If you go

What: “Faith and Freedom: Hidden Lessons from the Founding Fathers,” a lecture by Andrew Porwancher
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17
Where: University Center Auditorium
Admission: Free and open to the public

In honor of the U.S. Constitution’s birthday, guest speaker Andrew Porwancher will be on campus presenting “Faith and Freedom: Hidden Lessons from the Founding Fathers.”

Lucien Ellington, director of UTC’s Center for Reflective Citizenship, says Porwancher is “a superb scholar and a dynamic speaker. He will both deepen audience understanding of the Constitution’s 1st Amendment ‘Establishment’ and ‘Free Exercise Thereof’ clauses, and link past to present through a discussion of the controversies surrounding the contemporary role of religion in the Public Square.”

Porwancher’s lecture is part of the annual Dr. Richard Gruetzemacher Constitution Day Lecture Series sponsored by UTC’s Center for Reflective Citizenship and the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies. The lecture series takes place every year on or around Sept. 17, the day the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787. A question-and-answer segment will follow the conclusion of the lecture.

Porwancher says his presentation will look at the dawn of the U.S. and founders’ questions about the place religion should play in the new republic.

“The founders debated the proper role of faith in American civic life. Which rights should be extended to religious minorities?  What is the appropriate relationship between church and state?  Does the Establishment Clause require their separation?  Or can religious liberty flourish alongside government support for faith?” he explains.

“This lecture will explore how the towering figures of the founding period grappled with these questions, and how their answers can help us navigate the challenges of faith and freedom in modern America.”

Porwancher is the Wick Cary associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches constitutional history. He previously held the Garwood Fellowship at Princeton University and Horne Fellowship at University of Oxford.

He earned his Ph.D. in history from Cambridge University, his master’s degree from Brown University and his bachelor’s from Northwestern University.  He currently is working on his third book, The Jewish Life of Alexander Hamilton, which is under contract with Harvard University Press. His earlier works include The Devil Himself: A Tale of Honor, Insanity, and the Birth of Modern America, published by Oxford University Press in 2016 and is currently being adapted into a theatrical production.


Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call 423-425-4363.
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