September 15, 2017
EPPC President Ed Whelan today announced that Senior Fellow Peter Wehner will become the new director of EPPC’s Faith Angle Forum. Mr. Wehner, a New York Times contributing opinion writer, worked closely for many years with former EPPC Vice President and Faith Angle Forum Director Michael Cromartie, who died recently. Mr. Cromartie requested that Mr. Wehner succeed him as director of the Faith Angle Forum.
“The work of the Faith Angle Forum has been an invaluable part of EPPC’s mission for many years. We’re all indebted to Michael Cromartie for his vision and dedication in building the Faith Angle Forum. I am confident that the Forum will continue to flourish under Pete Wehner’s outstanding leadership,” Mr. Whelan said.
Mr. Wehner reflected: “Mike Cromartie, a beloved friend and colleague, was one of the most impressive and important figures on the matter of faith and public life. A person with a magnetic personality, wisdom and deep knowledge, he built bridges between the world of journalism and the world of religion and religious scholarship. But Mike also created a real community. Friendships formed because of the Faith Angle Forum, in ways that are enduring and life-changing. An institution is the lengthened shadow of a single individual, to paraphrase Emerson, and the Faith Angle Forum is the lengthened shadow of a remarkable human being.
“I agreed to become director of the Faith Angle Forum both because of my respect and affection for Mike and because I believe so deeply in its purpose. The Faith Angle Forum has become not only a significant cultural institution, but a unique one. It’s a tremendous honor to carry on the Faith Angle Forum’s mission; to work closely with others to help all of us think a little more clearly about matters of faith and public life, to deepen our understanding of complex issues, and to do so in a spirit of civility and with integrity. That was Mike Cromartie’s vision, and it is as ennobling and vital as ever.”
New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks said: “The Faith Angle Forum has changed the national conversation on matters of faith and public life. Michael Cromartie combined electric personal charisma with deep knowledge of what is being thought and said. He educated many of America’s top journalists on religious perspectives on the big global issues, bringing a new and more sophisticated perspective to millions and millions of readers and viewers. There is no one better positioned to advance and extend this work than Pete Wehner. Pete combines personal grace with a depth of insight and personifies the values Faith Angle stood for. He adds a political expertise and his stature as one of the country’s influential public intellectuals and will make the Forum even more essential in the years ahead.”
E.J. Dionne, a Washington Post opinion columnist and senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, added: “In creating the Faith Angle Forum, Mike Cromartie built his own institution of higher learning about religion, married to the needs of a high-speed information era. It’s a blessing that Pete Wehner will be there to ensure that the Faith Angle Forum will remain vibrant and vital. No one understood better what Mike was trying to do, and there could be no better steward of the work he started.”
From Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson: “The FAF was started in response to an important need: to increase the accuracy and quality of religious knowledge among journalists and other thought leaders. Under Mike Cromartie’s remarkable leadership, it became something more. Mike shaped a community of honest inquiry on the largest matters of politics and culture. And he modeled a joyful kindness that improved the lives of everyone he touched.
“Mike is gone, but the unique intellectual forum he created has never been more important as an alternative and rebuke to our degraded discourse. And EPPC has found the right steward of a great institution. Anyone who knows Pete Wehner is blessed by that fact. His civility and intellectual integrity are well known. His friends also see an example of character and conscience that is rare in life.
“The FAF was favored by a brilliant, deeply respected, widely liked and morally serious founder. And that tradition continues.”
Karen Tumulty, a national political correspondent for the Washington Post, said: “What you learn at the outset of every Faith Angle Forum is to check your preconceptions at the door. Faith, it turns out, is not an ‘angle’ at all. It is a framework, and once you understand it, you begin to see just about everything in a fresh way. We have covered a vast array of topics in sessions led by people who are the greatest experts and deepest thinkers in their fields.”
Mr. Brooks, Mr. Dionne, Mr. Gerson, and Ms. Tumulty are all members of the Faith Angle Forum Advisory Council.
For more information about the Faith Angle Forum, including transcripts and video and audio recordings from past sessions, visit FaithAngle.org.