Thursday, 14 November, 2013
The separation of church and state represents one of the most fundamental principles of American democracy. While some contend that the United States needs to return to its roots as a "Christian nation," others point out that the Founding Fathers crafted a system specifically designed to guard against any form of state-sanctioned religion. After reviewing the substance of the debates that took place during the Constitutional conventions, this program examines the evolution of Christianity in the U.S. and reflects upon the growth of religious diversity as well as trends toward secular humanism. Participants include Boston University's Stephen Prothero; Diana Eck, of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University; Robert Bellah, of U. C. Berkeley; retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong; Princeton University's Robert Wuthnow; and the Reverend Peter Gomes, of The Memorial Church of Harvard University.