Dreher’s Benedict and the First Amendment

The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher’s much-discussed book, has largely been portrayed as a way to rethink Christian political and cultural engagement. How, exactly, the rethinking ought to play out has been debated incessantly, albeit often superficially, as only the Internet can ensure. Dreher does attempt to make clear, in any case, that Christians should focus “all the attention they have left for national politics” on expanding religious liberty. Religious liberty is naturally necessary for any religious undertaking and Dreher is right to recognize that without it no one could take his advice to focus on cultivating local politics and community. But…

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Friday Roundup, October 12th

New Law and Liberty items this week: Helen Alvaré reviews John Witte's classic work, recently reissued in a second edition, From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition. Here's the link to a podcast I did with Witte on the book earlier this year. Gary Gregg, an expert on presidential power and the electoral college, appears on Liberty Law Talk to discuss the electoral college and its deep-seated connection to the Founders' understanding of the need to form reasonable majorities and an independent executive. Gregg also discusses the likely consequences that would result from its elimination and the…

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Liberty Law Talk: A Conversation with John Witte about the Evolution of Marriage Law in the West

The latest discussion on Liberty Law Talk is now available.  In this podcast, I speak with John Witte of Emory Law School about his classic work From Sacrament to Contract: Marriage, Religion, and Law in the Western Tradition, which was recently reissued in a second edition. The podcast traces the book's invaluable account of the changing legal, social, religious, and political status of the institution of marriage beginning in the late Roman Empire and then considers the revolution in thought launched by the sacramentalization of marriage beginning in the early Catholic Church, which is then carried to completion in the…

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