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“First Things and Others”

Over on the main page, my latest column reflects on the life and work of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. The content, in Alan’s helpful terminology, is part remembrance, part survey, and part jokes at the expense of a certain old gray lady:

"Political Theologian," reads the headline of the obituary for Fr. Richard John Neuhaus in what he loved to call his "parish newsletter" – and while there clearly are some grains of truth in that description, one imagines he’d have hoped for something better. For while those two topics, politics and theology, certainly were the primary concerns of Neuhaus’s work as a public intellectual, his own view of their relationship had them taking a different order of priority. What we need, one can almost see him writing, is less a "political theology" than a theological politics. (Let’s put first things first.) But of course one would not expect the New York Times to be up to the task of making distinctions as subtle as that.

Whole thing here, and many thanks to Jerilyn Neuhaus for sharing her reflections with me.

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