Cornel West, Robert George Discuss Bridging Differences Feb. 8 At Duke

Talk at Goodson Chapel is free, open to the public

Two noted scholars from opposite sides of the ideological spectrum will discuss “friendship and faith across political differences” during a free public talk Friday, Feb. 8, at Duke University.

The 2019 Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics features Cornel West, professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard University and professor emeritus at Princeton University, and Robert George, professor of jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton, and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.

The talk takes place at 5:30 p.m. in Goodson Chapel at Duke Divinity School and is free and open to the public. Joseph Winters, professor of religious studies at Duke, will moderate; a reception will follow.

Free parking is available in the Lower Allen Lot, with ADA and accessible parking in the Bryan Center Surface Lot.

“The friendship and joint commitment to academic and intellectual freedom George and West embody is precisely the approach the KIE hopes to promote,” said Suzanne Shanahan, Nanerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the main sponsor of the talk. “They are an example of how to engage, with integrity and empathy, the polarizing issues that confound us as a nation.” 

West has written 20 books, including “Race Matters” (1993) and “Democracy Matters” (2004). A frequent guest on the “Bill Maher Show,” CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now, West made his film debut in “The Matrix,” and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004.  He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including “Examined Life,” “Call & Response,” “Sidewalk” and “Stand.”

George has served as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He has also served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology.

George has authored or edited 16 books, most recently “Conscience and Its Enemies” (2013).

The 2019 Kenan Distinguished Lecture is cosponsored by the Duke Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, American Program in Grand Strategy, Department of African & African American Studies, and Department of Political Science.