CHAUTAUQUA - Dr. Stephen Mansfield will speak on the topic "Faith and the 2012 Presidential Race," Monday, Aug. 20, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy in Chautauqua Institution.
A New York Times bestselling author, Mansfield is becoming one of the nation's most respected voices on religion and modern culture. After 20 years in ministry, he now devotes his full time to writing and has become a widely-popular speaker, known for his rowdy humor, his deep faith and his ability to inspire audiences with tales from great lives of the past.
An advisor to leaders around the world, Mansfield is also an activist in a variety of social causes and a regular commentator on the FOX and CNN news networks.
Dr. Stephen Mansfield
Mansfield grew up largely in Europe due to his father's career as an officer in the United States Army. After a youth filled with sports, travel, and mischief, he was recruited to play college football but turned down the opportunity when a Christian conversion moved him to attend a leading Christian college.
Earning a bachelor's degree in history and philosophy, Mansfield then moved to Texas where he pastored a church, completed two master's degrees, hosted a radio show and began acquiring a reputation as a popular speaker of both depth and humor. He moved to Tennessee in 1991 where he again pastored a church, did relief work among the Kurds in Northern Iraq, served as a political consultant, and completed a doctorate.
It was during this time that he also launched the writing career for which he has become internationally known. His first book on Winston Churchill was a Gold Medallion Award Finalist. He also wrote widely-acclaimed biographies of Booker T. Washington and George Whitefield as well as a number of other books on history and leadership. In 1997, the Governor of Tennessee commissioned Mansfield to write the official history of religion in Tennessee for that state's bicentennial.
In 2002, Mansfield left the pastorate after 20 fruitful years to write and lecture full-time. Not long afterward, he wrote "The Faith of George W. Bush," which spent many weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and won numerous national awards. The book also became a source for Oliver Stone's acclaimed film, "W," which chronicled Bush's rise to the presidency.
This international bestseller led to a string of influential books over the following years. Mansfield wrote "The Faith of the American Soldier" after being embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq. He also wrote "Pope Benedict XVI: His Life and Mission." Mansfield co-authored "Paul Harvey's America: The Life, Art, and Faith of a Man Who Transformed Radio and Inspired a Nation."
His book "The Faith of Barack Obama" was another international bestseller and was often a topic in major media during the presidential campaign of 2008. It has recently been revised and updated. To answer the crumbling values of portions of American corporate culture, he wrote "The Search for God and Guinness" and soon found himself speaking to corporate gatherings around the world.
Mansfield continues to write books about faith and culture, recently on figures as varied as Oprah Winfrey and Abraham Lincoln. Mansfield's new book, "The Mormonization of America," was released this summer.
Beyond his writing career he has founded The Mansfield Group, a successful consulting and communications firm, as well as Chartwell Literary Group, a firm that creates and manages literary projects. Together with his wife, Beverly, an award-winning songwriter and producer, Mansfield has also created The Global Leadership Development Fund, a foundation that sponsors leadership training and networking around the world.
All are welcome to attend Monday's program sponsored by Chautauqua Christian Fellowship and co-sponsored by the Chautauqua Department of Religion. There is a fee to enter Chautauqua Institution and a parking fee. There is no extra charge to attend Mansfield's program once inside Chautauqua Institution.