Religion & Governance:
Civil Society at Home and Abroad
November 7-11, 2017
The Wheatley Institution at BYU announces the third biennial Wheatley conferences on Religion in the Public Sphere. It will take place November 7-11, 2017, at BYU, and is entitled “Religion & Governance: Civil Society at Home & Abroad.” This undergraduate conference offers student delegates a unique opportunity to network with students and faculty from across the country. For three days in a scenic mountain setting, delegates work together in roundtables of 8-10 students on a specific topic related to the conference theme, chaired by a faculty expert on the topic. The week concludes with students presenting their own policy recommendations to their peers and roundtable chairs.
At this year’s conference, the BYU keynote address “When God and Caesar Mix: Religion, Secularism, and the Public Sphere” will be given by Dr. David Campbell, Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy and chair of the political science department at the University of Notre Dame, and co-author (with Robert Putnam) of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. The Aspen Grove keynote address “Repressing Religion: Civic Consequences in Russia and Central Asia” will be given by Kathleen Collins, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota and author of Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia.
Roundtable chair persons and their topics will include:
- Kevin den Dulk, Calvin College, “Faith, Public Trust, and the Revival of Democratic Citizenship”
- Nadia Oweidat, Kansas State University, “Civil Society in the American Muslim Community”
- James Patton, International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, “The Role of Faith in Combatting Religious Prejudice”
- Andy Reed, “The Religious ‘Other’ and Jewish Civil Society”
Evening Keynote at BYU
Travel to Aspen Grove
Evening Keynote at Aspen Grove
Roundtables continue, develop policy proposals
Roundtables conclude, present policy proposals
9 AM departure
When God and Caesar Mix: Religion, Secularism, and the Public Sphere
David Campbell is the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame and the chairperson of the political science department. His most recent book is Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons and American Politics (with John Green and Quin Monson). He is also the co-author (with Robert Putnam) of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, which has been described by the New York Times as intellectually powerful, by America as an instant classic and by the San Francisco Chronicle as the most successfully argued sociological study of American religion in more than half a century. American Grace has also received both the 2011 Woodrow Wilson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs and the Wilbur Award from the Religious Communicators Council for the best non-fiction book of 2010.
Prof. Campbell is also the author of Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape Our Civic Life, the editor of A Matter of Faith: Religion in the 2004 Presidential Election, and a co-editor of Making Civics Count: Citizenship Education for a New Generation. As an expert on religion, politics, and civic engagement, he has often been featured in the national media, including the New York Times, Economist, USA Today, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, NBC News, CNN, NPR, Fox News, and C-SPAN.
Kathleen A. Collins
Repressing Religion: Civic Consequences in Russia and Central Asia
Kathleen A. Collins is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia (New York: Cambridge University Press, February 2006), which won the Central Eurasia Studies Society Book Award for Social Sciences. She has published articles on challenges to democratization and economic reform, political Islam in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and religious repression in various journals and edited volumes, including Comparative Politics, World Politics, the Journal of Democracy, Europe-Asia Studies, Political Research Quarterly, the Brown Journal of International Affairs, and Asia Policy. She is currently writing two new books, tentatively titled: The Rise of Islamist Movements: Islam and State in Central Asia and the Caucasus (under contract, Cambridge University Press), and Muslim Politics: Islam, Politics, and Public Opinion in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. Collins has received grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MacArthur Foundation, the Kellogg Institute, the United States Institute of Peace, IREX, and NCEEER, among others. She previously did consulting for ICG, the UNDP, NBR, USAID, and other organizations.
Civil Society in the American Muslim Community
Nadia Oweidat (Ph.D., Oxford University) teaches history at Kansas State University. For the past ten years, Dr. Oweidat has dedicated her research to identifying strategies for promoting critical thinking, tolerance, and pluralism in the Middle East. In the process, Dr. Oweidat has co-authored several studies for the Rand Corporation. Her expertise spans issues such as Islamic extremism and counter-terrorism, the relationship between Iran and the Arab world, the radicalization of Muslim youth, and the Arab Spring.
Kevin den Dulk
Faith, Public Trust, and the Revival of Democratic Citizenship
Kevin R. den Dulk (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison) is the Paul B. Henry Chair in Political Science and the Executive Director of the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College, a Christian liberal arts college in Grand Rapids, Michigan. An award winning teacher, his scholarly work focuses especially on how religion works through civil society to foster democratic citizenship, both in the United States and abroad.
The Role of Faith in Combatting Religious Prejudice
James Patton is President and Chief Operating Officer at the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy (ICRD), and directs its Columbia Program. He explores the relationship between religious motives, religious actors and key areas of instability around the world, seeking ways in which this key source of identity and motivation can be incorporated into strategies for reducing violent conflict.
The Religious ‘Other’ and Jewish Civil Society
Dr. Andrew Reed studied Russian and European history at Arizona State University and holds Masters degrees from Oxford University and Cambridge University. He teaches comparative religion courses and church history. He is a Richard L. Evans Fellow of the Brigham Young University Office of Religious Outreach and an organizer and participant for the Jewish – Latter-day Saint academic dialogue.
Student delegates are responsible for their own transportation to and from Salt Lake City if they are flying and to and from Brigham Young University if they are driving. Shuttles will be provided for those flying into either Salt Lake City International Airport or Provo Municipal Airport. Shuttles will also be provided from BYU Campus to Aspen Grove.
Contact Information (Before and During):
Before the Conference begins, questions and concerns may be addressed to:
The Wheatley Institution
Once the Conference begins:
Aspen Grove Family Camp
9521 N. Alpine Loop Rd.
Provo, UT 84604
You will need:
1. Business casual outfits for four days
2. Casual outfit/clothes for outdoor activities in snow for Thursday evening
3. Business formal outfit for Friday evening
4. A heavy coat. (The conference will be held in the mountains. While all meetings are held indoors, the average high is 48, and average low 21.)
The conference will be held at Aspen Grove, a mountain retreat located just up the canyon from Robert Redford’s Sundance Ski Resort. Activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on lit, professionally groomed trails, available at a nominal cost.
Lodging & Meals:
Student delegates will stay in the lodges at Aspen Grove. Bedding and towels are provided.
The Wheatley Institution
Brigham Young University
392 Hinckley Center
Provo, UT 84602
Main: (801) 422-5883
Fax: (801) 422-0017