JMC Webinar: “Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes” with Steven B. Smith
While patriotism cannot be “an absolute attachment to one’s own way of life,” cosmopolitanism is also insufficient, as a “citizen of the world is a citizen of nowhere.” Ultimately, Professor Smith argues for a patriotism that is a civic faith founded in America’s history and founding documents and their commitment to equality, rule of law, pluralism, and individualism.
JMC’s Director of Academic Programs, Tom Cleveland, acted as the moderator.
Anyone who attended and stayed for the duration of this webinar was entered to win a copy of Professor Smith’s new book, Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 • 1:00 PM EDT
A virtual webinar through Zoom
Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes
By Steven B. Smith
The concept of patriotism has fallen on hard times. What was once a value that united Americans has become so politicized by both the left and the right that it threatens to rip apart the social fabric. On the right, patriotism has become synonymous with nationalism and an “us versus them” worldview, while on the left it is seen as an impediment to acknowledging important ethnic, religious, or racial identities and a threat to cosmopolitan globalism.
Steven B. Smith reclaims patriotism from these extremist positions and advocates for a patriotism that is broad enough to balance loyalty to country against other loyalties. Describing how it is a matter of both the head and the heart, Smith shows how patriotism can bring the country together around the highest ideals of equality and is a central and ennobling disposition that democratic societies cannot afford to do without.
Steven B. Smith is the Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science and Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He is also the Co-Director of Yale’s Center for the Study of Representative Institutions(YSCRI) which focuses on the theory and practice of representative government in the Anglo-American world. His research has focused on the history of political philosophy with special attention to the problem of the ancients and moderns, the relation of religion and politics, and theories of representative government. Aside from Reclaiming Patriotism, his best known publications include, among others, Spinoza, Liberalism, and Jewish Identity (1997), Reading Leo Strauss (2006), Political Philosophy (2012), and Modernity and its Discontents (2016).
Professor Smith is a JMC faculty partner.
Thomas Cleveland joined the Jack Miller Center in August 2019 as Academic Programs Officer. He received his B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, where he studied the history of science, math, and philosophy. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College in 2016 with a dissertation on Plato’s accounts of the origins of political life in the Laws. Before joining the Jack Miller Center he was a postdoctoral fellow with the Program on Constitutional Government at Harvard University and taught political theory and American politics at Miami University of Ohio and the College of the Holy Cross.
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