Thursday, February 12, 2015

Theorists, Get Over Yourselves: A Response to Steven D. Smith

Andrew Koppelman

Steven D. Smith is one of our most powerful critics of contemporary liberal theory. He has an acute sense of the hidden flaws and gaps in contemporary conventional wisdom. Even those who disagree must, if they are honest, carefully consider his arguments.

In his most recent work, he claims that, in our political culture, the case for the specific protection of religious liberty, as opposed to liberty under other descriptions, has been undermined. As a consequence, he fears that although some freedoms will survive, freedom of religion as such may cease to exist.

Even if his argument is sound, his fears are misplaced.  He overstates the importance of one school of theorists for the future of our civilization.

My full response to Smith can be found here.

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