Religion and Politics


Alphabetical List of Experts on Religion and Politics

Kimberly H. Conger
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, Religion and Politics, State and Local Government
Background:
Kimberly H. Conger is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Colorado State University.  She received her PhD from Ohio State University and taught at Iowa State University for several years before moving to CSU.  Professor Conger studies religion and politics, political activism, and state politics.  Her research has been published in Perspectives on PoliticsParty PoliticsState Politics and Policy Quarterly, and Political Psychology.  Her recent book, The Christian Right in Republican State Politics (Palgrave, 2009), examines the political goals and strategies of the state-level conservative Evangelical activists.  She has been quoted in numerous national and international news outlets  including NPR, The Kansas City Star, and the Times of India.  Professor Conger is currently at work on a book about religiously motivated activism - on both the right and the left - in the 2008 election.
Contact Information:
E-mail: kimberly.conger@colostate.edu
Phone: (303) 523-4721
Website: Colorado State University Faculty Page
Leah Farish
Areas of Expertise:
Western Sahara and Western North Africa, civil rights, American Muslim civil liberties issues, First Amendment, America's founding and Christian heritage.
Background:
Leah Farish has been a litigator in the area of civil rights and religious civil liberties for over 25 years.  Her work on noted cases that have come before the U.S. Supreme Court includes a variety of trial and appellate representation in Paula Corbin Jones v. William Jefferson Clinton,Dubbs v. Head StartFalvo v. Owasso (both student privacy cases), and Green v. Haskell County (Ten Commandments monument case).  InHearn v. Muskogee Public Schools she was lead counsel on behalf of the Muslim child who wanted to wear her headscarf to school, a case which Attorney General Ashcroft certified as a case of national importance and for which both Farish won the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Law Project's award for courageously defending student rights in 2005.  Ms. Farish has published three books for young people on constitutional issues, and numerous articles and commentary in such outlets as Current Municipal ProblemsWorldNetDaily.comJournal of Religion and SocietyImpunityWatch.com, and Puritan Reformed Journal.  Currently she is most often asked to speak on the topic of Western Sahara but has also been interviewed on civil rights issues on CNN, Law Enforcement Television Network, America's Voice, and Family News in Focus.
Ms. Farish was educated at Duke University, graduating magna cum laude in both English and Comparative Literature, with a Master's degree in English from Vanderbilt.  Her JD is from Baylor University. A member of INPROL (International Network to Promote the Rule of Law), an Honor Guard attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, and an allied attorney with the Rutherford Institute, she has also helped to lead or organize seminars on ethics and human rights issues in Latvia, Russia, Morocco, and at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
She has also served as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma colleges and universities for over 10 years in the areas of Constitutional law, school law, and criminal procedure for 10 years.
Contact Information
Anthony Gill
Areas of Expertise:
Religion and politics, religion and economics, religious liberty/freedom, government regulation of religion, federal/state/local government, secularization, Latin America, Europe.
Background:
Anthony Gill (Ph.D., UCLA 1994) is Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington, and non-resident scholar at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion.  He is also the host of Research on Religion, a weekly podcast series focusing on the social scientific study of religion that takes faith and religiosity seriously.  The podcast series is designed to make scholarly research more broadly accessible to scholars and the public, including clergy, laity, homeschoolers, and anyone else interested in religion.  Gill authored two books – Rending unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America (Chicago, 1998) and The Political Origins of Religious Liberty (Cambridge, 2007) – and numerous articles on religious liberty, Latin American religion, and Muslims in Europe.  His current research includes a book manuscript on how local governments regulate churches and how that affects religious practice in the United States, as well as research on religious and political attitudes.  Gill also writes extensively on the economics of religion.  In 1999, Prof. Gill received the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award and has been a highly sought-after speaker around the Puget Sound, including stints as a substitute teacher at homeschooling co-ops.  He was a frequent guest host on the Georgene Rice Show, a Christian talk radio program based out of Portland, Oregon.  Outside of academia, Tony serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster, youth basketball coach, and enjoys camping, outdoor cooking, target shooting, martial arts, and all things cowboy.  His favorite color is blue. 
SpeakingProfessor Gill is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"Threats to Religious Liberty in the United States."
“Trends in Secularization and Religiosity in the U.S., Europe & Latin America.”
“The Economics of Religion.”
“The Political Origins of Religious Liberty.”
Contact Information:
E-mail: tgil@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 914-3381    
Website: University of Washington Faculty Page
Mark David Hall
Areas of Expertise:
The American founding, religion and American politics, and the First Amendment religion clauses.
