In one of our longest Mere Fidelity episodes to date, Derek, Matt, Andrew, and I discuss Alan Jacobs’ recent essay, ‘The Watchmen‘, which has been provoking a lot of conversation recently. We talk about the place of Christian intellectuals in society today and how this has changed over the past few decades.
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1. The quality of Christian intellectuals writing on public issues hasn’t gone down. Peter Leithart and James Kalb come immediately to mind. But they are writing out of the public spotlight.
2. The central problem is that most people are now “religiously unmusical,” particularly among the middle to upper classes. We now have millions of Richard Rortys.
I can’t help wishing that someone, someone of Marilynne Robinson’s stature and gifts, would tell readers of The New York Review of Books that such church communities need not be scorned or feared, and then tell those church communities the same about the readers of The New York Review of Books.
But what if both have a considerable amount to fear from each other?