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MAR 9 | Public Lecture

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March 9, 2018 | Public Lecture


James K.A. Smith
Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College

March 9, 2018 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Oklahoma Memorial Union, Regents Room (3rd floor)
900 Asp Ave, Norman, OK 73019

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Lecture Overview

Many of the features we prize in a democratic republic— tolerance, pluralism, public deliberation & debate—depend not only on institutions and laws; they also depend on a citizenry that knows how to inhabit such a society.  In short, the institutions and practices of liberal democracy depend upon a citizenry that possesses the requisite virtues, both intellectual & moral, to inhabit and enliven such a society. But whence such virtues?  This talk will explore the substantive conditions of virtue formation and consider why paradigmatic “liberal” institutions are unable to inculcate such virtues and why, ironically, a liberal society depends upon institutions it might perceive as “illiberal” to be the incubators of the citizens it needs.

About Dr. James K.A. Smith

James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview.  His most recent book, Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology, forms the basis of this talk.  His popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Books & Culture, and First Things and periodicals such as the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today.  Smith is also a Senior Fellow of Cardus and serves as editor of Comment magazine.


Unfortunately, the Union Parking Center will be unavailable to the public on the day of the lecture. Here are other parking options.

Boyd Street
Metered parking is available on Boyd St., between Asp Ave. and University Blvd.  

Elm Avenue Parking Facility
Metered visitor parking is available on the first floor ramp of the Elm Avenue Parking Facility, located on Elm just south of Boyd. Visitors can park on the second floor and above with a visitor permit (see below).

Jenkins Avenue Parking Facility
Visitors can park on all floors of this facility with a visitor permit (see below). This facility is located just south of Lindsey Ave., and is a 5-10 minute walk from the Oklahoma Memorial Union.

Visitor Permits
Visitors can purchase visitor permits online from OU Parking Services for $3.00. Visitor permits are valid in Student/Faculty/Staff/Multipurpose lots, except where designated otherwise. Visitor permits are not valid in reserved, metered or paystation spaces. Please see OU's Parking Services website for additional parking options.