Long before he became one of the most influential liberal theorists of the 20th century, John Rawls was an aspiring Episcopal priest, writing an undergraduate thesis on sin, grace, and salvation. Eric Nelson demonstrates that the arguments in that thesis are recapitulated, in secularized form, in Rawls’s major philosophical work, A Theory of Justice—written after Rawls had cast aside his Christian faith. In the earlier work, Rawls rejects the supposition that righteous deeds can ever merit divine rewards; in the later, that hard work and ingenuity can ever merit earthly rewards.
The Anti-Jewish Roots of John Rawls’s Political Philosophy
The U.S. Has Managed to Force a Stalemate in the Syrian Civil War, at Least for Now
In a little remarked-upon statement in May, James Jeffrey, the State Department’s envoy for Syria policy, said that his goal was to turn the war-torn country into “a quagmire for the Russians.” By using economic leverage, this policy has achieved modest success, writes Jonathan Spyer: