What does an American political progressive in the 21st century have in common with a pagan of ancient Rome? More than you may think, according to law professor, Steven D. Smith
In his important, provocative new book, Pagans and Christians in the City Culture Wars from the Tiber to the Potomac
(Eerdmans, 2018), Smith shows that traditionalist Christians who oppose same-sex marriage and similar cultural developments feel themselves besieged by a triumphalist progressivism that increasingly is adopting a “we won, they lost” view of where society and public opinion now stand on issues such as abortion and euthanasia and that has little use for what it regards as passé notions about religious liberty.
Where do we stand when it comes to working out some kind of sociocultural modus vivendi between the diametrically opposed camps of modern paganism and Christianity (and not even, in many cases, the traditionalist version)? Smith provides us with the historical background we need to understand where everyone involved is, so to speak, coming from. Give a listen.
Hope J. Leman is a grants researcher.