Category: Political Theology

The Dust Bowl, Remembered

In clean, cool air the morning after a thunderstorm, while blazing pink and golden light spills over the horizon before becoming a deep cerulean crown over a sweltering summer afternoon, it is difficult to imagine the conditions in Texas only...

/ September 25, 2020

Covenants and the Common Good: Toward a Renewed Politics

Only a few paragraphs into Genesis and the age-old tensions between the individual and society are already beginning to emerge. The story begins with one Individual formed in the image of God, with individual dignity and worth. Yet it is...

/ June 25, 2020

Two Cheers for Gregory’s Augustinian Civic Liberalism

In a recent essay, “Liberalism, the American Right, and the Place of Love in Politics,” Jake Meador attempts to move beyond the terms of the recent, ostensibly existential, debate within American conservatism. The opposition between libertarian proceduralism — represented by...

/ May 18, 2020

Liberalism, the American Right, and the Place of Love in Politics

The debate about the common good currently roiling American conservatism is not a new one. In the 1960s it vexed National Review contributors, with William F. Buckley dismissing Pope John XXIII’s encyclical on social progress “Mater et Magistra,” with a...

/ May 5, 2020

Clash of Idols

The connection between political life and idolatry will not be evident to everyone, but it definitely exists, especially within the various ideological visions vying for influence in the corridors of power. An idol is a surrogate god—something to which we...

/ April 27, 2020
limits-of-policy

The Importance of Political Theology

Western societies are at something of a paradoxical moment in which it feels as though our politics is captive to cynicism and naiveté in equal parts. Everyone else has a “hidden agenda.” Everyone else believes everything they hear. Everyone else...

/ April 24, 2020

Our Lives or Our Freedoms: The Fear of Tyranny in a Time of Pandemic

There’s a famous scene in the movie, Braveheart, a 1995 film that became something of a classic among embattled Christian conservatives who liked to see our own battle with “Big Government” in the romanticized terms of a Scottish epic. Riding...

/ April 8, 2020

Common Good Constitutionalism Considered

Right. I read it. And by “It” I mean, of course, Adrian Vermeule’s Atlantic piece. Here’s the thing: Vermeule’s “Common good constitutionalism” is not actually that different from, for example, Hadley Arkes’ natural law constitutionalism. That tradition of Finnis-inspired Lincoln-loving...

/ April 1, 2020

Public Reasoning in a Pandemic: Responding to Moore, Reno, and Littlejohn

The rapidly expanding number of Covid-19 cases in the United States poses an extraordinary test of our nation’s institutions and their leaders. In recent days, a discussion has broken out about how we should integrate our interest in preserving and...

/ March 30, 2020

On Chosen Family in East Village Vaguely Soviet Speakeasies

Last night, we launched Issue 23 of Plough Quarterly, at the Red Room at KGB Bar on East 4th Street. I went there first when I was probably sixteen or so, for a book launch of my father’s, and I’ve...

/ January 30, 2020