R. Marie Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, discusses the role of religion in the presidential elections, at College of the Atlantic July 11. PHOTO COURTESY OF WUSTL

Expert to talk religion and presidential race



BAR HARBOR — R. Marie Griffith, the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, will discuss the role of religion in the presidential race in a presentation at College of the Atlantic on Monday, July 11, from 5-7 p.m. The talk takes place in the Thomas S. Gates Jr. Community Center and is free and open to the public.

“God-Talk and American Politics: Religion in the 2016 Race for the Presidency” will explore the important, unpredictable role of religion on American politics. Griffith obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in political and social thought in 1989. She received both her masters and doctorate in religion from Harvard University. From 1999-2003, she was associate director of Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion. In 2003, she became associate professor of religion and was promoted to professor in 2005. She later was named the director for the program in the Study of Women and Gender. She returned to her alma mater, Harvard University, in 2009 as the John A. Bartlett Professor in the Divinity School. In 2015, she was appointed distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

Griffith’s first major publication was “God’s Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission” (1997), which examines the practices and perceptions of contemporary evangelical women. Her next book, “Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity” (2004), explores the history of Christian-influenced attitudes and practices related to embodiment in modern America, culminating in the evangelical diet and fitness movement. These books, along with her three edited volumes, “Women and Religion in the African Diaspora: Knowledge, Power, and Performance” (co-edited with Barbara Dianne Savage, 2006), “Religion and Politics in the Contemporary United States” (co-edited with Melani McAlister, 2008) and “American Religions: A Documentary History” (2007), exhibit Griffith’s varied and thoughtful scholarship. Her next book is scheduled for fall 2017 and is an analysis of sexuality debates in 20th-century American Christianity titled “Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics” (Basic Books).

 

 

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