MACON – Mercer University’s Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles will welcome Colgate University Professor of Political Science Dr. Barry Shain for a guest lecture Nov. 21, 6 p.m., in the Presidents Dining Room on the Macon campus.
Dr. Shain’s lecture is titled “Three Founding Narratives: The Historic Declaration of Independence, Democracy vs. Liberalism, and Slavery and the Challenges Facing American Conservatism.”
“We are very excited to have a prominent scholar of American political thought on campus to discuss a subject as important as how we understand ourselves as a nation,” said Dr. Will Jordan, associate professor of political science and co-director of the McDonald Center.
Dr. Shain’s research interests include American political and constitutional thought from 1764-88; modern political theory, in particular the development of natural rights language and constitutionalism in the early-modern period; political theology, with a focus on the relationship between Protestantism and Catholicism, and the rise of individualism; natural and international law, with an emphasis on early-modern theorists; and American political culture, in particular contemporary conservatism.
He is the author of The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context: American State Papers, Proclamations, and Letters from the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press, August 2014) and Myth of American Individualism: The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought (Princeton University Press, 1994), and the editor of The Nature of Rights at the American Founding and Beyond (University of Virginia Press, 2007), among his many articles, chapters, books and reviews in print.
Dr. Shain previously served on the board of editors for Modern Age and Political Science Reviewer, was a four-time director of Colgate University’s Geneva Study Group and was an executive board member of the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
He has received fellowships from the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, National Endowment for the Humanities, Earhart Foundation and John M. Olin Foundation, among his many professional awards and distinctions.
Dr. Shain earned bachelor’s degrees from San Jose State University and San Francisco State University and both his master’s and Ph.D. from Yale 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.