2:00 pm EST - 4:30 pm EST

Past Event

Sacred Places, Civic Purposes: Should Government Help Faith-Based Charity?

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

2:00 pm - 4:30 pm EST

The National Press Club
Holman Lounge

529 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC

Before September 11, the nation engaged in a broad debate over faith-based institutions and their role in solving social problems. The role of voluntary institutions in the alleviation of poverty has become all the more crucial in the economic downturn. Since September 11, the importance of religion in our civic life has been underscored by the spontaneous search of many Americans for solidarity, understanding, and comfort through their congregations and by a newly urgent national discussion about religious liberty and pluralism.

Join us for a conversation on faith-based social action and the role of faith in public life, moderated by E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Ming Hsu Chen. Their book, Sacred Places, Civic Purposes: Should Government Help Faith-Based Charity? is a collection of essays that addresses the issues raised by the partnering of government and religious organizations. The book deals specifically with three questions: what faith-based groups are doing, how the government could help, and where the government could usefully get out of the way, from either the perspective of the religious groups themselves or on constitutional grounds. The Brookings Institution and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life will hold a discussion with contributors from the book, religious leaders, and policy experts with different perspectives on these complex issues.


Former Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
Professor of politics, religion, and civil society, University of Pennsylvania
Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute and Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution


Joyce Ladner

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Author, The New Urban Leaders

Melissa Rogers

Executive Director, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Rabbi David Saperstein

Director, The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism

William A. Galston

Professor, Maryland School of Public Affairs
Director, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy

Isabel Sawhill

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Co-director, Welfare & Beyond Initiative

Keith Pavlischek

Fellow, Center for Public Justice
Director, Civitas Program in Faith and Public Affairs

Mary Bogle

Consultant, early childhood, youth development and nonprofit management

Jim Wallis

Editor, Sojourners
convener, Call to Renewal

Father Joseph Hacala

Rector, Jesuit Community
Special Assistant to the President, Wheeling Jesuit University

Julie Segal

Former Legislative Counsel
Americans United for Separation of Church and State