Intellectuals Need to Question Conventional Categories

How does one’s faith influence the intellectual vocation? In part, at least, by encouraging both deep questioning and seeking to be consistent in one’s thinking. The renowned economic historian, Professor Harold James of Princeton University, recently shared his thoughts with Princeton Professor Robert George, himself a renowned political theorist, on his faith and his work. The full interview appeared in the Daily Princetonian this week.

I particularly liked how Professor James described the Christian vocation to be consistent in standing up for what is right, whether that accords with popular opinion or any particular political party:

“RG: So are faithful, consistent Catholics destined to be regarded as right-wingers by the left-wing and as left-wingers by the right?

HJ: Right. So I think you’re correct that we need to question conventional categories. But that vocation to question is actually a vocation that intellectuals should have in general.”

While a graduate student at Princeton, both Professor James and Professor George impressed me with their attempts to to integrate their faith, intellectual life, and life as citizens.

To read the full article, click here.


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