Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Free and Open to the Public
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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Conference Agenda

8:30 a.m.


9:00 a.m. Welcome Address
  Nancy A, Busch, Ph.D.
  Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences;
and Chief Research Officer/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Fordham University
9:10 a.m. Panel I: 
Religious Values, Family Values, and Public Discourse
  Moderator: Msgr. Charles J. Fahey
  Marie Ward Doty Professor Emeritus of Aging Studies and Program Officer, Milbank Memorial Fund
  Gloria Albrecht, Ph.D.
Professor of Religion and Ethics, University of Detroit, Mercy
  "A Marriage Proposal: The Union of Human Rights with Policies that Value Families"

I will make the argument that Christian concepts of economic human rights are fundamentally inconsistent with U.S. neoliberal capitalism which is itself anti-family. Yet, serious critique of the US economic system is relegated to the political margins — the radical left. An effective concern for families (and gender equality) requires Christians to raise radical (i.e., structural) critiques.

  Don Browning, Ph.D. 
Alexander Campbell Professor Emeritus of Religious Ethics and Social Sciences Divinity School, University of Chicago
  “Gender and Terror in Presidential Politics”

Although terrorism and security are defining issues of presidential politics today, gender issues will not be forgotten. My remarks investigate how the old gender issues first emerging in 1994 will be redefined in 2008.  I also ask how a Protestant interpretation of Roman Catholic subsidiarity theory can address tensions between gender politics and the politics of terrorism.

Panel Discussion and Audience Questions
10:10 a.m. Break
10:20 a.m. Panel II: 
Religious Identity and Civic Responsibility
  Moderator:  Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Ethics Education and the Marie Ward Doty Professor of Psychology, Fordham University
  Etin Anwar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
  “Gender and Islamic Identity: Ethics and Politics of Civic Responsibility”
  My talk will examine the dialectics between Muslims' internalization of Islam within their own community and their externalization by which they define and redefine their identity. I will analyze the Islamic roots of Muslims' sense of civic responsibility, the challenges of becoming effective citizens, the differences in attitudes and expectations toward civic responsibility between genders, and the skills required to engage in civic responsibility that is rooted in Islam, yet embedded within the shared ideals of the American way of life.
  Tsvi Blanchard, Ph.D.
Director of Organizational Development, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
  "Life Outside the Ark: Jewish Reflections on American Politics and Public Duties"
  Judaism — a religious tradition rooted in duties, obligations and imperatives —understands and evaluates all human societies in term of “Noachide law” with its six fundamental proscriptions and one positive demand. I will use this conception to suggest seven central areas of policy concern where contemporary American political discussion would benefit from a renewed, non-negotiable focus on deep, fundamental questions of values and principles. 
  Christine Firer Hinze, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology and Associate Director of the Center for Ethics Education, Fordham University
  "'Faithful Citizenship,' U.S. Catholic Style: Tensions and Trajectories"
Historically, U.S. Catholics have had an ambivalent relationship to American political life, at times embracing “outsider” status, but more often aspiring for civic inclusion and recognition. I will trace the ways prophetic/outsider and public/insider impulses appear to be operating among Catholics in 2008. Then, in light of central Catholic social principles (human dignity, the common good, solidarity, and the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable) I will chart and evaluate three possible trajectories for political engagement by U.S. Catholic women and men in the early twenty-first century.
   Panel Discussion and Audience Questions
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Keynote Address
  Donna Brazile
Founder and Managing Director, Brazile and Associates, LLC; Chair of tthe Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute (VRI); Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University 
"Under God We Trust:  Faith and Politics in a Diverse America"
  Introduction by Stephen Freedman, Ph.D.,
Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Fordham University
1:30 p.m. Break
1:40 p.m. Panel III: 
Politics, Policies, and Gender Equity
  Moderator:  Nicole Fermon, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science, Fordham University
  Sidney Callahan, Ph.D.
Licensed psychologist, scholar, and author 
  "Gender and Justice in 2008: Controversies and the Christian Contribution"
  I will discuss whether and how issues of gender remains contested in our American Society. What can Christianity contribute to the current discussion?
  Sue Carroll, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University and Senior Scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) of the Eagleton Institute of Politics
  "Gender and Politics in the 2008 and Other Elections"
  I will provide an overview of major trends and developments regarding women candidates and voters in the 2008 and previous elections.
  Panel Discussion and Audience Questions
2:50 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Panel IV: 
The Use and Abuse of Religion on the Campaign Trail
  Moderator: Costas Panagopoulos, Ph.D., 
Director, Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy, Fordham University
Kenneth D. Wald, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Florida
"Cultural Campaigning in American Elections"
Wald will discuss how cultural differences implicating religion have become the staple of political campaigns in the United States. The techniques for mobilizing cultural tensions in American elections bear an uncomfortable similarity to political tactics in societies like Bosnia and Lebanon that have experienced prolonged civil wars. Nonetheless, Wald argues, there are mechanisms in the American polity that seem likely to constrain political tensions well before a “culture war” becomes a serious threat to political stability.
Richard Fleisher, Ph.D. 
Professor of Political Science, Fordham University
  "The Secular Side of of the Culture Wars in Contemporary American Society"
  While considerable attention has been paid to the “Religious Right” and their role in the polarized state of contemporary American politics, less attention has been paid to the secular side of this conflict.   This research will focus on those individuals who prefer the secular side of the current conflict.  Who are those who are opposed to the increased role of religion in the public sphere?  Using survey data, we will examine the demographic, attitudinal and behavioral profile of the "secular side" in American politics.
  Panel Discussion and Audience Questions
4:10 p.m. Summary Session
  Moderator: Celia Fisher, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Ethics Education and the Marie Ward Doty Professor of Psychology, Fordham University
Discussion among Conference Panelists and Audience Questions

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