JBU Holds Public Forum on Intersection of Religion and Politics

Historian John Fea and Writer Jonathan Leeman to Lead Discussion


SILOAM SPRINGS, Arkansas (Oct. 9, 2018) – John Brown University welcomes John Fea, historian and author, and Jonathan Leeman, writer and editor for 9Marks, for a conversation at “Reimagining Faith and Public Life” on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. in Simmons Great Hall. The guest speakers will discuss their perspectives on what it means to integrate faith in light of the ever-changing political sphere. 

Hosted by the Honors Scholar Program and Department of Political Science in partnership with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of the President, and with support from the American Enterprise Institute’s Values and Capitalism project, the event’s purpose is to challenge the community to think deeply about religious commitment and political engagement.

“I hope the audience gets a sense of encouragement that their participation in politics is valuable and important,” Dr. Trisha Posey, director of the Honors Scholar Program, said. “I also hope [the audience] feels well-equipped to participate with wisdom in the process of talking about faith and politics.”

Fea is a professor of history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania and author of several books that focus on what role Christians can play in society. His latest book, “Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump,” details the relationship between the evangelical church and the Trump administration and why many evangelicals voted for President Trump.

Leeman began his career as a journalist working for an economics magazine in Washington, D.C., but felt a call to work in ministry. After earning a master’s in divinity and a doctorate in theology, Leeman now works as the editorial director for 9Marks, an online Christian publication. Leeman has edited and written for numerous publications. Leeman is the author of “How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age” and his newest book, “The Rule of Love: How the Local Church Should Reflect God’s Love and Authority,” releases later this month.

The event includes remarks from both Fea and Leeman, followed by a conversation between the two speakers and a Q&A session with the audience. Leeman will also speak to JBU students at chapel on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 10:30 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Ozarks.

“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to understanding the relationship between faith and public life,” Dr. Daniel Bennett, assistant professor of political science, said. “If people come away with different ideas from each speaker that challenge them, the event will have been a success.”

John Brown University is a leading private Christian university, training students to honor God and serve others since 1919. Arkansas’ top-ranked regional university (U.S. News Best Colleges, 2019), JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 38 states and 53 countries in its traditional undergraduate, graduate, online and concurrent education programs. JBU offers more than 40 majors, with top programs including engineering, nursing, family and human services, biology, graphic design and construction management.

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