Theocons in American Public Life
Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life
"The Theocons" in American Public Life
Date: February 28, 2007
Location: Gasson Hall 305 (Fulton Debate Room), Boston College
Time: 4:30 pm
Abstract: Evangelical Protestants are commonly cited as the chief religious influence behind the Bush administration's foreign and domestic policies, but a small group of Roman Catholics may be even more important. In The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege, Damon Linker argues that a group of Catholic "theoconservatives" led by Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the influential journal First Things, has actively sought for several decades to undermine the distinction between church and state in this country. As a former editor of First Things, Linker is uniquely positioned to make such a claim and to warn of its dangers, which he claims include the end of secular politics in the United States. Joining Linker to discuss his argument will be Jorge Garcia, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and occasional contributor to First Things.
Jorge L.A. Garcia is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and Nonresident Fellow at the Du Bois Institute for African-American Research at Harvard University. He is the author of over eighty academic articles, chapters, and reviews covering a wide array of topics in moral and social philosophy. He has also been a participant in the deliberations of the Dulles and Ramsey Colloquia and the Erasmus Conferences, all sponsored by Fr. Richard Neuhaus' Institute on Religion and Public Life. Professor Garcia has served on the executive boards of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, the Society of Christian Philosophers, and the American Catholic Philosophical Association. He received his B.A. from Fordham University and his Ph.D. from Yale University.
Damon Linker is the author of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege (Doubleday). His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Slate, First Things, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Review of Politics, The Review of Metaphysics, and the American Behavioral Scientist. From May 2001 to February 2005, he worked under Richard John Neuhaus at First Things, first as associate editor of the journal, then as its editor. Prior to joining the magazine, he taught political philosophy at Brigham Young University and served as a speechwriter for New York's Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Linker studied history, philosophy, and writing at Ithaca College, graduating with a BA in 1991. He went on to earn an MA in European history from New York University and a Ph.D. in political science from Michigan State University. Born in New York City, Linker currently lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two children.