Patrick Deneen
Patrick Deneen
A University of Notre Dame professor delivers a lecture May 11 on what he sees as root causes of civic strife in the nation. Patrick Deneen is a professor of political science who says that humans today may be lacking the personal and communal formation that were expected to develop political capacities.

“Could it be that the source of our political difficulties today stems from the disconnect of civility, liberal education, and even a common place from which we think about national politics?” Deneen said.

The talk is the annual Freedom Lecture organized by Trinity Academy, an ecumenical school founded by the People of Praise community. It begins at 7 p.m. in University of Portland Buckley Auditorium.

The ancient words “polity” or “city” meant more than the setting where politics takes place, Deneen says. They also conveyed meanings that pointed to the deepest foundations of a healthy political life.

Deneen will explore the underlying connections between these two ancient words, indicating something shared. Can attentiveness to civility, liberal education, and the cultivation of local civic spaces begin to heal the rifts of political life today?

Deneen’s previous books include “The Odyssey of Political Theory,” “Democratic Faith,” “Why Liberalism Failed,” and a number of edited volumes.