Author James P. Moore, Jr. to deliver annual University College Ignatian Lecture at Fairfield University


Despite great success in business and occupying high-ranking posts within the federal government, James P. Moore, Jr. has found his life's calling in an unexpected place: prayer.

His accomplishments include overseeing many pivotal moves while United States Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development during the Reagan administration, and founding ATI, an investment banking firm. Moore has spent much of his recent years researching, writing, and speaking about the importance of prayer in the lives of Americans. It prompted him to write the riveting and unique book, "One Nation Under God: The History of Prayer in America" (previously titled "American Prayer"), a work that led to a PBS special of the same name. He once said, "If prayer represents the most private innermost thoughts of individuals, then it must say something about us as a people throughout our history."

On Wednesday, April 18, Moore, a Georgetown University professor, will deliver a talk as part of Open VISIONS Forum, a distinguished lecture series of University College at Fairfield University. Moore's speech is the annual University College Ignatian Lecture. The lecture series is named for the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius Loyola who advocated a method of reflection on one's actions to recognize one's true vocation.

Moore's talk will take place at 8 p.m. at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. For tickets, visit www.quickcenter.com or call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-ARTS-396.

Moore said, "In the end "One Nation Under God" has become a love story. It stands as an extraordinarily intimate portrait of our people, our relationships with God, and our entire way of life ... Prayer is not the exclusive preserve of any one faith. True prayer challenges individuals to elevate their sights to a higher power to whom they are accountable and reminds them of their ties to the destinies of those around them."

Prayer is looked at from the perspective of the founding fathers, corporate leaders, slaves, artists, and social reformers. From Benjamin Franklin and Elvis Presley to J.P. Morgan and President Bill Clinton, individual's spiritual lives are analyzed. Moore has conducted research at the Library of Congress and in rare book rooms of seminaries and university libraries across the United States, Europe, and Australia. He has found that prayer is vital to developing American culture, character and commerce.

Elizabeth A. Dreyer, Ph. D., professor of religious studies, said that Moore's visit to Fairfield University will offer the community a welcome opportunity to hear him speak about why he chose to spend so many years researching and writing "One Nation Under God." "Academics in the field of religion and ordinary folks for whom religion is personally important often lament the seeming ignorance of journalists and the negative biases among many intellectuals when it comes to religion. "One Nation Under God" challenges these prejudices by presenting an abundance of data about the central role prayer plays in the life of most Americans."

Walter J. Conlan, S.J., rector, Fairfield Jesuit Community, said, "As I read James Moore's interesting book, I kept asking myself, 'What is prayer?' With all of his interesting facts and anecdotes, he seemed to be saying that these are a means to an end, which is drawing closer to God - or letting God draw nearer to you. This is the only thing that matters. It is the living relationship between you and God that is important."

The Washington Post Book World applauded Moore for marching into "uncharted territory" with his study of prayer and exploring the prayer life of virtually every occupation of American workers and every U.S. president, while looking at "prayer's dark side, too."

A Pennsylvania native, Moore teaches for the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, where he instructs undergraduates and graduate students about international business and corporate ethics.

He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the United States Senate to senior-level positions in government, including Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development.

In that capacity, he helped to direct international trade operations, overseeing all U.S. industry in both domestic and foreign markets on behalf of the U.S. government. Before that post, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Affairs, negotiating a series of trade and economic agreements with countries including China, Japan, and South Korea. His accomplishments include being chief negotiator for the last trade and economic agreement with the Soviet Union. He was one of the chief negotiators in launching the Uruguay round of international trade negotiations, which led to the World Trade Organization. He was head of the U.S. delegation to the industry committee of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

He was a cofounder of the Global Forum in Aspen, Colo., which has attracted leaders in business, politics, and academia. He was named to the Board of Advisors of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and served as a legislative director in the U.S. Congress. He has served on numerous boards, including the U.S. Export-Import Bank. He often serves as a guest commentator on CNBC, CNN, and Fox News. He earned an A.B. from Rutgers University and a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Guided by its Jesuit and Catholic mission, University College offers this annual lecture integrating Jesuit values while exploring ethics, morality, integrity, and the engendering of the human spirit in service to others.

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 29, 2007

Vol. 39, No. 193