Film Screening: "Religious Right at the Crossroads"

Calvin Skaggs, president of Lumiere Productions Inc. and film director, screens his documentary "Religious Right at the Crossroads" at the Baker Institute, followed by a question-and-answer session.

The 2008 U.S. presidential election was a watershed moment in American politics, shattering the decades-old alliance between the Republican Party and conservative evangelical Christians. Religious conservatives, who had voted consistently for GOP candidates in previous elections, faced a difficult decision. Conservative Republican candidate John McCain downplayed his religion views but chose a vice presidential candidate with evangelical beliefs, while liberal Democrat Barack Obama spoke often of his religion and mounted a large faith outreach campaign to seek their votes.

The documentary "Religious Right at the Crossroads" allows viewers to experience the religious right's dilemma and to get an inside view of the McCain and Obama campaign workers who were dedicated to faith outreach. The documentary also shows how younger evangelical Christians are reshaping the movement's political and cultural commitments while providing a glimpse into the future of the religious right movement and its progressive evangelical adversaries.

Skaggs has produced or directed more than 30 dramas and documentaries for television and theatrical exhibition. He has produced major documentary series for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), as well as numerous films for Discovery Communications, LLC; PBS; Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO); and Channel 4 U.K. Before founding Lumiere Productions in 1984, Skaggs earned a Ph.D. from Duke University and served as professor of English and cinema at Drew University.

Speaker William Martin
William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political ...

William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political implications of religion, particularly fundamentalist religions and the importance of the separation of religion and government, or “church and state”; and 2) ways to reduce the harms associated with both drug abuse and drug policy. His articles, most of which deal with aspects of religion, have appeared in such publications as Texas Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s and Esquire, as well as in professional journals. His book “A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story” is regarded as the authoritative biography of Billy Graham. An updated edition of his 1996 book “With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America,” the companion volume to a six-hour documentary PBS miniseries of the same name, was reissued in June 2005 by Broadway Books. He is a frequent guest on national and local news and discussion programs. During his 44 years at Rice, Martin has received numerous teaching awards, including a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching. Martin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969.


William Martin

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When?

Thu, Jan. 15, 2009
5 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
(GMT-0600) America/Chicago

Where?

Rice University, Baker Hall