The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham discussed the complex intersection of religion and politics in American democracy on Jan. 13 as part of a virtual event hosted by the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy and Vanderbilt Divinity School.
Curry and Meacham talked about the role that citizens—particularly pastors and politicians—need to play in healing the divisions of today’s polarized political climate.
“It is a moment of decision. We must decide: Will we believe in e pluribus unum? Will we truly become for many diverse peoples, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice—not just for some—but for all?” asked Curry.
The talk began with an introduction from the Rev. Emilie M. Townes, dean of the Divinity School and Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society.
The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, who was elected to a nine-year term as the Episcopal Church’s 27th presiding bishop in 2015, is the church’s chief pastor, president and CEO, and serves as chair of its Executive Council. Curry graduated with honors from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, and earned a master of divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School. He has furthered his education with continued study at the College of Preachers, Princeton Theological Seminary, Wake Forest University, the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary’s Seminary, and the Institute of Christian Jewish Studies.
Jon Meacham, who holds the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair in American Presidency at Vanderbilt, is co-chair of the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy. A renowned presidential historian, he is a contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor of Time, and has written for The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, and Garden & Gun. In November, Meacham was formally installed as canon historian of the Washington National Cathedral.
ABOUT THE VANDERBILT PROJECT ON UNITY AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
The Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy is a nonpartisan initiative that aims to elevate research and evidence-based reasoning into the national conversation. Drawing on original research, evidence-based papers and crucial conversations from Vanderbilt’s world-class faculty and visionary thought leaders of all political persuasions, the timely endeavor aims to give policymakers and the public the tools needed to combat conspiracy and unfounded ideology with evidence, data and respectful discourse. The Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy can make a meaningful contribution to solving society’s most pressing challenges and bridging our deepest differences.
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