James K.A. Smith, the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview at Calvin College, engages with Confident Pluralism in his recent Bavinck Lecture, “Reforming Public Theology: Neocalvinism and Pluralism.”
This is a guest post by Liz McCloskey, a Danforth Visiting Scholar at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University. With support from the Templeton Foundation and Washington University, Liz is working on a collection of spiritual narratives drawn from the United States Senate called “Profiles in Spirit.” Primarily through in-depth interviews, she is seeking, finding, and shining a light on the virtue of humility in a dozen selected public servants across differences of party, gender, race, ethnicity and religion.
Kevin den Dulk, the Paul B. Henry Chair in Political Science at Calvin College, has a thoughtful review of Confident Pluralism in Comment. One of Professor den Dulk’s main critiques is that I haven’t offered a sufficient theory for why people in this country ought to embrace confident pluralism. He argues that “we cannot assume that our legal and cultural history is a seedbed for confident pluralism.” He might be right—there is certainly a contingency to and an uncertainty about the possibility of confident pluralism. But I don’t think the book is without any underlying theory. To the contrary, I hope that what I’ve done is shown a kind of theory in practice.
I enjoyed talking about Confident Pluralism this week on the Phil Vischer podcast. Here’s Phil’s musical take on the book (complete with a cameo from one of my kids).
This is a guest post by Ken Stern, the President and co-founder of Palisades Media and the former CEO of NPR. Ken is the author of With Charity For All (Doubleday, 2013) and of a forthcoming book on political polarization in this country, tentatively entitled “Republican Like Me” (HarperCollins, 2017).
This is a guest post by Anne Snyder, director of The Philanthropy Roundtable’s new “Character Initiative,” which seeks to guide and build a critical mass of philanthropists committed to character formation in our time. Anne has spent the last two and a half years as a writer studying the intersections of social class, immigrants, and religion. You can find more of her published work at www.annesnyder.org.