Background:
Mark David Hall is Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Political Science at George Fox University.  He has written or co-edited The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson, 1742-1798 (1997); The Founders on God and Government (2004); Collected Works of James Wilson, 2 vol. (2007); The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life (2009); The Sacred Rights of Conscience: Selected Readings on Religious Liberty and Church-State Relations in the American Founding (2009); America’s Forgotten Founders (2011), and Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).  He has also written more than fifty journal articles, book chapters, reviews, and sundry pieces.  He is currently co-editing Faith and the Founders of the American Republic and co-authoring a book tentatively titled America's "Godless" Constitution, Deist Founders, and other Myths About Religion and the American Founding.  He will serve as president of Christians in Political Science from 2010-2012 and is a member of the Board of Governors of Veritas Christian School.
SpeakingProfessor Hall is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"Did America Have a Christian Founding?"
"Jeffersonian Walls and Madisonian Lines: The Supreme Court's Use of History and the First Amendment's Religion Clauses"
"The Old Puritan and a New Nation: Roger Sherman and the Creation of the American Republic"
Contact Information:
E-mail: mhall@georgefox.edu
Phone: (503) 554-2674
Website: George Fox University Faculty Page
Murray Jardine
Areas of Expertise:
Political Philosophy, Theology, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, Religion and Culture, Religion and Politics
Background:
Murray Jardine is Jane Dickson Lanier Professor of Political Science at Auburn University.  His field is political philosophy.  He completed his Ph.D. at Duke University in 1992.  He has won numerous teaching awards. He has published two books, Speech and Political Practice(SUNY Press, 1998) and The Making and Unmaking of Technological Society (Brazos Press, 2004), and has published articles dealing with philosophical and theological issues related to politics.  His current research is directed toward synthesizing recent work in political philosophy and theology.
SpeakingProfessor Jardine is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"The Meaning of Freedom"
"Christianity and the Crisis of Modern Technological Societies"
"Christianity and Modern Communications Media"
"Christianity and Science"
Contact Information:
E-mail: jardimu@auburn.edu
Phone: (334) 844-6162
Website: Auburn University Faculty Page
Stephen V. Monsma
Areas of Expertise:
Religion and politics, Public policy, Welfare, Comparative religion and politics
Background:
Stephen V. Monsma is a research fellow at the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) and a professor emeritus of political science at Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA). He is also a non-resident scholar at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.  He has published widely in the fields of faith-based nonprofit organizations, church-state relations, and public policy.  Among his most recent works are a second edition of The Challenge of Pluralism: Church and State in Five Democracies (2010), which he co-authored with J. Christopher Soper and was first published in 1997, and Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy (2008). Among his other books are: Faith, Hope and Jobs: Welfare-to-Work in Los Angles (2006) and Putting Faith in Partnerships: Welfare-to-Work in Four Cities (2004).  He has also published articles in such journals as the Journal of Church and State and the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy.   He is currently working on a book dealing with the religious freedom rights of faith-based human service organizations, entitled Faith-Based Organizations in a Democratic Society: Pluralism and Freedom..
SpeakingProfessor Monsma is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"Religious Freedom Rights of Faith-Based Organizations: Theory and Practice"
"Church and State in a Democratic Society: Why Christians Should be the First to Defend the Religious Freedom Rights of Jews and Muslims--and Vice Versa"
"Voting as a Christian: What it Means and How to Do It"
Contact Information:
E-mail: sm24@calvin.edu
Phone:  (616) 526-6993
Website: Calvin College Faculty Page
Glenn A. Moots
Areas of Expertise:
Religion and Politics, Reformed Theology, Politics and the Reformation, Colonial/Revolutionary America, John Locke, Civil Religion, Political Theory, Higher Education.
Background:
Glenn A. Moots is Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Northwood University (Michigan). He is also Director of Northwood’s Forum for Citizenship and Enteprise. He is author of Politics Reformed: The Anglo-American Legacy of Covenant Theology. (University of Missouri Press, 2010). He has also authored articles on various topics (e.g. John Locke, religion and politics in America, democratic theory) in Hebraic Political Studies, Locke Studies, Perspectives on Political Science, Humanitas, Journal of Markets and Morality, Journal of Politics, Eighteenth Century Studies, Anglican & Episcopal History, and The University Bookman. He earned his PhD at Louisiana State University and also has graduate degrees in philosophy and financial economics. He is presently working on a book presenting the historical roots of American civil religion.
SpeakingProfessor Moots is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"Is There Such a Thing as Christian America?"
"Why John Locke Matters"
"Preparation or Playpen? How to go to college"
“Answering the Call: Turning Your Education into a Vocation”
Contact Information:
E-mail: moots@northwood.edu
Phone:  (989) 837-4255  
Website: Northwood University Faculty Page
Garrett Ward Sheldon
Areas of Expertise:
Religion and politics, Early American political thought.
