Dialoguing with Paganism


Professor Steven D. Smith’s comparison of ancient and contemporary beliefs in the “immanent sacred” works well in his book, Pagans and Christians in the City: Culture Wars from the Tiber to the Potomac. By this I mean that it’s quite plausible, and accounts for quite a few contemporary claims, disputes, and movements in both law and culture. The book’s implications for law are likely too complicated to allow for anything like its straightforward application in today’s religion clause contests. Still, it might indirectly assist traditional believers to lower the temperature of, or even avoid, such contests. I develop each of these points in this article.