Perry Dane

Document Type




Nevertheless, some deep ironies and puzzles run through the text of Pagans and Christians. Smith is too careful and subtle to ignore these undercurrents entirely. But it will be worth bringing them to the surface, not only for their own sake but because they might help suggest an alternative to Smith’s most rough-edged claims. My aim in this essay is not merely to nitpick. Any work as magisterial as Smith’s book will generalize and elide along the way. But I do hope by the accumulation of details to suggest a fundamental worry that goes to the most charged words and phrases at the heart of the book’s title— “pagans” and “culture wars.”