Christendom history professor Dr. Christopher Shannon recently engaged in a lively debate with professor Andrew Hartman on the timely topic of “culture wars” at the 2016 Progressive-Conservative Summit, hosted by the Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Shannon provided a Catholic traditionalist rebuttal to Hartman’s more progressive views, outlining the ways in which Hartman’s work, A War for the Soul of America, both illuminates and obscures the modern day understanding of the divisions that continue to characterize contemporary American political culture.
In his book and talk at the Summit, Hartman, who teaches history at Illinois State University, presents a view of the “culture wars” that is ultimately hopeful of progressive, libertarian socialism becoming the norm in America. Shannon assessed the work at length in his talk, providing a Catholic historical perspective that strongly countered Hartman’s more progressive ideologies.
“Catholic thinkers such as St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and, most recently, Pope Francis have sought to overcome [the] divide between nature and human nature through promoting a consistent life ethic capable of uniting God, man, and nature in a relationship of solidarity. Perhaps this tradition could bridge the divide that Andrew sees between cultural liberation and social democracy,” said Shannon, who is the author of multiple works, including the acclaimed The Past as Pilgrimage: Narrative, Tradition, and the Renewal of Catholic History.
The debate between the two professors, and authors, of history was the concluding event of the three-day Summit, which saw some of America’s best progressive and conservative thinkers debate the hot-button issues of the modern day.
To view the entirety of the debate, please click here.