Conviction & Compromise: Being a Person of Faith in a Liberal Democracy


Location: Leighton Concert Hall, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

The 2012–13 Notre Dame Forum begins with a panel featuring prominent religious leaders addressing the role of faith in American democracy. The panelists will address questions such as:

  • How can people of faith reconcile religious conviction with politics, which is often described as the “art of compromise”?
  • Should voters take a candidate’s religion into account when casting their ballot?
  • How should elected officials apply their faith when making policy?
  • How does religious diversity affect our national understanding of religion’s role in both politics and government?

This is a free but ticketed event. Those presenting a valid Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, or Holy Cross College ID may obtain two tickets per person from the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office window beginning Wednesday, Aug. 29. Beginning Friday, Aug. 31, two tickets per person will also be available to the general public. Please visit the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office during regular ticket office hours, noon-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Note that the ticket office will be closed on Monday, Sept. 3, in observance of Labor Day.

View event recap here.


Rev. Richard Cizik

President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Richard Cizik is president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a faith-based organization committed to an agenda that fosters values consistent with an open and free society.

He served for 10 years as vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, the top staff position of the organization, a post he left in 2008 after enduring years of political opposition from the Religious Right. An interview with NPR’s Fresh Air in which he expressed support for civil unions, climate change, and political collaboration with the newly elected Obama administration, led to a national uproar within the movement and more than 100 top evangelical leaders defecting to a “New Evangelical” agenda.

As a result, Cizik founded the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good and has been a leader in bringing evangelicals, scholars, and policy-makers together in the search for common ground on a host of national and international challenges, including climate change, civil liberties, economic justice, and national security. He travels frequently to speak on these topics, here and abroad, and is considered one of America’s “most dynamic public speakers,” according to Science magazine.

Cizik graduated with a B.A., cum laude, Political Science, Whitworth University (1973); Master of Divinity, Denver Seminary (1979); M.A., Public Affairs, The George Washington University School of Public & International Affairs (1985). In 2005, he was awarded the Ecclesiastical degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causae, The Methodist Episcopal Church, USA. He was awarded a post-graduate fellowship from the Scottish Rite Foundation to study at the George Washington University (1973-1974) and by the Rotary International Foundation to study at the Political Science University in Taipei, Taiwan (1975-1976). Cizik sits on advisory boards of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, and the Evangelical Environmental Network.


Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz

Archbishop of Louisville

His Holiness Benedict XVI appointed Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., as the fourth archbishop and ninth bishop of the Archdiocese of Louisville on June 12, 2007; he was installed on August 15 of that year. Before coming to Louisville, Archbishop Kurtz served as Bishop of Knoxville from 1999 to 2007.

As vice-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Kurtz serves on the executive and administrative committees of that body. Currently, he is the vice chancellor of the board of the Catholic Extension Society and the Episcopal advisor to the Catholic Social Workers National Association. He also serves on the boards of St. Charles Seminary (Philadelphia, Pa), Leadership Louisville, and on the advisory board to the Cause for Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s beatification.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Dallin H. Oaks has served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since May 1984.

He is a native of Provo, Utah. He and his late wife, June Dixon Oaks, are the parents of six children. She died July 21, 1998. On August 25, 2000, he married Kristen M. McMain in the Salt Lake Temple.

Elder Oaks is a graduate of Brigham Young University (1954) and of the University of Chicago Law School (1957). He practiced law and taught law in Chicago. He was president of Brigham Young University from 1971 to 1980 and a justice of the Utah Supreme Court from 1980 until his resignation in 1984 to accept his calling to the apostleship.

He has been an officer or member of the board of many business, educational, and charitable organizations. He is the author or co-author of many books and articles on religious and legal subjects.

Rabbi David Saperstein

Director and Counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Selected by Newsweek magazine in 2009 as the most influential rabbi in the country and described in a Washington Post profile as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” Rabbi David Saperstein represents the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the administration as the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism ( RAC ).

In 1999, Rabbi Saperstein was elected as the first chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, created by a unanimous vote of Congress, and in 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as a member of the first White House Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2004 and 2006, the Wall Street Journal and the Religion News Service respectively described him as among the country’s most influential shapers of religious issues in national elections.

A prolific writer and speaker, Rabbi Saperstein has appeared on a number of television news and talk shows including Oprah, Nightline, Lehrer News Hour, ABC’s Sunday Morning, Crossfire_,_Hardball;and The O’Reilly Factor. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the “_Harvard Law Review_.” His latest book is Jewish Dimensions of Social Justice: Tough Moral Choices of Our Time.

Pastor Rick Warren

Founder, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA

Dr. Richard Warren is a global strategist, philanthropist, pastor, and author. His most recent book, The Purpose Driven Life, has sold more than 30 million copies in English, and is published in more than 50 languages.

In 1980, Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Today it may be America’s most influential congregation with more than 100,000 names on the church roll, a 120-acre campus, and over 300 ministries.

He has lectured at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the United Nations, the Global Health Summit, the Aspen Ideas Institute, TED, and numerous world congresses. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Warren and his wife, Kay, give away 90 percent of their income.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from California Baptist University, an M.Div. from Southwestern Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.



David Campbell

Professor of Political Science, Director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy

David Campbell is professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame and the founding director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy. He is the co-author (with Robert Putnam) of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, which has been described by the New York Times as “intellectually powerful,” by America as an “instant classic” and by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the most successfully argued sociological study of American religion in more than half a century.” American Grace has also received both the 2011 Woodrow Wilson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs and the Wilbur Award from the Religious Communicators Council for the best non-fiction book of 2010.

Campbell is also the author of Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape Our Civic Life and the editor of A Matter of Faith: Religion in the 2004 Presidential Election. As an expert on religion, politics, and civic engagement, he has often been featured in the national media, including the New York Times, Economist, USA Today, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, NBC News, CNN , NPR , Fox News, and C- SPAN .

M. Cathleen Kaveny

John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology

M. Cathleen Kaveny teaches contract law to first-year law students at the Notre Dame Law School. She also teaches in the Department of Theology. She offers a number of seminars which explore the relationship between theology, philosophy, and law. One seminar, “Mercy and Justice,” explores those concepts using texts drawn from case law, analytic philosophy, Byzantine history, as well as both medieval and contemporary theology. Another seminar, “Complicity,” looks at the morality of contributing to the wrongdoing of others from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Kaveny’s new book, Law’s Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society, will be available from Georgetown University Press this fall. She has also published about a hundred articles and essays, in journals and books specializing in law, ethics, and medical ethics as well as more popular venues such as America and Commonweal, where she appears on the masthead as a regular columnist. She has served on a number of editorial boards including the American Journal of Jurisprudence, the Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Law and Religion, and the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago (2002-2003) and the Royden B. Davis Visiting Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Georgetown University (1998). She is a member of the Steering Committee of Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study.