Evangelical leader Richard Land to lecture on religion in public sphere

Richard Land, an influential leader in the American evangelical movement, will lecture on the role of Christianity in the public sphere at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 6.The event, sponsored by the University of Chicago Theology Workshop, will be held in the Swift Lecture Hall. Land's lecture, "Christians, public policy, and church and state separation," will examine school prayer, among other issues.

"The event is designed to bring together academic reflection on the place of religion in the public sphere with the actual practice of Christian intervention in American politics," said PhD student David Newheiser, the workshop's coordinator. "By virtue of his significant media presence and his leadership in America's largest Protestant denomination, Richard Land has helped shape the role of evangelical Christianity in American politics."

Land is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Since 2001, he has served on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He received his BA from Princeton University and his PhD from Oxford University. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1969.

Land hosts two nationally syndicated radio shows and is the author of The Divided States of America?: What Liberals and Conservatives are missing in the God-and-country shouting match (2007). In 2005, Time magazine named him one of the "25 Most Influential Evangelical Leaders in America."

Three members of the Divinity School will respond to Land's lecture: Clark Gilpin, the Margaret E. Burton Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Christianity and Theology in the Divinity School; Kathryn Tanner, the Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor of Theology in the Divinity School; and Rick Elgendy, a PhD student.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Newheiser at dnewheiser@uchicago.edu.