Enlightenment Here: Steven Pinker's Myth of a Secular Harvard

Notre Dame.


I am enjoying a productive semester's sabbatical at the University of Notre Dame, at its wonderful Institute for Advanced Study. But for over a decade I have been a professor at Harvard University, in the Divinity School. As such, I could hardly ignore the new book by my Harvard colleague, Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now, in particular regarding the repetition there of Professor Pinker's insistent critique of religion, and determination to exclude it from the university. I was going to publish my critique here, but Commonweal magazine was kind enough to agree to publish my piece, and you can read it there.

Note: I rarely argue with my Harvard colleagues, particularly from outside the Divinity School. But in 2016, writing for Common Knowledge, I did challenge Professor E. O. Wilson - certainly not for his brilliant work in entymology - but for stray and unnecessary comments on religion in The Meaning of Human Existence. You can read my review, which also looks into David Bentley Hart's very fine The Experience of God, here.