What matters to you.

Forum Network

Free online lectures: Explore a world of ideas

Funding provided by:

Civility and Morality

In partnership with:
Date and time
Friday, February 17, 2012

Is civility simply a smokescreen to maintain the status quo? Does it encourage conformity and inhibit dissent? Is civility sometimes in conflict with other important moral values? Civility demands that we respect all religions, but at what price? Can a new civility lead to a better informed citizenry? This panel explores the relationship between civility, morality and the demands of justice.

Alan Wolfe is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books, including, most recently, *The Future of Liberalism* (2009), *Does American Democracy Still Work?* (2006) *Return to Greatness: How America Lost Its Sense of Purpose and What it Needs to Do to Recover It *(2005), *The Transformation of American Religion: How We actually Live our Faith* (2003), and *An Intellectual in Public* (2003). He is the author or editor of more than ten other books including *Marginalized in the Middle* (1997), *One Nation, After All* (1998), *Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in a World of Choice* (2001) and *School Choice: The Moral Debate* (2002). Both *One Nation, After All* and *Moral Freedom* were selected as *New York Times* Notable Books of the Year. Professor Wolfe attended Temple University as an undergraduate and received his doctorate in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. Wolfe currently chairs a task force of the American Political Science Association on Religion and Democracy in the United States.
Host of NPR and WBUR’s On Point, award-winning journalist Tom Ashbrook first came to NPR and WBUR-Boston for special coverage of the 9/11 attack,. Tom’s career in journalism spans twenty years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, and author. He spent ten years in Asia — based in India, Hong Kong, and Japan — starting at the South China Morning Post, then as a correspondent for The Boston Globe. He began his reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the United States and around the world, from Somalia and Rwanda to Russia and the Balkans. At the Globe, where he served as deputy managing editor until 1996, he directed coverage of the first Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. Tom received the Livingston Prize for National Reporting, and was a 1996 fellow at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation before taking a four-year plunge into Internet entrepreneurship, chronicled in his book The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush.