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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

The Role of Religion in Politics and the Role of Politics in Religion

Role of Religion

Event Details

Thursday, February 6, 2020
5:30 PM

Wilburn Auditorium
Pepperdine University Drescher Campus


For more information, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu or call 310.506.7490 

Join the School of Public Policy for a panel discussion celebrating the launch of Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States (Toby Press/Yeshiva University, 2019) written by Rabbi Stuart W. Halpern.

Join Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, director of Yeshiva University's Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought and rabbi of Cong. Shearith Israel and Wilfred McClay, Ronald Reagan professor of public policy at Pepperdine School of Public Policy, for a dynamic conversation on the role the Bible has, can and should play in the American public conversation.

Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land book cover

Turning to the Hebrew Bible for inspiration, solidarity, comfort, and purpose, as the members of the First Continental Congress did, is a common theme in American history. In fact, one cannot understand the American political tradition without understanding America's relationship with the Five Books of Moses. This sourcebook assembles the primary sources of American public history and allows the reader to hear the Hebraic echoes that have formed the cultural vocabulary of the Puritan settlers, revolutionaries, African slaves, leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, and the broader population.



Wilfred McClay

Wilfred M. McClay is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and the director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His book The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America was awarded the Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books are The Student's Guide to US History, Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America, Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past, Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Public Life in Modern America, and Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story.

McClay served on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board for the National Endowment for the Humanities, for 11 years. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Academy of Education. He is a graduate of St. John's College and received his PhD in history from the Johns Hopkins University.

Rabbi Stu Halpern

Rabbi Stu Halpern is senior advisor to the provost of Yeshiva University and senior program officer of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, and is responsible for developing educational and communal initiatives that bridge Torah and general studies. He has edited or co-edited 16 books, including Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth; Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought; and Torah and Western Thought: Intellectual Portraits of Orthodoxy and Modernity, and has lectured in synagogues, Hillels and adult Jewish educational settings across the US, Europe, and Israel. Halpern received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in Psychology in education from Teachers College at Columbia University, a master's degree in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, an MBA in nonprofit management from Touro University, a doctorate in education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Administration, and rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Chaim Brovender.

Rabbi Dr. Meir Y Soloveichik

Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik is director of the Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan. He graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva College, received his semikha from RIETS, and was a member of its Beren Kollel Elyon. In 2010 he received his doctorate in religion from Princeton University. Rabbi Soloveichik has lectured throughout the United States, in Europe, and in Israel to both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on topics relating to Jewish theology, bioethics, wartime ethics, and Jewish-Christian relations. His essays on these subjects have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, First Things, Azure, Tradition, and the Torah U-Madda Journal.