“Whose God Rules?” is the question to be addressed by the Reverend Nate Walker in a Needham Lyceum at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, February 3rd, at First Parish in Needham.
Reverend Walker is the Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, a current research fellow at Harvard Divinity School, and editor of a recent book entitled Whose God Rules? Is the United States a Secular Nation or a Theolegal Democracy? (2011, Palgrave Macmillan).
The book originated from a sermon Walker gave in 2008. In it he observes that the United States is not a theocracy where one religion determines all law. Neither is it a purely secular nation where religion is banished from public life. What, then, he asks is the true religious nature of this country?
His answer is that the United States is a theolegal democracy — a system that permits, rewards and encourages officials to use theology to make law without formally establishing a state religion.
“This book is a provocative and pioneering effort to rethink the complex relation of religion and the state in the American past and present,” says Cornel West. Additional contributors include Alan Dershowitz, Martha Nussbaum, Kent Greenawalt, Robby George and William Schulz. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote the foreword.
Needham Lyceums are free and open to the public. First Parish is fully accessible and located just off the town square at 23 Dedham Ave (route 135). Please enter through the Lincoln Street doors and follow signs to the Lyceum. There is ample parking in the town lot off of Lincoln Street. For more information, go to www.uuneedham.org or call the Parish office at 781-444-0823.