Distinguished University Professor To Discuss Christianity And Politics At BookExpo America

May 30, 2008

Mark Vanderhoek
(800) 837-2911, ext. 4037
(478) 301-4037

Mercer University Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics David Gushee will participate in a Publishers Weekly-sponsored panel on faith and politics at the 2008 BookExpo America in Los Angeles.  The panel will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The session, titled “Evolving Evangelicals and the Presidential Election,” will address how religion will once again play a crucial role in the upcoming presidential election.  This is currently a time of change in the evangelical movement.  The concerns of many in this large and influential group of Americans have expanded beyond hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage to embrace other social issues such as poverty, the environment and global AIDS. A panel of authors who write on the intersection of Christianity and politics will discuss how these shifts might influence the race to the White House.

Other panelists include Randall Balmer, Ron Snider and Marcia Ford.  Publishers Weekly Senior Religion Editor Lynn Garrett will serve as the moderator. 

In his recently published book “The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center” (Baylor University Press), Gushee argues convincingly that in U.S. politics there is an “evangelical center” of voters who do not identify with the politics and religion of either the right or the left.  Gushee and his book have received numerous mentions in prestigious media outlets.  Book reviews have appeared in U.S.A. Today, The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor.    He also has been cited as a news source in stories about evangelicals and the presidential election by The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, New Republic, US News and World Report, Dallas Morning News, Associated Baptist Press and the Religion News Service.  Gushee is a member of The Compassion Forum Board and posed a question to presidential candidate Barack Obama during the April 13 event, which aired live on CNN.  Gushee appeared on CSPAN Easter Sunday and was a featured speaker at the Celebration of the New Baptist Covenant in Atlanta.

Gushee is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984. He received the master of divinity degree from Southern Seminary in 1987 and earned a Master of Philosophy degree and a Ph.D. in Christian ethics from Union Theological Seminary in New York.

BookExpo America combines the largest selection of English language titles with special industry and author events and unparalleled educational content to create a dynamic environment for networking, sourcing and relationship building.  Publishers Weekly is the international news magazine of book publishing and bookselling, including reviews, bestseller lists, commentary and more.

About Mercer University:

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial Health University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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