By Sarah Waller
As the countdown to November's national election turns from months to weeks, Samford University's Frances Marlin Mann Center of Ethics and Leadership poses the question: "Can religion have a role in the political world?"
The Mann Center has invited Mark Douglas, a Christian ethicist and author, to speak Oct. 11 on "Faith and Politics: Do we need religion in the public square?" The 6 p.m. free lecture will be in Memory Leake Robinson Hall on the Samford campus.
Douglas is an associate professor of Christian ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga., and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He is the founding editor of @this point: theological reflection on church and culture, Columbia's online journal. But, it is his most recent book, Believing Aloud: Reflection on Being Religious in the Public Square that makes him someone who can speak from experience.
Azalea Hulbert, program manager for the Mann Center, said Douglas is the perfect choice to lead the discussion. "The Mann Center's mission is to promote ethics and leadership across the campus and in the community. Mark is a great example of that. He is an ethicist and can speak very well to leadership," she added.
The purpose of the event is to create a conversation, Hulbert said. In the past, the Mann Center has hosted similar events in relations with business leaders or legal professions, but this year, they want to shift the focus to theologians.
"We want to promote a conversation about the role of faith in politics," Hulbert says. "Since we're in an election year, it's really important to get the dialogue going about where it fits in."
A 5 p.m. reception will precede the lecture.
Sarah Waller is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in Samford's Office of Marketing and Communication.