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Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

Hi there! I'm Kimberly Yow, a passionate journalist with a deep love for alternative rock. Combining my two passions, I've found my dream job. Join me on this exciting journey as I explore the world of journalism and rock music.

Interview: In a Divided World, Practice Patient Persuasion

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A law professor shares lessons on respectful disagreement in the classroom, the church, and the wider culture.

Law schools can function as microcosms of society, gathering people from diverse backgrounds to debate highly charged issues of politics, morality, and religion. John Inazu, an evangelical constitutional scholar and professor of law and religion at Washington University in St. Louis, has long experience in this setting, and it forms one backdrop to his latest book, Learning to Disagree: The Surprising Path to Navigating Differences with Empathy and Respect. Readers follow Inazu and his students over the course of a year as they consider questions of empathy, fairness, cancel culture, faith, and forgiveness. CT national political correspondent Harvest Prude spoke with Inazu about his lessons for Christians on effective listening and persuasion.

What have you learned from teaching in an environment where students navigate the discomfort of encountering different worldviews?

Part of being a Christian is being able to engage in messy and uncomfortable places, spaces, and relationships. We’ve got a pretty good model in Jesus and the disciples—where they went and the lines they crossed.

As a Christian teaching in a non-Christian university, I’m actually quite comfortable. And part of that comes from knowing that my Christian values aren’t in control here. When you know you’re not in control, it frees you to be more creative, more neighborly, and in some ways more faithful. So I don’t start with the premise of having a community whose narrative and power I control or seek to control. I start from the premise of being a welcomed member of this community who can engage it on that basis.

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