Political Philosophy: Dr. Laurie Johnson

Distributism Playlist. Distributism is an economic (and moral) philosophy that seeks a third way between capitalism and communism in measures such as breaking up monopolies, cooperatives, redistribution of land, etc. We are not fully advocating distributism, but we do think that this way of thinking that has roots in Aristotelian thought and Catholic social theory, is worthy of consideration. These are segments of the seminar taught by Dr. Laurie Johnson to a class of 30 participants in Summer 2021.

Charles Taylor Playlist. Charles Taylor is a huge influence on us, and this playlist features two of his works, The Malaise of Modernity and A Secular Age. Taylor’s concepts of the “porous self” vs. the modern “buffered self” along with “embedded ness” and “disembodying” are deployed throughout his historical and phenomenological retelling of the development of Christian societies. Taylor’s explanation for how we ended up in a thoroughly secular age provides avenues of escape understandable to modern readers.

Eugene McCarraher Playlist. McCarraher is author of Christian Critics and The Enchantments of Mammon, among other works. This is a series on the latter book which provides a history of the combination of Christianity and the pursuit of profit in the United States that precedes the founding and continues to this day. Seen through the lens of Christianity, this is nothing short of Mammon-worship, and McCarraher unrelentingly exposes it as such. We highly recommend this book.

Walter Brueggemann Playlist. Brueggeman’s books The Prophetic Imagination and Out of Babylon are featured in this playlist. Brueggemann is an Old Testament theologian who brings new insights on the scriptures. From his perspective, the struggle of the ancient Israelites was to retain their covenantal identity under the dominance of empires, as well as under their own desire for human normalcy and desire for power.

Beyond the Liberal Frame is a long playlist of videos that critique classical and contemporary liberalism as deeply flawed and not in need of revision but in need of overcoming.

Alasdair MacIntyre Playlist. MacIntyre’s critique of liberalism and his exposition of virtue ethics are useful for understanding our current situation of rabid individualism and incoherence. We do not agree with all things MacIntyre, but his work is a useful curative and provides some fodder for imagining how virtue might be reconstructed in our current context.

The On Forgiveness Playlist. This contains videos that ask how and whether people can truly forgive. What would that look like, and how would it change the trajectory of individuals, communities, and the world. The price of not forgiving is extremely high. In several, the consequences of the “Carthaginian peace” post WWI led to the catastrophe of WWII and the Holocaust.

Ideological Possession Playlist. Ideological possession is a concept borrowed from Carl Jung that helps us understand the incredible zeal and destructive energy that is now reserved for the “left-right” feud among groups in Western society. Jung is obscure about whether to take this literally. We are interested in what changes if we do take it literally.

Radical Christianity is a compilation of videos focusing on dissenting non-nationalist Christianity, including Christian Anarchism.

Theology Playlist is a compilation of many videos by Dr. Laurie Johnson that seek to question prevailing ideas of Christian faith and explore alternative ideas.

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