When

Fri, Apr. 26, 2024
8 am - 5 pm
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago

Where

James A. Baker III Hall

Christian nationalism — an ideology and movement advocating a fusion of Christian symbols with American civic life — has risen to prominence over the past several years, with real-world implications for politics and policy. 

This conference will bring together leading experts to discuss and reflect upon this ideology within American religious and political life. Experts will explore the following questions: Why does it exist? What are its origins? Is it most closely related to race or religion? What implications will it have on local and national politics and policies?

This conference is the inaugural event in the Visiting Distinguished Scholars Series, funded by the Bryan J. & June B. Zwan Endowment and co-sponsored by the Religion and Public Policy Program at the Baker Institute and the Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance, a premier interdisciplinary research and scholarly institute that aims to understand the conditions which lead to religious pluralism, tolerance, intolerance, conflict, and discrimination, and then help people apply its findings in their lives and communities.

All who preregister and attend in person will receive a free, signed copy of the brand new book “The Religion of Whiteness” (Oxford University Press, 2024), co-authored by Michael Emerson, director of the Religion and Public Policy Program, and Villanova University scholar Glenn Bracey. 

Registration

This event is free, but registration is required. In-person registration has closed. Click below to receive the link to the livestream. 

 LIVESTREAM REGISTRATION

Baker Institute events are powered by the generous contributions of our supporters. Learn how you can make a donation or become a member of the Baker Roundtable.

Agenda

8:15 am

Breakfast

8:50 am 

Opening Remarks

The Honorable David M. Satterfield
Director, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy; Janice and Robert McNair Chair in Public Policy; Former Ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey

Michael Emerson
Director, Religion and Public Policy Program, Baker Institute

Elaine Howard Ecklund
Rice Faculty Scholar, Baker Institute; Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, Rice University; Director, Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance

9:00 am

Panel I — The What and Who of Christian Nationalism

Moderated by: Michael Emerson, Director, Religion and Public Policy Program, Baker Institute

Tim Alberta
Journalist and Staff Writer, The Atlantic; Author, “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump” and “The Kingdom, Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in the Age of Extremism”

Samuel Perry
Professor of Sociology, University of Oklahoma; Co-Author, “Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States” and “The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy”

Andrew Whitehead
Associate Professor of Sociology and Director, Association of the Religion Data Archives, IUPUI; Co-Author, “Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States”; Author, “American Idolatry: How Christian Nationalism Betrays the Gospel and Threatens the Church”

10:00 am

Break

10:15 am

Panel II — Christian Nationalism and Theology

Moderated by: Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice Faculty Scholar, Baker Institute; Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, Rice University; Director, Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance

Angela Denker 
Journalist and Lutheran Pastor; Author of “Red State Christians: A Journey into White Christian Nationalism and the Wreckage It Leaves Behind” 

Willie Jennings
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies, Yale Divinity School; Author, “The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race” and “After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging”

Jonathan Tran
Professor of Theology and Associate Dean for Faculty, Honors College, Baylor University; Author, “Asian Americans and the Spirit of Racial Capitalism” and “The Vietnam War and Theologies of Memory”

11:15 am

Break

11:30 am

Panel III — Christian Nationalism and the Other

Moderated by: Anthony Pinn, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Founding Director, Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL), Rice University

Glenn Bracey
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology, Villanova University; Co-Author, “The Religion of Whiteness: How Racism Distorts American Christianity”

Jerry Park
Associate Professor of Sociology, Baylor University; Affiliate Fellow, Asian American Center, Fuller Theological Seminary and the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion

Rachel C. Schneider
Director, Religion and Public Life Program; Associate Director, Academic Programming, Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance; Assistant Research Professor, Department of Religion, Rice University

12:30 pm

Lunch

1:30 pm

Panel IV — Politics and Public Policy, Part I

Moderated by: Kerby Goff, Associate Director of Research, Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance

Kevin Dougherty
Professor of Sociology, Baylor University

Eric McDaniel 
Professor of Government and Co-Director, Politics of Race and Ethnicity Lab, University of Texas Austin; Co-Author, “The Everyday Crusade: Religious Nationalism in American Politics” and Author, “Politics in the Pews: The Political Mobilization of Black Churches”

David Leebron
Former President, Rice University; Former Dean and Law Professor, Columbia School of Law; Incoming President, Texas 2036

2:30 pm

Break

2:45 pm

Panel V — Politics and Public Policy, Part II

Moderated by: Michael Emerson, Director, Religion and Public Policy Program, Baker Institute

Ruth Braunstein
Associate Professor of Sociology and Director, Meaning of Democracy Lab, University of Connecticut; Author, “Prophets and Patriots: Faith in Democracy Across the Political Divide”

David Brockman
Nonresident Scholar, Baker Institute; Visiting Lecturer in Religion, Texas Christian University; Journalist and Author, “Dialectical Democracy Through Christian Thought: Individualism, Relationalism, and American Politics” and “Threats to Church-State Separation in the 88th Session of the Texas Legislature”

Paul Miller
Professor of the Practice and Co-Chair for Global Politics and Security, Georgetown University; Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security; Atlantic Council; formerly CIA member; Director, Afghanistan and Pakistan, National Security Council Staff; Author,  “Just War and Ordered Liberty” and “The Religion of American Greatness: What’s Wrong with Christian Nationalism”

4:00 pm

Adjourn

When

Fri, Apr. 26, 2024
8 am - 5 pm
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago

Where

James A. Baker III Hall