Notre Dame Forum Events to Explore Future of American Democracy

Author: Kate Garry

A More Perfect Union: The Future of America’s Democracy, The Notre Dame Forum

The 2012-13 Notre Dame Forum, “A More Perfect Union: The Future of America’s Democracy,” will present a series of events throughout the academic year that will explore profound questions about the state of the U.S. political system and its capacity to deal with the rapidly changing domestic and international challenges it faces.

“In this election year, issues such as the economy, foreign policy, education and health care are key to the choices American voters will make,” says University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “We do not aim to sponsor another presidential debate with its political give and take, but strive to offer a constructive perspective on our political decisions.”

The Forum discussion will begin this fall with a panel presentation titled “Conviction and Compromise: Being a Person of Faith in a Liberal Democracy,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 4 in the Leighton Concert Hall of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Panelists include Rev. Richard Cizik, president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good; Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, archbishop of Louisville; Elder Dallin H. Oaks, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Rabbi David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Rick Warren, founding pastor, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, Calif. The discussion will be moderated by David Campbell, professor of political science; and M. Cathleen Kaveny, the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology.

These prominent religious leaders will address the ways in which religious values inform political decisions, the role of religious leaders in debates over public issues and political diversity among adherents of the same faith.

The panel event is free, but tickets are required. Those presenting a valid Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College or Holy Cross College ID may obtain two tickets per person from the performing arts center ticket office beginning Wednesday, August 29. Beginning Friday, August 31, two tickets per person also will be available to the general public. Please visit the performing arts center ticket office during regular ticket office hours, noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Note that the ticket office will be closed Monday, September 3 in observance of Labor Day.

Additionally, a symposium titled “The American Congress: Legal Implications of Gridlock” will be held Friday, November 16 at Notre Dame’s Eck Hall of Law. Held against the backdrop of current congressional inaction as well as the 2012 election, this event, sponsored by the Notre Dame Law Review, will explore various aspects of congressional gridlock—from the appointments process to the use of the appropriations process to legislate.

Visit for complete details and a complete listing of Forum events, which will be updated throughout the academic year.

Established by Father Jenkins in 2005, the Notre Dame Forum has brought leading authorities to campus to discuss substantive issues of the day. Past forum topics have included the global marketplace and its impact on the common good, immigration, sustainability, global health and K-12 education.

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Originally published by Susan Guibert at