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December 6-7, 2018

To watch videos of the lectures and panels, please follow the links on the Plenary Sessions and Panel Discussions pages.

What has Jerusalem to do with Washington D.C.? How should we understand the connection between Christian faith and American Liberalism? Some say it is a necessarily antagonistic relationship, others that it is a fruitful partnership that has been orchestrated by God himself, and still others that it is a relationship in tension, bearing both good and bad fruit.

While this question has been with us since the beginning of the American political experiment, our current cultural season seems especially fraught with difficulty and division with regard to how to think about our most important identities, loyalties, and duties.

With this in mind, the Faith and Democracy in America conference on December 6-7, 2018 (sponsored by the Acton Institute and co-sponsored by the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics), will consider this question with the intent of fostering meaningful conversations about what it looks like to do justice to both God and Caesar. 

The conference will include two plenary speakers, Notre Dame political philosopher and Why Liberalism Failed author Patrick Deneen, and Calvin philosopher James K.A. Smith, author of the Cultural Liturgies Series. The event will also feature five panels with invited speakers from various perspectives, each addressing crucial components of the driving question: Is Christianity compatible with American Liberalism? These panels will address the challenges of pluralism, technology, civic belonging, the free market, and how to best understand the American Founding.

The Conference Registration fee is $50, and includes lunch and a reception on Thursday and lunch on Friday at the event. Undergraduate students may attend any of the sessions at no charge, but should pay the registration fee to eat meals with the group and attend the entire event. Follow this link to register online through Eventbrite.

The conference will be held at the Prince Conference Center on the Calvin College campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan; overnight accommodations are available through the Prince Center.

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