Catholic studies lecture to examine election, morality

October 31, 2016 | Events, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Carly Wiegand

“Morality and the Election: Why Liberals and Conservatives Can’t Understand Each Other” will be the topic of the Center for Religious Understanding’s Annual Murray/Bacik Lecture in Catholic Studies Thursday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Dr. Peter Feldmeier, who will give the lecture, is the Murray/Bacik Endowed Professor of Catholic Studies, a position he has held for the last five years at The University of Toledo.

catholic studies political talk“This lecture is important because of its timeliness as it comes the week before the election,” Feldmeier said. “It deals with how one comes to make moral decisions and how the moral framework regarding politics works with that process.”

He said one thing he hopes the community takes away is a better understanding of the moral principles people draw on to make political assessments.

“Much of our moral intuitions are just that, intuitions. We rely more on our emotional lives and uncritically assess moral values to either confirm or reject political philosophies, policies and candidates. Our rational lives end up working more to justify our already determined conclusions,” Feldmeier said. “Breaking down how and why this is the case helps us toward better self-understanding. It also helps us to understand the political other. Both liberals and conservatives are often sure that they vote morally, and they cannot see how the political other could ever vote differently and still be moral. It turns out that they are drawing on different moral foundations or at least weighing them differently.”

He added, “As a religious studies professor, I have some expertise in religiously framed morality. I hope to extrapolate that and address the political world we live in. I also chose the topic because of the current acrimony not only among candidates, but also among those who favor a given side as opposed to the other side.”

The lecture is free, but tickets are required; RSVP at

Free parking is available in lots 12 (near the Law Center) and 12E (near the Center for the Performing Arts).

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