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What Does Mark Lilla Want? American Liberalism And The Legacy Of White Supremacy (Roger Green)

Directly following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, HarperCollins released a hastily written book by the Columbia University humanities professor Mark Lilla. Before commenting on the new book, I want to recall something Lilla wrote at the end of his much more thoughtful book, The Stillborn God (2007): Those of us […]

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by Jan Luyken

Puncturing Progressive Myths: Response to Brad Littlejohn

Brad Littlejohn’s blog entry here last week would raise significant difficulties for the thesis of my book The Myth of Religious Violence if 1) the argument of that book is that modernity is more violent than previous epochs and 2) Steven Pinker has proven that modernity is in fact less violent than previous epochs. However, the first of these premises is false, and the second is highly questionable.

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judith_gentileschi

Modernity Criticism and the Question of Violence

Debates over the virtue or vice of modern liberal political arrangements often boil down to narratives about violence, whether we are speaking of violence in its literal sense, or in the more metaphorical use made so fashionable by postmodernism, namely, the attempt to erase or neutralize difference. According to the eulogists of liberalism, it rescued us from the darker ages of religious tyranny, in which zealots of orthodoxy used political power to enforce uniformity, and even to violently persecute dissenters.

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