October 8, 2007 2:37PM

New at Cato Unbound: Mark Lilla on Religion and Politics

The new issue of Cato Unbound on Religion and Politics, Home and Abroad,” is hot off the electronic presses with this month’s lead essay by Columbia University’s Mark Lilla, author of the new book The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West. Drawing on themes from his book, Lilla attempts to explain why the United States, the most religious nation in the modern West, can neither understand nor cope with “the religious passions dominating contemporary world politics.” Lilla lays out how the “Great Separation” in Western political thought, which set aside “political theology” as the basis for conceiving of the legitimacy of the political order, together with the exceptional American experience of religious toleration, has made it difficult for Americans to grasp how uneasily Western ideals of democracy and toleration fit within frameworks of thought that still put God at the center of politics.

Joining Lilla over the next few weeks we will have the prolific Penn State professor of history and religion Philip Jenkins; Damon Linker, author of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege; and The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan, author of recent The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It; How To Get It Back.