Background:
Garrett Ward Sheldon (PhD. Rutgers, 1983) is the John Morton Beaty Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.He is the author of ten books on Religion and Politics; Early American Political Thought; and Christianity, including The Political Philosophy of James Madison (Johns Hopkins University Press). He has lectured on American Political Theory and Religion at Oxford, Princeton, Moscow University; the University of Vienna, Austria.  He has spoken at Heritage, AEI, Cato , and other think tanks and foundations. An ordained Christian minister, he is the author of the popular novel What Would Jesus Do? ; an update of his great grandfather, Charles Sheldon’s classicIn His Steps. Sheldon won the Outstanding Faculty in Virginia Award and has advised the White House during President George W. Bush’s administration.
SpeakingProfessor Sheldon is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"American Founding"
"Early American Political Thought"
"Christianity"
Contact Information:
E-mail: gws@uvawise.edu
Phone: (276) 328-0274
Website: University of Virginia Faculty Page
Corwin E. Smidt
Areas of Expertise:
American Politics, Religion & Politics
Background:
Corwin E. Smidt is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Henry Institute at Calvin College.  A graduate of Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.  He is the author, editor, or co-author of fourteen books and has published widely in a variety of sociology and political science journals.  He has recently completed The Disappearing God Gap? Religion in the 2008 Presidential Election (Oxford University Press, 2010), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics, (Oxford University Press, 2009), and Pews, Prayers, and Participation: The Role of Religion in Fostering Civic Responsibility (Georgetown University Press, 2008).  Corwin was a founding member of the Religion and Politics section of the American Political Science Association and has served as its Executive Director.  He currently serves on the governing council of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.  He has served an investigator on five national surveys on religion and politics conducted during past presidential elections.   He has been quoted in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and many other major newspapers.
SpeakingProfessor Smidt is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"The Changing Role of Religion in American Presidential Elections"
"Religion and Engagement in American Civic and Political Life"
"The Changing Role of Protestant Clergy in American Public Life"
Contact Information:
E-mail: smid@calvin.edu
Phone: (616) 526-6233
Website: Calvin College Faculty Page
Gary Scott Smith
Areas of Expertise:
Religion and American politics, Particularly the faith of American presidents
Background:
Gary Scott Smith chairs the History Department and Coordinates the Humanities Core at Grove City College in Grove City, PA.  He has editedGod and Politics: Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government (1989, reissued in 2010), authored Faith and the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush (2006; paperback, 2009), and contributed chapters on the faith of the founders (Samuel Adams, John Hancock) or presidents (George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Franklin Roosevelt) to Religion and the American Presidency (2007);Religion and the American Presidency (2009); The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life (2009); Religion, Politics, and the Presidency: From Jamestown to the Civil War (2011); and Faith and the Founders of the American Republic (forthcoming). He served as a consultant for a special issue of Christian History and Biography (August 2008) on Faith and the American Presidency) and contributed essays on “Civil Religion in America” and George Washington.  He was a participant in “The American Presidency: Looking Forward, Looking Backward,” American Bar Association Division for Public Education, Focus on Law Studies, January 2009.  His essay “American Presidents and Civil Religion,” will be published in Derecho y Religion (Right and Religion) 5 (Summer 2011).   
SpeakingProfessor Smith is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"An Overview of the Faith of America’s Presidents"
"The Faith of George Washington"
"The Faith of Thomas Jefferson"
"The Faith of Abraham Lincoln"
"The Faith of Franklin D. Roosevelt"
He can also lecture on the faith of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, or George W. Bush
Contact Information:
E-mail: gssmith@gcc.edu
Phone: (724) 458-2016
Website: Grove City College Faculty Page
J. Christopher Soper
Areas of Expertise:
Religion and politics, comparative church-state relations, Islam in Western Europe, nationalism and religion, California politics, the politics of the Christian right, and the politics of Taiwan
Background:
Chris Soper is the Frank R. Seaver Professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1992 (political science), his Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School in 1986 (theology) and his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1983 (political science). Soper is the co-author with Steven Monsma of the Challenges of Pluralism: Church and State in Five Western Democracies (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008); Faith, Hope, and Jobs: Welfare to Work in Los Angeles (Georgetown University Press, 2006), the co-author with Joel Fetzer of Muslims and the State in Britain, France, and Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2005), and the co-editor with Steven Monsma of Equal Treatment of Religion in a Pluralistic Society (Eerdmans, 1998); and the author of Religious Beliefs and Political Choices: Evangelical Christianity in the United States and Great Britain (New York University Press, 1994). He has also published numerous monographs, scholarly articles, and book chapters on religion and politics, comparative church-state relations, Islam in Western Europe, and the politics of the Christian Right, and Taiwanese democracy. He is currently working on a book on Taiwanese democracy. 
SpeakingProfessor Soper is available to lecture on topics related to his areas of expertise. Possible talks include:
"Muslims in Europe: Singing God's Song in a Strange Land"
"The Challenge of Religious Pluralism: What Democracy and Faith Demand"
"The Last Refuge of the Scoundrel: Religion and Nationalism Around the World"
Contact Information:
E-mail: chris.soper@pepperdine.edu
Phone: (310) 506-4792
Website: Pepperdine University Faculty Page

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