Monday, November 1, 2010
Thanks very much to Rick and the other posters here for including me in your discussions. It is fair to say that I've long admired the writing of many of the blog's denizens (of all political stripes!), and I'm delighted to be here with you. My own writing interests are, as Rick mentioned, in law and religion and criminal law. I've also been teaching a seminar in Catholic Social Thought and the Law here at St. John's, and I very much hope to share my approach with MOJ writers and readers and get your thoughts.
One of those folks whose writing I've always found challenging and provocative is Steve Shiffrin. Here's a short review I just put up considering his thoughtful book, The Religious Left and Church-State Relations. I noticed just below this post that Rick put up Professor Paulsen's critical take on the idea of separationism. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the things that I took away from Steve's book is just a hint of nostalgia for the days when separationism ruled the theoretical roost. I say surprisingly because I'm not generally a separationist. But of all the ideas which John Rawls made famous among the pointy-headed set, I've always found the idea of restraint -- in one's personal and public expressions -- to be the most attractive. At all events, I highly recommend the book, even as (or, perhaps better, because) there are points of disagreement between us.