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Society and Community:
21st-Century Faith: Participant Biographies
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"How is it that the God of comfort, hope, and peace prayed to by so many, can also the God of oppression, cruelty, and injustice worshiped by others?" This question posed by Bill Moyers leads off the roundtable discussion segment entitled "Whose God?" Six panelists led by Moyers explore the idea that a pluralistic American society is facing new challenges in the wake of September 11. The panel discusses how in the past America has managed to take the sharp edge off of religious extremism through the practice of tolerance. But as millions of people continue to immigrate to the United States and bring their own religious beliefs with them, the association between American traditions and Christian traditions may be forced to fade.

Biographies of participants are below.

Dr. Munawar AneesK. Anthony AppiahJean Bethke ElshtainPhilip HamburgerJames A. HaughtMichael LindNancey Murphy

Dr. Munawar Anees
Dr. Munawar Anees

Dr. Anees is a Pakistani writer and a social critic whose work deals primarily with bioethics and the relationship between Islam and science. The author of over 300 scholarly articles, he is a frequent contributor to the London-based Islamic journal INQUIRY, and an editor and founder of PERIODICA ISLAMICA, a guide to multidisciplinary discourses on Islam. Anees has written a number of books, including ISLAM AND BIOLOGICAL FUTURES: ETHICS, GENDER, AND TECHNOLOGY, which explore bioethics in an Islamic context.


Anees earned a master's degree in zoology from Punjab University in Pakistan, and received his Ph.D in science and environmental studies from Indiana University.

In September 1998, while living and teaching in Kuala Lampur, Dr. Anwar was imprisoned (having been tortured into making a false confession) after the conviction of his friend, deposed Indonesian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. But after political pressure from Amnesty International and a number of other human rights organizations, he was released four months later. In February 2002, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Read more from Dr. Anees and listen to him speak on religion and science:

  • From Knowledge to Nihilism: Redeeming Humility
  • Audio Clips from "Science and the Three Monotheisms in the 21st Century, A New Partnership?"
  • INQUIRY: End of Empire

  • K. Anthony Appiah
    K. Anthony Appiah
    Formerly a professor at Harvard, Dr. Appiah now teaches philosophy and Afro-American studies at Princeton University. His philosophical research concerns the relationship between language and the mind, but he also writes frequently on African and African-American intellectual history and political philosophy.

    Among his books are FOR TRUTH IN SEMANTICS; IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE: AFRICA IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF CULTURE, which was listed as a NEW YORK TIMES Notable Book in 1992; and COLOR CONSCIOUS: THE POLITICAL MORALITY OF RACE. His newest work, THINKING IT THROUGH: AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY, will appear from Oxford University Press in 2003. He has also published three mystery novels.

    Appiah has been chairman of the Joint Committee on African Studies of the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is currently an editor of TRANSITION magazine, associate director of the Black Periodical Literature Project, president of the Society for African Philosophy in North America, and a board member of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute.

    Born to a Ghanaian father and a British mother but now a US citizen, Appiah holds the distinction of being the first person of African descent to earn a Ph.D from Cambridge University in England.

    Read more from K. Anthony Appiah:

  • "A Chat with K. Anthony Appiah,"
  • Anthony Appiah reviews THE EMPEROR OF OCEAN PARK
  • "Race and the American Experience"

  • Jean Bethke Elshtain
    Jean Bethke Elshtain
    A distinguished political philosopher, Jean Bethke Elshtain was born and raised in a small farm community in Colorado. After receiving her Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1973, she became a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

    Since then, Elshtain has received many prestigious awards and fellowships. Currently, she serves as chair of the Council on Families in America, is a member of the National Commission for Civic Renewal, and is president of the Council on Civil Society.

    Her writings encompass a broad variety of subjects, ranging from feminism to "just war" theory. But it was her 1995 book DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL, a study of current social problems and their effect democratic government, that brought Elshtain out of the strictly academic world and to the attention of wider public. Garnering numerous accolades the book led to a flood of speaking invitations, including one from then-President Clinton.

    DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL attempted to strike a balance between conservative and liberal political ideologies with the idea of communitarianism — a theory that maintains citizens must balance liberty and social responsibility. This compromise, Elshtain argues, "can be an ideal. It is a democratic way to do politics."

    Read more by Jean Bethke Elshtain

  • "The Trials of a Public Intellectual"
  • "Just War and Humanitarian Intervention" (PDF)
  • "The Clinton Scandal and Civic Discourse
  • Work and Its Meanings

  • Philip Hamburger
    Philip Hamburger

    Philip Hamburger is the John P. Wilson Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. A noted legal historian, he has written about law and religion, civil rights in 18th-century America, and seditious libel laws and control of the press, among other topics. Hamburger has twice been the recipient of the Sutherland Prize from the American Society of Legal History; first in 1991 for his work on the theory of contract, and again in 1995 for his study of revolution and judicial review in 17th-century London, which the Society deemed "the most significant contribution to English legal history" that year.

    In 2002, he published SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, in which he contends that our current interpretation of the First Amendment separation of church and state was not intended by the founding fathers and, in fact, grew primarily out of anti-Catholic prejudices in the 19th century. The book was chosen by Barnes & as one of the best law books of 2002.

    Hamburger received a B.A. in history from Princeton and a J.D. from Yale, and has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Connecticut, George Washington University, and Northwestern.


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