The debate about the relationship of politics and religion in the United States is set on the wrong course, Ivan Strenski, distinguished professor of religious studies and Holstein Endowed Chairholder at the University of California, Riverside, says in a lecture that will air on UCTV in August.

“The Christian Right has simply been looking in the wrong places for evidence of the importance of religion in the American founding,” he says.

“It is not to core Christian beliefs that we should look to understand the transcendent values founding our nation. It is to historically accidental facts about Latin Christianity … that we should look in the search for the sources of our dedication to republican constitutionalism.”

Strenski’s lecture, “Why Our Politics Cannot Be Freed from Religion: The State as Transformed Church,” will premiere on Monday, Aug. 17, at 2 a.m. and at noon. UCTV is a 24-hour educational channel that broadcasts interviews, lectures, documentaries, and performances from the campuses and national laboratories of the University of California. It is available on Charter Communications digital channel 95, the EchoStar DISH Network, Nationwide channel 9412, and on the Internet at www. u c t v . t v / s e a r c h – details.aspx?showID=16933.

The program also will air on Aug. 18 at 8 a.m., Aug. 19 at 3 p.m., Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Aug. 21 at 11 a.m., Aug.  22 at 5 a.m. and Aug. 23 and 5 a.m.