My new book, The Kierkegaard-Girard Option, is now available. It was published by Mercer University Press, and can be purchased from their website or

In an age of sharply increasing cultural polarization that has led many people to consider retreat into enclaves of the like-minded, this book seeks to persuade its readers that we need better quality conversations across ideological camps, and that the writings of Soren Kierkegaard and René Girard provide very effective tools for facilitating such conversations. The writings of Kenneth Burke are also drawn on, as an important bridge figure who influenced Girard. All three thinkers can lead us to careful reflections on the psychological and social roots of violent behavior, which is a crucially important topic in need of deeper and broader understanding.

Disagreements among people of differing worldviews tend to descend quickly into shrill shouting matches, as Alasdair Madntyre predicted in After Virtue; but his proposed answer—read Aquinas—is less likely to gain traction than this trio of more contemporary authors.

The incident involving the Covington Catholic High School boys was described by many observers as a "media lynching"of the boys, made possible by "Trump Derangement Syndrome." It is to be hoped that no one who has read this book and absorbed its insights would contribute to the lynching of anyone, whether they think from the left, the right, or the increasingly rare center. Girard memorably said that "The victims most interesting to us are always those who allow us to condemn our neighbors. And our neighbors do the same." Thinking with Kierkegaard, Girard, and Burke can lead us into a different and more productive mode of conversation.

"In general, modem culture, with its polyphony of worldviews, is a grand contest centered around the key question: What are the moral lessons that we ought to learn from history and how will we live when we have learned those lessons rightly?" says Bellinger. "One key lesson that we ought to have learned from Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. is that truth is a force in history. It may seem like a weak force much of the time, but appearances can be deceptive. This is a point perceived clearly by 'Kierkegaard, who said that the eternal—God—is like a great cliff that scatters the sea foam. It matters not to God whether the number of human beings who are fleeing from truth and toward falsehoods is ten, ten million, or ten billion. Truth is never determined by crowds; it determines itself and speaks for itself."


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