"No whining!" the plaque on my study wall all but shouts. Steven D.
Smith does not whine as he invades a territory frequented by whiners.
Some, whom he names secular rationalists, moan about the religious
discourse that they regard as threatening. On the other hand, the
religious who fear the secularists complain that secular discourse
claims and possesses a near monopoly in the public world. Smith, a law
professor at the University of San Diego, takes on but then transcends
His weapon is argument, and his goal is eliciting a
new openness on all hands, but especially on the part of the
secularists, who tout reason and tend to unreflectively or
calculatingly dismiss almost all expressions of religion in public. He
argues with notables who can handle themselves, including John Rawls,
Susan Jacoby, Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum, though I imagine that
they will make future utterances with more care if they read Smith.