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Freedom

Areopagus Lecture 6

D. C. Schindler: “For Freedom Set Free”

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Philosopher D. C. Schindler discusses the Christian notion of religious liberty as a synthesis of the Jewish, Roman, and Greek traditions. In the Jewish tradition, one receives a theological understanding of freedom understood as freedom from bondage and from sin in order to more fully enter into a loving covenant with God. In the Roman tradition, freedom exists in relation to one’s membership within a polis and is established through legal codes. This objective political presence is internalized and personalized through the education of virtuous citizens. And in the Greek tradition, freedom is understood in relation to nature, on the one hand through membership in a tribe by kinship, and on the other hand, through participation in the Good, which is at the source of all being. Christianity, argues Schindler, is precisely the “receiving, healing, and transforming [of these] three distinct traditions” and Christian freedom is their “flourishing integration.” $4

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 142

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Guests on Volume 142: Stanley Hauerwas, on writing letters to his godson about the virtues; Perry L. Glanzer and Nathan F. Alleman, on the fragmentation of modern higher education and why we need theology to unify universities; Jeffrey Bishop, on how modern medicine shapes an inadequate understanding of the human body; Alan Jacobs, on how contemporary communications media discourage charitable thinking; D. C. Schindler, on the diabolical nature of the modern understanding of freedom; and Marianne Wright, on how the gospel comes through in the writings of George MacDonald.

MARS HILL AUDIO Reprint 21

Christopher Lasch, "Conservatism against Itself"

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(From First Things, April 1990)

In this early article from First Things, historian Christopher Lasch poses the question of whether cultural conservatism is compatible with capitalism. If, as Lasch argues, conservatism is defined by a respect for limits — that human freedom has constraints imposed upon it by nature, history, human fallibility, and “original sin” — then the unrelenting and insatiable quest for ever-increasing standards of comfort that capitalism encourages is completely at odds with conservative values. Despite nineteenth-century attempts to bolster the family as the primary means of curbing the large-scale transfer of “private vices” to “public virtues” implied in liberal economic theory, the effects of twentieth-century capitalism have only underscored how vulnerable the family is when the integrity of its surrounding local institutions is destroyed. Also included in this article is an account of lower-middle class versus upper-middle class cultural values as well as the alternative — though now largely unheard of — economic approaches to liberal capitalism advanced by the distributists and syndicalists. 42 minutes. $2.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 139

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Guests on Volume 139: W. Bradford Littlejohn, on post-Reformation debates about the meaning of freedom; Simon Oliver, on how the doctrine of creation ex nihilo is a doctrine about God (and not just the origin of the universe); Matthew Levering, on the necessity of God’s wisdom in the doctrine of creation; Esther Lightcap Meek, on Michael Polanyi’s case that making contact with reality is a process of discovery; Paul Tyson, on resisting our modern assumptions about knowledge in favor of knowledge that is grounded in wonder; and David Fagerberg, on acquiring a liturgical posture in everyday life.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 118

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Guests on Volume 118: Gilbert Meilaender, on the ethical questions raised by anti-aging research, especially its most extreme forms in the "transhumanist" movement; Ron Highfield, on why the modern assumptions about personal identity, freedom, and human dignity create prejudices against the Gospel's account of God and the self; Mark Mitchell, on why gratitude and stewardship should be seen as fundamental political postures; Daniel M. Bell, Jr., on how capitalism nurtures the assumption of the autonomous self; Helen Rhee, on the centrality of almsgiving to Christian identity in the early Church; and Peter Brown, on how the early Church's wrestling with the questions of wealth and poverty steered a course between radical asceticism and careless indulgence.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 112

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Guests on Volume 112: Christian Smith, on why "emerging adults" feel compelled to keep all their options open, in life and in thought; David L. Schindler, on how modern liberalism fails to acknowledge the reality of God's love in the order of Creation; Sara Anson Vaux, on the moral vision of director Clint Eastwood; Melvyn Bragg, on the origins and profound cultural influence of the King James Bible; Timothy Larsen, on how Victorians were united in their preoccupation with the Bible, whether or not they believed in God; and Ralph C. Wood, on the sacramental vision of G. K. Chesterton, and on the enigmatic message of The Man Who Was Thursday.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 108

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Guests on Volume 108: Thomas Albert Howard, on why many nineteenth-century Europeans were nervous about the shape of American religious life; Jean Porter, on how natural law provides a rationale for the rule of law and for legislative and judicial authority; Peter Augustine Lawler, on how neither ancient philosophy nor modern science explains human nature (but the Logos does); Hans Boersma, on why Christians should reject the modern separation of Heaven and Earth and recover a "sacramental ontology"; Felicia Wu Song, on how online communication systems shape relationships and community; and Elias Aboujaoude, on how life online makes us think we’re bigger, badder, and smarter than we really are.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 96

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Guests on Volume 96: David A. Smith, on the beginnings of the National Endowment for the Arts and the capacity of the arts in a democracy for combatting atomistic individualism; Kiku Adatto, on how images, words, and ideas interact in a visually saturated culture and on how the image of a person's face in a photograph has the capacity for intimate representation of inner personhood; Elvin T. Lim, on how presidential speeches have been dumbed down for decades and why presidents like it; David Naugle, on the deeper meaning of happiness, the disordering effects of sin, and the reordering of love made possible in our redemption; Richard Stivers, on the technologizing of all of life; and John Betz, on the critique of the Enlightenment offered by Johann Georg Hamann (1730-1788), and why it still matters to us.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 95

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Guests on Volume 95: Stewart Davenport, on how nineteenth-century Christians separated the moral and practical aspects of economic life; William T. Cavanaugh, on how theology and economics are necessarily intertwined and on how a larger understanding of the meaning of "freedom" would change our economic actions; J. Matthew Bonzo & Michael R. Stevens, on Wendell Berry's concern for the dislocating and fragmenting forces in modern life; Craig Gay, on how language—specifically the spoken word—is central to our human experience; Eugene Peterson, on how Jesus' use of ambiguous language encouraged active spiritual engagement; and Barry Hankins, on how the late Francis Schaeffer moved from being a defensive fundamentalist to a prophet of cultural engagement.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 72

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Guests on Volume 72: John Polkinghorne, on lessons for theology learned from the inductive nature of the work of science; Francesca Aran Murphy, on the efforts of 20th-century Catholic and French philosopher Étienne Gilson to reconcile faith and reason; James Hitchcock, on the history of the Supreme Court's decisions regarding religious practice and liberty; Wilfred McClay, on Nathaniel Hawthorne's vision of the intractability of human failings and the possibilities of the American experiment, and on the theme of place and communal obligation in Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing; Philip McFarland, on how Hawthorne's sensitivity to the darker side of human nature makes him perennially instructive; and David Hackett Fischer, on the history of how Americans have understood and symbolized freedom and liberty.

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