Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
Thats perhaps the most interesting question discussed in this conversation, featuring James Davison Hunter and Alan Wolfe.
Joe, thanks for bringing this to my/our attention. It will be useful, Im sure. I saw that Bill Galston was in attendance; when did he join the fourth estate?
Galston was there, I think, as another expert addressing the journalists at a different session. Rod Dreher blogged about it while it was happening, as I recall.
Joe, youre right; Galston was mentioned as having presented the day before. Apparently he made the obvious point that church attendance correlates strongly with voting preferences.
My main observation in reading the two presentations - one by JD Hunter, the other by A. Wolfe - is that Wolfe is largely a tendentious fraud. He nicely exemplifies Strausss (and others) observations about liberals, liberalism, and science (in Wolfes case, social science): theres an unavowed, but oh so patent liberal moralism underpinning and motivating his "social science"; he pretty much sees the world as a liberal, then has "facts" and "anecdotes" and professional hunches to "back it up." Hes a deeply dishonest man. He employed the terms "theocrat/theocracy" twice, was called on it, disavowed any untoward meaning in the term, then reverted to it. He also got in the de rigueur (for him, Lilla, and Linker and the gang) jab at Richard John Neuhaus. Its a real shame that the Straussians at BC were instrumental in hiring him.
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