Bruce Ledewitz


American Democracy has broken down. This crisis was on dramatic display in the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Americans are resentful, distrustful and pessimistic. We find it easy to blame “the other side” for the deadlock, mendacity and irresponsibility in American public life. By virtue of their public role, American law schools have an obligation to address the breakdown in order to understand and try to ameliorate it. That task is currently unfulfilled by law schools individually and collectively. They are distracted by marketing and pedagogy. Religious law schools, which retain the traits of normative discourse, mission, Truth and tragic limit to a greater extent than do secular schools, could assume responsibility for the health of American democracy. These schools could begin consideration of the spiritual sources of the nihilism in this culture. There are legitimate theological objections to playing this public role in a rapidly secularizing society. But if these objections are overcome, not only might American Democracy be renewed, so might religion itself.



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