The Declaration of Independence - A Public Conference

April 5, 2002

The Declaration of Independence lucidly and succinctly states the ideals underpinning republican government in the United States of America. These ideals are the touchstones of America’s civic life. At the same time, they have been subjected to criticism and denial in both the past and present. Our conference entitled simply “The Declaration of Independence” brings together public officials, notable scholars, and interested citizens to reflect upon and debate the significance of the ideals of the Declaration as they relate to the challenges facing our nation as we enter a new century. Given the significance of the subject matter to public service, the Conference encourages significant participation from individuals who serve, or who have served, in public governance. Panel discussions at the conference will deal thematically with topics rooted in the Declaration.

Steve Forbes '70Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media
Jim McGreevey, Governor of New Jersey 

Self Evident Truths: Fact or Fiction? 
Hadley Arkes, Edward N. Ney Professor of American Institutes, Amherst College; Pauline Maier, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American History, MIT; Darren Staloff, Associate Professor of History, City College of New York; James R, Stoner, Jr., Associate Professor of Political Science, Louisiana State University

Equality in the 21st Century 
John J. DiIulio, Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion and Civil Society, University of Pennsylvania; Scott Gerber, Professor of Law, Pettit College of Law, Ohio Northern University; Reverend DeForest B. Soaries, First Baptist Church, Lincoln Gardens

Rights of the Individual
Herman Belz, Professor of History, University of Maryland and James Madison Program Fellow; Amitai Etzioni, University Professor of The George Washington University; Charles Larmore, Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities, University of Chicago

Religion and the Concept of Divinely Endowed Rights
Gayle Beebe, President, Spring Arbor University; Elizabeth-Fox Genovese, Eleanore Raoul Professor of the Humanities, Emory University; Jeffrey Morrison, Assistant Professor of Government, Regent University; Father Richard John Neuhaus, Editor-in-Chief, First Things magazine

The Judiciary: Friend or Foe of Freedom?
Gerard Bradley, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame; Stanley Katz, Lecturer with Rank of Professor, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; Kenneth Kersch, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Lehigh University and James Madison Program Fellow

Video recording is not available for this event. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall

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  • Participants in the Declaration of Independence: A Public Conference
  • Participants in the Declaration of Independence: A Public Conference
  • Participants in the Declaration of Independence: A Public Conference