Two widely known commentators, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and professor Dr. Cornel West, will discuss “Christianity and Politics in the United States Today” in a program Friday, April 7, in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall of Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Ross Douthat

The evening begins with a 5:45 p.m. reception; Douthat and West will begin their conversation at 6:45 p.m. The program, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy. Those attending are asked to make a reservation here.

Moderator for the evening will be Elizabeth Schiltz, a St. Thomas School of Law professor, the Thomas. J. Abood Research Scholar and co-director of the Murphy Institute.

Douthat, 37, joined The New York Times in 2009 and is the youngest regular op-ed columnist in the paper’s history. Douthat replaced Bill Kristol as a conservative voice on the Times’ editorial pages and writes every Wednesday and Sunday about politics, religion, moral values and higher education. A convert to Catholicism during his teen years, he is a 2002 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University. Prior to joining the Times he was a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine and has been a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard and National Review. He is author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics and Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.

West, 63, has served as an adviser to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and currently holds a joint appointment as Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard’s Divinity School and African and African-American Studies Department. He formerly taught at Princeton, Yale, Union Theological Seminary and the University of Paris. Like Douthat, West is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, and later obtained his master’s and doctorate in philosophy from Princeton. A prominent political activist, he has written more than 20 books and edited 13. Much of his work deals with race, gender and class in American society. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.

Cornel West

The Murphy Institute is a collaboration between St. Thomas’ School of Law and Center for Catholic Studies.

Additional support for the program is provided by St. Thomas’ College of Arts and Sciences, Black Empower Student Alliance, Black Law Student Association, Catholic Students Incorporated, Center for Catholic Studies, Christian Legal Society, College Democrats, Lex Vitae, Minnesota Justice Foundation, Office for Mission, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, St. Thomas More Society, School of Law, Students for Human Life, and Students for Justice and Peace.

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