Thomas Heilke Examines the Secular-Religious Debate

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.09.47 AM

 Thomas Heilke

Professor of Political Science

Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies,

UBC Okanagan

Probing the Potential of the Secular-Religious Interface

Response by Dr. Olav Slaymaker, Professor Emeritus, UBC Geography

Audio File 

Powerpoint File Secular-Religious Interface_Powerpoint

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 @ 5:00 p.m. Woodward (IRC) Room 6,

UBC Main Point Grey Campus


Our understanding of the secular has evolved in significant ways over the past century, and this can often lead to confusion. Within modernity, how do those who most strongly identify as religious and this who view themselves as secular discover their common cause? In this talk, Dr. Heilke will drill down into that language and its surprising history. He will sharpen our understanding and propose creative ways of engaging with one another fruitfully across different visions of societal life. Vital issues of justice, public morality, civic and religious liberties are at stake as we seek sustainable ways forward for human flourishing and the common good. Rejecting the ideological culture wars, Dr. Heilke holds out hope to find a symbiotic interface between the secular and the religious voice. We all see from a limited perspective, and we can all discover our identity and public engagement afresh through constructive dialogue and artful cooperation.


Thomas Heilke received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1990. After 23 years as a faculty member and a variety of administrative positions at the University of Kansas, he has been Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies UBC Okanagan since January, 2014. He is the recipient of three teaching awards, and has written on a variety of topics in political philosophy, including civic friendship, political theology, the political thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, Eric Voegelin, John Howard Yoder, and Thucydides, and Anabaptist political thought. He has authored or co- authored four books and edited or co-edited six further volumes. His work has appeared in journals that include American Political Science Review, Political Theory, Polity, The Review of Politics, and Modern Theology. Among his published books are Voegelin on the Idea of Race: An Analysis of Modern European Racism (1990); Nietzsche’s Tragic Regime: Culture, Aesthetics, and Political Education (1998); Eric Voegelin: In Quest of Reality (1999). He co-edited with Ashley Woodwiss The Re-Enchantment of Political Science: Christian Scholars Engage Their Discipline, (2001). He belongs to the American Political Science Association and the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.

Research Interests: Political philosophy and theory; classical political thought; modern political thought; political theology; religion and politics; political ideologies; international relations in political philosophy

Teaching: Political philosophy; history of political thought; religion and politics; international relations in political philosophy

Miraslov Volf’s book Flourishing: why we need religion in a globalized world, is an excellent follow-up to this lecture.

See also Page/Button: Literature on Religion and Politics for more bibliography