Winter 2005 | Volume 23, Issue 2
What is to be done?
What we are offering in this print issue of Comment are notes toward a Christian social manifesto. We are not pretending here to provide a comprehensive prescription for Christian cultural engagement. This is not a marxist-leninist tract, replete with misguided utopian hubris. It is, however, a collection of serious efforts to determine what our responsibilities are in this time, given our deepest commitments and the spirit of the times.
Editorial: What is to be done?
Gideon Strauss writes about the need for manifestoes and strategic explorations in an editorial on the next few months' theme for Comment Online.
The Calgary School and the Future of Canada
The Calgary School and its advocates are often accused of wanting to Americanize Canada. Heavily influential in the Conservative Party of Canada and in this country's broader public debate, the School is a collection of political theorists, pundits and public intellectuals, including Rainer Knopff, F.L. "Ted" Morton, David Bercuson, Barry Cooper and Thomas Flanagan. What shall we make of the Calgary School?
What is to be done... about schooling?
Aaron Belz thinks the contemporary high school classroom is a bastion of the bourgeois, that students who excel in this environment are gifted at waiting in line at the drinking fountain, and that the Socratic method is a form of hectoring. He offers an alternative way of doing . . . schooling.
What is to be done... in political theory?
Six things necessary for the development of the kind of non-reductionist political theory we need now.
What is to be done... in politics?
To say, "That's just politics," misses the point. There is a domain of the political, and politics can be a noble calling. Russ Kuykendall suggests an approach that accounts for the political domain, and how politics can be ennobled.
What is to be done... in the public square?
Domesticated religion isn't for Ray Pennings. Not for him, Christian faith that "knows its place" . . . as a private, highly individualized religion of the prayer closet and the cloistered chapel. Instead, Pennings calls Christians out of the cloister and the closet to pursue a strategy of cultural change as a public religion working together across disciplines, through institutions, over the span of generations.
What is to be done... in Theology?
Two millennia of Christian theology does not mean there is no work left to be done. Starting out from the beginning—the doctrine of creation—Vincent Bacote identifies priorities for theology in the early years of the 21st century.
What is to be done... to understand our moment?
Gideon Strauss points to "the sweetly destructive force" of liberal capitalism. Then Strauss turns his attention to the other great, global challenges of the times: Salafiyyah Islam, China, and post-Western Christianity in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
What is to be done . . . toward a neocalvinist agenda?
Neocalvinist philosopher and theologian Al Wolters calls present and future generations of neocalvinists to look back to neocalvinism's intellectual roots and forebears, to look forward to alternative ways of expressing neocalvinist commitments to our world. Neocalvinism is a considered, Christian response to the broad, controlling philosophy of our times—modernism—and an attempt to account for the myriad ways in which our society develops into various categories of activity.