MACON – Mercer University’s Thomas and Ramona McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles will observe Constitution Day with a lecture by Dr. James R. Stoner Jr., Hermann Moyse Jr. Professor and director of the Eric Voegelin Institute in the Department of Political Science at Louisiana State University.
Dr. Stoner’s lecture, titled “Originalism and Common Law: Opponents or Friends,” will be held Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. in Science and Engineering Building, Room 110.
“We are very excited to be hosting another great Constitution Day speaker this year,” said Dr. Will Jordan, associate professor of political science and co-director of the McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles. “James Stoner is one of the nation’s best scholars of American political thought and constitutionalism. This should be a wonderful opportunity for our students to think through the challenges of the judicial function and constitutional interpretation.”
Dr. Stoner’s teaching and research interests include political theory, English common law and American constitutionalism. He is the author of Common-Law Liberty: Rethinking American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 2003) and Common Law and Liberal Theory: Coke, Hobbes, and the Origins of American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 1992), in addition to a number of articles and essays, and he has co-edited two books published by Witherspoon.
Since 1988, Dr. Stoner has taught at LSU, where he chaired the Department of Political Science from 2007-2013, served as acting dean of the Honors College in fall 2010 and received the Honors College Sternberg Professorship in 2010.
He has also served as a member of the National Council on the Humanities and a visiting fellow and Garwood Visiting Professor in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.
About the Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles
The Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles exists to supplement Mercer University’s excellent liberal arts program with a redoubled commitment to the foundational texts and ideas that have shaped Western Civilization and the American political order. This focus on the core texts of the Western tradition helps to revitalize a cross-centuries dialogue about citizenship, human rights, and political, economic and religious freedom, thereby deepening the moral imagination and fostering civic and cultural literacy.
The McDonald Center’s programming includes the annual A.V. Elliott Conference on Great Books and Ideas, faculty-student reading groups, a general education course on America’s Founding Principles, summer Great Books programs for high school teachers and students, and undergraduate research fellowships. All programming is designed to enhance Mercer’s longstanding role as a distinctive home of liberal learning, a place where serious students come to live the life of the mind and emerge more thoughtful and engaged citizens.