A name that most Protestants aren’t aware of yet who has been wildly influential on contemporary streams of thought is Robert George. Fortunately, to help correct our ignorance of this Princeton scholar Andrew Walker has edited the book Social Conservatism for the Common Good: A Protestant Engagement with Robert P. George.
Now as a teacher, I’m obviously obligated to tell you to go straight to the source. Before reading a book about Robert George, you should read a book by Robert George. Why not start with Embryo: A Defense of Human Life? Having done that, pick up this new book covering the life and thought of Robert P. George.
Several topics from George’s career are covered in this book, ranging from his work opposing abortion to his rigorous defense of the relationship between morality and law. Each topic is directly relevant both historically and to our current moment. Perhaps the most important chapter is by Paul Miller (also the founder of this blog) covering George’s famous friendship with Cornel West. If nothing else, George and West model how people who disagree on functionally every political issue imaginable can be the best of friends. George’s traditionalist Roman Catholicism and West’s left-wing politics do not hinder their friendship, but rather add to it a transcendent glow that is missing from the life of anyone who refuses to be friends with people across the political spectrum.
Obviously the biggest point of contention is going to be the religious divide between George’s Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. While this divide is (and should) theologically insurmountable, one of the points this book works hard to make is that there is much for us to learn about politics, culture, and, well, the “common good” from George’s work and career. To that end, I’m happy to encourage you to give this book a read.
Dr. Coyle Neal is co-host of the City of Man Podcast an Amazon Associate (which is linked in this blog), and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO