National Review: “Conservative Academics Reflect on the Relationship of Politics to Scholarship”
By Christian Alejandro Gonzalez
JMC faculty partners and fellows Robert George, Joshua Dunn, Samuel Goldman, and Robert Ingram were recently interviewed for a National Review article on the relationship between politics and scholarship:
“Earlier this year, author Avi Woolf argued that right-leaning academics ought to start crafting a conservative vision for research in the humanities and social sciences. In his view, conservative academics should not limit themselves to advocating for Great Books programs. Studying the classic texts of the Western tradition is a valuable exercise, he allowed, but it is also insufficient, for such books “do not advance specifically conservative ideas.” Thus, he maintained, conservative academics should think about how to provide an explicitly conservative “direction [to] future scholarship.”
I found Woolf’s argument intriguing, and I wanted to hear what conservative professors thought about it. As it turned out, most of them appeared to be highly skeptical of the notion that scholarship should be guided by an ideological vision…”
Robert George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology.
Professor George is a JMC faculty partner.
Joshua Dunn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He has research and teaching interests in public law, education policy, and political theory. His books include Complex Justice: The Case of Missouri v. Jenkins, From Schoolhouse to Courthouse: The Judiciary’s Role in American Education, and Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University. He also writes a quarterly article on law and education for the journal Education Next. Previously he taught at the College of William & Mary and was a fellow in contemporary history, public policy, and American politics at the Miller Center of Public Affairs in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Professor Dunn is a JMC fellow.
Samuel Goldman is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University. His teaching interests range from ancient republicanism to early-modern debates about church and state to contemporary democratic theory. His research centers the religious sources of political norms and values. He is currently completing a book about Christian Zionism in American political thought.
Professor Goldman is a JMC fellow.
Robert Ingram is a Professor of History and Director of the George Washington Forum at Ohio University. His research concerns religion and society in post-revolutionary Britain and its empire. Dr. Ingram is the author of Reformation Without End: Religion, Politics and the Past in Post-Revolutionary England (Manchester, 2018) and Religion, Reform and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Secker and the Church of England (Boydell, 2007), and is currently working on Hobbes’s Century: England, Ireland and Religious Establishment, 1689–1742, a study of the state’s sacralization in post-revolutionary Britain. He has been selected for Ohio University’s Outstanding Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Award for 2018-19, which recognizes “a major contribution to research, scholarship, and/or creative activity in a relevant field at the national or international level.”
Professor Ingram is a JMC faculty partner.
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