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KNOXVILLE –- One of the nation’s leading authorities on religion and public leadership will speak at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Oct. 23.

D. Michael Lindsay
D. Michael Lindsay
D. Michael Lindsay, a sociologist at Rice University, specializes in issues surrounding leadership, religion and culture. His recently published book, “Faith in the Halls of Power,” is a comprehensive study of public leaders who are people of faith.

He will speak at 7 p.m. in Room 132 of the College of Law. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by VeritasUT, the department of political science and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

“Based on interviews with 360 leaders from these spheres, including two former presidents, as well as a command of what everybody else has heretofore written, Lindsay demonstrates how over the past two decades evangelicals have moved into positions of great influence,” Publisher’s Weekly said of Lindsay’s book. “He is a sympathetic observer who understands that evangelicalism is as reformist as any other movement that has ascended to power in America.”

Various political, educational and social leaders also have weighed in on “Faith in the Halls of Power”:

• Former U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist: “People of faith have an enormous impact on our society. Michael Lindsay’s brilliant book has the story everyone else has missed.”

• Robert D. Putnam, professor of public policy, Harvard, and author of “Bowling Alone”: “For more than three decades evangelical Christians have been self-consciously assuming positions of leadership across virtually all sectors of American society. Michael Lindsay’s fact-filled book, based on his unique collection of personal interviews, presents a striking self-portrait of this new elite and how they reached power.”

• George Gallup Jr., founding chairman, The George H. Gallup International Institute: “Given the confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the evangelical movement in the U.S., Michael Lindsay has produced a work of lasting importance. A keen and disciplined researcher of the religious scene, Lindsay has drawn upon hundreds of personal interviews with evangelical leaders representing the power centers of politics, academe, entertainment and business. He brings readers a clear and authentic account of the extent to which evangelicals are changing America.”

Lindsay is assistant director of the Center on Race, Religion and Urban Life at Rice. He received his doctorate at Princeton University, and he has served as the consultant for religion and culture at The George H. Gallup International Institute.


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,
Julian Reese, VeritasUT, 865-558-5773,