On March 1, Wesleyan hosted the Veritas Forum, featuring a discussion between Michael Wear, previously Faith Outreach Director of the Obama Administration, and President Michael Roth. The panel was moderated by Professor of Government Mary Alice Haddad.
Held in Daniel Family Commons, “The Trouble with Freedom: A Dialogue on Freedom in 21st Century America from a Religious and Secular Perspective,” was a wide-ranging discussion that touched on controversial topics in the national dialog pertaining to religious liberty in political, educational and cultural contexts. Pictured at right is John Lee ’21, who introduced the panelists.
Wear urged participants to consider how religion has influenced the world and also to think about whether religious claims might be true and evaluate religion as a personal force in their own lives. Wear is the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, and a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics, and American public life. He directed faith outreach for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
President Roth urged students to bring their experiences of religion to discussions in and outside class. Many people on campus are receptive to conversations about religion, and Wesleyan would be better for it, he said.
Veritas Forums are university events that invite participants from a range of beliefs to explore big questions and pursue truth together. The first Veritas Forum was held at Harvard University in 1992. Since then, over 200 universities in North America and Europe have hosted over 2,000 forums.
The event was sponsored by the Resource Center, Wesleyan Christian Fellowship, Catholic Student Organization and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. (Photos by Richard Marinelli)