Home / News
and Information /
January lecture series to feature leading scholar on religion, society, politics
Dr. Joseph R. Fornieri
MOUNT VERNON—“Christianity must confront the world, while encouraging, informing, and ultimately transforming it,” according to Dr. Joseph R. Fornieri. Dr. Fornieri will be the Albert Sidney Johnson lecturer for the spring semester at Brewton-Parker College, January 29 at 7 p.m. in the Briscoe Center on the Mount Vernon campus.
His lecture is entitled “You Are What You Love: Christian Insights on Society and Politics.”
“Dr. Fornieri is a leading scholar of the exciting and often challenging world of interaction among religion, society and politics,” said Dr. H. Lee Cheek Jr., chair of the college’s Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “For example, he is one of the nation’s premier scholars of the religious ideas of Abraham Lincoln.”
Currently, Dr. Fornieri is Associate Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. He received his doctorate from the Catholic University of America in 1996, and teaches courses and conducts research in the areas of religion and politics, and American political thought.
Dr. Fornieri’s BPC lecture will outline his current research, which examines how the Christian tradition has informed the way Christians and others should approach the most critical issues before the country and the world.
Dr. Fornieri’s first book, Abraham Lincoln's Political Faith, was celebrated as one of the most important studies of Lincoln's religious views to ever appear in print. His other books and publications include a political theory text book and several books on American political thought.
“Dr. Fornieri’s lecture will enliven our appreciation of the critical nexus between our faith and the reality of the world around us,” said Dr. Cheek. “All too often, we think of colleges as ‘ivory towers,’ removed from the reality of the world. This lecture series demonstrates how central academics are to our everyday life, our faith and our roles as citizens.”
The Albert Sidney Johnson Lecture Series is named for a prominent South Georgian and Brewton-Parker alumnus and faculty member. His son, Albert Sidney Johnson Jr., is a political science professor and vice president emeritus at the college. Johnson Sr. was born February 2, 1898, in Ailey, Ga., the oldest child of Mr. and Mrs. William Alexander Johnson. After graduating from Brewton-Parker Institute in 1917, he attended Mercer University, where he earned a law degree in 1922, and a bachelor of arts degree in 1926. He served as Brewton-Parker’s Athletic Director from January 1923 to 1925, and again from 1927 until 1934.
Johnson was also a teacher of history and political science at Brewton-Parker. He served two terms as a representative in the Georgia State Legislature, and was, at the time of his death, campaigning for a third term. Johnson was chair of the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees in the House. He passed away in Augusta, Ga., on June 2, 1934, at the age of 36 from complications following an appendectomy, and was buried in the Johnson family cemetery in Longpond.
The public is cordially invited to this Albert Sidney Johnson Lecture Series event, which takes place every semester under the auspices of the college's Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Admission is free. A reception will follow the lecture.