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National Experts Address Impact of Religion

Douglas Padgett answers a panel question while Robert Jones and Karey Harwood look on.

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The NC State Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies inaugurated an Impact of Religion series by welcoming two national experts in religion and society to a packed lecture hall on April 14, 2016.

Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, addressed religion’s changing impact on American politics.

Douglas M. Padgett, the Middle East unit leader in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom, discussed strategies for preventing and countering violent religious extremism in the Middle East.

“These experts work at the highest level as advisers to government agencies, private companies and other power holders,” said Levi McLaughlin, Religious Studies professor. “We wanted NC State to have access to expertise from top-level thinkers in the field.”

Following their lectures, Jones and Padgett joined Religious Studies associate professor Karey Harwood for a panel discussion. Harwood has particular expertise in the sociology of religion and also serves as an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at NC State.

The Impact of Religion lecture is designed as an annual event that explores the intersections of religion and politics.  

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