Christian illiberalism

While I’m on the topic of labels…

Over the past few years, I’ve found myself largely disillusioned by classical liberalism, especially as it finds itself being practiced today, in a world where rampant individualism and capitalism have collided in a way that I think is doing significant damage to people, culture, politics and the earth. Nonetheless, I keep finding myself drawn back to classical liberalism, especially at intersects with democracy and pluralistic Western society. I’m steeped in this liberal tradition, and I don’t anticipate ever being fully free of it.

That said, I just want to lay down a marker to say, I find the Christian illiberalism of Leah Libresco Sargeant (click that link and read that article, don’t pass it by) very attractive and powerful, and I keep at least a toe in that camp. Stanley Hauerwas, John Howard Yoder and Alasdair Macintyre all influence me the same way, and remind me that, inevitably, Christianity in its best forms finds itself at odds with classical liberalism. This is a tension I will always have to live with.

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