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Scholars join public forum examining new trend of social engagement among evangelicals

Philip Goff
Philip Goff


May 18, 2012

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In recent years, evangelical Christians -- historically devoted to concerns of converting non-believers and defending orthodox Christian doctrine -- have become more engaged in American public life around issues such as homelessness, sustainability, urban renewal, human trafficking, climate change and the international war on HIV/AIDS.

A public forum discussing this new trend and its significance for American religion, civic participation and national politics takes place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19, in the University Library's Lilly Auditorium at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 755 W. Michigan St.

The forum is the culmination of a workshop for scholars studying “The New Evangelical Social Engagement.” Joel Carpenter of Calvin College, Glen Stassen of Fuller Theological Seminary and R. Stephen Warner of University of Illinois-Chicago will deliver opening remarks.

Philip Goff, professor of religious studies at IUPUI and executive director of the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI, and Brian Steensland, associate professor of sociology at Indiana University Bloomington, are co-hosts and moderators of the forum.

In addition to Goff, Steensland and the opening speakers, 11 other research scholars from universities across the nation are expected to participate in the forum, joining the audience as conversationalists in the discussion. Research topics represented among the work of these scholars include the politics of abortion, campus life, race relations, international business practices, women’s activism and social outreach in megachurches.

The forum, presented by the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, is free and open to the public.