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Series examines 'America's Retreat From Greatness,' Nov. 9-11

A scholar of U.S. politics, religion and culture will present three talks on the topic "America's Retreat From Greatness" Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 9-11, in McCosh 50.

Alan Wolfe, professor of political science and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College, will speak at each evening as part of the University's Public Lectures Series.

The specific titles of his three addresses are: "America's Two Visions: The Good and the Great" on Tuesday; "How Conservatives Came to Think Small" on Wednesday; and "The Liberal Retreat From Ambition" on Thursday.

Wolfe's work in recent years has focused on cultural and religious issues in American politics. His "One Nation, After All" (1999) argued that the "culture war" was largely the work of intellectuals; most Americans were not deeply divided over moral issues. His book "The Transformation of American Religion" (2003) used ethnographic data to make the case that American religion has been shaped by American culture more than the other way around.

A contributing editor of The New Republic and The Wilson Quarterly, Wolfe writes often for those publications as well as for Commonweal, The New York Times, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post and other magazines and newspapers.

His talks are designated as the Spencer Trask Lectures and will be available for viewing a week afterward.

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