Theopolis Podcast: The Virtue of Nationalism, with Yoram Hazony

On the latest episode of the Theopolis podcast, Peter Leithart and I are joined by the Jewish biblical and political scholar, Yoram Hazony, for a long and stimulating conversation about his recent book, The Virtue of Nationalism. I summarized and explored the thesis of that book a few weeks ago.

You can follow the Theopolis podcast on SoundcloudiTunes, and on most podcast apps. You can read show notes over on the Theopolis podcast website. You can also see past episodes I have contributed to by clicking the ‘Theopolis’ link in the bar above.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Audio, Economics, Ethics, Philosophy, Podcasts, Politics, Society, Theological, Theopolis. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Theopolis Podcast: The Virtue of Nationalism, with Yoram Hazony

  1. Alastair, thanks for posting this podcast! I thought your and Dr. Leithart’s discussion with Dr. Hazony was fascinating; in particular, I’d never thought before about the philosophical connections between Westphalia (or at least the principle under it) and a Hebrew view of the nations.

    The discussion almost went further down one of my biggest questions for nationalists, which is precisely that Christianity 1) does offer a “universal” choice of salvation or damnation for all people (even if we offer it by proclamation and persuasion instead of coercion); and 2) is meant to create brotherhood among people of “every tribe, tongue, and nation.” From what Dr. Hazony said, OT categories alone don’t seem to imply that as directly as NT teaching does.

    My question is, how do you see the “universal” or “transcultural” community of Christianity informing our love for a county and culture we share with non-Christians? If I’m supposed to pursue, in the spirit of Romans 14, kinship with people who come from a different culture than I do but share the same “eschatological citizenship”, doesn’t that relativize our non-Christian cultural heritage at least a little bit?

    My first thought is that we should 1) be wary of imperial utopian power-politics, as Hazony mentioned; 2) seek to “Christianize” whatever culture we belong to by persuasion and influence; and 3) enjoy and learn from the connections we might have with Christians of other cultures, while giving them liberty to cultivate Christianity in their culture.

    But that doesn’t seem like it leads to “positive” nationalism, so much as “negative” anti-imperialism. Nationalism seems less like a positive good.

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