Q&A with James K.A. Smith

Nathan Bierma

December 20, 2009

I really have an aversion to what you perscribe, because of some very bad experiences. These were experiences where I did will to do the "right thing" by "loving" (or what I thought was loving). But, loving is not always accepting what another wants or wills for you. And if there is no openness to disagreement, then, one is under an authoritarianism that is unhealthy and damaging. In fact, cultish and brainwashing.

So, in seeking to creat a virtuous person, I don't think there is a one size fits all. In fact, I think that this "means" to the end of virtue creates a "performance" and "image" mentality that is unhealthy and breeds a spiritual competition that is appalling...

Values are the frame of judging "virtue". Values will differ in Christian commitment. There should not be one political view that represents "Christian faith".

Jake Belder
December 21, 2009

Thanks for the interview. I read Smith's book a couple months ago and it was refreshing and inspiring. I was particularly struck by the importance of recognizing that it is our worship that gives shape to our lives, and in this case, as Smith says, how it situates our intellect.

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