"For Freedom Set Free": Retrieving Genuine Religious Liberty

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All Saints Anglican Church

3889 Ivy Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903

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This fall’s Areopagus Lecture will feature philosopher D. C. Schindler on the Christian understanding of religious liberty.

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“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” — Galations 5:1

Religious liberty is one of the founding principles of the American political order, and it also lies at the center of Christian existence. But is the meaning of liberty the same in the two contexts? This lecture will argue that not only are these two senses of liberty different, but that they in fact sit uneasily together. In order to see why there is a tension between them, Professor Schindler will spend some time filling out the content of the distinctively Christian notion of freedom, which arises out of the confluence of three traditions: that of the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans. Professor Schindler will then compare this to the particular notion of freedom embedded in the right to religious liberty as it is generally conceived today. Given the difference between these two approaches, attempts to protect Christian existence in the contemporary world through appeals to religious liberty threaten to do more harm than good. The challenges we face today call for a return to genuine first principles—not just those of the American founders—and a fundamental rethinking of the basic realities of Christian, and indeed of human, existence. The contribution of the classical philosophical tradition, because it proceeds and orients itself precisely from first principles, will prove to be indispensable in this regard.

Visit marshillaudio.org/areopagus for more details.

More on D. C. Schindler . . .

D. C. Schindler is Professor of Metaphysics and Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America. Schindler's research interests include the philosophy of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the concept of freedom in modern thinking, and the writings of Robert Spaemann. He is a contributing editor for Communio: International Catholic Review and coeditor of A Robert Spaemann Reader: Philosophical Essays on Nature, God, and the Human Person (Oxford, 2015) and the festschrift Being Holy in the World: Theology and Culture in the Thought of David L. Schindler (Eerdmans, 2011). D. C. Schindler has also authored several books, including Freedom from Reality: The Diabolical Character of Modern Liberty (University of Notre Dame, 2017), The Catholicity of Reason (Eerdmans, 2013), The Perfection of Freedom: Schiller, Schelling, and Hegel Between the Ancients and the Moderns (Cascade Books, 2012), and Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Dramatic Structure of Truth: A Philosophical Investigation (Fordham, 2004).

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All Saints Anglican Church

3889 Ivy Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903

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