Conference on Pagans and Christians in the City

This event occurred in the past

Conference on Pagans and Christians in the City

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

Friday, December 1, 2017 — Saturday, December 2, 2017


Warren Hall, Faculty Reading Room

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




The conference will be centered around the final four chapters of a book manuscript by Professor Steven Smith titled Pagans and Christians in the City.

Professor Smith's book takes off from a series of lectures given in 1939 by T.S. Eliot at Cambridge University, in which Eliot contended that the future of Western civilization would be determined by a choice between Christianity and what Eliot called “modern paganism.” Eliot’s thesis was and is provocative in part because it challenges a pervasive understanding in which the principal rival and successor to traditional Christianity is not “paganism” but rather “secularism.” The final chapters of Professor Smith’s book argue that Eliot’s thesis provides an unconventional but illuminating perspective on a range of contemporary legal and cultural controversies over matters such as the meanings of religious and secular, religious versus secular foundations of morality, civil religion, public symbols, sexual norms and the “sexual revolution,” constitutional interpretation, religious freedom, and the “culture wars” generally.

In discussing these controversies, the book touches on a range of legal, cultural, philosophical, and theological questions, any of which might be the subject of further discussion at the conference.

Confirmed Participants:

  • Larry Alexander, University of San Diego School of Law
  • David Brink, University of California, San Diego
  • Chris Eberle, United States Naval Academy
  • Stanley Fish, Florida International University
  • William Galston, Brookings Institution
  • Richard Garnett, University of Notre Dame
  • Andrew Koppelman, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Anthony Kronman, Yale Law School
  • Michael Paulsen, University of St. Thomas
  • Michael Perry, Emory Law
  • Jeffrey Pojanowski, University of Notre Dame
  • Samuel Rickless, University of California, San Diego
  • Connie Rosati, University of Arizona
  • Micah Schwartzman, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Steven Smith, University of San Diego School of Law
  • William Voegeli, Claremont Institute
  • Jeremy Waldron, New York University School of Law


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5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110