Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, and an adjunct Senior Fellow at New St. Andrews College. He is author, most recently, of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor).

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Neutral public space

From Leithart

Markus wants to distinguish between the fact that people who act in the public realm always act with ultimate ends in view, and that their actions are either moral or immoral from the notion that there is a neutral public space. The public sphere, he claims, shouldn’t be thought of as . . . . Continue Reading »

Constantinianism and Protest

From Leithart

RA Markus (Christianity and the Secular) argues that as the church celebrated the triumph of Christianity in the fourth century, they also wanted to maintain their continuity with the church that gave them birth - the persecuted church of the martyrs: “The great need felt by Christians of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Two Modes of Secularism

From Leithart

Charles Taylor has suggested that secularism was an “exit strategy” from religious conflict. There were two exit strategies. In the summary by RA Markus, “The first, ‘the common ground strategy,’ assumes a certain range of beliefs shared by all Christians (or all . . . . Continue Reading »

Locke on religion

From Leithart

John Locke drew up the basic contours of the modern conception of religion as internal and private in his “Letter Concerning Toleration.” He made a sharp distinction between religious and civil realms: “The end of a religious society, as has already been said, is the public . . . . Continue Reading »

Aquinas on Gratitude

From Leithart

Comments primarily on Aquinas on Gratitude/Ingratitude (primarily ST, II-II, qs 106-7). Aquinas describes gratitude as a virtue “annexed” to justice, and so to understand his discussion of gratitude, we must get some handle on what he means by justice. In ST II-II, q. 58, he describes . . . . Continue Reading »

Conference

From Leithart

If you’re in the vicinity of Duke, you might be interested in a conference sponsored by the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, in cooperation with the Duke Divinity School, on May 21-23, at Duke. The theme is “Preaching, Teaching, and Living the Bible.” Speakers include . . . . Continue Reading »

Garber on Merchant

From Leithart

Marjorie Garber has, as usual, some insightful things to say about Merchant of Venice: 1) She describes the play as “Shakespeare’s great play about difference,” pointing to the apparent stark contrasts of Christian and Jew, Venice and Belmont, male and female. Yet, she also notes . . . . Continue Reading »

Biblical echoes in Merchant of Venice

From Leithart

A.R. Braunmuller offers some suggestive comments in his introduction to the Merchant of Venice in the Pelican Shakespeare. Having summarized Portia’s speech (which he suggests might be a “setup that turns on a technicality” that “turns back on Shylock a legal rigidity he had . . . . Continue Reading »

Hypostatic union

From Leithart

Thomas argues that “if the human nature is not united to God the Word in person, it is not united to him in any way, and thus belief in the incarnation is altogether done away with, which subverts the entire Christian faith.” But since there is a union, it must be a union that took . . . . Continue Reading »

Aquinas and Chalcedon

From Leithart

Frederick Bauerschmidt claims that “Aquinas is in fact the first medieval theologian in the West to quote directly from the Council of Chalcedon.” This is remarkable on all sorts of levels, not least because of the questions it raises about the authority of the ecumenical councils in . . . . Continue Reading »