Join us for this event.

For the first two centuries of our history, American culture was enlivened with an unofficial, rambunctious, all-pervasive Protestantism. That Protestant establishment, however, is gone, a casualty of Enlightenment liberalism with its undermining of the revelatory authority of the Bible. A generation ago leading public intellectuals argued that the “Catholic Moment” had arrived in American culture. With Protestantism’s waning cultural influence only Catholicism remained, it was argued, as a substantial basis for a conservative retrenchment and renewal of our culture and civilization.

Today, however, the Catholic moment also appears to have passed. Its cultural sway is also waning.  Whether Protestant or Catholic, Christian influence is perhaps at its lowest ebb in American history. Christianity no longer sets the tone of American law, popular culture and entertainment, or elite intellectual and artistic opinion. What used to be normative ideals and values are now regarded as hateful bigotry.

In this lecture the Reverend Doctor Peter J. Leithart argues for a more hopeful outlook of Christian influence in cultural renewal. He offers a fresh perspective for seeing past the political and ideological constraints of our present moment. But to do so requires that Christian people change frames by learning how to see political obstacles and impasses as opportunities for ministry in what may ultimately prove to be a pre-Christian culture rather than a post-Christian one.

Date and Time

Friday, November 6, 2015 at 7:00pm


Saint David’s Chapel
Arch Street Presbyterian Church
1724 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Speaker and Gala Chaplain

Peter Leithart

Peter Leithart is President of Theopolis Institute and an adjunct Senior Fellow of Theology at New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho. He is ordained in the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC).

He is the author of many books, most recently of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor, 2014) and Traces of the Trinity (Baker, forthcoming). He writes a blog at, where he also writes a regular bi-weekly column. He has published articles in many periodicals, both popular and academic.

Leithart has served in two pastorates: He was pastor of Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church (now Trinity Presbyterian Church), Birmingham, Alabama from 1989 to 1995, and was pastor of Trinity Reformed Church, Moscow, Idaho, from 2003-2013. From 1998 and 2013 he taught theology and literature fulltime at New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho.

He received an A.B. in English and History from Hillsdale College in 1981, and a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master of Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 1986 and 1987. In 1998 he received his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in England.

He and his wife, Noel, have ten children and seven grandchildren.