Volume 25, 2020
Thomas F. X. Varacalli
In Defense of Christian Exceptionalism
Steven D. Smith persuasively shows that paganism and Christianity are in a culture war that spans two thousand years. Throughout his book, he shows that Christianity is the exceptional religion in three ways. First, Christianity is more authentically open to philosophy than paganism. Second, Christianity does not sacralize the State. Third, Christianity provides a more fulfilling understanding of sexual ethics. Despite the exceptionalism of Christianity, it is currently facing a significant challenge from a renewed and secularized paganism. This secularized paganism is attractive due to the fallibility of human nature. However, Christianity’s theology and intellectual tradition provide meaningful answers and rebuttals to paganism’s more sensual claims.