Thursday, September 18, 2008

Speaker to focus on religion factors in Presidential election

With the U.S. Presidential election less than two months away, the influence of religion on the national political scene has been a hot button issue. Why is religion more socially and politically significant in the U.S. than in other developed countries? How does religion impact American politics? And to what extent do religious affiliation, practice and belief affect the way citizens view candidates and issues?

Unpacking those and other questions one month before the polls open will be Dr. Laura Olson,Prof. Laura Olson a Clemson University political science professor whose career focus has concentrated on religion and the American political scene. She’ll give two presentations Tuesday, October 7, at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, in a program sponsored by the seminary’s Faith and Life Institute. Both presentations in the seminary’s Brossman Learning Center (Benbow Hall) are free and open to the public.

At 11:30 am Dr. Olson will discuss “The American Religious Marketplace” and will discuss how the social and political significance of religion, while complicated, has its essential roots in the reality that religion in the United States is and always has been profoundly “deregulated by the state.” She’ll delve into the historical reasons for such deregulation and comment on how deregulation plays a central role in the way Americans understand politics – and themselves.

At 7 pm, Dr. Olson will consider “Religion, American Politics and the 2008 Presidential Election.” Dr. Olson notes that many observers cite the significance of religion in political discussions in the United States. In what specific ways does religion influence American politics? How will religious factors impact the outcome of the 2008 run for the Presidency?

Dr. Olson has taught at Clemson since 1996 and directs undergraduate studies at the school. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and in her thesis focused on the “Political Involvement of Protestant Clergy.” The author of several books, she has a pending volume entitled Generals Without an Army? The Protestant Left in American Politics (Georgetown University Press).

Ample parking is available on campus - we suggest you check for latest directions due to Germantown Avenue construction near campus.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You're Invited! A Day of Remembrance and Celebration Sept. 27

On Saturday, September 27, 2008, LTSP will offer a Day of Remembrance and Celebration, and you're invited! The day is planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Krauth Memorial Library, and to remember and celebrate the life and ministry of The Rev. Dr. William H. Lazareth, BD '53, 1994 Distinguished Alum, who served at LTSP as the Hagan Professor of Systematic Theology and dean of the faculty for nearly twenty years, and later returned to campus as distinguished visiting professor.

Update 10/7/08: Videos of the day are now online:

Faith and Life Institute online - Singing with Mind and Spirit: The Hymns of the Church

In this online not-for-credit course, we will study the hymns and songs of the Christian church so that we can sing them with both our mind and our spirit, as Paul counseled in his first letter to the Corinthians. Join musician Mark Mummert in this consideration of song as a part of our faith.

The course will be online from October through November, and registration is now open. Go to the Faith and Life Institute Online page for more information and to register.