John J. Wintermeyer Lecture
John F. Kennedy's speech in Houston, Texas, is widely lauded as the turning point in the 1960 US presidential election. In recent years, however, conserative critics have cited this speech as the signal momemnt leading to the privatizaton of religiousl belief in American political life. In philosphical terms, the criticism maintains that Kennedy argued for the seculariation of political discourse in liberal democracies. This lecture examines kennedy's argument abvout the orle of religion in political discourse as well as the revisionist conservative critique. It addresses the lessons that can be drawn for contemporary polictics regarrding the role of religion in politics. It assesses whether or not Kennedy's position is adequate for the demands of an increasingly pluralistic public sphere. Finally, it aticipates the impact religion will have on the 2012 US presidential election.
Shaun Casey is Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of National Capital Semester for Seminarians(NCSS) at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. He earned his Doctorate of Theology Degree at Harvard Divinity School. He also earned a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Governemnt at Harvard Univeristy with a concentration in international security. He served as a senior advisor for religious affairs for the Barack Obama presidential campaign and was National Evangelical Coordinatore tin the 2008 campaign. He is author of "The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy v. Nixon 1960)"(2008)
This lecture was endowed by a special fund created by family and friends in memory of the Honourable John J. Wintermeyer.