Lee Professors Participate in National Conference On Cultural Renewal

Monday, January 28, 2002

Three Lee University professors recently participated at a national conference on political thought and cultural renewal held in Savannah, Georgia.

Drs. Ruth Ediger, Bob Graham, and Lee Cheek discussed the prospects of revitalizing a moral and spiritual foundation for American politics and society with professors from around the United States and Canada. Both Drs. Ediger and Cheek are Assistant Professors of Political Science, and Dr. Graham is an Associate Professor of Sociology. Other institutions represented at the conference were Emory University, Georgetown University, and the University of South Carolina.

The basis for the conference's discussions was a recent book edited by Dr. Lee Cheek and his wife, Kathy B. Cheek, Political Philosophy and Cultural Renewal (Transaction, 2001). According to Dr. Cheek, the conference and related book attempted to examine the "the vision of a moral regime, focused upon the idea of subsidiarity (or localism) in political and religious concerns." In evaluating the prospects for cultural renewal, the participants made use of the scholarship of Francis Graham Wilson, a leading 20th century political scientist and Christian thinker.

Some of the participants attending the seminar noted that it was one of the most important events in their professional lives. Dr. Bob Paquette, a Professor of History at Hamilton College in New York described the conference as "extremely rewarding," and others affirmed the importance of assessing the revival of ethical approaches to solving problems in American life.

The conference was made possible by a grant from The Liberty Fund, Inc., a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals. The foundation develops, supervises, and finances its own education activities to foster thought and encourage discourse on enduring intellectual issues pertaining to liberty. Each year, it hosts over 180 conferences throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Australia.

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