Author and New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat will discuss his argument that American religion has declined as a mainstream, bipartisan voice in American politics at 7 p.m. Monday, April 23, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The program is part of Minnesota Public Radio’s 2011-2012 Broadcast Journalist Series, which is co-sponsored by St. Thomas’ College of Arts and Sciences and its Communication and Journalism Department.

Ross Douthat

Douthat will be interviewed by Stephen Smith, executive editor of Minnesota Public Radio’s American RadioWorks and host of the station’s monthly discussion series, Bright Ideas.

The talk is free, but tickets are required. Reserve them by going to this Minnesota Public Radio website.

Douthat, 32, became an online and op-ed columnist for The New York Times in 2009 and is the youngest regular op-ed writer in the paper’s history. A convert to Catholicism during his teen years, he is a 2002 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University. Douthat was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger for theatlantic.com before joining the Times.

He is a film critic for National Review and has written for the Claremont Review of Books, GQ, Slate and other publications.

Douthat’s most-recent book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, will be released today, April 17. He also is the author of the 2006 Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class and the 2009 Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.

Copies of Douthat’s Bad Religion will be on sale at the April 23 program; he will be available to autograph them following the discussion.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Broadcast Journalist Series, now in its 16th year, commissions renowned journalists for a 24-hour residency four times a year. They share insights on their craft and issues that affect our world.