Presented By Harry Coverston

One of the major questions which has arisen in the culture wars of the late 20th and early 21st century is whether America is still a Christian nation. It manifests itself in a wide variety of issues ranging from the content of commencement addresses to the placement of stone monuments in courthouses to the interpretations of national tragedies such as 9-11 and the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. This presentation will provide an overview of the historical, legal and cultural issues raised by this question and how they have been resolved in American practice, jurisprudence and self-understanding. It will conclude with a look at growing religious diversity in America and the current movement away from institutional religion among the youngest cohorts of our population.

Dr. Harry Coverston is a fifth generation Floridian and a fifth generation educator. He has lived in every part of the state as well as the San Francisco Bay area and a summer in Washington, D.C. where he was a congressional intern. He has specialized in Latin American studies and has spent a number of summers studying in Central and South America including being named a Fulbright Scholar to Brazil in 2011. Coverston is a non-practicing Florida attorney, an Episcopal priest and a permanent lecturer in religious studies, humanities and the philosophy of law at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. He has served as the designated scholar for the Florida Humanities Council in the Civic Reflections program, the Prime Time family reading program, the Community Discussions program, the Lake County Caribbean Humanities series and has delivered a wide range of public scholarship presentations on religion and culture across the state.

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Dr. Harry Coverston