Today at Canon and Culture, Bruce Ashford, Provost and Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Southeastern, discusses the impact of the late Richard John Neuhaus on his theology. Specifically, Ashford writes, Neuhaus helped him think through the connections of Christianity to the public square.
Here’s an excerpt:
In the early 1970s, in his mid-life, Neuhaus had risen to be a prominent liberal public intellectual, poised to be the next Reinhold Niebuhr. He had a sharp wit, golden tongue, and prolific pen. He had major left-wing credibility, having marched arm-in-arm with MLK who was a personal friend. In the late 1960s he became famous for co-founding (together with Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel) Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. He was at the dead center of the “in” crowd in New York City, speaking to Congress, appearing on news shows, and publishing in his pick of journals and magazines.
The great turning point of his life was Roe v. Wade. When abortion was legalized, Neuhaus opposed it because he believed humans were created in the image of God and therefore possessed a certain dignity.