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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Copeland on Obama and Religion

The University of Denver Law Review has just published, online anyway, an interesting symposium called Obama Phenomena: A Special Issue on the Election of President Barack Obama.  (I would have gone with Phenomenon, but I guess the title signals that the symposium is looking at multiple phenomena involved in the election.)  I want to give a special shout-out to one article: Charlton Copeland's piece called God-Talk in the Age of Obama: Theology and Religious Political Engagement.  It argues that Obama demonstrates an "incredible appreciation for religion as civic force in American public life."  At the same time, it argues that those who hope for a significant change in the role of American public life in the age of Obama are in for a disappointment, because Obama's solution to the dilemma of religion in public discourse is to bracket or exclude it by demanding that religious arguments be made in publicly accessible terms.

It's an eloquent and interesting article, drawing on a good deal of expertise in theology.  Read it while it's hot.  Readers may remember that I reach similarly mixed conclusions about Obama and religion in my forthcoming piece, Religion and American Politics: Three Views of the Cathedral.

Posted by Paul Horwitz on February 26, 2009 at 10:14 AM | Permalink


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