The excellent team of scholars working under the auspices of The Witherspoon Institute has just launched an online publication called Public Discourse: Ethics, Law and the Common Good . Public Discourse is an interesting hybrid of the blog and journal formats. According to the introductory letter from the editor, Ryan T. Anderson (a contributor to and former assistant editor of First Things ), they will publish

short essays by Witherspoon scholars reflecting on the burning issues of the day. We’ll also run short essay-length abstracts of their scholarly articles—making the key arguments of these papers available to expert and layman alike, and providing access to the full-length article for those who wish to wrestle with the argument in its entirety. From time to time, we will also highlight the research of outside scholars as it relates to the vision of Public Discourse and the Witherspoon Institute.

The first two essays are ” Thinking About Greed ,” economic historian Harold James’ reflection on the current financial crisis, and ” Obama’s Abortion Extremism ,” a detailed discussion of Sen. Obama’s record on abortion by First Things board member Robert P. George.

Public Discourse aims to post new material at least every Tuesday and Friday, so check back often. You are almost certain to find some of the most thoughtful and responsible commentary available on important social and political issues.