Immanent Frame has just put up an excellent interview with John Modern, author of an article we've blogged about here briefly before, "Evangelical Secularism and the Measure of Leviathan,"Church History, December 2008, and also author of Haunted Modernity: The Metaphysics of Secularism, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press. The interview provides a quick user-friendly guide to some of his basic ideas and approaches. A brief excerpt:
JLM: I see the threatening nature of my work sometimes in my students. I’m sure many religious studies professors will say that. We are historicizing religion and that can pose a challenge to students about the newness or integrity of their own piety. But more often, I’m attempting to threaten existing scholarship in American religion about the ways we tell the grand narrative of the past two or three centuries. Evangelicalism, liberal Protestantism, Catholicism, and so forth, are often seen as threads of a larger picture, but threads that are nevertheless distinct. What I’m really interested in doing is asking whether they have more in common with one another than not.