Historian to discuss religious life and the Constitution during ‘Thursdays @ the U’

Charles Cohen

Dr. Charles Cohen

Dr. Charles Cohen, professor emeritus of history at UW-Madison, will address questions relating to the connections between religious life in America and the U.S. Constitution and political system from noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, during UW-Eau Claire – Barron County’s “Thursdays @ the U” lecture and performance series.

Cohen’s presentation, “Jews and Muslims in Christian America,” will be held in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall ) on the Rice Lake campus, 1800 College Drive.

Cohen will address questions such as: Are there circumstances in which religious beliefs and practices make a group incapable of being good citizens — even though the nation’s basic values would seem to preclude religious identity as a condition of citizenship? Given that the U.S. has been defined in various ways as a “Christian nation,” how do Jews and Muslims fit into American society? Does religion create potential fault lines around these issues, and, if so, how?

Cohen served on the UW-Madison faculty from 1984 until his retirement in 2017. He holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. He has written about colonial British North America, American religious history, and the braided histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His scholarship and teaching have been widely recognized.

For more information about "Thursdays @ the U," contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at linda.tollefsrud@uwc.edu or 715-234-8176, ext. 5417.