More from an unpublished talk I presented at the 19th Annual Journal of Law and Religion Symposium at Hamline Law School in 2009.
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In Part I, I talked about the importance of “authenticity” and the risk of succumbing to “cheap prooftexting” when Jews bring their religious values to bear in public debate. While the general notion of “authenticity” is obviously also relevant to Christian interventions in public debate, it might seem at first glance that Christians need not worry about the more specific challenges facing Jews — especially the need to distinguish between religious law and religious exhortation and also between intra-group and universal norms. After all, most Christians, unlike Jews, do not treat law, with its rigor and limitations, as central to religious life. Nor do Christians, at first glance, seem to be caught up as Jews are in a tense polarity between particularism and universalism.
But I want to sketch an argument that, to the contrary, there is a lot of resonance between the two cases. Read more