David Elcott and Tobias Cremer in Conversation

Monday, May 15, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Every day, religion informs public discourse in democracies worldwide, and fuels societal polarization. Join the White Plains Public Library for a fascinating presentation and conversation about the roots of this trend, and how, surprisingly, religion can be used to support liberal democracies. Featuring our own White Plains native David Elcott and Tobias Cremer from Germany, authors of Faith, Nationalism, and the Future of Liberal Democracy (Library Catalog).

About the Book

In Faith, Nationalism, and the Future of Liberal Democracy, authors David Elcott, C. Colt Anderson, Tobias Cremer and Volker Haarmann present a pragmatic and modernist exploration of how religion engages in the public square. The book highlights the use of religious identity to fuel the rise of illiberal, nationalist and populist democracy.

Elcott and his co-authors are concerned about the ways religious identity can be used to foster the exclusion of individuals and communities from citizenship, political representation and a role in determining public policy. They explore what constitutes a constructive religious voice in the political arena, even in nurturing patriotism and democracy, and what undermines and threatens liberal democracies. The authors examine the ways religious identity is weaponized to fuel revolts against a political, social and economic order that values democracy in a global and strikingly diverse world.

The authors encourage people of faith to promote foundational support for the institutions and values of the democratic enterprise from within their own religious traditions and to stand against the hostility and cruelty that historically have resulted when religious zealotry and state power combine.

About the Presenters

Dr. David Elcott was the Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service and Leadership at the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU and Director of the Advocacy and Political Action specialization. He currently teaches social psychology for men studying for their college degree at the Green Haven Maximum Security Prison in New York, a continuation of his advocacy work on criminal justice reform in America.

Dr. Tobias Cremer was a Junior Research Fellow in Religion and the Frontier Challenges at Pembroke College Oxford and now is an official with the German Foreign Ministry. His research focuses on the relationship between religion, secularization and the rise of right-wing identity politics throughout western societies.

Categories: Library News.


  1. Maureen Wira

    I’ve put May 16 on my calendar to attend in the auditorium at 6pm, but do not see where I can enroll, if I need to..
    Please advise.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *