Originally uploaded at SSRN.


Law school seminars sometimes educate the professor as much as the students. That proved true for me in the spring of 2004, when seventeen law students and two colleagues from other departments joined me for a seminar focused on ancient and contemporary perspectives on law found within various Christian theological traditions. One seminar student who repeatedly spurred my own thinking was Jason Carter. Particularly thought provoking was the paper Jason presented in the final weeks of the seminar.

The returns from the 2004 election suggested that Jason had been unusually prescient in his analysis of U.S. religious and political trends. The national discussion of religion and politics that followed that election suggests that many may be interested in Jason's ideas, and I am grateful for his willingness to engage in a public dialogue on these important issues. As in any genuine conversation, some of the ideas I offer here are tentative and exploratory, and I look forward to continuing the dialogue with Jason and others.