More on Linker, ‘The Theocons’ & Baumann
The New Republic‘s new blog, Open University, which is written by approximately seven thousand academics, has taken note of Paul Baumann’s Washington Monthly review of Damon Linker‘s The Theocons, which I mentioned earlier this week.
Columbia University historian Casey N. Blake recommends the review, picking up on Paul’s description of Linker’s argument as “tendentious and “frequently cartoonish.”
More important, Baumann makes the case that Linker’s endorsement of a purely secularist approach to politics actually plays into the hands of Neuhaus and others who insist that an allegiance to the Republican party follows naturally from religious commitments.
Fellow Open University contributor, and frequent contributor to Commonweal, Alan Wolfe, doesn’t agree.
Linker has managed to write a book that is quite appropriately critical of a sectarian religious figure without dismissing religion as backward or misguided. I don’t recognize The Thecons in Bauman’s review.
Atlantic Monthly associate editor Ross Douthat, who contributes to the First Things blog, not only recognizes Linker’s book in the review, but declares Paul’s take to be “definitive”—“at least for people who don’t necessarily agree with what Richard John Neuhaus stands for.”
Presumably this includes some of you.