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Events and Learning Cohorts

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Learning to Disagree with Empathy and Respect: A Conversation with John Inazu

June 6 @ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CDT

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This contentious era has tested many of us who long to positively engage on issues that matter, yet find ourselves instead engaging in fruitless arguments, or distancing ourselves from people we care about, or occasionally disparaging those we oppose. We know that God desires us to work out our differences, to seek mutual flourishing. In that hope, how can we disagree with empathy and respect, without sacrificing our convictions? How can we better navigate the differences and disagreements we encounter every day?


John Inazu — law professor, thought leader, and former litigator — addresses these challenges in his new book Learning to Disagree: The Surprising Path to Navigating Differences with Empathy and Respect (Zondervan, 2024), the basis of his in-person interview with Ed Ollie, Jr. at Upper House. John will discuss what he has learned through his years teaching and working as a litigator, based on navigating conversations with those whose viewpoints seemed ill-informed, wrong, or even evil. At the same time, he will also share gleaned insights that can inform patience, trust, forgiveness, and compassion for the “other.”

Please join us if you seek to:
  • Cultivate empathy as a skill for your personal and professional life.
  • Live a more connected life and have more authentic relationships with family and friends with whom you disagree.
  • Better understand what holds you back from healthy disagreement.
  • Develop practical strategies for making difficult conversations more respectful, with better outcomes.
  • Know when to walk away from difficult conversations.


John Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches criminal law, law and religion, and various First Amendment courses. He writes and speaks frequently about pluralism, assembly, free speech, religious freedom, and other issues. John has written three books and published opinion pieces in the Washington PostAtlanticChicago TribuneLA TimesUSA TodayNewsweek, and CNN. He is also the founder of the Carver Project and the Legal Vocation Fellowship and is a senior fellow with Interfaith America.

Ed Ollie, Jr. will interview John to kick off our program. Ed is an executive leader, coach, pastor, educator, and master encourager, and currently serves as board chair for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA.



June 6
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CDT
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John Terrill


Upper House
365 East Campus Mall, Suite 200
Madison, WI 53715 United States
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