Penn panel discusses religion, politics, and public life

Church and State

The Jewish Studies Program is taking Penn’s rich tradition of civic engagement through intellectual public discourse to one of the city’s key cultural institutions.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m., the panel discussion “Religion & Politics: Faith, Democracy, and American Public Life” will be held at the National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall.

Penn professors John J. DiIulio, the Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society, and Sarah Barringer Gordon, the Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and a professor of history, will be joined on the panel by E.J. Dionne, Jr., a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, columnist for The Washington Post, and a professor at Georgetown University.

Jane Eisner, editor in chief of The Jewish Daily Forward, will moderate the discussion.

“We’re excited about this event,” says Beth Wenger, director of the Jewish Studies Program at Penn and chair of the Department of History. “We want to partner with the Museum during this presidential race to extend the focus from the American Jewish experience to broader dimensions of American history and culture,” she says. “We want to connect with a larger community on issues of religion, politics, and race.”

During the museum’s construction, Wenger served on a team of historians who helped create its core exhibition. She currently serves as historical consultant to the museum.

The Oct. 17 event is part of an ongoing series of talks organized by the Jewish Studies Program and the NMAJH with support from the Arlene and Stanley Ginsburg Family Foundation. It is sponsored by the Penn Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society, and co-sponsored by the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, The Jewish Daily Forward, and the National Constitution Center.

Admission is $8, $5 for National Constitution Center members, and free for NMAJH members and PennCard holders. Tickets are available at the National Museum of American Jewish History website.

Originally published on October 4, 2012