past event
Free Speech and Religion

Dialogue that Enlarges: Bridging Ideological Divides Through a Faith Lens

We’re living in an era of deep divisions. We have seen the devastating effects in our homes, our communities, our workplaces, and our houses of worship.

In this current contentious climate, many Americans have retreated from civic life or have responded to social conflict with calls for civility. But abstaining from civic life only cedes our public dialogue to the most polarizing voices. And too often, “civility” is misunderstood as the mere absence of argument, or politely ignoring our differences. Neither will make change for the better.

The key to addressing division and building pluralism in American life today isn’t to paper over divides. Rather, it’s to engage more constructively across differences. This is pluralism, or an understanding and respect for our differences, coupled with a mutual commitment toward to the common good.

Faith institutions and communities are one of the few places where people of varying age and worldview gather and exchange ideas in a localized manner. Many faith traditions hold sacred tenets about the importance of loving and engaging with those with whom we differ. We believe faith communities have an essential role in civic life — and in forging relationships across differences.

As part of this special event, we will also preview a new practical resource that uses key concepts of the Better Arguments Project to facilitate a faith-based examination of our civic culture and the state of engagement across differences.

Join us for a discussion exploring the role and opportunity of faith communities during our current, polarized times with a diverse group of faith leaders:

  • Billy Honor (moderator), Aspen Institute Inclusive America Project Fellow for Racial Justice and Religion
  • Rabbi Michael Holzman, Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and lead author of The Rebuilding Democracy Project
  • Reverend Zina Jacque, Ph.D., Community Church of Barrington, Illinois This webinar is being co-hosted by the Better Arguments Project, the Inclusive American Project, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

This webinar is being co-hosted by the Better Arguments Project, the Inclusive American Project, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

Event information