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Sansbury Lecture to present talk on ‘End of White Christian America’

CEO of Public Religion Research Institute to discuss book Nov. 3

Robert Jones 382x255
Dr. Robert P. Jones, Public Religion Research Institute

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, will discuss “The End of White Christian America and Its Implications for the 2016 Election” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, at Wofford College. The lecture is part of the Olin and Muffet Sansbury Lecture Series.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building.

Jones’ book, “The End of White Christian America,” has been hailed by the New York Times Review of Books as “quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year. Drawing on decades of public opinion and demographic research, Jones challenges readers to grasp a new reality – that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation – and examines what influence this will have on the 2016 presidential election.

His presentation and discussion will provide insight into:
• The ways both political parties are responding to these shifts, including Donald Trump’s surprising appeal to white conservative Christian voters.
• The stark disagreements between white and black Americans over the fairness of the justice system and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
• The apocalyptic tone of arguments over same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.
• How these recent demographic and cultural changes are shaping – and often distorting – our understanding of principles such as equality, fairness and religious freedom.

Jones, a leading scholar and commentator on religion, culture and politics, has authored two other books and numerous peer-reviewed articles on religion and public policy. He writes a column for The Atlantic online on politics and culture and appears regularly in a “Faith by the Numbers” segment on Interfaith Voices, the nation’s leading religion news magazine on public radio. He is frequently featured in major national media such as CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post and others.

Jones serves as the co-chair of the national steering committee for the Religion and Politics Section at the American Academy of Religion and is a member of the editorial boards for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and for Politics and Religion, a journal published by Cambridge University Press for the American Political Science Association. He is also an active member of the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the American Association of Public Opinion Research. He holds a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University, where he specialized in the sociology of religion, politics and religious ethics. He also holds a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2013, Jones was selected by Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion as Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

Before founding PRRI, Jones worked as a consultant and senior research fellow at several think tanks in Washington, D.C., and was assistant professor of religious studies at Missouri State University.

The Olin and Muffet Sansbury Lecture Series was endowed by Dr. Olin Sansbury and the late Muffet Sansbury to address important issues in contemporary society.