“It’s unfashionable in much of today’s American Christianity to speak of America having a covenant with God. But this understanding of covenant may help offer the pathway to forgiveness and national atonement that the current national conversation lacks.” –IRD President Mark Tooley
Institute on Religion and Democracy Media Advisory
February 11, 2019
Contact: Chelsen Vicari, office: 202-682-4131, cell: 540-239-2170, e-mail: cvicari@TheIRD.org
Who: Institute on Religion and Democracy, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, Institute of Anglican Studies
What: This event will bring Protestants, Catholics and Jews together to answer the question, How does thinking about God change the way we think about race?
Where: Samford University, Brock Forum in Dwight Beeson Hall, 800 Lakeshore Dr, Homewood, AL 35229
When: February 12-13, 2019, 8 a.m. (EST)
Washington, DC—As Virginia politics is roiled by revelations about senior state officials having worn or countenanced blackface in past years, how America and its churches address racial sin remains an ongoing moral and spiritual imperative. Secular America stresses guilt without atonement. Churches advocate racial reconciliation but often seem to lack the spiritual tools to achieve their laudable goals for the church or the nation.
A February 12-13 conference at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, co-hosted with the Institute on Religion and Democracy, is called “Racial Reconciliation and National Covenant.” It aims to move the conversation forward by rediscovering the language of national covenant deployed by Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others who sought healing from racial wounds.
Conference speakers will address the spiritual, moral, and cultural dimensions of America’s racial tensions. Topics examined will include racial supremacy and covenantal reconciliation, covenant, race, and the nations, the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the national covenant, the black family, the sanctity of unborn black lives, race and school choice, and black/white churches and the American covenant, among others
Speakers include: Rev. Eugene Rivers (National Ten Point Leadership Foundation), Alveda King (Priests for Life) Rabbi Dr. Joshua Berman (Bar-Ilan University), Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin (Tikvah Fund), Gerald R. McDermott (Beeson Divinity School) Joshua Mitchell (Georgetown University), Glenn Loury (Brown University), Jacqueline C. Rivers (Seymour Institute), Derryck Green (National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives), Mark Tooley, (Institute on Religion and Democracy), Dr. Carol Swain (James Madison Society at Princeton), Timothy George (Beeson Divinity School), Robert Smith, Jr. (Beeson Divinity School).
Mark Tooley, IRD president, commented:
“It’s unfashionable in much of today’s American Christianity to speak of America having a covenant with God. But this understanding of covenant may help offer the pathway to forgiveness and national atonement that the current national conversation lacks.”
“The IRD is honored to collaborate with Beeson on this very needed initiative for racial reconciliation that uniquely rediscovers a venerable tradition of understanding the nation under both divine judgment and mercy.”
Gerald McDermott, director of Beeson’s Institute of Anglican Studies, commented:
“This country suffers from continuing racial tension. We are convinced that the tension cannot be resolved by politics alone because our racial divides have vital spiritual, moral and cultural dimensions.”
“This conference will take a fresh approach by exploring the implications of the biblical tradition of national covenant. We think it will open fresh possibilities for our fragmented society.”