October 16, 2006 Library of Congress to Host Forum on Religion Nov. 20

Panels on America's Religious Origins and International Religious Freedom

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

The John W. Kluge Center and the American Academy of Religion will present panel discussions on America’s religious origins and on international religious freedom from 1:30 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The panels, which include question-and-answer periods, are free and open to the public; reservations are not required.

The first panel, “Writing the Story of America’s Religious Origins,” which begins at 1:30 p.m., is cosponsored by the National History Center. Participants include Susan Jacoby, author of “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism”; Mark Noll, University of Notre Dame, author of “America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln”; Steve R. Prothero, Boston University, author of “American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon”; and Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University, author of “American Judaism: A History.” Catherine L. Albanese, University of California at Santa Barbara, will preside.

The second panel, “Legislating International Religious Freedom,” which begins at 4 p.m., is cosponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Participants include Tom Farr, first director of the U.S. State Department Office of International Religious Freedom; Allen D. Hertzke, University of Oklahoma, author of “Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Human Rights”; Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Boston University, author of forthcoming books on pluralism in Greece and in Russia; and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, University of Buffalo Law School, State University of New York, author of “The Impossibility of Religious Freedom.” Timothy S. Shah, the Pew Forum, will preside.

The American Academy of Religion (AAR) is the world’s largest association of scholars who research or teach topics related to religion. The 2006 AAR Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 18 to 21, includes hundreds of forums. The AAR neither endorses nor rejects any religious belief or practice. For more information, go to www.aarweb.org External.

The Library of Congress’ Kluge Center, through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, brings together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policy-makers in Washington. For more information about the center’s fellowships, grants and programs, go to www.loc.gov/kluge.

The National History Center promotes the study and teaching of all fields of history, as well as the advancement of historical knowledge in government, business and the public at large. The center provides the historical context necessary to better understand today’s events. For more information, go to www.nationalhistorycenter.org External.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life delivers timely, impartial information to national opinion leaders on issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs; it also serves as a neutral venue for discussions of these matters. The forum is a project of the Pew Research Center. For more information, go to www.pewforum.org External.


PR 06-197
ISSN 0731-3527