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The 2008 Presidential Town Hall Debate at Belmont University

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Dr. Tony CampoloCITIZENSHIP AND FAITH. Wednesday, September 3 at 10 a.m. – MASSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (MPAC): Dr. Tony Campolo is a nationally celebrated speaker, the author of 35 books and a media commentator on religious, social and political matters. His latest book is “Red Letter Christians: A Citizen’s Guide to Faith and Politics.” He has been a guest on television programs like The Colbert Report, Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live, CNN Dayside, CNN News and MSNBC News. He is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University. For ten years he was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Campolo is the founder and president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education and has worked to create, nurture and support programs for “at-risk” children in cities across North America, and has helped establish schools and universities in several developing countries. Tony Campolo will show how the “red letter” words of Jesus move us beyond the Republican/Democrat dichotomy and into a world where the crises of AIDS, war, and failing public schools can be tackled.

Dr. Stanley HauerwasTHE AMERICAN EMPIRE AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Wednesday, September 17 at 10 a.m. – MASSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (MPAC): Dr. Stanley Hauerwas was named "America’s Best Theologian" by Time magazine in 2001. He holds a joint appointment in Duke Law School and Duke Divinity School. His work cuts across disciplinary lines, linking theology, ethics and political theory. His book, "A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic," was selected as one of the 100 most important books on religion of the 20th century. Dr. Hauerwas' most recent book is “The State of the University: Academic Knowledges and the Knowledge of God.” Stanley Hauerwas will look at how a proper understanding of peace leads us away from using violence to advance God’s work in the world.

Barbara Bradley HagertyTHE MEDIA AND RELIGION. Wednesday, September 24 at 10 a.m. – NEELY HALL: Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the religion correspondent for National Public Radio. She reports on the intersection of faith and politics, law, science, and culture, with stories ranging from the impeachment hearings of President Clinton to the Florida election to the DNA revolution. Barbara was the lead correspondent covering the investigation into the September 11 attacks. Her reporting was part of NPR's coverage that earned the network the 2001 George Foster Peabody and Overseas Press Club awards. She has appeared on the PBS programs Washington Week in Review and The Lehrer News Hour. In her capacity as religion correspondent, Barbara received the 2004 Religion Newswriters Association award for radio reporting. Barbara came to NPR in 1995, after attending Yale Law School on a one-year Knight Fellowship. Before that, she worked at The Christian Science Monitor for 11 years: as a newspaper reporter in Washington, as the Asia correspondent for World Monitor (the Monitor's nightly television program on the Discovery Cable Channel), and finally as senior Washington correspondent for Monitor Radio. Barbara Bradley Hagerty will explore how the media reports—and misreports—the crucial interplay of faith and politics.

Shane ClaiborneJESUS FOR PRESIDENT. Wednesday, October 1 at 10 a.m. – BELMONT HEIGHTS BAPTIST CHURCH, 2100 Belmont Boulevard: Shane Claiborne is the founder of The Simple Way. His new book, "Jesus for President," was lauded by Publisher's Weekly in a starred review as a "must-read election-year book for Christian Americans. What should Christians do when allegiances to the state clash with personal faith?” He gives a “lucid exploration of how Christians can and should relate to presidents and kings, empire and government...reminding readers that Jesus did not preach the need to put God back into government—he urged his followers to live by a different set of rules altogether, to hold themselves apart as peculiar people. ...Claiborne emerges as an affable, intelligent, humorous prophet of his generation, calling people out of business-as-usual in a corrupt world and back to the radically different social order of the biblical God." Shane Claiborne will show how identification with those on the margins of society can challenge us to live in both personal and political solidarity with the poor.

VESPER SERVICE. Sunday, October 5 at 4:00 p.m.  - Historic Christ Church Cathedral (900 Broadway, Downtown Nashville).  
You are invited to join President Robert Fisher of Belmont University for our Debate ’08 Vesper Service. Our homilist is Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World,  a citizens' anti-hunger movement which focuses on education about hunger and on influencing public policies on hunger and poverty.
Rev. Beckmann was educated at the London School of Economics and Yale University and ordained as a “missionary economist” by the Lutheran Church. He worked in rural development in Bangladesh and for 15 years with the World Bank.  Also officiating at the service are the Right Rev. Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first female bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; the Very Rev. David Perkin, Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Nashville; and the Rev. Dr. Todd Lake, Vice President for Spiritual Development at Belmont University.  The Rev. Anne Stevenson of Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral is our host.  Music will be provided by Belmont’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.
  
Complimentary parking is available in several lots surrounding the church.
 Dr. Vaughn MayFAITH-INFORMED POLITICAL SCIENCE. Wednesday, October 22, at 10:00 a.m. - BEAMAN A & B: Dr. Vaughn May (political science department chair) and members of the department will explore issues of faith, politics and their role in a Christian university. Each semester, our faculty and deans take the opportunity to present how they individually and collectively think about the Christian faith in relation to their academic discipline.

Dr. Barbara Williams-SkinnerHOW WOULD JESUS VOTE? Wednesday, October 29, at 10:00 a.m. - VINCE GILL ROOM: Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner is the former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, the organization of African American members of Congress, and is president of the Skinner Leadership Institute. She has spent her career helping to develop a new generation of spiritually grounded leaders. She has also served on the boards of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, the National Political Congress of Black Women, the Christian Community Development Association and Evangelicals for Social Action. Williams-Skinner completed her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University before attending the University of California, Los Angeles. She went on to earn an M.S.W. and a J.D. from UCLA. Barbara Williams-Skinner will look at the issues from that must be part of any calculus of how one should vote.

Melissa RogersTHE NEW PRESIDENT AND THE POLITICS OF FAITH. Wednesday, November 5, at 10:00 a.m. - NEELY HALL: Melissa Rogers, founder and director of Wake Forest University's Center for Religion and Public Affairs and former executive director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in Washington, D.C. Rogers has appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts, including NBC Nightly News, CNN, Court TV and NPR, and her op-ed pieces have been published by ABC News, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, The Fort-Worth Star Telegram, Legal Times, and Religion News Service. Rogers has worked as general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty based in Washington, D.C. She has been recognized by National Journal as one of the church-state experts "politicians will call on when they get serious about addressing an important public policy issue." She has written widely about the relationship between religion and public affairs and has testified before the Judiciary Committee to the U.S. Senate on religion’s role in the public square. Melissa Rogers will examine the major issues of faith and politics that the new president will be dealing with in the next four years.



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