The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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January 25, 2007

Press Contacts: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or, and Anne Wheeler, LBJ Library & Museum, 512-721-0216, 512-731-2351 (cell),
Conference Contacts: Mary Hendryx, UT School of Law, 512-232-4860.

Washington Post Columnist E. J. Dionne Speaks on “Religion, Social Justice and the Welfare State,” Feb. 1

Photo of E. J. Dionne
E.J. Dionne Jr.

AUSTIN, Texas—E.J. Dionne Jr., a leading liberal social thinker and public commentator, will discuss “Religion, Social Justice and the Welfare State” on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Lone Star room of the Frank Erwin Center at The University of Texas at Austin. A reception will follow.

The lecture, which is free to the public with tickets, is sponsored by the LBJ Presidential Library, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS), the Religious Studies Program, and the School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin.

Tickets for Dionne’s Thursday evening talk are free and available while they last through Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. at the University’s School of Law at the Communications Desk in the Susman-Godfrey Atrium.

To find public parking for the Frank Erwin Center (1701 Red River St.) go to

Dionne’s lecture is the first in a series of public lectures on diversity and religion in American public life. The purpose of the series ( is to get beyond the usual stereotypes about Christian conservatives and Islamic fundamentalists by exploring the myriad ways that religion influences public dialogue and civic life for diverse groups in the United States.

Dionne’s lecture also kicks off an international conference on “The Future of the Welfare State” hosted by the University’s School of Law, in conjunction with the LBJ Presidential Library, on Feb. 1–3. The conference is free and open to University community and general public and brings together internationally renowned scholars to address the practical and moral challenges of reinventing the welfare state in the 21st century.

On Friday, Feb. 2, at 10 a.m. in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom, Dionne joins political theorist Michael Walzer of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Harvard political philosopher Nancy Rosenbaum in a panel discussion about Walzer’s seminal book, Spheres of Justice, which attempted to identify the specific goods that society should provide through a welfare state and which goods can be left to the market economy even if the latter generates inequalities in the way the goods are provided.

Dionne is a best-selling author, a syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The Washington Post and more than 90 other newspapers, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a professor at Georgetown University, a commentator on National Public Radio and a frequent guest on Sunday morning national television news programs. His Why Americans Hate Politics (1991) won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a nominee for the National Book Award. Prior to joining the Washington Post, Dionne spent 14 years with The New York Times, reporting on local, national, and international events. Dionne received a B. A. from Harvard, and a doctorate from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Note to Editors: Dionne is available to meet with press at 5:30 p.m. in the Lone Star room of the Frank Erwin Center. Press parking is available north of Lot 108 on Red River.

Related Link:

International Conference at Law School Addresses Future of the Welfare State, Feb. 1–3: