The Future
of American Democracy

In a moment defined by cascading crises, many across the nation and world are wondering aloud about the future of American democracy. Princeton Theological Seminary will confront this uncertainty head-on, convening a series of timely conversations with leaders poised to shape that future.

Series highlights are available below, but to stay up to date on all the content and resources developed in the year ahead, subscribe today.

"The very idea of Christianity in the public square has come to mean something arrogant and exclusionary. There are a lot of folks out there hungry for a different way."

Dr. Heath W. Carter, Series Convener

Upcoming Events

Don’t miss the chance to reserve your ticket for these conversations.

The Future of Civil Rights

In a moment shaped at once by a powerful new Supreme Court majority and surging grassroots movements, we turn to the future of Civil Rights with special guest Sherrilyn Ifill.

Wednesday, March 22 @ 5:30pm EST

Faltering Faith in Institutions

Critical insight and new vantage points into how we work with, within, and around institutions to build the future we want. Featuring panelists Jamelle Bouie, Walter Kim, and Shannon Watts.

Series Conversations

Recordings and resources from the full series.

The Challenge of Polarization

Featuring Jane Coaston, Symone Sanders-Townsend, and Congressman Peter Meijer

Where Americans once saw neighbors, they now see enemies. Increasingly, Republicans and Democrats alike see members of the other party as not just wrong on key issues, but — according to the Pew Research Center — as immoral, dishonest, closed-minded, and a threat to the nation’s well-being. The reverberations of extreme polarization are felt far from the realm of formal politics, in schools and churches and local communities where some seem ready to give up entirely on the age-old art of persuasion. How did we get so divided? And where do we go from here?

DOWNLOAD THE DISCUSSION GUIDE

The Church in a Nation Divided

Featuring Rev. Melissa Florer-Bixler, Rev. Duke Kwon,
and Bishop Karen Oliveto

Almost 35 years ago, Princeton sociologist Robert Wuthnow traced the decline of denominational identity and the rising salience of ideology in his book The Restructuring of American Religion. Ezra Klein, in his book Why We’re Polarized, argues that our political identities have become mega-identities, dominating all other forms of personal and communal identification — including religious ones. This conversation explores how Christians can most faithfully navigate the sharp edges of today’s polarized society.

DOWNLOAD THE DISCUSSION GUIDE

The Deeper Sources of Polarization in American Religious Life

Featuring Robert Wuthnow and Gerardo Martî

This conversation looks back to the civil rights era to find the origins of contemporary polarization in American religious life. It closes with advice for leaders navigating our current dynamic landscape, with a focus on providing wholeness to communities.

DOWNLOAD THE DISCUSSION GUIDE

Is Persuasion Still Possible?

Featuring Anand Giridharadas

A conversation with Anand Giridharadas, author of The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy, an insider account of activists, politicians, educators, and everyday citizens working to change minds, bridge divisions, and fight for democracy.

DOWNLOAD THE DISCUSSION GUIDE

Can Bipartisanship Break Through?

Featuring Senator Chris Murphy

A conversation with Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who, in 2022, helped broker a deal to break a 30-year political logjam around regulating firearms, and pass a historic piece of bipartisan gun safety legislation.

Don’t Miss What’s Next!

To receive updates about new content, resources, and early access to events, register now.

About the Convener

Dr. Heath W. Carter (@heathwcarter) is an associate professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he teaches and writes about the intersection of Christianity and American public life.

He is currently working on a new book titled On Earth as it is in Heaven: Social Christians and the Fight to End American Inequality (under contract with Oxford University Press), which retells the story of the American social gospel.

Our Commitment
in Every Conversation

To be broad, fair, illuminating,
and oriented toward truth.

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Questions or Suggestions?

Email democracy.panels@ptsem.edu

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