As evidenced by the daily news, the world is torn apart. This is due not only to catastrophic events such as terrorism, natural disasters, violence and mounting tension between countries, but also to differences that exist between all people. These differences include clashing views on politics, race, gender, religion and cultures, and because they exist, they end up dividing people. It often seems impossible to live and exist in a community in peace with one another when there are so many disagreements about so many issues.
Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he teaches at the School of Law. He focuses mostly on political science and religion and teaches about the amenities under the First Amendment (freedoms of speech, assembly and religion). His classes focus on the unity between religion and politics, religion and the constitution, and law and philosophy.
Inazu is the author of two books. The first is “Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly,” which searches for and hopes to take back the role of assembly. The second is “Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference,” which asks readers to examine how they can live together in unity and peace despite contrasting views on LGBTQ rights, religious liberty, abortion and law enforcements and minorities.
Inazu’s first book was published in 2012 by Yale University Press, while his numerous articles and essays have been featured in USA Today, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, among others. Inazu’s prior education includes a B.S.E. and a J.D. from Duke University, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina.
Inazu will speak to the Northwestern community during chapel on Tuesday, Nov. 7, followed by a free luncheon the same day. He will spend his time discussing how a group of people with a range of different political, religious, racial and cultural views can live together in unity despite the differences that often divide people. Inazu will be showing a solution to living amongst each other peaceably, a term he calls “confident pluralism,” which is a mindset characterized by graciousness, humility and patience.
Sophomore nursing major Carol Li will be attending the luncheon following the chapel message.
“As an intercultural office intern, it’s part of my job to learn to find ways to have a good relationship with people who are different from each other,” Li said. “It’s a good learning experience to attend the luncheon and hear what Inazu says about all these issues. I’m hoping that he will say things that will broaden the minds of a lot of the student and faculty members on campus, and especially the faculty members. They play a big role in influencing their students, and I hope this a learning experience for the faculty members that they can then teach to their students.”
Inazu will be speaking at 11:05a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in Christ Chapel. He will also be speaking at a luncheon that will follow at 12:15 p.m., which is free but has limited seating.