Friday, July 16, 2010

RIP: James (Jim) Penning

Political scientists have lost one of their own this week with the passing of Professor Jim Penning of Calvin College. I had known Jim for 11 years. We first met at the American Political Science Association's Annual Conference in 1999. With our common research interests (religion and politics, American politics, and elections), we often found ourselves attending the same panels. Our common interests brought our paths together many times over the years. For a short sample of his work, read Jim's September, 2008 blog post for Religion and Ethics Newsweekly on the Democratic Party's religious outreach efforts. 

The last time I saw Jim was also at the APSAs Annual Conference last August in Toronto. I chaired a panel for which Jim was presenting his research on the God gap in the 2008 elections with several of his co-authors. This research is also in a recent book published by Oxford University Press, The Disappearing God Gap? It was a pleasure to know Jim. He always greeted me with a warm smile and, with genuineness, would inquire about the goings-on in my life. He will be missed.

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