March 9, 2018 | Public Lecture
Many of the features we prize in a democratic republic— tolerance, pluralism, public deliberation & debate—depend not only on institutions and laws; they also depend on a citizenry that knows how to inhabit such a society. In short, the institutions and practices of liberal democracy depend upon a citizenry that possesses the requisite virtues, both intellectual & moral, to inhabit and enliven such a society. But whence such virtues? This talk will explore the substantive conditions of virtue formation and consider why paradigmatic “liberal” institutions are unable to inculcate such virtues and why, ironically, a liberal society depends upon institutions it might perceive as “illiberal” to be the incubators of the citizens it needs.
About Dr. James K.A. Smith
James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. His most recent book, Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology, forms the basis of this talk. His popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Books & Culture, and First Things and periodicals such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Smith is also a Senior Fellow of Cardus and serves as editor of Comment magazine.
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