Press. His current project is a study of the social, cultural, and political integration of Muslims and Arabs in the United States.

He received his PhD in political science from Harvard University.

WisemanHeadshotDr. Jennifer J. Wiseman is the Director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program. She is also an astrophysicist, studying the formation of stars and planetary systems using radio, optical, and infrared telescopes. Dr. Wiseman studied physics for her bachelor’s degree at MIT, discovering comet Wiseman-Skiff in 1987. After earning her Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University in 1995, she continued her research as a Jansky Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and as a Hubble Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Wiseman also has an interest in national science policy and has served as an American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow on Capitol Hill. She then served several years as the Program Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope at NASA Headquarters and as the chief of the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where she currently serves as the Hubble Senior Project Scientist. She is also a public speaker and author, and enjoys giving talks on the excitement of science and astronomy to schools, youth and church groups, and civic organizations. She is a former Councilor of the American Astronomical Society and a former President of the American Scientific Affiliation.

EPPC’s Faith Angle Forum: November 2013

The November 2013 Faith Angle Forum took place from Nov. 3-5 in Miami. Below are some highlights of the event as told by participants.

  1. EPPC’s Faith Angle Forum aims to strengthen reporting and commentary on how religious believers, religious convictions, and religiously grounded moral arguments affect American politics. Click here for more info on the Faith Angle Forum.
  2. EPPC’s Faith Angle Forum is under way in Miami. Several participants are live-tweeting; follow along at #FaithAngle13!
  3. In honor of #FaithAngle13, here’s our profile of Michael Cromartie, the man behind the event 
  4. Up first: “Spinning Sorrow: The Uses & Abuses of Forgiveness in the Public Sphere," a presentation by Dr. L. Gregory Jones of Duke University Divinity School:
  5. Listening to Duke’s L. Gregory Jones speak about “Spinning Sorrow,” the uses and abuses of forgiveness in the public square #FaithAngle13
  6. at conference talk on “spinning sorrow”–what most scandal-soaked pols do instead of expressing genuine remorse. #faithangle13
  7. “Forgiveness has to be understood as a way of life.” Dr. L. Gregory Jones at #FaithAngle13
  8. Dr. Greg Jones at #FaithAngle13: public groveling is inauthentic b/c the grovelers are “spinning sorrow,” not working from learned habits
  9. Forgiveness doesn’t say ‘What you did wasn’t that bad.’ It says ‘It was awful & I’m going to stay in relationship with you.’ #FaithAngle13
  10. Forgiveness is about learning to live differently and well, connected a larger narrative, says Gregory Jones #FaithAngle13
  11. Greg Jones tells journos: set a context for discussions of trust, wrongdoing and forgiveness that are not reactive to scandal. #FaithAngle13
  12. At #faithangle13 conference, Gregory Jones, scholar of forgiveness, says pols often bad at apologies cos they’re narcissists #allaboutthem
  13. The next presentation was “Same Universe, Different Lenses: Science, Ethics, & Religion in Dialogue," by Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Director of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion for the American Association for the Advancement of Science:
  14. “Our night sky might look very different a few billion years from now…We are in a very active galaxy”–Wiseman #FaithAngle13
  15. Hmm. In Milky Way we’re on collision course with Andromeda, just confirmed by #Hubble but distance & time hardest to predict #FaithAngle13
  16. There are many U.S. evangelicals but scientists are still confused about who they are: fundamentalists, etc.? Jennifer Wiseman #FaithAngle13
  17. Is scientific explanation for a natural phenomenon, including our behavior, the whole story? — Wiseman on “Nothing Buttery” #FaithAngle13
  18. Great talk from Dr. Wiseman, who adds: “The ultimate fate of the universe is a very good and somewhat troubling question.” #faithangle13
  19. At #faithangle13 watching @danbharris, @EricaGrieder & astronomer Jennifer Wiseman discuss how an infinite universe expands. My head hurts.
  20. Tuesday morning's presentation was “Welcoming the Stranger? Religion & the Politics of Immigration” by Dr. John Green of the University of Akron and Dr. Peter Skerry of Boston College.
  21. Good ?s for #FaithAngle13 MT @drmoore will coalitions formed for immig reform hold for other issues? new wave of Latino evangelicl ldrship?
  22. Point from Peter Skerry–after the 1986 reform, only 40% of the eligible immigrants applied for citizenship over green cards #faithangle13
  23. Immigration reform was America’s original cultural conflict / culture wars with an economic aspect, says John Green, #FaithAngle13
  24. .@PewReligion: 30% of Hispanic Xians say growing # of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American values. #FaithAngle13
  25. over 60% of white evangelicals agree: “the growing # of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American values” #FaithAngle13
  26. .@PewReligion: The more frequently you go to church, the less like you are to see newcomers as a threat to American values. #FaithAngle13
  27. More than 50% of Americans say immigrants strengthen the country; 62% of white evangelicals disagree #FaithAngle13 #immigration
  28. John Green at #faithangle13: Evangelicals who are less frequent church attenders are more threatened by immigrants than frequent attenders
  29. Takeaway from Prof John Green: Most religious groups could support a new #immigration policy, the @pewresearch numbers show #FaithAngle13
  30. .@MJGerson: I’m guessing that white evangelicals aren’t getting teaching in church on immigration the same way Catholics might #FaithAngle13
  31. My old colleague @DSORennie w the logical question: is there any theological reason that white evangelicals are so skeptical? #FaithAngle13
  32. RT @BurkeCNN: Christian leaders back #immigration reform but convincing their followers is “real challenge,” -John Green #FaithAngle13
  33. At #faithangle13 Peter Skerry, Boston College, says all border agents he’s met say of migrants, unprompted: “in their shoes, I’d cross too”


Sarah Pulliam Bailey, National Correspondent, Religion News Service

Molly Ball, Staff Writer, The Atlantic

Fred Barnes, Executive Editor, The Weekly Standard

Mindy Belz, Editor, WORLD Magazine

Daniel Burke, Co-editor, “Belief Blog,” CNN

Michelle Cottle, Washington Correspondent, The Daily Beast

Timothy Dalrymple, Columnist,

Elizabeth Dias, Writer/Reporter, TIME Magazine

Patton Dodd, Editor-in-Chief, “On Faith,” The Washington Post

Clare Duffy, Producer, NBC Nightly News

Paul Edwards, Editor, Deseret News

Andrew Ferguson, Senior Editor, The Weekly Standard

Michael Gerson, Columnist, The Washington Post

Erica Grieder, Senior Editor, Texas Monthly

Dan Harris, Co-anchor, ABC News, Nightline, Good Morning America Weekend

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Senior Editor, The Federalist

Kirsten Powers, Contributor, The Daily Beast and USA Today; Political Analyst, Fox News

David Rennie, Washington Bureau Chief, The Economist

William Saletan, National Correspondent, Slate

Karen Tumulty, National Political Correspondent, The Washington Post