Bill Clinton went to war to rescue Kosovar Muslims from Serbian Catholics and dreamed of reconciling Palestinian Muslims and Israeli Jews. George W. Bush left office embroiled in a war to reconcile Iraqi Muslims to one another. Strange errands, these, for a pair of ardently declared American Protestants! Now comes President Barack Obama, fathered by a Kenyan Muslim and raised for significant middle years by his atheist mother and a Muslim stepfather in Jakarta. Accused during his election campaign (and still) of being a crypto-Muslim, the man seems to send religious messages before he even opens his mouth. But what about that celebrated mouth? The vivid, if objectionable, language of “clash of civilizations” and “war on terror” has been replaced by–well, by what exactly? What is the religious (and anti-religious) world waiting to hear from a leader both acclaimed and mocked as a preacher? Or has the world already received its answer?

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Jack Miles presented on this topic at our event. Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.