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“Revolt of the Masses” First Things Lecture invitation

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I am pleased to announce the third annual Austin Graduate School of Theology – First Things Lecture, to be held in Austin, Texas, on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 7 p.m.  This year’s speaker will be Patrick Deneen.  Deneen is an Associate Professor of Political Science and holds the David A. Potenziani Chair of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. 

Deneen will be speaking on “The War of All against All: The New Aristocracy and the Revolt of the Masses.”  He writes, “In his 1995 book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy, Christopher Lasch described the rise of a new meritocratic class that no longer displayed qualities of loyal citizenship necessary for a vibrant and healthy democracy.  Roughly two decades later, in recent events such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, we are witnessing the ‘revolt of the masses’ toward this elite class, and a further erosion of democracy.  Are there any prospects for civic friendship and democratic renewal, or does the new uncivil Cold war between the elite and masses spell the demise of the American experiment in democratic self-government?  What role does the declining influence, presence, and adherence to Christian faith play in this national divide, and can its renewal transcend the limits of the two sides in effecting reconciliation and healing?”

Austin Graduate School of Theology is excited to cooperate in this lecture once again with First Things, which is one of the most widely read and influential religious journals in the United States. 

As an ecumenical endeavor—featuring regular contributions from Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and evangelical Protestant writers—the publication shares many of the same concerns dear to the original Restoration Movement.  The journal also shares much in common with Austin Grad in particular, whose mission is to promote knowledge, understanding, and practice of the Christian faith by equipping Christians and churches for service in the Kingdom of God. 

Prior to joining the faculty of Notre Dame in 2012, Patrick Deneen taught at Princeton University (1997-2005) and Georgetown University (2005-2012).  His books include The Odyssey of Political Theory, Democratic Faith, Conserving America?, and the forthcoming book Why Liberalism Failed, to be published with Yale University Press in January 2018.  He is also co-editor of three books and author of many articles and reviews that have appeared in both academic and more popular journals such as First Things, Commonweal, and The American Conservative.


The evening lecture and refreshments to follow will be hosted at the University Avenue Church of Christ  located at 1903 University Avenue in Austin. 

(Click here for a map and directions.) 

Admission to the lecture is free, but we would appreciate RSVPs at

Parking will be available in the church UA lot and across the street at the AT&T garage with overflow parking at the state lot (see map).


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Austin Graduate School of Theology is an Austin seminary offering B.A. and M.A. ministry degrees, and Austin Grad is accredited by the same agency that accredits Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, The University of Texas, and others.  Austin Grad — one of the top Christian colleges in Texas and among the top seminaries in Texas — is affiliated with the Church of Christ and is in conversation with all who confess Jesus as Lord. Austin Grad promotes faith seeking understanding and is committed to providing a high quality education for those who desire to be equipped to expand the Kingdom of God.

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