MTSU explores “Prayer in Public Life” in April 5 event

MTSU’s April 5 speaker is John Vile author of nearly 50 books on the Constitution and free speech including his latest, Prayer in American Public Life. (Image Provided)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University will bring the First Amendment into focus once again on Tuesday, April 5, with a discussion on Prayer in American Public Life and the connection between religion and public policy. 
MTSU Dean of the University Honors College John Vile will lead the free public discussion at 4 p.m. on April 5 in Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building, 1737 Blue Raider Drive. Vile is one of the America’s top scholars of the U.S. Constitution. He’s written nearly 50 books on the subject including his latest, Prayer in American Public Life: An Encyclopedia.
Vile, a professor of political science, has taught at MTSU since 1989 and led the Honors College since 2008. He’s also written on topics such as American political science and law, with subjects including the national anthem, U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. flag and the Liberty Bell, since 1991. For a full list of his writings, click here.
Prayer in American Public Life continues Vile’s exploration of the role religion has played, and continues to play, in American history, especially in formulating public policy. 
“Prayer is a universal expression of man’s desire for communication with the spiritual realm,” Vile says. “As long as human beings recognize that they have souls, they will pray, and as long as they love their countries, they will pray for issues that their nations confront.  Although they can be easily conflated and confused, God and country are both perceived as higher loyalties and often inspire similar devotion.”  
Vile’s book is published by the Free Speech Center’s First Amendment Press. He also served as co-editor of the Free Speech Center’s showcase “Encyclopedia of the First Amendment,” the digital, fully searchable version of the two-volume 2009 book that now includes more than 1,500 essays and entries covering court decisions and doctrines; people, laws and events; and issues and organizations. 
The nonpartisan Free Speech Center, based in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, works to educate the public about the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment: protection of their right to free speech, a free press, freedom of religion, freedom of peaceable assembly and freedom to petition the government.  

A campus parking map is available at Off-campus visitors can obtain a one-day permit at or park free in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to the lecture site. 
Details on the work of the Free Speech Center at MTSU, including its First Amendment Encyclopedia, are available at The College of Media and Entertainment’s website is •

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