Advocacy to Advance the Common Good in the Classroom and in Research: Redrawing Line(s) in a Post-Truth Empire where the Bad Guys are Winning

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Koch Chair in Catholic Thought & Culture, Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, General Education Programming


Globally, authoritarian regimes have increasingly employed religion to reinforce nationalism – in Russia, India, Turkey, Brazil, and the United States, for just a few examples. Locally, scientific expertise (and traditional authority in classrooms and other public venues) is under siege from partisan cadres. How does what some describe as a “post-truth” cultural climate necessitate redrawing lines of advocacy, democratic debate, and the common good? In this workshop, employing cases from both research and teaching, Jon Pahl will invite conversation that includes attention to advocacy along lines of age, race, and gender to explore how some surprising new possibilities emerge when the science-based social construction of society meets the enduring wisdom of indigenous and historic traditions and their practices.

John Pahl is the Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor of the History of Christianity at United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) Philadelphia/Gettysburg. He’s the author of seven books, include Fethullah Gulan: A Life of Hizmet (2021) and Empire of Scarifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence (2012). He has taught a Valparaiso, Temple, and Princeton in addition to his tenure at ULS.

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