by John Turner
I know rather little about Father Richard John Neuhaus, who died last week. He was, however, a seminal figure in the recent evolution of politically conservative Catholicism and an even more seminal figure in the forging of ecumenical ties between religious conservatives of various ecclesiastical stripes. Along with Charles Colson, Neuhaus was a prime mover behind Evangelicals and Catholics Together, which called for an end to proselytization between the two groups (the latter position angered a large number of evangelicals and created a backlash against some evangelical ECT signers) and created a framework for mutual public engagement. Neuhaus also gained prominence through founding of First Things, an ecumenically religious conservative periodical.
While writing a review of Jon Shields's forthcoming The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, I came across Neuhaus's review of the same. It must be one of the very last things he wrote, as the First Things website identifies it as a January 2009 publication.
Can any of our readers help assess his significance in modern American religion, the Christian Right, etc.?