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2017 O. Truman Driggs Lecture to Focus on “Moral Combat”

Jenna Ray
Publication date: 
September 5, 2017

R. Marie Griffith

R. Marie Griffith, director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University, will deliver the 2017 O. Truman Driggs Distinguished Lecture in History on Thursday, September 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Humanities Fine Arts Recital Hall. Griffith's talk is titled "Moral Combat: Sex, Politics, and the Fracturing of American Christianity."

Griffith's talk is based on her forthcoming book. According to publisher Basic Books, "sex is at the heart of many of the most divisive political issues of our age. The origins of these conflicts lie in sharp disagreements that emerged among American Christians a century ago...Professor Griffith explores how the Christian consensus on sex unraveled and how this unraveling has made our political battles over sex so ferocious and so intractable."

Griffith is director of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics and the editor of the Center's journal, Religion & Politics. Griffith obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in political and social thought and her PhD in the study of religion from Harvard University. She is the author of God's Daughters: Evangelical Women and the Power of Submission (1997), Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (2004), and Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics (2017) as well as numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and review essays. Griffith is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on current issues pertaining to religion and politics, including the changing profile of American evangelicals and ongoing conflicts over gender, sexuality, and marriage.

Supported by the philanthropic gifts of alumni, faculty, staff, and friends, the O. Truman Driggs Distinguished Lecture in History honors the memory of O. Truman Driggs, professor of history at Morris from 1963 until 1989. Annually, the lecture brings distinguished visitors to campus to speak on topics relating to history, the liberal arts, or public affairs.