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Union to host ‘Salt and Light in the Public Square’ conference May 2-4

"Salt and Light in the Public Square: Charles Colson's Legacy and Vision" will be May 2-4 at Union.

JACKSON, Tenn.Feb. 28, 2013 – Robert P. George of Princeton University and Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School will be two of the keynote speakers at a Union University conference May 2-4 honoring the legacy of Charles Colson.

“Salt and Light in the Public Square: Charles Colson’s Legacy and Vision” will also feature keynote addresses from Garland Hunt, president of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Russell Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Robert Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

In addition, several Union faculty members will be featured, including Hunter Baker, dean of instruction; Hal Poe, the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture; C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy; and Gregory Thornbury, dean of the School of Theology and Missions.

Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, author of more than 20 books and one of the most prominent evangelical leaders in the United States, died in 2012 at age 80. He was a former aide to President Richard Nixon and pleaded guilty to Watergate-related charges. Prior to his seven-month prison sentence, Colson became a Christian.

Robert George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, and Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, were co-founders with Colson of the Manhattan Declaration, a movement of evangelical Christians, Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics for life, marriage and religious liberty.

Micah Watson, director of Union’s Center for Politics and Religion, which is sponsoring the conference, said Colson represented Christ in a winsome and robust way in the public square, and Christians would do well to consider his impact and follow his example.

“The particular challenges of living genuinely Christian lives within a pluralistic culture have always been with us, but this current season in American political and cultural change seems particularly unsettled and divisive,” Watson said. “Christians have good reason for concern regarding their involvement with crucial issues such as marriage, life and religious liberty. Our hope is that this conference will further our thinking and doing as we strive to be salt and light in the public square.”

The Witherspoon Institute is co-sponsoring the conference.

Registration for the conference, including four meals, is $75. Registration for the conference without meals is $40.

A full schedule and online registration are available at www.uu.edu/events/colsonlegacy.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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