Friday, July 11, 2008

Ellis Sandoz at Princeton

A few months ago I blogged about a lecture hosted by the James Madison Program at Princeton University featuring Ellis Sandoz. You can now view the lecture online. You can see me in the front row, wearing plaid, sitting next to Prof. Paul Sigmund, whom I met that day. The best part of the lecture is after the one hour mark, during the Q&A. I wouldn't want to be grilled by Princeton Professors, at least not live! Highlights from my past blogpost:

The themes of republicanism, human rights, the Founding, liberalism (liberty & equality), religion & God were stressed during the event. As such, it was inevitable that Locke, and how to properly understand him, would be brought up. I was struck by the way in which [Princeton Professors] Sigmund and Viroli, politically left-liberals, noted they believed (after Locke) that God was arguably necessary or at least a very helpful part of the equation in establishing human rights and political liberty. Imago Dei.

Though, Sigmund and Viroli, during their Q&A with Sandoz noted it was "the right kind of God" -- one that grants political liberty and equality -- who necessary fills the equation. When chatting with them I asked whether this God was the Biblical God and they answered arguably not, but in some way, perhaps. They understood the Biblical God doesn't directly reveal that men possess an unalienable right to liberty; and in fact, many parts of the Bible seem to belie this. We ended the brief conversation agreeing that it was the God of a "selective" reading of the Bible, arguably a theologically liberal, cafeteria religion that best serves the needed, ultimate guarantees of political liberalism and human rights.

No comments: