Regenerating the Spirit of Democracy is an online, free course offered by the Center for Religion in Public Life at Phillips Theological Seminary, organized around the question: What can communities of faith and spiritually-grounded persons do to regenerate the spirit of democracy in the U.S.? If you seek a democratic spirituality that values equality and justice for all as much as freedom, then this 5-week course is for you. The course begins October 5th. Class materials published on YouTube Mondays, October 5 through November 2. Class discussions via Facebook on Thursdays, October 8 through November 5, 7 p.m.
Democracy in the U.S. is under siege. Forty percent of the population does not vote. Voting districts are gerrymandered to make it possible for political minorities to rule. The concept of facts has taken a beating. Scientists and other experts are besieged. The quality of conversation and argument is woefully low. The courts are highly politicized. Author after author argues democracy is being undermined, often through seemingly democratic means. Our founding myths are unraveling, and what will replace them is at the center of the new uncivil war.
The claim of equality for all persons has always been more of a hope, or a disappointment, or an outright fiction rather than a reality. In today’s era of reckoning, more Americans are seeing that the grounding stories white people have told about the U.S. need serious correction, if there is to be a nation at all. And white Christianity has, in the words of one author, been the pole holding up the tent of white supremacy.
As the U.S. becomes a no-majority nation, with new challenges and new opportunities, white Christian Nationalism grows more and more detrimental to the democracy the nation needs.
Democracy in the U.S. needs a new heart, a new spirit. For we who reject white Christian Nationalism: what can people of faith and people with deep spiritual/moral convictions do to regenerate democracy in the U.S.?
This online, free course is for adults who reject the wall-building spirituality of Christian Nationalism. It is for those who seek a democratic spirituality that values equality as much as freedom, a spirituality that will foster the moral emotions necessary for the world’s first successful experiment in becoming a vibrant multicultural democracy, with liberty and justice for all.
The five sessions are:
- Paying attention to the spirit of democracy
- What is democracy and why is it in trouble
- The spiritualities of capitalism, the Christian Right, and democracy
- Evidences of a healthy democracy
- What can people of faith, of spirituality, and/or of moral depth do to regenerate the spirit of democracy in the U.S.?
Each session will feature a presentation by Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend, executive director of the Center for Religion in Public Life. In addition, Dr. Peluso-Verdend recorded interviews with four leading authors on the question of this course: Robert P. Jones, Jack Jenkins, Kelly Brown Douglas, and Diana Butler Bass.
Please email the Center, email@example.com, to indicate your interest in the course. Dr. Peluso-Verdend will email you when new content is posted, to solicit questions, and to remind you about the Thursday discussions.