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CONFIDENT PLURALISM

BY JOHN INAZU

 

VIRTUAL READING GROUP

DECEMBER 2018

Overview

The Center for the Study of Liberty held its inaugural Virtual Reading Group on the book Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference by John Inazu. In his work, Dr. Inazu (Washington University in St. Louis) looks at the challenges to a productive public discourse in America today and suggests the constitutional means and civic values at our disposal for restoring civility and protecting our First Amendment rights.

 

During an online orientation and three online discussion sessions in a Zoom video conference, fourteen participants analyzed the current state of our public dialogue and explored how we can live together peacefully despite our profound differences. They drew out key concepts in the book and tested the principles of “confident pluralism” in discussion of recent news stories, case studies, and personal experiences. 

With the conversation moderated by Center executive director Jennifer Thompson, group members also dug into ideas like "modest unity" and what, if any, common ground Americans have in their values and views. Participants also explored what we as citizens can do to practice the civic values of tolerance, humility, and patience that John Inazu recommends as principles that reinforce the legal protections in a pluralistic society.

Group Member Feedback

"I found the conversation benefited from the facilitator's ability to provide leadership, keeping us focused and on track, and at the same time, to set a tone where I felt everyone felt comfortable raising the question on their mind or sharing an insight."