Last Event: Wednesday Nov. 18 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Righteous Reckoning: Religion and the 2020 Election

Righteous Reckoning: Religion and the 2020 Election
A Conversation with Anthea Butler and Sarah Posner

Wednesday, November 18, 2020  •  3 p.m.  •  Online, via Zoom

The November 2020 election plays out against a bleak and tumultuous backdrop: deaths in the hundreds of thousands from a pandemic we have failed to contain, massive social unrest over police violence and systemic racism, and apocalyptic scenes of environmental destruction resulting from climate change. In this season of “righteous discontent,” to invoke the great historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, we ask how Americans’ views and experiences of religion have informed the 2020 election and what they might tell us about its aftermath.

  • In what ways have Americans’ religious and racial identities shaped their responses to the pandemic and to social unrest? What impact will these cataclysmic events have on the election?
  • How have different religious groups explained their support for different candidates? What are the religious undercurrents of racist political rhetoric and conspiracy theories that recycle anti-Jewish and anti-Catholic propaganda?
  • What will a post-Ginsburg Supreme Court look like? What is at stake for Americans’ access to health care, education, employment and housing across religious, racial and gender lines?
  • What is “religious freedom” and what is it likely to look like in the years to come? If religion has played a role in undermining democracy in recent years, how might religion help strengthen democracy in the years to come?

But was this always the case? How did we come to find ourselves in this "post-truth" moment?

Join us for a discussion of these and other questions with Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of "Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World", and Sarah Posner, a journalism fellow with the Recovering Truth project, reporting fellow with Type Investigations, and the author, most recently, of "Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump".

About the speakers: 

Anthea Butler is professor of religious and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania. A historian of American and African-American religion, Butler’s research and writing spans religion and politics, religion and gender, African American religion, sexuality, media, religion and popular culture. She is the author of "Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World" and is currently completing a book project on religion, race politics and evangelicals. Bulter is currently on a Religion and International Journalism grant from the American Council of Learned Societies on prosperity gospel and politics in Nigeria and regularly writes opinion pieces covering contemporary politics, religion and race at The GuardianWashington Post and The New York Times, as well as offered media commentary on the BBC, MSNC, CNN and ABC.

Sarah Posner is a reporting fellow with Type Investigations and journalism fellow with the Recovering Truth project. Her investigative reporting and analysis on the religious right in Republican politics has appeared in Rolling Stone, The New Republic, Vice, HuffPost, The Nation, Mother Jones, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Prospect, Talking Points Memo and many other publications. Posner is also author of "Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump" and "God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters", which explores the unholy alliance between the Republican Party and prosperity televangelists.


NOTE: Please follow the link to join this event via Zoom Webinar. Webinar participants will be able to pose questions via the Q&A function. This event will also be live-streamed via YouTube Live and ASU Live

This event is made possible through a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for the project, “Recovering Truth: Religion, Journalism & Democracy in a Post-Truth Era."


For more information contact:

Center for the Study of Religion Conflict