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Nearly two-thirds of the billions of dollars spent in this year's Presidential campaign purchase television advertising. Anticipating the growth of broadcast and cable media, Marshall McLuhan famously observed, "the medium is the message." If money is the medium in political life, what is the message? Debates about the Supreme Court's "Citizen's United" decision often focus on the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption. While those are real concerns, the deeper message may be the inexorable erosion of civic life as money and markets penetrate every part of life. Dr. Rion's lecture will examine the full range of dangers to our common life from unbridled political spending and consider whether there are ways to counter them.

The Carew/Purdy Lecture is an endowed lectureship named after Joseph and Eliza Carew of South Hadley, MA, who made a donation in 1873 for a special lectureship, and Dr. Alexander Purdy, a Hartford Seminary Professor of New Testament from 1923 to 1960 and Dean from 1954 to 1960. It brings a leading scholar to offer Christian perspective on thought and life.

Dr. Michael Rion served as President of Hartford Seminary from 1983-1989 and recently retired after more than two decades as an independent business ethics consultant. He is recognized nationally for his pioneering work in ethics training that successfully bridges the gap between theory and practice. He has worked on organizational ethics with major corporations and non profit organizations for over 30 years. He holds a Ph.D. in religious social ethics from Yale University and is the author of The Responsible Manager: Practical Strategies of Ethical Decision Making and Everyday Ethics: Putting Values into Action.

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