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Faculty of Sciences and Humanities

FSH Seminar Series

2021 FSH Fall Seminar II: Religion, Science, and Cultural Conflict in U.S. Politics

AuthorFaculty of Sciences and Humanities REG_DATE2021.12.03 Hits305

2021 FSH Fall Seminar II:

Religion, Science, and Cultural Conflict in U.S. Politics

  • Date: Friday, December 3, 2021

  • Time: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Speaker: Dr. Stephen T. Mockabee

Dr. Stephen T. Mockabee is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati where he directs the Graduate Certificate in Public Opinion & Survey Research. His research interests include elections, public opinion, survey
research methodology, and religion and politics.  His work has appeared in a variety of professional journals such as Political Research Quarterly, Political Analysis, Political Behavior, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and Politics and Religion, as well
as in numerous edited volumes. His research on poll workers, conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, where he has served as a visiting scholar, was funded by the Pew Center on the States' Make Voting Work project. Prof. Mockabee currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and has served as Program Chair of the Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. His recent research has examined public opinion about human origins and the teaching of evolution in public schools.  Prior to joining the faculty at
Cincinnati, he served for several years as a research associate of the Center for Survey Research at Ohio State University.

Abstract

American politics has often been described in terms of a “culture war” over controversial social issues, such as abortion or same-sex marriage, that divide the traditionally religious from the secular. However, this lecture will argue that “cultural” politics should be understood more broadly as a style of political argumentation that focuses on symbolic community boundaries. The lecture will discuss contemporary examples of cultural politics in the U.S. including denial of scientific consensus on human origins, climate change, genetically modified foods, and vaccinations – including lingering resistance to COVID-19 vaccines. This lecture will explore how strategic politicians have connected science-related policies to religiously charged messages, transforming what might otherwise be uninspiring, technical issues into cultural flash points.