Thursday, September 27, 2012
I've read several times and admire a lot my friend Brad Gregory's book, The Unintended Reformation. Given the book's provocative (and, I think, powerful) claims, I was surprised that The New Republic invited Mark Lilla -- a prominent scholar but one who has dedicated significant energy to establishing things about modern times that Gregory aims to debunk -- to review the book ("Blame It On the Reformation"). It seems to me that Lilla has simply refused to actually engage Gregory's claim, and that he sees Gregory's book as an "oh, for the good old days that we've lost!" book when, in fact, the book is explicitly "against nostalgia."
That said, Lilla compares Gregory's book to After Virtue. Lilla does not mean the comparison as a compliment, but I'm inclined to think that it is. Anyway, read the review and see what you think.