Friday, March 13, 2009

Douthat on Political Theology in General and Me in Particular

I'm glad to see the New York Times hired Ross Douthat to replace Bill Kristol as their new "conservative" Op-Ed columnist. I do admit though I'm a bit biased towards Mr. Douthat given the kind words he had for an article/blog post of mine on political theology. You can read Mr. Douthat's commentary on my article/blog post on political theology here.


Phil Johnson said...

Nice and concisely put.
Clarity is a virtue.

Anonymous said...

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The Institute of Identity Research (IDmap) announces an international conference
on Identity Politics on the Internet to be held in Kenya on the 27th to 29th of
August 2009. The aim of the Conference is to create discourse in the area of
Identity politics on the Internet and other related topics.

The Conference will be graced by several leading scholars who have written and
researched extensively on issues of Identity. We hope that this conference will
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identity in the contemporary context.



August 27-29, 2009

Organized by Institute of Identity Research (IDmap)

Will be held in Amboseli Wildlife National Park, Kenya

Featured panel: Barack Obama' Election and Kenyan politics of Identity:
Will he identify himself with the World or with his People?

• The Dead line for submission of the Abstracts is 01.05.2009 (200-500 words)
in Word or PDF formats
• The Dead line for submission of full-text papers is 01.07.2009

Preliminary program of the Conference includes the following panels:
• Kenyan 2007 Presidential elections and the Internet
• Traditions and Identity in Kenyan politics: Barak Obama as a Luo
representative of Kenyan identity politics
• Facebook and Identity: do old ethnicity definitions still matter?
• World Identity politics: Case-studies and Comparative Analysis
• Parties and recruitment in the digital world
• Gender, ethnicity and empowerment: what is better to be a white man or a
black woman?
• When religion comes to the Internet: the new ways to build and reinforce
religious identity
• Government on the Internet: new ways to preserve Nation-state and its
identity on the Net
• New English and E-Linguistic: jargon and vocabulary of Internet campaigns

Participants are welcomed to join the following working groups:
• Computers and identity
• Culture and identity
• Mathematical expressions of identity
• Internet and Politics
• Internet Vocabulary

Best Identity MA/PhD Thesis work award:
During the conference the Institute will award the best MA/PhD work submitted
for the evaluation. The work should reveal an original and innovative approach
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regarding submission procedure can be found on our site or through direct
contact of the Administrators.

Steven R. Duque said...

An interesting take on Douthat's earlier career by Greg Atwan, Author of "Privilege" and "The Facebook Book:
link on

Douthat's earlier writings for The Harvard Crimson and Salient paint him as someone whose "writer's zeal as a culture warrior, as well as his often bizarre moral logic, should be disconcerting to readers of the Times who share a few fundamental premises more cosmopolitan than this."

"I’m a little shocked, though, that so few bloggers have turned the obvious journalistic trick of looking up Douthat’s columns from the college paper. (Campus Progress and Cambridge coeval Matt Yglesias are the exceptions.) In fact, Douthat wrote voluminously for two Harvard Yard organs: The Times-feeding, left-lilting Crimson, and the hard-right Salient, of which he was president. As CP points out, Douthat’s collegiate corpus reveals a far more bitterly partisan, and far less sanitized, brand of conservatism than does his work after graduation.

In his journalistic adolescence at the Crimson, Douthat comes off as anti-gay, anti-Islam, curiously anti-Asian, and rabidly right on cultural issues like abortion. At the time, though, his most famous—and for me most indicative—column, was an ostensibly non-partisan one: “The Harvard Syndrome” in which he diagnoses virtually all detractors from Harvard’s glory with a peculiar mass delusion. The Tufts man may have reasonable-sounding criticisms of the behemoth University next door, but the source of his gripe, per Douthat, is invariably that he “was denied admission to Harvard.” Douthat’s elitism is not only intellectually insane, but conjures, if indirectly, the least palatable and most antiquated elements of American conservatism."