University’s annual Tipple-Vosburgh Lectures will run from Oct. 16 to 18.

MADISON, NJ—With growing religious, political and racial divisiveness as an unwelcome backdrop for modern-day American life, our nation’s faith communities are discussing how they can lead the way toward peaceful solutions to pressing social justice issues. That critically important conversation will take center stage at Drew University’s 2012 Tipple-Vosburgh Lecture Series, which will run from October 16 to 18, and will feature plenary sessions and workshops by leading scholars, ministers and theologians.

“In the few weeks that remain prior to the U.S. presidential election, it is more important than ever for Americans to discuss the issues that divide us,” said University President for the Interim Term Vivian A. Bull. “This year’s Tipple-Vosburgh Lecture Series will enable that conversation, and represents an important step forward in building mutual understanding and finding common ground.”

The lecture series will feature five plenary sessions:

  • Moral Conscience in a Nation at War, led by The Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, will explore the challenges facing veterans who are returning from wars overseas. Attendees will gain valuable perspective on how best to support our nation’s men and women in uniform.
  • Deflating Political Lies with Antiracist Christian Ethics, led by Rev. Dr. Traci West, will focus on incidences of dishonesty in American politics, and offer guidelines for faith leaders on how to lead dialogues that debunk racial myths, stereotypes and falsehoods.
  • Racial-Ethnic Demographic Shifts and the Future of American Politics, led by Dr. Gaston Espinosa, will feature a discussion about recent increases in the number of African American, Asian American and Latino citizens—along with an analysis on how these demographic shifts have impacted the political dynamics employed by the last two U.S. presidents.
  • The Kin-dom of God and Utopian Politics, led by Dr. Melanie Johnson Debaufre, will explore the ways ministers and theologians could apply the utopian vision of humanity— as proffered by the Christian and Jewish religious traditions—to addressing urgencies in faith and politics.
  • Re-Igniting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign: Poverty Today and the Need for Many Martins, led by Willie Baptist, will explore the most pressing contemporary issues in poverty, and offer an activism-based perspective on today’s unprecedented divide between social classes.

The Tipple-Vosburgh Lecture Series will also feature a slate of enriching workshops on marriage, economics, urban politics, war and militarism, and leadership of faith communities. In addition, the series will offer participants opportunities for worship and recreation.

Drew alumni, Madison residents and members of the surrounding community may register for the Tipple-Vosburgh Lecture Series for $10 per single-session admission, $30 for single-day admission and $60 for admission to the entire conference. Registration is free for current Drew students, faculty and staff. For more information about the series—including a complete schedule of events—or to register, please visit Questions may be directed to Nancy VanderVeen, Drew University’s director of theological lifelong learning, at 973.408.3084 or